March 5, 2020

Stem cell research has been the subject of discussion and heated debate for many years. Much of the social and political drama surrounding stem cells is the result of misunderstanding what stem cells are, where they come from, and what they can do for those with injuries and diseases. Working from a common set of facts is a great way to dispel controversy, however. Whether we fall into the “pro-choice” or “pro-life” camp, it is more than evident that supporting… Read more

January 30, 2020

Many people on Earth think a belief in a higher power is essential if we’re to become moral people. This position is held by decisive majorities in dozens of countries. It’s a vital example of how religion can cause us to offload our sense of morality and self. When it comes to mental health, there are signs religion can do some good, under the right circumstances. Yet, religion can also have unintended consequences for mental and emotional development. Let us look at… Read more

January 15, 2020

  Coalescing around Climate Change A few years ago, during the time of the United Nations Summit on Global Climate Change in Paris, our dialogue team traveled to the chilly, damp air of Coatbridge, Scotland, not far from Edinburgh. There we gathered at Conforti Institute of the Xaverian Missionaries, our dialogue center which hosts and trains many groups on the important commitments of interfaith and intercultural dialogue. On that weekend, just prior to the commencement of the COP21 in Paris,… Read more

September 6, 2019

Did you know that the moon is hollow? In reality, it isn’t a natural satellite of the earth, but an artificially-created alien space station where critters from galaxies far, far away observe our behavior as if we were their ant farm. Of course, this hypothesis sounds radical, and ample scientific evidence to the contrary exists. However, don’t tell that to the conspiracy theorists. While some deny science in an attempt to make a buck off kooky theories, many honestly believe… Read more

July 13, 2019

  In the last part of May 2019, an unlikely gathering took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for Culture at the Vatican, entitled Cultures of Unbelief. This unique gathering of religious and nonreligious comes about fifty years after the first conference held at the Vatican, March 27, 1969 with the title, Culture of Unbelief. There Pope Paul VI stated: “Thus it comes about that we must recognize many aspects and many motives… Read more

June 20, 2019

The Trump Administration seems bent on prioritizing religious “freedoms” over human needs — including medical needs. On one hand, they’ve essentially declared themselves enemies of public health systems. On the other, they seem to want to bring the entire “free market” of the health care industry under Christianity’s banner of moral rule. By that I mean, there’s another “Obama-era” idea on the chopping block. It involves discrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community and access to health care. This is a… Read more

April 18, 2019

People sure do love their double standards. You probably know how true this is if you’ve ever been judged for your dietary choices. Consider the range of responses you might receive if you “out yourself” as a vegan or vegetarian. No matter how well-researched and reasoned your decision might be, somebody is going to decide to make it a problem for you. You’ll be asked if you’re “feeling well” and if you’re getting enough protein. Others will accuse you of… Read more

February 15, 2019

Employee benefits, workplace rights and even the very definition of employment itself have all changed a lot over the last few decades. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the fact that at-will employment is the rule rather than the exception in the United States. There is only one state in the U.S. that doesn’t follow this blueprint for job creation: Montana. The degree to which this concerns you probably stands in direct proportion to how strongly you believe in… Read more

February 10, 2019

  On Wednesday, January 16th, at the Adam’s Middle School in a small, bedroom community in Holliston, Massachusetts, a community conversation was held entitled, “Why Hate? Why Here? Why Now? What’s next?” The impetus of this gathering centered around the discovery of a swastika carved into the slide of the school playground. One of the panelists, Rabbi Jennifer Rudin injected, “When incidents like this happen, all that fear, rational or irrational, comes back.” Some months before, the painful memory of… Read more

January 31, 2019

Karen Pence is America’s second lady and the wife of U.S. vice president Mike Pence. She also, quite recently, made “news” by returning to Immanuel Christian School full-time, where she previously spent 12 years as a teacher. But is this news, really? Very little here feels surprising. Immanuel Christian School does not permit LGBTQ students to enroll. It does not permit sons and daughters of the LGBTQ community to enroll, regardless of that student’s sexual orientation. It does not allow… Read more

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