We are reminded again about America's wonderfully unique status as a melting pot. As a place where one's religious faith should never be an impediment to achievement. Yet the question remains: How will these (and other) non-mainstream voices be treated in the upcoming Congress?
I am not suggesting that the IRS necessarily wipe out all current distinctions between various kinds of not-for-profit organizations, but it does seem reasonable to suggest that we would all benefit from a greater degree of transparency from religious organizations.
For us longevity focused boomers, a return to a spiritual or worship community could represent an opportunity for renewed connection with others in a shared environment, as well as potential discernment and insight into the importance of belonging.
There is only one U.S. religious group that is expected to grow to 100 million adherents by the middle of the century. Yet, to hear some critics, one might think the Catholic Church is slowly sinking in the U.S. religious landscape.
Certain individuals usher us into great moments in our lives. I was a guest speaker at a Kentucky campus in the early 1960s when, to my surprise, I received an invitation to visit one of the world's renowned religious leaders, Thomas Merton.
Common folks within the church now read the Bible for themselves to decipher what is truth. The church was pushed out of the business of having the trademark of truth. The biggest challenge for the church now is postmodernism.
Jihad, Jihadi, jihadist, even -- most ridiculous of all -- counter-jihadist. These labels are used by laypeople and journalists alike, often using jihad as a synonym for "any violence undertaken by Muslims." So what does jihad really mean?
Each of us can decide whether we will feed conflict or feed peace. As Americans, we can play the role of bridge-builder, innovator, bringing together parties in conflict -- to listen to the pain and grief that are embedded in stories currently in circulation.
They're concerned with school, sports and social standing. They want to impress people around them so they feel important. They're longing for someone to validate them as people. And most of all, they just don't want to live life alone.
I do not at all care how often the word "Christmas" is (not) used by politicians, entertainers or my local barista. As a Christian, I do not think that it is our God-given right to display Christian symbols on public land as if we have claimed the U.S. as Jesus' primary mailing address.
It is one thing to wish someone a "happy holidays" in reference to the multitude of secular and religious winter holidays. It is quite another to declare that an evergreen tree is a universal holiday symbol.
Every year as a kid in the 1960s my family celebrated Christmas as a festive holiday. The funny part of this to some of my friends is that my family was Jewish. Why not enjoy all the holidays during December?
Ancient Christian saints, theologians and evangelists would be horrified that those who claim to stand for tradition have forgotten the most important aspect of it. Jesus Christ was not born that human beings would spend December shopping or saying, "Merry Christmas."