For all of the great work Bill Maher does by adding an unapologetically liberal voice to sensitive topics, his recent heated debate with actor Ben Affleck and author Sam Harris has put Bill at odds with many liberals. The biggest problem with Bill's stance is that he seems content to shout into the wind.
We are having the wrong debate. This isn't about religion, this is about culture. To understand this we need the context of history -- something both of those nincompoops (and most polemicists) somehow forget.
To Mr. Maher and Mr. Harris directly: please walk back your statements. I'm not denying that the Muslim world is filled with hate, homophobia, intolerance and more violence than the western world. I just don't want everyone thinking all atheists are like you guys.
For many Christians--especially for conservative evangelicals--Paul's writings form the core teachings of their churches, from settling church squabbles to the centrality of the death and resurrection of Christ.
It's easy to see the sinner, because that requires no heart interaction, but do you see the person? Do you see the value of every individual, like Jesus did?
Commenting on his father's work in bringing different cultures together, Rivlin,75, spoke personally with the participants about building bridges during his visit to the Arab village made up of Druze, Muslims, and Christians.
The news media is always rife with stories about foreign countries exporting hate and animosity to the United States, but we hear very little regarding those who promote peace and religious harmony, such as Albania. The Pope's visit focused on the harmonious co-existence between Muslims and Christians in the country.
So, why did I feel the need to do a transgender faith tour? I ran out of fingers and toes (and hairs on my head) as I tried to keep a count of the number of times I have heard LGBT and Christian represented as an either/or proposition. You can be Christian or you can be LGBT, the story goes, but you can not be both.
What intrigues me most is the nomenclature we use to describe this abuse. It is "intimate partner violence" or "domestic violence" or "victimization among peers." The terms themselves are ironic and oxymoronic.
As a follower of Christ and preacher of the gospel, I've been processing all of this for many years now. Consequently, I realize that hurt people tend to hurt people, and abused people tend to become abusers.
"Left Behind" may be the most boring post-apocalyptic movie ever made. Only the irritatingly preachy messages delivered by wooden characters threaten to detract from the glacial speed with which the plot develops.
While the idea of believers being "caught up in the air" is mentioned, it is metaphorically describing the Second Coming. Paul is not claiming, nor even implying that Christians will disappear before all hell breaks loose on earth. In fact, the very idea of the rapture is antithetical to the narrative of scripture.
Crazy is not a bad word. Crazy people are not bad. So I'm reclaiming crazy in public discourse as a way to de-stigmatize mental illness. I stand on the shoulders of many others who repurpose words to empower people whose power has been taken away.
Prior to the development of movable typeface and the printing press, few people of average means owned a Bible. Fast forward a few hundred years, and we see the Internet having much the same effect. Aside from the ease and immediacy of access to information, it also offers an unprecedented variety of perspectives.
I had the opportunity in April of this year to join a group traveling to the Dominican Republic to minister to their "ultra-poor." My expectation was that we would be able to provide some needed food and supplies. What I never expected was to cross the path of a woman who towered above we visiting Americans in passion, heart and character.
All the prayers of the Bible can be condensed into a single prayer. And the prayer is a simple one. Just six lines. I call it The Pocket Prayer.