Franklin Graham has little or no connection with Duke, and knows little about its heritage and traditions and commitment to its religious and educational values. My personal and family connections to Duke and Islam lead me to an entirely opposite conclusion from Mr. Graham.
"A fire is burning." This Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky declared to European Jewry in the 1930s. Too few heeded his cry. As I leave Paris after a solidarity mission following terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher, I offer a similar cry.
The lack of education and discussion about sex and sexuality is a problematic issue recurring in my community and others. We were indirectly taught our whole lives to just shut up, keep our legs closed, and not ask questions.
Just as the Jewish people could not have existed without the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people cannot exist without a relationship with Shabbat.
Targeting Jews meant attacking a community whose culture has one goal: bringing together the universal and the particular. Jewish values aspire to universality. But only by distinguishing ourselves can we embody these values, which makes it an impossible challenge.
I did not go imagining I would single-handedly solve anything, nor did any of us go presuming to speak for or represent Palestinians. I went to better understand, and to invest in a relationship we see far more promise in -- that between American Muslims and American Jews.
Pope Francis' recent visit -- capturing the hearts and minds of Filipinos from all walks of life, regardless of gender, class, and religion -- to the Philippines couldn't be timelier. The Southeast Asian country, the sole Catholic-majority nation in Asia, was in desperate need of a sacred touch of magical realism.
Fifteen years ago, the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing was published in a full page ad in the New York Times, surrounded by the names of more than 800 of the country's leading religious leaders.
Little did I expect that on my first day as executive director of Interfaith Alliance, the most concise articulation of our mission would come from the President of the United States.
The Vedic tradition already had influenced America indirectly through Emerson and other Transcendentalists. But with Vivekananda, Americans got a look at an impressive embodiment of the tradition.
A world without Jews indeed would not be a world. A world in which the Jews once again became the scapegoats for all people's fears and frustrations would be a world in which free people could not breathe easy and the enslaved would be even more enslaved.
My Episcopal church is fading before my eyes. Several months ago, (because I usually arrive late for services) I would find myself wedged into the last few seats in the back of the church. Then, a few months ago, I began to find plenty of seats, even for a latecomer.
"You don't have to breed like rabbits." No, Pope Francis has not changed doctrine. But he has started a debate. The contraception question will never be viewed in the same way again.
The Social Doctrine of the Church has defined and defended the social function of wealth, and it suggests that legal mechanisms are established that make those with more responsible for those with less.
Marching down the streets of NYC in remembrance of MLK, I thought not of the anger swarming around me, but of the King that Dr. King followed. There is no freedom apart from Jesus, no victory that does not include His name.
The Baal Shem Tov taught that before one could pray with love towards God, one must feel love for all others in one's presence. God is only interested in prayer where one feels compassion and love for those all around.
But there is no biblical mandate to deny LGBTQ Idahoans equality under the law. Adding the Words will not require religious organizations to change their theology or practice. It will prevent people from denying housing, employment, or services to people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Tonight after watching President Obama's State of the Union Address and speaking today with White House officials about the proposals the president is making, I can report without hesitation that the president has put forward a domestic agenda people of faith concerned about families, poverty and education can support.
Secularism and pluralism are two of the defining ethos of Western societies. The former decouples religion from governmental institutions whilst the latter seeks to protect the rights of all citizens to freely practice their creed.