Dress, let alone practicing their religion, can set these women apart from the culture around them. That is not to say there is no fashion involved - indeed their fashions are quite intricate. Yet what I have learned from these close friends of mine is there is no shame in not fitting in perfectly with the women around you.
It's so easy to mindlessly spend money. It's so easy to feel disconnected from the spirit of the holiday and the essence of the people you're buying for when you're shopping (especially online and with credit cards).
Telling women who have prepared all their lives to be good mothers, wives, and Relief Society Presidents that they are expected now to do more work within the church without being paid and without much thanks is not liberation, not really.
As a Catholic who observed closely the resignation of the emeritus pope and elevation of Jorge Bergoglio, in March of 2013, with hope and some suspicion, I find myself vexed by the profuse adulation Pope Francis I received during his visit to the United States.
The systemic exclusion of women from equality before God in the priestly leadership of the Catholic Church is a scandal, and it needs to be rectified with the same passionate compassion Pope Francis has applied to others who are excluded.
The advent of Islam sought not only to introduce a new kind of social order but to limit the excesses of Meccan society, which directly harmed women and girls. Early Islam sought to elevate women and define them as independent agents possessed of free will, responsible for their own actions and imbued with certain rights and privileges over men.
Look, it isn't that I think that the prophets of the Mormon church are bad men or that they intend to take power to themselves. But they do have that power, and women do not. In my opinion, this diminishes us as a group.
Ministry often seems like a very placid vocation. We engage with congregants as they heal from their surgeries. We attend birthday parties and anniversary celebrations, officiate weddings, and baptize babies and adults.
What started in 2009 as a group of twenty-five has expanded to over 6,000 Muslim clergy who are now training one another to preach and teach about the importance of the dignity and empowerment of women and girls within Islam.
Joseph Braude met with Ambassador Ibrahim al-Dabbashi, the Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations, to discuss hopes for reconstruction and renewal of civil society and state institutions, and a culture of religious moderation and tolerance.
Today, on Equal Pay Day, we lift up the fight against wage discrimination, an affront to our moral sensibility. Unjustly paying some workers less than others undermines their value and their dignity as human beings and constitutes an intolerable act of discrimination.
Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture's intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women's rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on that spurious ground.
Purim is a great drama. It is also a symbol of what our world can be when we abolish the disunity between us. As then, so now, it has to start from the Jews. "Love your neighbor as yourself" was given to us first.
Last week, a group of Muslim women launched a new Women's Mosque of America project in Los Angeles and held its first women-only Friday congregational prayer.
In the face of the fragility of life and mighty forces of hatred and fear, many will lapse into denial or despair, making decisions from a place of spiritual defeat. This is not what our tradition asks of us. We are called to fully acknowledge the reality of evil, and lovingly perpetuate life in spite of it.
Fifteen years ago, the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing was published in a full page ad in the New York Times, surrounded by the names of more than 800 of the country's leading religious leaders.