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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

We've Been Talking About God All Wrong: All Together Podcast With Diana Butler Bass

(136) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 2:56 PM

A recent report from Pew revealed that Americans affiliating with Christianity declined at roughly one percent each year over the last eight years.

The news sent shockwaves through America's churches, as pastors and lay people struggled to comprehend what it all might mean for the future of...

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Senator Rubio, If You Don't Want to Be Labeled a 'Homophobe,' Stop Attacking LGBT Families

(304) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 2:04 PM

In a touching moment during his recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sen. Marco Rubio talks about discovering his son face down in their pool and jumping in to save him from drowning. In a defining life moment, what Rubio did was try to protect and save his son...

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Bishop T.D. Jakes May Be The Healer America Needs Right Now (PODCAST)

(62) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 1:42 PM

On December of 2014, Bishop T.D. Jakes delivered a powerful prayer at his church, The Potter House, as a huge sign emblazoned with "Black Lives Matter" glowed in the background, rendering black silhouettes of young people who stood behind him on stage:

Nobody enjoys seeing the blood...
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8 Takeaways About Near Death Experiences And Heaven

(33) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 8:42 AM

What actually happens to those people who "die" and come back, and what can they tell us about the life that might awaits us after death? On this week's All Together podcast, host Paul Raushenbush talks guests Craig Darling, the founder of Companis in Seattle, Washington;...

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It's A Great Time To Be Graduating From A Mainline, Progressive, Christian, Divinity School

(201) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 11:39 AM

The following is an edited version of the Commencement Address I delivered at Third Presbyterian Church on May 16, 2015 for the graduating class at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.

To President McMickle, Board of directors, esteemed faculty, beloved family and friends, and most of...

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Is Heaven Real? People With Near Death Experiences Explain

(464) Comments | Posted May 16, 2015 | 4:59 PM

In the final book of the Harry Potter series, Harry is apparently murdered by his nemeses Valdamort. He wakes up in what appears to be an abandoned Kings Cross Station where he meets his instructor Dumbledore who died months before. They have a conversation, at the end of...

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God Is Trans: The Extraordinary Spirituality Of Transgender Lives (PODCAST)

(100) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 6:29 PM

Welcome to ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. You can download All Together on iTunes, or Stitcher.

During this week's segment you will hear from a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist about their lives as trans people, and the surprising and instructive ways religious figures acted with compassion as they transitioned to presenting as their authentic selves. Their journeys invite new understanding of spirituality by urgently presenting the deeply religious question: "Who Am I?"

Recently Bruce Jenner spoke on national television about life as a trans person, ushering in a new era of visibility of trans people. My hope is that the stories of Joy, Taj and Ellie will be cause for further celebration, and that their spiritual stories will offer all of us lessons for discovery about self, others and even God.


Prof. Joy Laden made history when she became the first trans woman to teach at an Orthodox Jewish university. In addition to her position at Yeshiva University, she is a contributor to the website TransTorah, and has recently published a book of poetry with the title: Impersonation.

Taj Smith is a second year student at Harvard Divinity School who is on ordination track in the United Church of Christ.

Ellie Krug is the executive director of Call for Justice, an organization that connects low income people with the legal services they need. She is the author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change.

You may also be interested in this earlier All Together podcast that features Sister Monica who ministers with the transgender community:

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The Garland Shooting Is a Win for ISIS and Islamophobes, and a Loss for Everyone Else

(181) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 10:57 AM

There are two parties that are assuredly satisfied after the attack at the "Draw Muhammad Contest" in Garland, Texas on Sunday.

One is probably Pamala Geller, the organizer of the event and president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Geller has dedicated her life to vilifying Muslims....

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Re-Thinking Non-Violent Resistance (PODCAST)

(111) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 3:19 PM

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and now we add Freddie Gray to the names of unarmed black Americans who have died at the hands of police.

Despite requests for peace from Freddie Gray's family, Baltimore erupted in anger on Monday after the young man's funeral. In moments of serious unrest, the reflex for politicians, media and religious leaders is to call for an end to violence. But, in the face of the systematic racism of America's policing and prison system as well as crippling poverty that disproportionally affects the black community, how does non-violence work to actually solve the root of the problem? Or does it work at all?

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an impassioned piece in The Atlantic called "Non-Violence as Compliance" -- in it he writes:

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is "correct" or "wise," any more than a forest fire can be "correct" or "wise." Wisdom isn't the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.

So, is it time to re-think non-violence? Not to reject it, but to remember that non-violent resistance was born as a strategy, an effective means of resistance to systematic oppression. To remember that non-violence is also a spiritual discipline that inculcates resistance to hatred of one's enemies and resistance to violence that destroys one's own soul.

After the unrest in Baltimore on Monday I spoke to Pastor Raphael Warnock who is the Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s spiritual home, Pastor Heber Brown III, who is the pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, and Marc Lamont Hill, who is Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College and a colleague of mine at The Huffington Post.

