She goes, I was told, by many names: Lady Of Shadows. Holy Girl. Lady of the Night. The Skinny Lady. Santa Sebastiana. Frowned upon by the Church and the upper classes, worshiped secretly for centuries by the working classes, Santa Muerte has become the patron saint of the downtrodden.
During Irene I learned so much about what was and was not helpful during a natural disaster. With the recent destruction in Oklahoma, I offer these five suggestions to people of faith who wish to respond.
There are those who maintain that you have to make impossible promises in order to get elected or stay in business. However, we should always ask whether a promise is at least plausible or whether it deserves to be denounced as a shevuat shav -- a vain oath.
We must raise interest and awareness of protecting the history of the Holocaust in order to protect the world. The Shoah Seder, which took place last Sunday, aims to do that.
The idea that religion has historically been opposed to science is simply an erroneous and unsupported construct that was created in the late 19th century, primarily as an anti-Catholic polemic. And it is an idea that all -- yes, all -- knowledgeable historians categorically reject.
It is when one looks into places like the Death Valley that we learn about life. About meaning. About truth. About reality. And yes, a bit about eternity.
Naming a child in any religious tradition is a momentous occasion. In recent decades, in the Jewish tradition, one can combine traditional Jewish ceremonies and contemporary Jewish customs in a personal, familial and communal way which perpetuate the values and ideals which we cherish.
Biblical passages to which conservative Christians appeal on these issues can be interpreted differently. But even those convinced that conservatives do not interpret the Bible correctly in these cases must concede that they do so consistently.
Highly religious individuals are most likely to hold up traditional models of marriage despite the financial costs involved, including the loss of income when one parent cares full time for children.
I find it hard to say the word "safe" this week without thinking about the anti-gay hate crimes that have been occurring in our community this year. I have reacted strongly to these acts, but I know that, in this case, I am like the New Yorkers who have never been directly affected by tornadoes.
In the eighteenth century when Europeans and North Americans noticed they could take the same skills that were revealing the secrets of the natural world to the workings of the mind and heart and even to their religions.
Religious ideas, leaders, institutions and communities are missing links in much of the public conversation about public integrity. That is not as it should be.
Twelve new apostles of truth -- they call themselves The Catholic Whistleblowers -- are raising their voices against a system of cover-up and denial, calling on Pope Francis to follow a six-point plan for ending the era of scandal caused by priests who have sexually abused children.
The opportunity to reunite their families should be extended to all immigrant families, including LGBT families. It is the just and right thing to do. It is the humane thing to do. It is what we must do.
In coming to a greater understanding of Christian masculinity, I am calling us to introspect and to adopt more fitting approach -- one that bears the fruit of Scripture's high calling, "reconciling the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers."
Yes, governments must step up. But so should we all. Why shouldn't rape be dinner table conversation? We talk about war, we talk about death, we discuss values with our children. But on the subject of sexual assault, we remain silent and squeamish.
The most interesting strategy employed by anti-evolutionists over the last century and a half has been to report that "Darwinism is Dead" or "Evolution has Collapsed." The exercise is all but meaningless in terms of scientific discussion.
Daylight is fading, eyelids are drooping -- a gentle goodnight seems natural. On the other hand, there is the "simple task" of getting a child to bed, tucking them in, and finally going to take care of "grown-up stuff." How difficult it is to preserve this escapable sacred experience.
We all have obstacles to overcome and dragons to slay, our path is often treacherous and challenging, and our destination is not always clear. But ultimately, the adventure of the hero is the adventure of being alive.