News & Politics


Dignity Above All

That morning, they lined up outside the College of Charleston’s arena, a diverse crowd taking time to be present, knowing the emotions they felt transcended the moment and were inseparable from a greater historical struggle, far from over. The gathering took shape at the very same moment the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to reveal its landmark ruling, affirming the dignity of men and women regardless of who they love and how they live. Thousands attended the church viewing and the overflow service to pay last respects to the Honorable Rev. Clementa C.......

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I Am an Orthodox Rabbi Who Doesn't Perform Gay Marriages, But I Celebrate Supreme Court Decision

This opinion piece appeared on washingtonpost.com on June 26, 2015. The Supreme Court made history on Friday, that much is clear. What may be less clear, especially for those who do not support same-sex marriage, is that the 5-to-4 majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, merits celebration even by those who don’t agree with the conclusion reached. And to be totally transparent, I write those words as an Orthodox rabbi who does not officiate at same-sex marriages. So why am I celebrating today? Didn’t my side lose? Didn’t the court strike......

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In Charleston, Nine 'Worlds' Ended

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: When is the time to ask the questions I have about Charleston? Such as: “Why is it when a Black person commits murder we talk about them as thugs when a Muslim commits murder we call it terrorism when a White guy does something like this, we immediately start talking about mental illness?” Today, if we are truly one human family, we can certainly agree on one indisputable fact – each of the good people slain this week in church was a......

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Why an Antigay Church Supports a Clinton Health Philanthropy

Hats off to Hillary. Yes, that Hillary – is there any other on the public’s radar? Love her, or truly dislike her (lots of people fall into one of those camps), there’s no arguing that Hillary Clinton has achieved full rock-star level fame – think Bono, Kanye, etc. – and is recognized across the country, if not the world, by first name alone. Like all household names, people are quick to judge her every move. And not always fairly, as was the case recently, when it came to light that an HIV/AIDS......

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Can Peace Be Bought and Sold?

Just about everything wrong with American/Western diplomacy in the Middle East in general, and with Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy in particular, is embodied by the study in this New York Times report, “Profit as an Incentive for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” The Rand Corporation (a nonprofit that researches public policy, with clients including the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) actually spent two years and $2 million compiling a 228-page study on the “opportunity costs” that would come with an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Their conclusion: If an independent Palestine was to emerge tomorrow,......

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Wisdom on Kids, Music and Loss: Must-Read Links

As another new week begins, make time for the thought-provoking pieces linked below – from the heartbreaking to the hilarious – with the excerpts that moved us to highlight them here on The Wisdom Daily. Whether or not you’ve grieved the loss of someone dear,?Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg’s writing tops our list because of her universally valuable insights. Whatever’s transpiring in your life, may you find the words of wisdom you need.   1. On the Front Lines of Grief “Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay,......

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A Marriage Equality First in Ireland

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: For the first time in the world, a nation has voted as a people to recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry in their country. While the majority in Ireland identify as Catholic, a majority of voters there are clearly comfortable disagreeing with the church on who should have access to marriage rights under the law. “What’s happening now is not a breaking with faith, but a profound engagement with faith, that has the capacity to allow people to use the traditions......

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Will the U.S. Be Smart About Smartphone Privacy?

As U.S. government officials consider how to meet law enforcement’s need for access to data – now increasingly encrypted on personal tech devices – Google, Apple and 140 other technology firms are pushing back. In an appeal to the Obama administration, they argue that “strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security.” Still, we shouldn’t forget: The cellphone is one of the single most important tools in 21st-century terrorism. Privacy is a priority for Americans, but what about public safety? Is the tech industry’s position a responsible one? “They......

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Wisdom on Gossip, the Future and More: Must-Read Links

Where can wisdom be found? In many voices, both familiar and those that may be new to you. Here are five of our favorite inspiring, eye-opening reads from recent publications and blogs. And The Wisdom Daily co-founders, Brad Hirschfield and Irwin Kula, will periodically weigh in with additional thoughts and reactions.?Check out the links below – may they provide wise insights to get your week off to a thought-provoking start!   1. Aeon‘s Katherine May in?“Digital Storytelling Revives the Art of Gossip” “Even when we are quietly reading a novel, our brains......

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Should the Boston Bomber Be Executed?

The defense has rested, and now 12 people will decide whether or not to send Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev to his death. What would you do, and why? Despite the prosecution’s best efforts to keep her from answering those questions in front of the jury, the famous anti-death penalty nun (remember the film Dead Man Walking?) Sister Helen Prejean did just that. She told jurors she’s come to believe, in light of her many conversations with Tsarnaev, that he’s “genuinely sorry for what he did” and does not deserve to die.......

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