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Happy Holidays: A Gift, Not a Slight

Chris Dean | Posted 12.19.2014 | Religion
Chris Dean

If you're thoughtful enough to wish me a Merry Christmas, I won't go out of my way to explain to you why I experience a hidden shiver of annoyance, but I will wish you a Happy Holiday in return.

Mormon Service Advocates Launch New Faith-Themed Website, Podcast

Joseph Peterson | Posted 12.18.2014 | Religion
Joseph Peterson

From that website they affirm that "No Poor Among Them is a project devoted to education and inspiration in the art of service and the passion to end poverty."

Soul Search: Why Pope Francis Is Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 12.18.2014 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

We have this conundrum of who has a soul and who goes to heaven because the basic premise on the question is rather absurd. The concept of a soul is fatally flawed, just as is the idea of dualism.

Blind Spots and Boiling Points: Our Shortcomings As Parents And People

Stuart Dow | Posted 12.17.2014 | Parents
Stuart Dow

Presumably, my child-centered myopia can be understood and forgiven in this context. But what are, and should be, the bounds of this sort of blindness -- especially when it manifests in other settings?

Learning To Appreciate And Respect The Beliefs Of Others

Amber Sabathia | Posted 12.17.2014 | Parents
Amber Sabathia

I once overheard my son having a conversation with his classmate. The friend asked, "What religion are you? We're Catholic." My son replied, "Well, we're kinda like Catholics, but we're Baptist." When I heard this, I knew I had to sit my children down and explain what religion truly is.

JT Burke's Paradise Circus Pops Up at the LA Art Show

Shana Nys Dambrot | Posted 12.17.2014 | Arts
Shana Nys Dambrot

For Burke, the allegory of Paradise Circus is not really about satirizing any individual faith per se, his own or anyone's -- it's more about shining a light on the absurdity of killing one another over competing theories of the unknowable.

A Darkened Christmas? In Search of a Brighter Future

Daniel Davis | Posted 12.17.2014 | Religion
Daniel Davis

Christmas is just days away. In shops and malls echoes of Bing Crosby singing "Silver Bells" serenade shoppers as they rush home with their treasures. But in all honesty, it's hard to consider Christmas 2014 to be "a season of joy."

Pushing Past the Hashtag: Why We Need to Understand That #BlackLivesMatter and MORE

Rev. Joel Montgomery | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion
Rev. Joel Montgomery

Black lives matter, yes -- but pushing past the hashtag, we have to understand not just that black lives matter, but that ALL lives matter. All. Lives. Matter. Because people matter.

Diyas, Dreidels, and Baby Jesus

Tricia Mirchandani | Posted 12.16.2014 | Parents
Tricia Mirchandani

Our children's Bible rests against the Ramayana on her bookshelf. We pray to God at night but haven't fully fleshed out His character or discussed how He is different from Ganesh and Lakshmi and, now, Baby Jesus. For her, religion is more mosaic of characters and story lines than it is a set of tenets or beliefs.

Atheism Reaffirmed

Kate Byrne | Posted 12.16.2014 | Impact
Kate Byrne

It is with a slight degree of trepidation, but a greater degree of defiance, that I stand before you in this digital space and come out as an atheist. I choose not to seek comfort in a being that can indiscriminately strike the good with what should only strike the bad.

I'm With Stupid: Jesus and Marijuana Chain of Offense

Todd Hartley | Posted 12.16.2014 | Comedy
Todd Hartley

Answer this question truthfully for me: Who's worse these days, people who say or write offensive stuff or the people who get really offended by it? Once upon a time, I imagine the obvious answer was the offenders, but with the way things are now, I honestly think the offended may have become the bigger problem.

'Ohana No Ka Oi: Our All-American-Non-Religious Christmas Ritual

Bradley B. Onishi | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion
Bradley B. Onishi

'Ohana is a Hawaiian word that means family but includes the distant relatives with whom one shares important things. In the past, this would mean resources such as land and crops. Today it means something different, at least to us, or at least to me.

The Self-Righteous System and the Prophetic Task (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16)

Brennan Breed | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion
Brennan Breed

On December 8, an Orlando-area police officer shot Cedric Bartee, an African-American man, while he was unarmed and allegedly standing with his hands in the air. The sheriff asked the public to trust that the justice system will discover the "truth."

God Is the New Physics

Deepak Chopra | Posted 12.16.2014 | GPS for the Soul
Deepak Chopra

When spirituality and physics started to be linked, many scientists called it the use of metaphor. It couldn't literally be true that there was a Tao ...

Payday Loans and the Rise of Vampire Capitalism

Ethan Rabidoux | Posted 12.16.2014 | Business
Ethan Rabidoux

Payday loan companies have managed to fly beneath the radar of public scrutiny for far too long. I suspect it's because their victims are the weakest among us who don't have a voice.

Because I Saw the Difference

Catherine Nagle | Posted 12.15.2014 | Healthy Living
Catherine Nagle

I raised an only child twice and saw the differences in parenting styles because my children are 23 years apart. Living through the differences from...

Race Matters in the Classroom

Deepak Sarma | Posted 12.15.2014 | Religion
Deepak Sarma

I am successful when my students and conversation partners begin enclosing and confining these colonial categories in quotation marks, recognizing their construction and significance, historicizing them, disrupting them, and depriving them of their power.

'Religious Freedom' Or A 'License To Discriminate'?

Pew's Stateline | Teresa Wiltz | Posted 12.12.2014 | Politics

This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily repo...

Jesus: The Original "New Age" Thinker

Steve McSwain | Posted 12.10.2014 | Religion
Steve McSwain

I think a second reason Christians label me as a "New Age" person is because I frequently refer to God as "she" about as often as I do "he." Why? It is because God is neither.

America Needs to Rewrite the 3 R's

Suzan Johnson Cook | Posted 12.09.2014 | Women
Suzan Johnson Cook

I contend, 50 years later, that what America needs to function in this world today are three new R's: Race, Religion and Respect for women. From Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner to Michael Brown and ISIS, a new movement needs to be created.

Sentient Meat: Nihilism Is a Scream

Joseph A. Domino | Posted 12.09.2014 | Religion
Joseph A. Domino

The concept of nihilism is not new--Nietschze declared "God is dead" in 1882. As observation through a famous fictional character, even Shakespeare understood the sensibility before the word was invented.

Hanukkah Oh, Chanukkah: A Holiday Primer for Non-Jews (Goyim)

Lisa Page Rosenberg | Posted 12.09.2014 | Comedy
Lisa Page Rosenberg

Soon it will be the first night of Chanukkah, the eight night long Jewish Festival of Lights. My husband is Jewish. I have been a Rosenberg for almost a decade now but being raised Catholic, I am not really Jewish, merely a Jew-adjacent. However, in my fake Jew-ness I have learned a couple of things about this holiday.

The Power of the Powerless (Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23)

Rabbi Toba Spitzer | Posted 12.09.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Toba Spitzer

Reading Tamar's story in light of recent events in Ferguson and Staten Island, as thousands of people take to the streets to demand changes in our justice system, the Torah poses to us today this question: What happens when those in power fail to acknowledge their errors?

You Don't Want to Be a Prophet (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto | Posted 12.09.2014 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto

When God calls you to some holy task, you might expect a contemplative path, a quiet life of service and love of neighbor. You might expect a comfortable life of piety and hopefulness, grace and caring. But true prophets know better.

Burying a Friend Younger Than Me

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach | Posted 12.09.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

There is no great wisdom, there is no great secret, that will ever make life's struggle easier. The essence of wisdom is to know that we will never know. Life will always be challenging. It would always demand great effort.