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Religion, Lately: Interview with a Jedi, Biblical Neuroscience, Mormon Women Bare.com

Religion, Lately: Interview with a Jedi, Biblical Neuroscience, Mormon Women Bare.com

By Kenny Smith…While notions of “religion” are deployed in a rather simplistic manner, Fox News offers an otherwise thoughtful interview with a Jedi teacher and a journalist who “spent a weekend” with them. Is it a religion, a philosophy, a way of life? You decide.
In a more typical manner, Fox hosted an angry debate concerning recent atheist billboards and whether religion or non-religion are “irrational.” Elsewhere in atheisdom, free Bible apps (such as YouVersion) are used to disprove the Bible’s legitimacy: “Reading the full story with all its contradictions and violence and sexism, it should make you think, ‘Is this really what I believe in?’”

Averting Your Eyes: The Devastating Consequences of Ignoring Women’s Rights

Averting Your Eyes: The Devastating Consequences of Ignoring Women’s Rights

Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, State of Formation….
Jerusalem’s Old City when a bearded man with narrow eyes reached out his hand and tried to grab my breast. I did not know him. I had not made eye contact. I was not acting provocatively—in fact, despite a heat wave that added insult to the already injurious desert summer, I was burning up in the long-sleeved shirt and ankle-length skirt that’s customary for the region. In response, the man with whom I was traveling reached out and struck the stranger’s hand, causing him to trip sideways into the crowd.

How Hard The Hearing

How Hard The Hearing

By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
In an interview with Mother Theresa, not long before she passed away, the topic of her own prayer life came up. The interviewer clearly wanted to know how a real spiritual adept prayed–and with such apparent spiritual efficacy. Her answer showed her to be a true adept: “Mostly, I just listen,” she smiled. I’ve been thinking about that strange confluence–of praying, speaking and listening–as I’ve watched current events continue to unfold in Egypt (and Yemen, and Tunisia) in the past week.

The Presbyterian-Jewish Divide that Need Never Be

The Presbyterian-Jewish Divide that Need Never Be

By Joshua Stanton, Huffington Post….
I still profoundly admire Wiesenthal and the Wiesenthal Center. But I worry that a recent op-ed written by two of its leaders, Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, goes against the very pursuit of justice that the center so firmly embraces. Entitled “Presbyterians Against Israel: Liberal Protestants are engaging in historical revisionism concerning Jews and the Holy Land,” its strong suit is certainly not understatement. But by labeling an entire Christian denomination “anti-Israel,” it may prove far more damaging.

The Anti-Muslim Machine

The Anti-Muslim Machine

By Kiera Feldman, Killing the Buddha
Nowadays, we don’t lynch, and we riot rarely. The occasional individual will stab a Muslim cabbie in Manhattan, beat a Mexican on Staten Island, or kill an Ecuadorian on Long Island. Mostly, we blog. An angry, fearful mob, posting and commenting, commenting and posting, in a town square cobbled with pornography and hate speech: the internet.

Jews and Turks: Centuries of Goodwill

Jews and Turks: Centuries of Goodwill

Although our culture is well versed on the horrifying events of World War II, the story of the Turkish Jews is one that has unfortunately slipped into obscurity. In this time of religious discord, I believe it is important to remember that it has not always been so and that, contrary to popular media portrayals, religious differences do not, for the vast majority, signify hatred, distrust, or the negation of humanity.

In Defense of Helen Thomas: Scholarly Pitfalls of “Everything is Religious”

In Defense of Helen Thomas: Scholarly Pitfalls of “Everything is Religious”

Recently Helen Thomas was asked to comment on Israel. Her response was to “tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.” She followed up this statement with: “remember, these people [Palestinians] are occupied and it’s their land, it’s not German, it’s not Poland.” When asked what the Jews living in Palestine should do, Helen suggests that they “go home, … Poland, Germany… and America, and everywhere else.”