March 8, 2015

That’s what it took. Armed with prayer and nonviolence, six hundred women and men walked east toward the state capitol in Montgomery. As they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they would encounter a phalanx of state troopers wielding billy clubs and tear gas. And as the video above shows, they did not turn back. Sun. March 8, marks the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the day a peaceful display of freedom of speech ended with violence by Alabama state troopers…. Read more

March 6, 2015

As Philadelphia prepares for the Pope’s visit and the World Meeting of Families, one would expect to see a program aimed at addressing the Church’s plan to be more pastoral toward gay, lesbian, and transgender people. In a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, the only mention of such efforts to be expected during the World Meeting of Families was about a celibate man who is gay. That’s it. Not exactly a wide-ranging discussion on the contours of modern life and the family. By June of… Read more

March 3, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu said a lot in his speech before Congress today–much of which was reminiscent of his call for America to go to war against Iraq over a decade ago. But this line stood out to me, not as much for what Netanyahu said but for how Republican Members of Congress responded: “At a time when many hope Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.”  [Applause] You read that right. Republicans in Congress clapped after… Read more

March 3, 2015

Climate change is a significant moral issue according to the recent survey conducted by Reuters/IPSOS, where nearly 3 out of every 4 persons surveyed said he or she is “personally morally obligated” to control carbon dioxide emissions. World leaders also should also be more morally obligated to take action to protect the planet, 66% of the respondents said. Reporter Bruce Wallace released the news last week, and interviewed American Values Network Executive Director Eric Sapp about the survey conducted in… Read more

March 2, 2015

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This is the first amendment. It protects, among other things, Americans’ right to religious liberty; and it is one of the bedrocks of our nation. At its core, religious liberty is a liberal, democratic value…. Read more

March 2, 2015

A panel discussion this past weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) offered a stark assessment of the state of religious freedom in the U.S., providing a rallying cry for conservatives as the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination begins. Entitled “Would the Pilgrims Still be Welcome Here?” the panel tackled topics ranging from the assault on religious values levied by teaching evolution in the classroom, to persecution as a “badge of honor” for American Christians. Moderated by… Read more

February 28, 2015

As of Friday night at 8:00 p.m., 96 ordained clergy in the state of Georgia and surrounding regions have signed a petition, pleading to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to spare the life of Kelly Gissendaner— an inmate on death row, scheduled to be executed Monday, March 2nd, 2015. Gissendaner was denied clemency last Tuesday, and the response from many has been outrage and sadness. The petition was created by Atlanta-area clergy, seminarians, and professors—including many affiliated with Emory University—in an effort… Read more

February 22, 2015

Prayer is a powerful motivator. In heart and mind, one reaches out to God, a higher power, and asks for well wishes, grace, humility, peace and guidance. Prayer is powerful because once an answer is derived, it is believed to be true and a direct answer from an all-knowing spirit or being. But history is littered with stories about horrible deeds and decisions supposedly inspired by the Lord. Last week, the nation received its latest perplexing conservative-leaning hypocritical decision as… Read more

February 13, 2015

I was having dinner about 18 months ago in D.C. with some friends when they asked me why I care so much about religion, faith and politics. I told them that when both sides stop talking, will not work together and would rather throw mud than praise, there are only two options to bridge the divide. Aside from a giant kegger on the National Mall, sharing of one’s faith, religion and values is the next best step. One of the… Read more

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