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Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
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Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is the Executive Religion Editor for the Huffington Post. From 2003-2011, Raushenbush was the Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University. He was the President of the Association Of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA) from 2009-20011. An ordained American Baptist minister, Rev. Raushenbush speaks and preaches at colleges, churches and institutes around the country including The Chautauqua Institute, the Center for American Progress, the New America Foundation and the Aspen Institute. Raushenbush is regularly invited to offer commentary on issues of religion and society on national television and radio. His current focus is on the interplay between religion and the internet. His first book, Teen Spirit: One World, Many Faiths (HCI) was released in the Fall of 2004. He is the editor of the 100th Anniversary edition of Walter Rauschenbusch's book, Christianity and the Social Crisis – In the 21st Century (HarperOne). He was the Co-Director of the Program on Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations at The Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination at Princeton University.

Entries by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

How Three Jewish Junior Obama Staffers Brought The First Passover Seder To The White House

(17) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:49 PM

April 19, 2008 was a low point in Senator Obama's campaign to be the Democratic Presidential candidate. Senator Clinton had recently won the Ohio primary, Rev. Jeremiah Wright was in the news and the momentum appeared to turning away from the Junior Senator from Illinois.

It was also Passover;...

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World Vision's (Failed) Attempt at Justice for Gay Christians

(137) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 6:27 PM

World Vision just announced that they have reversed their policy, announced only two days ago, to accept gay Christians as employees.

World Vision is one of the premier religious do-gooder organizations out there. Devoutly Christian in its worldview, they have in the past won lawsuits in order to avoid...

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Noah: A Midrash by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel (Interview)

(157) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 5:26 PM

When Darren Aronofsky was 13, he wrote a poem inspired by the biblical story of Noah that won an award from the United Nations and was part of a lifelong quest to bring the story to the big screen. After 10 years of trying to develop the project...

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Grieving for Fred Phelps

(98) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 12:28 PM

Fred Phelps is dead and I can't take any pleasure in it. When word got out that the founder of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church or 'God Hates Fags' church was dying, there were many on the Internet who responded with remarks of satisfaction, promises of picketing his...

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10 Crucial Days That Shaped Pope Francis' First Year

(43) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 7:10 PM

When the final votes were counted in the Sistine Chapel on March 13, 2013, and the Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina had been elected, the Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes said to his friend the new pope, "Do not forget the poor." Pope Francis later told reporters, “The poor, the...

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'Of Many' Film Produced By Chelsea Clinton To Premier At Tribeca Film Festival, Featuring Muslim-Jewish Relations

(59) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 4:31 PM

The Tribeca Film Festival has announced that a documentary short produced by Chelsea Clinton will hold its world premiere during the festival at the end of April.

Directed by Linda G. Mills, with Clinton as its Executive Producer, the film "Of Many" documents the extraordinary friendship between...

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Why I Love Lent

(6) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 11:19 AM

I wasn't raised in a household that observed Lent and only began to get into it once I was introduced to the more liturgical traditions while at seminary. My mother always thought it odd that I would observe this season believing that one of the finer things about being a...

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'Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs' and the Fraying of America

(749) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 2:04 PM

Several states have recently introduced bills that would allow people to withhold services to their fellow Americans if they base their decision on "sincerely held religious beliefs." In Arizona, one of these bills has made it all the way to Gov. Jan Brewer's desk, and she is currently deciding whether...

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Christians Are a Cause of LGBT Oppression So We Have to Be a Part of the Liberation!

(962) Comments | Posted February 16, 2014 | 10:19 AM

A mob in Nigeria dragged men from their homes on Saturday and beat them with sticks and iron bars. These men were perceived to be homosexual, so instead of protecting them against the attack, the police took part and punched and kicked four of them. The violence comes...

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My Road to Recovery From Good News Porn

(11) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 2:23 PM

It began innocently enough. Back in the '90s I heard a story (which may not be entirely true) about a Special Olympics running event in Seattle when one contestant stumbled and the others went back to help the fellow and they all ended up crossing the finish line together.

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Substanz und Stil: So verändern die Reformen von Papst Franziskus die katholische Kirche

(10) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 11:33 AM

Als Papst Franziskus in Bezug auf homosexuelle Menschen in der katholischen Kirche die inzwischen berühmte rhetorische Frage stellte „Wer bin ich, darüber zu urteilen?“, signalisierte er damit seine Bereitschaft für weitreichende Veränderungen einer zutiefst konservativen religiösen Einrichtung, die seit Jahrzehnten mit Skandalen und zunehmendem Bedeutungsverlust in Europa und...

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Substance And Style: How The Reforms Of Pope Francis Are Changing The Catholic Church

(283) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 4:09 PM

When Pope Francis posed his now-iconic question, "Who am I to judge?" in reference to gay people in the Catholic Church, he signaled a sea change in a deeply conservative religious institution reeling from decades of scandal and decline in Europe and the Americas.

The pope’s insistence...

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7 Ways to Be Sure You Are a Martin Luther King Jr. Kind of Christian

(178) Comments | Posted January 19, 2014 | 9:56 AM

To understand the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. one should first look to his Christian faith, which gave him the language, spiritual strength and community to fuel and sustain his singular efforts for justice, peace and freedom.

