Watching Paramount's The Ten Commandments is, for many, an annual part of the spring holidays. While there have been other film versions of the story of the exodus, none have the epic staying power of the 1956 classic.
For one week each spring, grocery stores display both a Passover aisle and an Easter aisle, stocked with colorful baskets and a mountain of candy. And at the top of that confectionery Mt. Sinai? The Cadbury Creme Egg.
The evidence for the existence of anything like modern day monogamous gay unions in that time is sketchy at best. I love my Bible as much as any evangelical and I think there's a great case to be made that the Bible is simply silent regarding same-sex covenantal unions.
No matter what side of the creation-evolution debate you are on, your partisanship costs you dearly. Why? Because it costs you the ability to read the Bible on its own terms. What do we lose by straightjacketing the Bible with the creation-evolution debate?
Historically, both liberals and conservatives have blended religion and politics, usually with disastrous results. We would do well to look to the past as we sort out the church-state issues we face today.
This past Saturday, I was scheduled to lead Torah study in Mishkan Shalom. Actually, I don't "lead" it so much as I "weave" it, choosing the specific passage we read and then encouraging the participants to explore their own thoughts and feelings about it.
In a move that has rankled many in this predominantly conservative Christian state, the Satanic Temple in New York has formally applied with the Oklahoma Capitol's grounds committee to build a statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed depiction of Satan, in the state's capitol building.
Whether you accept a particular revelation as true or consider a ritual institution to be divinely demanded, the category "religion" is a human construction with a shifting meaning that people use strategically to make sense of the world and to negotiate relations to others in society.
In the recurrent clash over the separation of church and state, both the religious right and the secular left invoke the Founding Fathers' original intent to justify their positions. In reality, neither side is completely correct on the historical dimension of the issue.
The tenth commandment is clear: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife," which means, by direct implication, you ought to be coveting your own. About eighty percent of husbands who cheat on their wives claim to love their wives, but lust for another woman has trumped that love.
According to Jewish tradition, the upcoming festival of Shavuot is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Oddly though, we find no clear link in the Bible between the Shavuot festival and the giving of the Torah.
Every religious person should object to having the Ten Commandments in schools because you are allowing other people -- people over whom you have no control -- the responsibility of interpreting said commandments.
For Passover this year, Rizzoli has just released The Bronfman Haggadah, written by the businessman, philanthropist and Jewish community leader Edgar Bronfman Sr., illustrated by artist Jan Aronson, who is also Bronfman's wife.
If you, like me, are just waking up, now is the time to make your voice heard. If you are a member of a faith community, invite your congregation to join communities across the country in the upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath.
Jews, Protestants and Catholics have different versions of the Ten Commandments. Even within Judaism, the ancient rabbis held different views of which commandments were among the 10 given with such pomp and circumstance at Mount Sinai.
There is room for debate about which weapons lend themselves to fostering self defense of life, liberty and property. But to be truly mindful of the Second Commandment -- and the Second Amendment -- we must stop idolizing and glorifying any weapons as cultural ornaments and markers of identity.