Just like some ultra-right wing Orthodox settlers in Israel can impede progress there, so hateful clerics can shape the culture of Arab communities in Europe. The problem is not lack of jobs or social mobility. It is the hijacking of a religion, and we cannot stop it unless we name it.
Pope Francis is revolutionizing how the Vatican operates, encouraging officials to remain faithful to what they have dedicated their lives to, and to the global Catholic community. If the pope is no more than a king in his church, then there shall be no room for princes.
What happens when the smiling young children who greeted us with "hellos" become teenagers who have grown up in the confines of Za'atari? If they see no future, they will become vulnerable to manipulation and radicalization. We have seen it before. We're about to see it again. The world must step up and act now.
Here we are at the beginning of another presidential campaign, and like every campaign since our founding, the people who put themselves forward as possible leaders of the free world are being grilled by the media on a number of issues.
There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves.
Our life is ordered by The Way of Jesus Christ. His teachings, such as the Sermon on the Mount, which features a radical call to enemy-love, forgiveness and purity of heart, his sayings, parables, and example become normative.
One of the wonderfully confounding parts of the gospel to me is Jesus telling the disciples that "if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
The powerful force of human desire for revenge, control and power needs to be met by a greater force -- religious leaders from all denominations uniting to speak out on behalf of an individual's right to practice his or her religion without fear or intimidation.
I'm intrigued by the fact that, in spite of my explanation that this project is more about delving into who we are and what we do than about what we think or believe, many people are eager to distill the "Jesus journey" down to making a specific set of claims for beliefs, end of story.
We wonder if grace is even enough. Is the power of grace, the ability to embrace the full human experience, one that rights wrongs, one that restores and establishes people back to their rightful place before God, is enough.
In the Balkans, Serbia conducted "ethnic cleansing" -- a repellent euphemism for "ethnic purging." The "Islamic State" is bent on "theological cleansing," which amounts to the same evil impulse.
Muslim Americans will tell us how we can best be their allies. We don't need to enter into the debate on the true nature of their religion. Rather, we should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Muslim friends as they work out what they believe is "very Islamic" today.
The Seventh-day Adventist church and those diverse organizations who joined our amicus brief hope and pray that the Supreme Court strikes down the Tenth Circuit Court's unreasonable ruling that the burden is on a job applicant to ask for a religious exemption for rules he or she doesn't even know exist.
All right, it might not start until 2016, these things can be awfully hard to predict exactly. However, surprising as it may seem, one way or another the end of ISIS is in sight, and it's all resting securely in the hands of Jesus, peace be upon him.
As Lent begins, some LGBTQIA students have been holding prayer vigils throughout southern California on conservative Christian campuses where they are either still enrolled as students or are alumni.
As an ordained minister of a small Lutheran congregation, I am uniquely committed to the social and religious institution of marriage and the role it plays in raising children and in providing life-long companionship.
This Shabbat, the weekly Torah portion embraces the consecration of the priesthood to God, and the special designated Torah reading for the Shabbat prior to Purim, known as Shabbat Zachor, commands us to remember/not forget our encounter with Amalek, who sought to destroy us.
If in fact groups like ISIS are the true face of Islam, and if the propaganda that Muslim Americans engage in "stealth Jihad" to take over the country is true, why should my neighbor not look at me with suspicion and disgust?