Aside from remarks here and there, I had never directly taken up this issue with my mother. I had never had the provocation to do so until just last month, when a gay relative contacted my sibling to share that my mother had written him with a heavy-handed dose of spiritual advice.
I'd been warned if we posted our MIT Survey on Science, Religion and Origins, I'd get inundated with hate-mail from religious fundamentalists.But most of them didn't come from religious people, but from angry atheists!
The thing I find most troubling about fundamentalism, whether in politics or in religion, is the war fundamentalists declare and then wage on almost anyone whose opinion or understanding of truth is different from theirs.
As the American presidential campaign swings into high gear, recent events in the fabled city of Timbuktu remind us of the very real social and cultural costs of religious and political fundamentalism.
Yosra objected to the visual representation of God, regardless of the light in which it was being presented, and asked that I shield such things from her view by selectively blocking any similar content from appearing on her computer screen.
Critics of religion enjoy pointing out how many wars and how much suffering has been caused in the name of religion. But only science has given us the tools to kill each other in ways never before imagined.
If we are to be an exceptional people, it must be because we are an accepting people -- a people with the humility to include our own normalcy in our identity, and to stand up anyway in the midst of difficulties and do what's right.
Americans need a religious teaching that begins with the premise that sexuality is linked to blessing, commandment and God; that focuses on holiness and self-respect; and that sends the message that each of them is a person of irreducible worth.
Some Americans may hesitate to contribute to flood relief because we associate Pakistan with qualities we don't admire. How can we distance ourselves from the qualities we don't like while offering solidarity to the people of Pakistan?
I caught up with Stephen Prothero, author of God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World -- And Why Their Differences Matter, to chat with him about religious zealotry, atheists, and Islamic pride.