Tag: Religion


In God We Trust, Who's "We"?

Following months of effort culminating in hours of very heated debate, Washington state’s Pierce County Council voted to display the national motto “In God We Trust” in its chambers. And you know what? I think that’s fantastic. It’s fantastic, but it’s also incomplete. Why shouldn’t a county council display our national motto, especially as we are overwhelmingly a nation of believers? It’s not as if it violates any church-state issues, to which we should always be attentive, as no one church is being touted over any other. And however often radical secularists......

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Video: The Roman Catholic Cardinal with a Jewish Mother

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week The New York Times told a surprising story about the former Archbishop of New York, Cardinal John J. O’Connor – his mother was born Jewish. This story raises questions about religious identity and suggests a discussion of what “dual citizenship” in the realm of faith and spirituality might mean. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment. Visit Odyssey......

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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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What Religions Can Learn from Microsoft

Big news from Microsoft – it has finally decided to make its Office software, specifically its suite of applications including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, work on all computing devices including those made by its competitors, Apple’s Ipads and Google’s Android operating system. I think there’s something that religions can take from this, especially if they want to compete in the marketplace of wisdom and practices that help people flourish. This news is a break with Microsoft policies of keeping its software services locked to Windows devices. If the world wanted Office, they......

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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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Why (Not!) Take Your Soul to a Spa?

Sometimes clergy and other spiritual teachers do smart things. And sometimes they do less-than-smart things (I’m trying to be charitable here). But sometimes they just annoy the hell out of me. In this news report about “spas for the soul,” we get an example of all three! Read on to see what I mean. You may be asking, what is a “spa for the soul”? Is it simply a cool name for a church, synagogue, temple or mosque? Or is it a place with massages and treatments that are so good, you......

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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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Rap For God?

Fr. Claude Burns is a Catholic priest who raps under the name Fr. Pontifex, and just released a new album – The Symphony and The Static.? I actually love the idea of religious leaders bending their sense of calling and expanding their appreciation of where it can take them, and for that I give the good Father props.? But his concerns about the absence of God in people’s lives, and his claim to have the answer, actually reflect anything but a fresh and healthy take on faith and the human search for......

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Video: Innovating Compassion. A Discussion with Irwin Kula, Angela Maiers and James Doty, M.D.

So a neurosurgeon, a visionary educator and a rabbi walk into a bar…? I met Dr. James Doty and Angela Maiers a few weeks back at BIF9, a remarkable gathering of over 400 innovators from across fields – science, technology, business, health, music, education, design, and social justice. Thirty-two people were invited to tell their innovation stories, each of which enchanted and elevated heart, mind and spirit. The first three stories – mine, Angela’s, and James’ were just released and there has been such buzz around them that we decided it would......

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When You Look at His Face, What Do You See?

This face could change our world and shape history.? Whether that happens or not, depends not only on him, but on you, and what you see when you see his face.? In part, what you see depends on whether or not you know to whom the face belongs, or if you simply see some religious guy – probably Muslim, or is that a Sikh turban?? But it’s actually bigger than that. What do any of us see when we see anyone or anything unfamiliar to us, “whatever religion ‘that guy’ follows”?? That’s......

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