When Tolerance Is Unacceptable

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You have two kinds of people in interfaith, says my friend Jack. Some people join up because they want to prove to everyone else that their religion is valid. The rest of us are interfaith junkies; we really love the whole scene, however quirky it may at times seem. I do take seriously my role in the first category because somebody has to stand up for Paganism. Whether I like it or not, people will judge me based on the only satanic-panic speaker they heard one time, so I might as well put my … [Read more...]

Interfaith Update

I'm winging it here.  Don't really have a blog to post this time, more of a update on the usual events that I've been doing for the past two years.While we at Interfaith WS have a lot going on (check out our May - June calendar of events), one event I must mention is the upcoming interfaith dialogue scheduled for mid-October set to take place at a neutral location.  This dialogue will focus mostly on an ecumenical conversation, occurring between an extremely conservative Christian and a very … [Read more...]

Commonality of Humanity

It’s amazing sometimes to sit with a retired minister of (choose your abrahamic faith). All these years I was under the impression that they had their act together – that they had all the answers and knew what life was all about. My eyebrows are raised in stock shock to recognize the complete opposite.I have learned that these ex-ministers that I now call friend are just as human as I am.  It makes me wonder though, if my new-found surprise is merely for the fact that I've yet had the oppo … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part Two

Used via creative commons license.

In Part One of this series, I talked about the difficulties and dilemmas in being asked to talk about a tradition or faith that is not your own.  This week in Part Two, I'd like to offer some suggestions to those who find themselves in this situation.I must imagine that the monists or soft polytheists who attend interfaith events and work with those of other faiths want to accurately convey the great diversity within Paganism.  I don't believe that anyone is out there honestly trying to m … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part One

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In the recent discussions that have gone on in the Pagan community about 'Wiccanate privilege', a large number have mentioned interfaith gatherings.  Some have asked for more Heathens and devotional polytheists to come to the table, and others have expressed frustration that their views are being misrepresented by Pagans who tend towards a duotheistic or monist worldview.  Now, this brings us to an interesting question - is it okay to talk about the beliefs of others (even if they fall under y … [Read more...]

Separation of religion and medicine?

Religion in the sick room

 Last Friday I was sitting at the local urgent care type facility, waiting for the doc to come back with confirmation that my partner had the flu. I had finished catching up on all my emails (thanks to technology and a really smart phone). I immediately became bored (I try to not play games on my phone), and began perusing the sick room we were in. My girl was on the bed cot sleeping while we waited, and having looked through the many pamphlets on the wall, I turned to look at the … [Read more...]

Interfaith and the U.S. Armed Forces

Dr. Carl Evans of IPSC and Chaplain Mike Lembke, Dir. of the Center for World Religions

The military as an example of daily interfaith relations? Never having been a soldier, it had not occurred to me, but that’s one of the things I heard at a remarkable meeting this week at the U.S. Armed Forces Chaplains School and Center, here in Columbia, S.C., at Fort Jackson. The Chaplains School was hosting the annual meeting of Interfaith Partners of S.C., and “host” would be an understatement for the outstanding experience they provided.From the time I parked my car across the street I … [Read more...]

They’ve Got My Back

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Little white country church, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, friends, cookies and punch on the picnic tables outside, a harpist and flautist playing a pleasant half-hour prelude - this was the scene that greeted me when I arrived at Clayton Memorial UU in Newberry, S.C. on October 20 for a panel discussion called “Interfaith Perspectives on Compassion.”My colleagues on the panel were Bishop Herman Yoos of the S.C. Synod of the ELCA (Lutheran) Church, Imam Omar Shaheed, Rabbi Jonathan Case, and … [Read more...]


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