It is the tale of two ships. One should easily have completed its maiden voyage, the other would have raised few questions had she sunk. The one carried the wealth of an age, the other a people harried from their nation for their faith.
Sometimes though, life is paradoxical and the teacher becomes the student. A few weeks ago, I suffered a devastating miscarriage. It was my first pregnancy and I was eight weeks along. The news was shocking and came on an early Thursday morning.
Both the Jewish and Christian communities from their earliest documents display a debate about with the foundational questions of ownership, agency, interest and usury. The Holy Quran also offers some unique teachings.
Teaching about religions is not advocating for them any more than teaching about war advocates for war. And as for the objection that it would violate the separation between church and state, that's not true.
The idea that external indicators of faith -- whether that is manifested as wearing a yarmulke or a cross -- are stand-ins for actual religiosity -- that is, the degree of one's faith -- is fraught with problems.
Deep insecurities and fears of alienation kept me from asking the hard questions. However, when philosophy gave me the tools to submit my beliefs to more intellectual scrutiny, I became ready for the deeper, more honest conversion God was willing to give.
My doubt, it will turn to dust. And so too my faith. Both proved right or wrong in their ways--either because it's all only dust, or because then we will see face to face. My sin, to dust. My hypocrisy, to dust.
I had opportunity to sit down with 40-year-old Miller, whose Blue Like Jazz memoir has sold more than 1.5 million copies since its publication in 2003, to talk about the book, his faith journey and the new film of the same name.
The gods worshipped by billions either exist or they do not. And those gods, if they exist, must have observable consequences. Thus, the question of their existence is a legitimate scientific issue that has profound import to humanity.