With so much talk these days about 'opposing beliefs' inciting conflict, violence and hate, I wanted to approach it from a positive angle and talk about 'opposing beliefs' coming together with respect, honor and most importantly, love.
Perhaps we are looking for God in all the wrong places. In today's video, Sister Margaret goes to prison. She is not Jesus. She is not God. But she believes God is there in Ryker's Island, "home" to 1300 prisoners, half of them teenagers.
I went to Greece almost every summer during my child and teenage years and, without fail, would visit various monasteries during my stays.
There are powerful cultural factors equating self-worth and identity to job status and material wealth. But researchers note religious communities may provide several sources of support that buffer the effects of financial crises such as joblessness.
As an American and as an Episcopalian, I was raised to pledge to and pray for two audacious goals: "liberty and justice for all" and "thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven," respectively. Yesterday's historic step by the Presbyterian Church USA brought us a little closer to both.
Indeed, I had to deny myself my earthly desires, my earthly wants, and take up the "Preaching Elder Cross" and follow Jesus, whom I had already loved, and who wished to call me to this service using the spiritual gifts he gave me.
The band's playing. Everyone's singing. Some people even have their hands lifted up in the air. If you've ever been to church, you probably know what I'm talking about. When I was younger, I thought the people waving their hands all over the place were kind of weird.
In the deepest recesses of his heart, Fred Rogers was an unabashed universalist who believed that God never gives up on any of us exactly because we are all essentially good, valuable, and lovable: God is the Great Appreciator, and we are the greatly appreciated.
Plain and simple: Pastor Creflo Dollar is a disgrace. Today's headlines read: "Creflo Dollar's lofty plan seeks $65M jet for global missions." And if that wasn't enough, the man bearing the name Dollar, is asking 200,000 people to contribute $200 each to purchase the plane.
So a Rabbi and an Atheist walk into a bar. What is funny about this joke entree is that the encounter made real news, in the form of a nice talk about good and evil, with the implication that an atheist cannot tell the difference.
Perhaps he was a bit of both. Clearly, his primary association among the canonical Gospels is that of being a traitor, although the "handing over" of Jesus to the authorities is not necessarily to be rendered as a "betrayal" in the Greek.
In the last couple of days I've seen two headlines which make Leila Sansour's film-slash-human-rights-movement Open Bethlehem both perfect and important.
Racism and bigotry are overwhelming and mind numbing issues. The big picture frustrates me to no end. The only person that I truly can control is myself, which happens to be the best place to start fixing most problems I know.
At a time when the Middle East is a minefield of socio-religious tensions, such interactions between disparate communities seem especially rare. But when they happen, they can be transformative.
This week, over 200 men and women representing a diversity of ethnicities, languages, professions and political views gathered to participate in what was perhaps the largest celebration of the ancient holiday of Norouz, the Persian New Year at the White House.
Lent is a time for honesty that may disrupt the illusion of well-being that is fostered by the advocates of indulgent privilege and strident exceptionalism that disregards the facts on the ground.