As the Cardinal entered his office, I rose and we embraced each other in what could best be described as a bear hug! The Cardinal then turned to me and said, "You are most welcome here." Do you know what is radical about that statement?
Many of the people who define themselves as Christians often miss the mark when it comes to what the Bible teaches.
While it's great to explain the benefits of abstinence, Christians have begun to rely too heavily on a shame-based rhetoric that motivates teens into compliance for fear of being "dirty" or undesirable. I cannot tell you how many women I have counseled who became sexually active in their teen years and consequently felt like they were damaged goods.
Complementarian megachurch pastors are like pitchers who only throw 40-mile-an-hour change-ups. It feels cheap and dirty to swing at their pitches, but I'm genuinely bothered by what I've been hearing lately from that strange foreign land where Christians believe that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands.
I took part in the February 2012 council that selected the 10 documents that ultimately made it into "A New New Testament." The texts we examined are far from perfect, just like the ones in the New Testament itself, or the Hebrew Bible for that matter.
Philosophy and theology departments are increasingly irrelevant backwaters in the modern university, engaged in seemingly solipsistic debates. If they want to reclaim exalted status in the university and society, they would do well to embrace Big History.
It takes an exceptionally pliable hermeneutic to read the Gospels and come away thinking that the one who abjured violence and commanded his followers to love their enemies was, you know, cool with the Second Amendment.
Eight thousand police from around world came to campus to honor the fallen officer. The day dawned rainy, but it cleared and the sun gave many their first blush of color this spring. The MIT community was surrounded by caring men and women in blue. For students it was a once in a lifetime experience.
I'm glad the vast majority of my students will be employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation -- that is very important. But mere work or grad school misses the point. We've failed in educating our students well if they seek simply a job.
Perhaps you've heard the rumor going around that the military is discriminating against Christians. Perhaps you think there are new regulations, or new policies, or someone being court marshaled for their beliefs.
Someone shared with me a fundraising letter in which Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, claimed, "not only did Jesus tolerate weapons, he instructed His disciples to buy them!" Given the devastating consequences of gun violence, Perkins should be ashamed of himself.
Over the past decades, conservative Christians have had almost full reign within the military, and they disproportionally make up most of the Chaplaincy. In the last several years, though, there has been closer scrutiny of the conduct of certain chaplains and commanders who have used their positions to advance their own religious beliefs.
If we Christians can't show more love and willingness to listen, it won't change one person from gay to straight, but it will turn a lot of people against Christianity.
The Resurrection challenges us to reflect on where we most deeply experience hostility and disunity. Images of this reality abound: Within the space of only a few weeks, in America alone, we have painfully witnessed the loss of children to gun violence, the loss of life to religious radicalism and the loss of residents to a plant explosion.
I long feared the confusion that might arise from marriage grounded solely on affection. How do we know what to honor as "marriage" and how do we distinguish that from "friendship"? I can now see that the boundary line must be the strength of commitment shared by two loving hearts.
It's more obvious to me than ever after hearing from readers that this problem of a demeaning culture in the church is real; and until we are honest about that, change will not happen.