Over twenty centuries later of Racine's period, society had been developed in every way. The Roman empire intervenes and takes care of the state and puts aside the citizen's worries.
Re-examining our behaviors regarding permission and prohibitions in the realm of body, mind (belief systems), feelings and socio-cultural practices can be beneficial to our health and well-being.
We have every reason to be concerned with the fate of the Christian communities of the Arab World. What is at stake is not just the survival of these important minorities; it is the future of the region, itself. Violent extremist groups like ISIS and their kin, pose an existential challenge not only to Christians, but to all Arabs and Muslims.
If it's harder to become a scientist just because you're a girl, imagine how much harder to start on that path as a member of a religious group that's often marginalized by leading scientists in the public sphere.
By pandering to the fear-mongering Islamaphobes, a USA Today article missed an opportunity to explain to Christian-majority Americans how their fellow Muslim citizens are trying to live out their faith in the country they love. It failed to tell of the U.S. Muslim's love of freedom and democracy.
Jesus would likely be horrified by the image of him displaying a crucifix. The only crucifix he ever held was the one he was nailed to in the brutal process of his crucifixion.
How do we know what we are vs. what we are becoming, what can change vs. what can't? The words from today's Eucharist do not offer hard and fast answers. They do, however, draw from the treasure trove of Christian tradition to speak to our universal condition:
This is about the longer haul, when the tear gas canisters are finally empty. It's for those of us who love to talk about "racial reconciliation." About "welcome" and "inclusion."
How can we define the distinction between niceness and grace? I would say that niceness refers to the complex dance of smiling, posturing, innuendo, laughter, self-deprecation, etc. that keeps a conversation pleasant and easygoing. Niceness doesn't always mean that you're being loving.
We recently decided to have an extended email conversation addressing the Islamic State (ISIS) in Faisal's home country of Iraq, being called an "Uncle Tom" by white people, the existence -- or non-existence -- of a "moderate" Islam, and the one key factor needed to bring about a true Islamic reformation.
It strikes me that if you peel back many religions (including the three Abrahamic faiths), there are both episodes of violence and expressions of tolerance. The problem is not one's religious affiliation. The problem is spiritual: There is something bent inside each of us that inspires us to distort the higher values of the faith we profess.
As the country continues to sort through the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, few are surprised that some of the most outspoken commentators are those from the faith community.
I am a Christian who loves the Bible and I look to it for guidance every day. But I do not worship the Bible. And, while I have not left the Church, I fully understand why millions of believing people have.
Last week, a viral video depicted Daniel Ashley Pierce, a young man who recorded his family's violent reaction to his having come out as gay -- yelling about the Bible, physically assaulting him and kicking him out of the house. Daniel's boyfriend posted the video online, and people around the world were horrified by what they saw.
We must continue to strategize. We must continue to organize. We must vote. We must also cry out against the societal walls threatening to prevent a new generation of Michael Browns from receiving a quality education, jobs and justice they deserve.
When you read Jean Racine, the French dramatist of the 17th century, you have the same feeling when you first take in Homer in your hands, I mean the same awe and uneasy feeling to understand a majestic poetry.