Tag: Prayer


After San Bernardino, Is Prayer the Wrong Response?

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: Outrage fueled a big “God Isn’t Fixing This” headline on the New York Daily News‘ front page, after 14 innocent people were killed this week at a San Bernardino, Calif., holiday party (our country’s most deadly mass shooting since Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012). Is it foolish to shame American lawmakers who publicize their “thoughts and prayers” after mass shootings, but take little or no action? I believe it is: “We need to be coming together at this moment, to comfort each other......

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Should a Public School Coach Be Praying With Players?

Which does the U.S. Constitution guarantee – freedom of religion, or freedom from it? The short answer (as with so many constitutional issues) is: It depends. Contextualism and the ongoing ability to interpret the document are two of its greatest strengths, helping assure its durability and relevance. There are settings where an enforced absence of public religious expression is required (bans on prayer in public school classrooms); other situations allow for religious expression, as long as all religious sensibilities are respected (wearing a cross, a yarmulke, a hijab or whatever religious symbols/clothing......

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Yearning, Imagining and Aging: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Oct 5 – 9), we explored the hypothetical scenario of choosing one special person to spend a day with, the hopeful Craigslist post filled with gratitude and yearning, the momentum we can tap into when we realize our days on Earth are limited, the new law causing controversy in California and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Who Would You Wish to Spend One Last Day With? – Brad Hirschfield If there were any person in......

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Praying Into the Void for a Connection

A fascinating “missed connection” ad on Craigslist from a man seeking a woman he hasn’t seen in four decades got me thinking about the many forms that prayer takes, including a powerful ritual in my childhood of writing down my hopes and wishes. When I was a young boy, my family would fly to Israel at least once a year, staying in the south with my Israeli family, and venturing regularly up north to visit Jerusalem, too. Whether by bus or car, I would always use the travel time to agonize over......

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Words of Hope and Action, Inspired by Baltimore - and Amy Grant

Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, called for a day of prayer for Baltimore on Sunday. With the city curfew lifted by way of recognizing that any immediate threat of violence is largely passed, it seems like the Governor’s idea is a good one. Rather than giving so much attention only to what’s going most wrong (the “if it bleeds, it leads” approach), a day of prayer invites everyone involved to focus on what we hope can be better, and that for which we’re already grateful. Aspiration and gratitude: two of the most urgently......

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Prayer on the Go, at Drive-Thru Churches

We have drive-thru restaurants and drive-thru banks. And now, popping up around the country – from the red state of Florida, to the purple state of Arizona, to the blue state of Massachusetts – are drive-thru prayer services.?”This is an attempt to reach folks in our fast-paced culture…It can be spontaneous,” said a Minnesota pastor who recently experimented with this convenience, created to appeal to locals and commuters driving by. You heard this right. On-the-spot spiritual guidance, comfort to worshippers in a hurry – a real drive-thru ministry. Drivers can warm their......

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Video: The Supreme Court and Public Prayer

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: This week the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold the rights of a local town council in Greece, NY to open their meetings with a prayer, saying it did not violate the constitutional prohibition against government establishment of religion. In this week’s video, I discuss how we got to this place, how the court rendered its decision and how we can move forward in as healthy a way as possible from this decision. Please be sure to also read Irwin’s take on......

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Heaven Help Us: The Public Prayer Debate

Here we go again. On Monday, a narrowly divided Supreme Court upheld that decidedly Christian prayers are allowed at the start of local council meetings, declaring them in line with long national traditions. The court said in a 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or try to win converts. Interestingly, the Obama administration backed the winning side, the town of Greece, N.Y., outside of Rochester. Not surprisingly our culture warriors lined up. Senior counsel David Cortman of the Alliance......

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God and Basketball

At an NBA Oklahoma Thunder game you can expect the usual hoopla of lights and noise and dancers. But for at least a couple moments preceding each game, the lights are dimmed and people are asked to rise as the arena is turned into a mega church and a local minister or priest (and very occasionally a rabbi or Native American spiritual leader) offers a stadium wide prayer to God – “non-denominational” of course. The Thunder pre-game prayer tradition began a number of years ago with an owner promising that if he......

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Religion in Four Minutes?

Many Americans today who are asked about the role of faith in their lives identify themselves as “None” – no religious identification.? For me, if I’m honest, religion alone is increasingly not getting the job done (that it used to) of nurturing the virtues we all need in life to flourish: awe, wonder, humility, transcendence, responsibility, kindness and love. As an eighth-generation rabbi, this is a significant challenge! Lately I’ve been looking at the intersection of popular culture and science for new “sacred” wisdom that works to evoke and nurture these qualities.......

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