Teaching about religions is not advocating for them any more than teaching about war advocates for war. And as for the objection that it would violate the separation between church and state, that's not true.
Part of the way forward in our lives and world is to know that we carry blessing for one another, whether as individuals, nations or religions. To give and receive blessing changes the very nature of relationship.
Secular prophecies to the contrary, religion is not going away. And despite the hopes of certain nostalgic believers, religion will not regain, at least in the West, the social ascendancy it once enjoyed.
Walking in the footsteps of great Sufi poets Dr. Ahmed expresses "primal emotions that are universal." His poetry touches the heart and soul while reflecting on the past with memories of the partition of India.
When we see all the evil that is done in the name of religion, we naturally want no part of it. But the truth is, the problem isn't with religion per se. The problem is with seeing religion as an end unto itself.
It's typical to think that theology is static and permanent. It's not, though. What's true instead is that theology follows sociology. And slowly but surely we are all becoming members of one big society.
We allowed neither time, nor space to harden the natural distance between us. We would not choose sides. We would continue simply to be a very public witness and single face of the equal love of the God of Differences for us all.
What people like Tony Perkins don't understand -- or choose to ignore -- is that his ability to practice his religion as he sees fit is a direct result of the hands-off approach that government has taken toward religion for the last 200 plus years
For fasting to be truly universal, its benefits must extend beyond the fraternal ties of Muslims to forge a common humanity with others. Fasting is meant to impart a sense of what it means to be truly human.
As I reflect on my friendship with my Muslim high school friend and the Catholic spiritual adviser, it is clear to me that the many diverse religions of the world are complimentary to each other and not in competition with each other.