Faith was at the center of his life.

However, as...

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What Will You Worship In 2014?

(124) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 10:44 AM

Each of us have choices to make about our lives and New Years Eve Day is as good of time as any to make them.

Today we can ask ourselves the ultimate question: To what will we devote our life in this very short span of time that we...

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The Top 10 Religion Stories Of 2013

(30) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 7:17 AM

2013 was a huge year for religion news. The transition of power in the Vatican, church state issues in the United States, and religious tension in the Middle East were just a few of the reasons that religion was so often propelled onto the front page. The HuffPost Religion editorial...

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Don't Call Us Marxist Because We Critique Capitalism -- Call Us Christian

(578) Comments | Posted December 15, 2013 | 3:09 PM

In response to critics who label him a Marxist, Pope Francis is taking a page from the famous Seinfeld scene: No, my critique of capitalism is not because I'm a Marxist (not that there's anything wrong with that) -- it's because I'm a Christian.

Since his election last March, the...

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Pope Francis: 'Marxist Ideology Is Wrong, But I Know Many Marxist Who Are Good People'

(2414) Comments | Posted December 14, 2013 | 10:21 PM

In a new interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis responded to allegations that he is a Marxist, after he recently criticized 'unfettered capitalism.'

The Pope told La Stampa that “Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life...

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Why Pope Francis Is Time Magazine's Person of the Year

(139) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 8:49 AM

Time magazine has named Pope Francis "Person of the Year" connecting the Pontiff with only two other Popes John Paul II, Pope John XXIII who have been given that title. In the 91 years of Time, there have been only five, now six, religious leaders who have been named Person of the Year; the other three being Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Gandhi.

This latest 'win' is not a complete surprise (although I hear Miley Cirus was surging towards the end) as Pope Francis was also the most talked about name on Facebook, the most powerful person on Twitter and the most talked about name on the internet. And now he has gathered one more 'prize.'

Time Editor Nancy Gibbs, who met Pope Francis in Rome last week wrote about their decision:

Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly -- young and old, faithful and cynical -- as has Pope Francis. In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role of women, the nature of marriage, the temptations of power...

He is embracing complexity and acknowledging the risk that a church obsessed with its own rights and righteousness could inflict more wounds than it heals... For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world¹s largest church to confronting its deepest needs, and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year.

What Ms. Gibbs seems to be saying, is that Pope Francis is the religious figure that the world has been waiting for.

Everyone is talking about Pope Francis on- and off-line. I can't go to a party or meet with a friend without them commenting on Pope Francis -- he has captivated the imagination of the world in a way that I haven't seen before in my 50 years. Lapsed Catholic, atheist and people of other religions have all declared themselves a fan of this Pope. And, as a Baptist minister so have I.

But why? I think it is because he is so refreshingly different from what people have become accustomed to associate with religious leaders. Religious and non-religious people alike have been bitterly disappointed with the judgmentalism, the sectarian righteousness, the unabashed commercialization, banal spirituality and otherworldly concerns of so many religious leaders and their followers in all different traditions.

Pope Francis resonates with so many people because he actually lives up to the highest ideals of religion which challenges us to think both about our personal spiritual life alongside the concerns of the "other." Pope Francis is viewed as authentic, the real deal, a true religious leader because he proclaims a radical call to justice for those most vulnerable and peace between nations and individuals in this world within the framework of an orthodox religious faith. Pope Francis combines the the social gospel with personal piety in a complete package of the religious ideal.

While many local religious leaders live humble spiritual lives while preaching justice and performing charity in churches, synagogues, sanghas, temples, gurdwaras and mosques around the world, Pope Francis has done it from the highest pulpit in the world, preaching from the seat of power at the Vatican. His humility of lifestyle while leveraging the enormous power of that pulpit for good is part of why we love him so much. He speaks for many of us who wish to promote a positive, productive religious voice for justice in the 21st century, but who feel our voices has been drown out by violence, greed and enmity caused by too many religious figures and followers around the world.

HIs forthright statement like "Who am I to judge" gay people; acknowledgment that atheists can work alongside religious people for the common good, his outreach to people of other faiths, and his amazing critique of economic systems that leave so many in this world hungry and homeless have been like a salve for the global community.

I join the millions, perhaps billions, of people around the world who applaud Time magazine for their choice of Person of the Year, and extend my heartfelt thanks to Pope Francis who continues to inspire so many of us.

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Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas: The Last Thing That Ever Needs To Be Said About It

(1131) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 3:00 PM

Every year at the beginning of December some Americans engage in a ridiculous rhetorical ritual that recycles righteous arguments about whether people should say to one another Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. This question is one skirmish in the broader cultural and political battle that come under the heavily ladened...

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No Cardinal Dolan, the Catholic Church Wasn't 'Outmarketed' on Gay Marriage

(1308) Comments | Posted November 30, 2013 | 12:43 PM

Cardinal Dolan laments gay marriage in an interview with David Gregory on "Meet the Press" that will air on Sunday and blamed being 'outmarketed' around the issue of marriage equality. From what has been reported in the Associated Press, Dolan also said that the Catholic Church has...

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