Most Recent :
Filipovic, Jill - Giving thanks for my 'church', where the civic meets the spiritual
Church isn't just for Christians anymore -- in fact, London Guardian's Jill Filipovic finds, "I'm grateful I have a space that offers moral guidance, that reflects and builds upon my values, that pushes me to be a kinder and more generous person and that offers me a sense of purpose. I'm grateful for the warmth and support of a like-minded community. I'm grateful my church is a space that is available to me every day, whenever I need it." Only for her, this space is no longer in a building but in the spaces for fellowship and reflection that she has surrounded herself with in her secular, non-church life. (posted 24 Nov 2012).
Brown, Andrew - If Massacres like Cromwell's avert suffering, perhaps they can be justified
I would like to say that I am horrified at the Guardian's Andrew Brown's reasoning in this peace -- especially as we look at the suffering inflicted on opposition factions in Syria at this very moment. Brown's, and David Hume's, Old Testament perspective on the use of violence to prevent future suffering is both barbaric and very contemporary, only stripped of its politically correct niceties. This is a prime example of what is called The Realist School. I am often motivated to better understand how persons espousing a personal relationship with the risen Saviour and a literal interpretation of the Gospels can also espouse political views similar to those of Brown, perhaps this brings me one step closer. (posted 19 Oct 2012)
Ian, Jack - Why are our attitudes toward poverty so different abroad and at home?
Khudyakov, Nicholas - Потепление климата уже было. И ничего.
Kimball, Roger - The Lessons of CultureNicholas Khudyakov, Russian journalist covering agriculture, notes that "Climate Warming has Always Been. And Nothing Came of It." Not saying that I agree completely, I nonetheless found his historical exploration of climate change throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries in North America interesting and informative. The import of the essay is that agriculture adapts, has adapted (with a distinguished role played by Russian Mennonites), and will continue to adapt. He definitely does not challenge the concept of Global Warming, merely the doomsday forecasts that we will suddenly find ourselves unable to adapt. Khudyakov seems optimistic. (posted 20 Oct 2012)
Mathewes, Charles - The Evolution of Religion
Steinberg, Neil - A milestone in the fading of religion
Chicago Sun-Times' Neil Steinberg is one of my favourite columnists for his clarity and writing. In this column he notes the passing away in America of the Protestant majority -- losing out mostly to "nones" or those who have left organized religion. In the end, he lauds the Amish who have 'realized they can ignore the tempting freedoms of the world and just practice their own faith without coercing others. It's a model to follow." (posted 10 Oct 2012).
Stewart, Katherine - How Christian fundamentalism feeds the toxic partisanship of US politics
Making political stances both mandatory and superior to spiritual guidelines, many Fundamentalist religious groups in the United States are increasing ending up on the wrong side of basic social justice issues and values. Recently, the American Family Association (AFA)denounced an anti-bullying campaign as an effort by homosexuals to convert Fundamentalist school children. Unbridled rhetoric, irrational public behavior and a winnowing down of public faith values to the non-spiritual are earning many Fundamentalist faith organizations the reputation and label of "hate group." Stewart seems concerned that the label is beginning to stick. (posted 29 Oct 2012).
Wilkerson, Brenda - War and Basketball
Wynne-Jones, Jonathan - Billy Graham's lurch towards Mitt Romney risks his legacy
The London Guardian's Wynne-Jones debates whether Billy Graham's evangelical faith organization is squandering founder Billy Graham's spiritual and faith legacy. Noting that Graham never felt able to endorse President Barack Obama's Christian faith over the possibility that he was really a Muslim at heart, Wynne-Jones finds it suspicious that Graham's web-site has removed previous references to Mormonism as a cult and then "refused to speculate" on Romney's spiritual status. Whether you agree with Wynne-Jones or understand Graham's position, this is an excellent and compelling read regarding the dangers of mixing public ministry with private politics. (Posted 18 Oct 2012)