The advance of ISIS in Syria and Iraq has all but wiped out some of the most ancient Christian communities. Some of the most important early Christian manuscripts which resided in monasteries there have been burned.
As someone who has devoted much of my life to defending the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the family, I'm concerned about the rhetoric often employed when talking about these children who have recently crossed our borders.
Through my 20s, I've fasted for Ramadan three days total. I've participated for superficial reasons: because my father asked me to, with a curious coworker, and to prove I could. I resolve that this time -- the last fast of my 20s -- will be different.
Viagra is a covered drug under most insurance plans, yet we don't see the same move to limit its availability based on religious principles. No one is asking for a conscience clause so corporations don't have to pay for it.
Do I need to censor this, because I'm a Christian writer? No. A thousand times no. If that's what it means to be a "Christian writer", count me out. I'm done with writing from the heart and then hitting backspace until it feels safe again.
Eugenio Scalfari and the Pope reflected together on the nature of the divine -- "God is Love," the two men agreed, with the Pope connecting that point to the Incarnation. The two men went on. Believers and non-believers are alike called to work for the common good.
Even in secular contexts, people of faith can work together to encourage or discourage warfare. As violence has escalated in Israel and Gaza, an international campaign for peace has been launched, involving Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
They are here. Among us. Christ in our midst. And for them we should open our arms wide. Like a Good Shepherd. Offering a warm embrace. A safe place to call home.
We should have 100 Ayman Mohyedin's out there -- people of any background who are willing to tell the stories that are not being told simply because it's the right thing to do. What better aspiration could we guide our young people towards than that?
Today I identify as a gay evangelical Christian, and I have a unique understanding and perspective from both sides of an issue that has become the cultural flashpoint of our generation.
Whether the blood spilled is Israeli or Palestinian, it is red. Responsibility for spilling that blood is on the hands of both Israel and Hamas. Perhaps sometimes war can be just, but there is nothing holy or just about Hamas targeting Israeli civilians or the death of Palestinian children caused by Israeli bombardment.
As a bereavement counselor, it is my job to help create a safe space to give voice to the unspeakable, and to companion others in their grief journey as they travel into the wilderness of their soul in search of their own inner knowing and truth.
None of this is to say that open defecation is either a good idea in this day and age, or even defensible. But making sweeping claims, using them to justify near-bigotry, and papering over obvious challenges hardly advances the conversation.
Make no mistake about it: the dehumanization of Muslims didn't just happen overnight. On the contrary, it's part of a long process of failed imaging, stereotyping, misrepresentation and flat out bias in the press, entertainment industry and society in general.
While I agree there's a social maturity required in expressing irreverence through appropriate channels, the Church is missing out on a deep authenticity of the human experience if we continue to fear irreverence, instead of finding beauty in it.
ISIS must be brought to justice for their crimes against Christians and all humanity. Whatever religion they claim -- it is not Islam.
In the early 2000s, I was working hard to keep lesbian and gay persons out of the ministry of my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). I did this in part because I thought the biblical case against gay relationships was straightforward. I was wrong.
Authentic happiness demands we also grapple with the unhappy parts of our character. Perfection, as Jewish wisdom teaches us, is reserved for God.
We all know that where a child is born shouldn't determine how long she lives, but it does. However, we must remember that under God, there is a universal citizenship -- a status that makes us all equal under His eyes and worthy of love, dignity and respect.