I love the Bible. I read it every day. It has affected my life in profound ways. I am a pastor and I teach and preach the Bible to my congregation every week. But the Bible is not a manufacturer's handbook, a science textbook or a guidebook for public policy.
OK, church folks. Fasten your seatbelts. But don't hunker down. There's a new study out that shows that one in five Americans has no religious affiliation. Not Baptist, not Catholic, not Lutheran, not Jewish, not Muslim.
There is within this new emergence an affinity for those matters of social and personal justice, compassion, spiritual wholeness and unity within and among all people and faiths. These were the obsessions of Jesus while here on earth.
In a time when debates about same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, capital punishment, epidemic hunger and even Big Bird dominate American discourse, it is of paramount importance that we understand the values held by the religiously unaffiliated.
Our process of making decisions that involve our faith and our civic life is flawed almost beyond repair, and our focus on what we consider Christian issues instead of on doing politics in a Christian fashion has brought us to this point of division.
Every Sunday, millions of American Christians attend a megachurch that preaches a "prosperity gospel" of health, wealth and happiness. But in this era of supersized banks and corporations, prosperity megachurches have become just another organization that assumes it is too big to fail.
Eleven years after 9/11, bigots continue to promote the idea that American Muslims plan to convert us all by sword and impose sharia, Islamic law, on America. But the Muslim American community has opened its doors. It's up to us to see where they may lead.
We learned through "Innocence of Muslims" that one film can make a difference in the way Americans and Muslims perceive each other. Now is the time for another film to make a difference -- for the better.
Alan Miller hopes for a humanist culture full of "inspiring alternatives" that "inspire and engage," and in which people's ethics and behaviors are built on, as he puts it, "something beyond themselves." It seems to me that this will require making room for SBNRs.
The two candidates, Obama and Romney, both claim to be committed Christians. With Romney's Mormonism, observers of the election are wondering, "When will the Mormon card be played, or will it be played before November?"
Selecting a superficial mixture of "nice-feeling" items from Yoga to a slice of Zen and a moment of Tao is hardly progressive as far as options for humanity is concerned. They have jettisoned the hard work, diligence and observation of organized religion for a me-me-me what-ever kind of lifestyle
I look at the Wisconsin killings and their price and value to Sikhs. At a personal human level the price of each life is awesome; it can never be met. But the greater national sensitivity and awareness that has resulted is of inestimable value
When it comes to America's Indigenous peoples, Christianity has done much wrong. At no time should anyone have been making decisions for people in sovereign aboriginal nations. Likewise, Indigenous followers of the Jesus Way should not be presumed upon by saying they have all been brainwashed.
For years, the Bible has been found in a variety of places: in churches (naturally), in hotel rooms, in prison cells, on battlefields, just to name a few. Now the Bible is taking center stage in an unlikely place: your TV.
We are all values voters. Our values come from the core teachings of our various religious traditions. We share a core set of religious beliefs and values that should guide our votes in this election and in every election.
It is appropriate that during this time the U.S. Senate will address ways in which all communities can flourish in America. In light of the recent and horrific hate violence, it is in solidarity that I welcome the U.S. Senate hearing on hate crimes and domestic extremism.