Challenges

zonbi

Holiday of Horrors: Halloween, Hate, and the (Dis)Honoring of Tradition

I used to love Halloween. As a child, I adored the dressing up as my favorite super heroine, rock star, animal, or – when I got a little older and fancier – donning some nice, natural looking fangs and biting on packets of fake blood. It was fun to watch as everyone around me toyed […]

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Wikimedia Commons image by Blok Glo

Is God Afraid of Sexuality? – Part 1

When I facilitate quarterly Interfaith Spirituality & Sexuality discussions, I often encourage people to look at the authority in their lives by simply asking, “What is the Truth? What is the Lie?” Although some religions discount the wisdom of our bodies, they are excellent truth and lie detectors. When someone affirms my personal spiritual truth, […]

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Shirim in her field near Husan Village, taken by author Jenn Lindsay

“Just Tell Our Story” — Dispatch from Palestine

We met Shirim at her family’s olive grove plot. It falls just outside the Betar Illit settlement. More accurately, it falls on the entire hill but the settlement imposed itself right on top of the farmland that has belonged to her family for five generations. She is forbidden to access her land beyond the current […]

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Walt Disney’s Theology of Hope, pt. 1

He had an intensely religious youth. He’d been brought up in a strictly regimented church atmosphere. His father was a deacon at one time. [Knowing this] I can understand why he had such a free attitude towards our religion. He wanted us to have religion. He definitely believed in God. Very definitely. But I think […]

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Warming Up Thanksgiving Dinner

I recently gave a wa’ez (sermon) on social media, service, and faith. The organizing conceit was Sesame Street, and ideas revolved around the number 5 and the letter “P.” At the end, I had five “asks” I wanted my audience to commit to, and the feedback has been positive. While I’m editing the text to […]

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Dalit woman in Mumbai 1942

The Struggle for Dalit Rights in South Asia

Have you ever had a theme assert itself over and over in a very short period of time, as if the universe was sending you cosmic hints to pay attention? In my case, the message right now involves social justice and Nepal. I’m actually writing this from Kathmandu, Nepal where I will be spending the […]

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Maurycy Gottlieb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Improvised Family: Yom Kippur with Rome’s Progressive Jews

Normally people do not go to Rome to refrain from eating. But it was Yom Kippur, and I was on my way to afternoon services at Beth Hillel, Rome’s new progressive Jewish community. My long walk to the Beth Hillel service on the Janiculum Hill started on the banks of the Tiber River. In Piazza Navona […]

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Source: Kristen Dobsen, in a reprinted article from Parent Map Magazine, May 2007 (Attribution via Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, http://wilpf.org/pv_moms_rising)

Creating Single (M)Otherhood: The Problem of Our “Morality” and How Single Mothers Embody the Ethics We Need

A recent article called “4 Ways I Knew Ray Rice Was Raised by a Single Mother” features a misogynistic enumeration of the football player’s flaws attributed to being raised by a single mom. These flaws include a “low locus of control,” an “effeminate response to conflict,” “zero accountability,” and the fact that Rice and his […]

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Image by Nicolas Raymond via Flickr Commons

“You are the Bridge”: Embodying Bridge-Building

I recently heard a story that stuck with me. A colleague was telling me about a conversation he had once had with a professor that changed his outlook on a difficult situation. He had grown up attending services and was part of a community at an Episcopal church as a child but in adulthood he […]

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A Prayer in the Beginning

Last week I was in a Moroccan restaurant in Seattle and had a unique experience: The very nice Palestinian man who ran the restaurant started speaking to me in his Shammi (Eastern) Arabic, and I responded in my good Moroccan Darija over mint tea and cookies. He was shocked to hear a non-Arab speak Arabic […]

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