On this tragic day, the heavens screamed as three angels were killed. But on this very same day, a legacy was born. Here are 10 things we can learn from Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha, in the words of their closest friends.
When it comes to American Muslims, our nation's actions often do not match the principles of equal treatment and religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution. I do not lose hope, though. A key source of inspiration comes from American Muslim communities and allies themselves.
Lent, for me, is not about (and has never been about) sacrifice or penance or appeasing some unexamined heritage. It's about interrogative love, passionate justice, and learning how to wonder again in the midst of all the awful, awful sadness. It's about asking how beauty might occur in the midst of our fragile, decaying lives.
It seems that being single in the church is a difficult situation these days. Many churches have made marriage and family somewhat of an idol. There have probably been millions of sermons delivered on dating, courting, marriage, waiting for marriage, etc.
Words can do incredible damage, but they can't hold a candle to silence. Often it is those words that have been withheld which leave the greatest scars upon us. It is in that terrible absence that we are dealt the harshest blow by those who claim to love us.
In contrast to the cold treatment of women and men in those scenes, there are some stories in the Bible that we might perceive as romantic. For instance, in Genesis, the patriarch Jacob loves Rachel so much that he pledges to his kinsman Laban to work for him for seven years to gain her hand.
When the word "death" shows up in our conversations as readily as "love" or "Twitter" or "Facebook" and when you hear discussions about death around the water cooler at work, then you will know that we have made progress. This is what the world needs from us as we struggle to salvage this beautiful planet, which thrives on the cycle of life and death: honest, real and natural talk about death and dying.
That we as a nation have allowed this to go on is cause for profound self-reflection and atonement, though, thanks to a supplicant mainstream press, few will ever know that any of this has transpired.
If the real intellectual and heart-cleansing message of Islam is not publicized or promoted, then the field is left to the belligerents and deadly aspirants of Armageddon. Why do beautiful things have such a hard time being noticed? Can't we try a bit harder to get back on that "Peace Train" again?
As I drove home alone from the movie Concussion, tears overwhelmed me. This blockbuster film unveils the research on brain damage suffered by professional football players. The movie vividly depicts famous football players whose minds become their worst enemy.
How would you feel if you realized your children's water was being poisoned, and your government didn't seem to care? That's the story of the parents of 8,000 mostly poor and black children in Flint, Mich., that has finally hit our media front pages. The fact that most Americans realize this would never happen in affluent white Michigan suburbs (or any other white affluent communities in our country), still doesn't penetrate our very souls. This fundamental contrast between black and white experiences in Michigan, just north of my hometown of Detroit, points to the structural racism that is still the primary moral contradiction of American life.
This long-awaited trip penciled on the president's itinerary comes during a critical time for members of the Islamic faith. The visit will not be a magic bullet to cure every problem or resolve every grievance. But it will go a long way to restore faith in American ideals.
Racism in America may be seen as a problem generally...but it's not seen as a problem for us -- for upper-middle class white people attending a white church and, for the most part, living in white suburbia.
It seems incongruent that religious voters would support someone so devoid of character as Donald Trump. However, recent polling data has Trump leading all other candidates among evangelical voters.
Sadly, the silence from Christian leaders once so outspoken about the doctored Planned Parenthood videos has become deafening. But the absence of their leadership shouldn't stop the rest of us from seeking forgiveness no matter how much we may disagree with our neighbors.
Death is not a friend, but a distant relative I have to meet once in a while. He always irritatingly reminds me to swallow my chalky multivitamin and savor the finite amount of time I have left on this earth.
It took me several days to admit on social media that I was not a fan of the new Star Wars movie. But, with every outlet extolling the brilliance of the film, the iconoclast in me couldn't resist adding my unsolicited opinion to the fray.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm done with Richard Dawkins. As a teenager, the brilliant scientist was among the first to break through my bubble of petty fundamentalism and push me to think critically about the superstitions that envelope our cultures. I miss that guy and have no idea where he went.
Reversing the seemingly continuous stream of hatred directed towards Muslims requires fostering a deeper understanding of Islam among Americans, and so I offer to you a page from my Muslim dictionary.