True Religion and Real Religion

Can “true religion” be a basis for hatred or division among people? Based on the historical record, it seems clear that the answer is, yes. Of course, that answer puts me at odds with many people, including the Prime Minister of India, who insist that “true religion” is always warm, peaceful and loving. It’s not. Or, if you prefer, the whole notion of “true religion” is a poor way to address the issues which seem to concern the PM. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked people this week to battle religious fanaticism. About......

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'Friday Night Tykes': How Much Should We Push Our Children?

When the NFL says a broadcast about football is difficult to watch because it is too violent, you know there is a problem. This is what the league said about Esquire Network’s Friday Night Tykes, a reality series following several teams of 8-and 9-year-olds in the Texas Youth Football Association.? The trailer shows ranting coaches and obsessive parents, who are essentially fast-tracking kids to head trauma. I kept thinking: I guess in Texas, as long as you pray, you can play to kill. This network’s portrayal of young boys engaged in grueling......

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Why We Need Outliers

We need outliers, and we need their ideas. We need the involvement in our lives, especially in the big projects on which we work, of those who see the world differently and think about things in ways which will surprise, if not discomfort us. For those who will quickly say that they already embrace diversity and discomfort, let them appreciate that those are their comfort zones, and they need the input of others, others who privilege uniformity and comfort. Whatever our default position is, be it political, social, spiritual or psychological, we......

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Chris Christie: A Failure of Leadership

Governor Christie has committed trafficide. As fast as he rocketed to presidential hopeful, he has fallen to being “compared” to Tony Soprano. All I know is what I have read in the papers. Two of Christie’s aides have been fired for shutting down lanes of the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York and is the busiest bridge in the world. For four days, thousands of commuters were terribly delayed in order to create a shutdown of the roads leading to the bridge in the town of Fort Lee?-......

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Hackschooling: No More Teachers, No More Books?

In the 21st century, the notion of hacking involves much more than some computer aficionados spreading viruses and breaking into official websites. Hacking is a mindset, a way of thinking. It’s really something anyone can do by challenging traditional systems. Teenager Logan Laplante isn’t home schooled, private schooled or public schooled – he is hackschooled! His education revolves around the study and practice of being happy and growing up healthy and nurturing creativity, things which Logan and his parents believe are outside the focus of traditional education. Here’s a kid who doesn’t......

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The Opportunity of Regret

Regret can be good. At the very least, regret is a part of every life, and something that each of us will deal with at some time or another. Who among us does not look back at decisions we have made, paths we have taken, and not had the feeling that we wish we had made some other choice? I sure have. It’s part of being being human. So is how we deal with it. While we probably all have some regrets, they need not make us as miserable as they often......

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The Politics of Pregnancy

Political struggles over pregnancy, the right to terminate it, when life begins, and who gets to make those decisions, are nothing new.? A case unfolding in Texas however, brings those struggles to a new level, one which invites us to ask important questions about the politics of pregnancy, and the value of planning for as good a death as possible. Marlise Munoz was 33 years old when she died on November 26th.? She had been placed on a ventilator in the course of the emergency response to a probable blood clot in......

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A Gun Activist on the Firing Line

You might not have read this news item unless you are a gun enthusiast but this may bode well for our gun control debate. Dick Metcalf, a pre-eminent gun journalist, was recently removed from Guns & Ammo magazine and taken off the roster of star speakers reviewing new firearms for gun companies. Why? Metcalf wrote a column for Guns and Ammo called “Let’s Talk Limits“?in which he suggested there was a difference between infringement and regulation, writing that, “way too many gun owners still believe that any regulation of the right to......

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DDD: The 'Duck Dynasty' Deflection

My resolution for this year: I promise to no longer take seriously any mock public controversies, especially those involving celebrities engaged in the culture wars. When all is said and done the ten day media driven frenzy surrounding Phil Robertson?- patriarch at the heart of A&E’s smash reality hit Duck Dynasty?- who equated homosexuality to bestiality and claimed blacks were happy working in cotton fields was itself a reality show. The cast of characters played its role perfectly according to script. First, we had our left wing stars who turned some carnival......

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Video: Why New Year's Resolutions Are Important

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: Brad Hirschfield on Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Important.? “Every year most of us make them, and most of us break them, but it’s not success that matters as much as the statement of intent.”   Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better.? Their stories explore a wide range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment.? Visit Odyssey Networks at www.odysseynetworks.org....

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