Tag: politics


Talking About Donald Trump: Why We Should Channel George Orwell

Donald Trump makes me think of George Orwell, but perhaps not for the reason one might expect. My association is not with the totalitarian state described in Orwell’s book, 1984, and its dictator, Big Brother. Rather, it is with the author himself, and the value he attributed to words, their import and the responsibility human beings have when using them. George Orwell was first and foremost an opponent of using language in a sloppy or unthinking way. For Orwell, without clear and precise expression, there could be no clarity and precision in......

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A Missed Opportunity for Equal Rights in Houston

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: When voters in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., went to the polls earlier this month, a policy on the ballot extending equal rights protections to many groups was defeated – even though the city council had already approved the measure. But religious leaders and others objecting to public bathroom access for transgender people dominated headlines prior to election day. “Inaccurate and unrealistic fears were spread by opponents of the legislation…almost entirely based on fiction.” Watch my video for more insight and......

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Breathing, Curiosity and Blame: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Oct. 19-23), we examined why moments of boredom are profoundly beneficial, how blame can make serious crises all the more difficult to solve, what it takes to “go public” with your political beliefs, what secular students seek by formally studying religious traditions… and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Beyond Bored: Entering the Soul of Creativity – Adam Lavitt Recently, I introduced meditation to my high school spirituality class. I joined them, closing my eyes, peeking......

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Holidays, Annulments and Seahawks: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Sept. 7 -11), we explored a common quandry for clergy, an NFL coach putting a priority on holistic wellness, the Pope’s merciful approach to marital mistakes, three core ideas bringing people together on Rosh Hashanah, the future of traditional religions… and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   When Should Clergy Weigh In on Politics? – Michael Bernstein Stay away from politics, Rabbi. Many of my colleagues receive – and some give – this advice. There’s a......

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When Should Clergy Weigh In on Politics?

Stay away from politics, Rabbi. Many of my colleagues receive – and some give – this advice. There’s a lot of truth to it, even if only from a practical perspective. In a recent and widely touted survey, politicians scored lower than any other profession when it comes to perceived trustworthiness and honor. Considering that clergy scored significantly higher, it would seem to make sense in my profession to avoid being seen as a politician more than as a spiritual guide. However, while no one needs their preacher to be just another......

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Jimmy Carter's Next Chapter

Currently, the front-runners to win the presidency in 2016 include a Republican who has essentially bragged, “I buy politicians and they do what the hell I tell them to,” and a Democrat facing criticism about emails and allegations of using her position to lure donations to a global philanthropy affiliated with her family’s foundation. In light of that, Jimmy Carter’s recent press conference informing the world he’s battling cancer was a reminder that, at least once in recent American history, someone held power without corruption. But the 39th president’s announcement was much......

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Don't You Trust Me?

How many times have I – or my wife, or most any parent I know – heard the words, “Don’t you trust me?” from a child who’s frustrated by our unwillingness to acquiesce to an unwise idea? Well, it turns out that American politicians tend to ask us the same question. The difference is, with our children, the answer is that we probably do trust them, just not the idea they propose. With our politicians, is that the case? Isn’t it true that we just don’t trust most of them all that......

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An American Struggle: Rebuilding Trust

Our money may bear the words “In God We Trust,” and almost 90% of Americans may claim belief in God (or a higher power). But when it comes to government, organized religions or most other large institutions, a very different picture emerges. According to new polling by Gallup, trust in our big institutions is, well, in the toilet. As a panel guest on The Daily Wrap recently, I addressed the issue: “I think what we’ve gotten really good at is appreciating what people can and must do for themselves, but we’re going......

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Coexisting Beyond Bumper Stickers

I was out walking with a friend the other day when I noticed these bumper stickers sharing space on the back of a car, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Okay, so I laughed – really hard – and then without crying, was actually kind of pained. Before telling you what I think, ask yourself what you make of the messages. For me, the irony is intense. We’re encouraged to “Coexist” with a rainbow of faiths, traditions and identities, even as we’re also invited to heap abuse on Republicans......

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Cruz, Hoops and Quiet Time: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (March 23-27), we discussed decision-making, downtime, religion in politics and grief. We also shared news from our co-founders: Irwin Kula’s panel at the U.N., and Brad Hirschfield’s Daily Wrap collaboration. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   The Role of Faith as the 2016 Campaign Frenzy Begins – Brad Hirschfield The?race for the presidency formally kicked off when U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) tweeted: “I’m running for president and I hope to earn your support!” Later at Liberty......

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