I enjoy watching Real Time with Bill Maher whenever I can, and I especially appreciate the wittiness and humor of his New Rules. Alas, whenever the subject of Islam and the Middle East pops, the show turns ugly.
There is no dearth of those in India who will roll their eyes heavenwards on a moment's notice and quote you Mohandas Gandhi's words: "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind," and wallow in the borrowed glow.
The history of Christianity is marked by violent acts that do not bring to mind images of peace or love, acts that are antithetical to Jesus' life and ministry and that fly in the face of his most important teaching: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Some of our neighbors are grateful just to be alive -- not because of natural disasters but because of members of their community. Two incidents of violence, one extreme, were perpetrated at houses of worship in recent days.
This is a lesson for the whole world, and Muslims must use this guidance to collectively exhibit a mature response to such terrible acts. Let us join hands to uphold the peaceful teachings of Islam and the Quran.
How can we expect non-Muslims to believe that Islam is a religion of peace, when Muslim mobs around the world make liars of us all, Muhammad included? Those mobs of angry Muslims are ignorant of his legacy.
Rage can be used against us and it certainly can be used to harm others among us. If we get upset every time a moron makes a vile movie about Islam, draws a cartoon of the prophet or makes intentionally inflammatory statements, we are in trouble.
The countries would agree to create two-hour lessons on each of the world's religions. Together, these lessons would become the Curriculum of Tolerance and would be taught to 12-year-old students worldwide, over a period of two or three days each year.
Brian McLaren's new book is a soothing balm for the searing pain of our times; it may sting as it rubs up against our hostile convictions about justice, but ultimately, if we let it settle under our skin, it will begin a healing work.
If we want to stop shootings in theaters and houses of worship, we'd better start paying attention to the seeds of hostility we're sowing in our theaters, houses of worship and even around our dinner tables.
What little recent Western media attention has been given to the remarkable country of Nigeria has not been positive. This is somewhat understandable as horrific images of violence against Christians has become an all too common news item.
As game technology has increased and censorship decreased, so has its ability to tell a story. Now, game developers are tapping into the great conversations of Western civilization. The role of religion in games can't be ignored.
For those who engage in a more fundamentalist reading of the Scroll of Esther, Purim provides an answer to the profound fear of hatred between faiths: freedom of the mind and the suggestion to laugh off tough times once in a while.
For Christians, how does a gospel of love turn into a gospel of hate toward fellow countrymen in Africa? For Muslims, how does a religion of peace get turned into a mandate for murder in Iraq, the Sudan, Nigeria and elsewhere?
It makes little sense to reject pacifism, to insist abortion is morally equivalent to the organized slaughter of millions of children and then to say that violence should never be used to end abortion.