My guests on All Together used the word 'uprising' to describe the growing awareness and mobilization of the unacceptability of the way African-Americans are treated by our police and criminal justice system. We discuss what we mean when referencing the non-violent resistance and wondered together what Dr. King and others really had in mind when he preached non-violence?

In 2012, I spoke to congressman and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis about his experience of training in non-violence in the civil rights movement. He told me:

The philosophy of non-violence is in keeping with the teaching of Jesus. As Dr. King said, Jesus gave us the way, the philosophy; and Gandhi gave us the method.

I grew to accept nonviolence as a way of living before I went on any demonstration, or any march. For a whole year, a group of us studied the great religions of the world, and Gandhi and Thoreau, and I made up my mind that I would make a lifetime commitment to the way of peace and the way of love. No matter what happens. Whether I'm beaten, whether I'm arrested and thrown in jail, I am going to commit my life to a new way, a better way.

You can hear my guests and Rep. John Lewis talk about non-violent resistance and the movement towards justice that is happening in the streets of America. My sense is that there are already non-violent tactics being used but that more intentional training is needed.

I want to end by highlighting the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who's line "I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard" was widely circulated in social media in recent days.

I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I'm absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the...
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Awe-some Baby: Two Answers To The Question Every Parent Has (All Together Podcast)

(11) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 1:52 PM

In the book "Mary Poppins Comes Back" there is an extraordinary scene in which a newborn child named Annabel tells Mary Poppins and a wise Starling standing on the windowsill about her journey to birth:

“I am earth and air and fire and water,” she said softly. “ I...
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9/11 Anniversary: Finding Hope & Healing at Ground Zero (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 11:41 AM

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The Way Forward On Religious Freedom And LGBT Civil Rights (All Together Podcast)

(286) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 8:44 PM

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics, religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. All Together is hosted by Paul Raushenbush, Executive Editor of HuffPost Religion. and the host of All Together. You can download All Together...

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Stunning Holy Fire Ritual Lights Up Orthodox Easter In Jerusalem (VIDEO)

(39) Comments | Posted April 11, 2015 | 10:59 AM

Orthodox Christians with candles and cell phones in hand crowded into Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the Saturday before Orthodox Easter Sunday, which this year is celebrated one week after Christianity in the West.

The devout waited for religious leaders to emerge with the "Holy...

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Hijab: To Wear Or Not To Wear -- Two Muslim Women's Spiritual Journey (All Together Podcast)

(204) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 1:54 PM

This week's All Together features a conversation with two talented, ivy league educated, social justice minded Muslim women. Both were raised in rural America, both put on the headscarf or Hijab when they were young, and both have gone through a journey of discovery of what the head-covering means to...

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Rockstar Nun Sister Joan Chittister Explores The Paradox Of Faith (All Together Podcast)

(17) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 2:14 PM

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics, religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. All Together is hosted by Paul Raushenbush, the executive editor of HuffPost Religion. You can download All Together on iTunes, or Stitcher.

It’s hard to talk about this week's guest on without using the oxymoron "rock-star nun". But it really does fit. Sister Joan Chittister has influenced the spiritual lives of literally millions of people with her preaching and writing that includes more than 50 books. Her most recent book is titled “Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life."

Sister Joan spoke to Raushenbush from Dublin, Ireland about Holy Week, the paradoxes of faith, the spiritual practice of writing, and whether she has a ‘bucket list.’

Next week's All Together will feature author Tony Jones about his new book Did God Kill Jesus?

Also On All Together:
LISTEN: The Spiritual Wisdom And Prophetic Power Of Patti Smith

Sexism: The Original Sin Of The Church


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Phil Robertson's Appalling Atheist Fantasy

(599) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 11:02 AM

Let's all pray that Phil Robertson keeps his faith, because his fantasy of what would be permissible if he lost it is definitely terrifying.

At a prayer breakfast in Florida, the Duck Dynasty star revealed a horrific scenario that involved rape, decapitation, and, to top it all...

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Un amore meraviglioso. Una riflessione sulla nascita di mio figlio Walter

(7) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 12:06 PM

Ci siamo appena ripresi da un enorme spavento per la salute del nostro bimbo di un mese. Alla fine è venuto fuori che c'era stato un errore medico.

Non si trattava di una cosa grave, ma la possibilità che il nostro piccoletto avesse qualcosa di sbagliato, è bastata a...

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What Wondrous Love Is This? A Reflection on the Birth of My Son Walter

(39) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 11:17 AM

We just had a medical scare with our month-old baby that turned out to be the result of a faulty infant test.

Even though it was not life-threatening, the possibility that our tiny boy had something wrong with him was enough to send me into a panic that lasted...

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Fighting Hate/Crime In Chapel Hill

(47) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 4:48 PM

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER -- the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics, religion and spiritual practice inform our personal lives, our communities and our world. ALL TOGETHER is hosted by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, executive editor of HuffPost Religion. You can download All Together on iTunes, or...

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Love Thy Neighbor: Vaccinate (All Together Podcast)

(69) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 6:02 PM

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics, religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. ALL TOGETHER is hosted by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the executive editor of HuffPost Religion and the host of All Together. You can download...

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