Video: Is Humanist a Religion?

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: The U.S. Army announced this week that active duty personnel will now have the option of claiming “humanist” as a religious preference. According to the American Humanist Society, humanism is a philosophy that “without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.” Some people of faith may take issue with the decision, but I see this as a victory for people of all faiths. When it comes to matters of the......

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Love Is Elusive When You Don't Nurture Yourself

If you were asked to name who you love, what would your intuitive answer be? Your life partner? Your kids? Perhaps your parents? Would you even think to immediately include yourself on the list? Your answer can enhance or diminish your ability to give and receive the love you most want. Giving and getting love are about the most fundamental human needs there are. Can you fully imagine the pain of never having been loved or of loving another? I hope not! I hope instead, that we all find ways to deepen......

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Accelerating Innovation in Your City

As co-founder of the Disruptor Foundation, Irwin Kula is involved in the Innovation Excellence Innovation Cities Tour – hosted in part by the Disruptor Foundation, HYPE Innovation (Founding Sponsor) and more. The Innovation Cities Tour celebrates the Innovation Movement across the US by capturing, sharing, and spreading stories on innovation. “Our goal is to highlight innovation and innovators in each city we visit, proving that innovation is now a full-fledged discipline. We are gathering together disruptive thinkers, doers, technologies, and resources from the Innovation Excellence community in order to inspire one another,......

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How Do You Make Peace?

From making peace in our families to resolving the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, making peace often feels like an impossible and unreachable goal. But is it? Just look at this example in the Episcopal church in Virginia – in short, the Truro parish left the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia when a gay leader was elected, “the final straw in a long-running dispute over theological orthodoxy.” Almost all people say they want peace, but how many of us actually feel it is an imperative? This splintering of the church left the......

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When You Believe

Have you ever seen the DreamWorks animated film Prince of Egypt? The scene when the Israelites leave Egypt is scored by a beautiful ballad, “When You Believe,” sung by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky. The version recorded by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, seen here, won an Oscar in 1999:   When the Exodus story is being chanted as a central practice of the Passover holiday, people are invited to experience the “miracle of being redeemed” – of moving from slavery to freedom. Whether historically true or not, the Exodus is one......

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Video: Passover and the Importance of Questions

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: The American Bible Society and Barna Group just released their joint annual study of Americans’ behaviors and attitudes towards the Bible. In it, they found that the number of skeptics, those “who believe the Bible is ‘just another book of teaching written by men that contain stories and advice'” has nearly doubled in three years. Now 19% of those questioned put themselves in that category, which is equal to the number who define themselves as “Bible-engaged”. But this is a flawed comparison. Skepticism......

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The Online Search for Grief Support

If there’s one thing religion has historically been good at, and its clergy and institutions used for, it is death management. Well, these days, with “None” the fastest growing religious identification? (more than 20% of all Americans, and more than 30% of those under age 32, so identified) it shouldn’t be surprising that close to a third of all funerals in America happen without any clergy. Obviously, people are having funerals and mourning for loved ones. So what are they doing? Rather than engage religious authorities and institutions – the “cathedrals” –......

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Are You Guilty of Microaggression?

Are we fast-becoming a culture of victims, endlessly seeking new grievances and hurts in order to define ourselves? Or, are we simply becoming increasingly and appropriately sensitive to the impact of our words upon others? A key to unlocking that puzzle may be found in conversations popping up all over the place about something called Microaggression. Don’t know that is? Neither did I until a very short while ago, so don’t worry. Microaggression is defined by Tanzina Vega, race and ethnicity reporter for the New York Times, as a catch-all for “the......

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Celebrate Passover with Braveheart, Roger Daltry and Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week is Passover, and its promise of freedom is for all people and taught by many kinds of teachers in many different ways. Here are three people – none of them Jewish, by the way – who never met each other, but meet in my head and heart this Passover. Each inspires me with their unique voice, and each invites us to ask what freedom means to us. Watch and see. Why is William Wallace’s speech so powerful?? It’s more than Mel Gibson’s delivery, or even the cornflower blue face paint......

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Wanting it All and Always Finding Enough

There is a well-known song sung at every Passover Seder – a meditation on gratitude – called Dayenu, which means, “It would have been enough”. The song acknowledges 15 major biblical events inviting people to sing “dayenu” after each one. If the Israelites were liberated from Egypt but the sea didn’t divide – “dayenu” – it would have been enough. If the Israelites got through the sea but had no food in the desert, dayenu…if they had food but didn’t make it to the promised-land, dayenu. But would any of these really......

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