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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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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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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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Beyond ‘Us and Them': Taking Interfaith Dialogue Outside The Ivory Tower

Full disclosure: it was not my intention to find inspiration for this piece via Ben Affleck. That said, when the actor delivered an impassioned argument (including some explicit language) refuting Bill Maher and Sam Harris’ collective views of Islam on last week’s Real Time, I admit: I was transfixed. It made me think about such […]

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Cassi Thomson as Chloe Steele in the film Left Behind.

We Are Not Left Behind

Between Son of God, Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings, and the upcoming film Mary, the Bible has been all over Hollywood lately. These stories have everything: love, betrayal, sacrifice, intrigue, war, mistaken identities, and depictions of what it means to be a human in a world torn by strife. It’s no wonder that the […]

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Doing Interfaith Better: A Reflection on the Harvard “Black Mass” and Its Aftermath

Interfaith work means a great deal to me, as it does to many folks. Engaging in interfaith work, to me, means being inspired by my religious tradition to work with others of different belief/nonbelief systems in engaging with our shared values to reach a common goal.  It’s not easy to do, under the best of […]

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By Wikipedia Loves Art participant "shooting_brooklyn" [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

When in Rome, Do as the Progressive Roman Jews Do

I was late to Rosh Hashanah services at Beth Hillel, Rome’s new progressive Jewish community. I meant to leave my apartment at 6pm but I scooted out the door by 6:45pm, realizing that the mistake would cost me 22 euros in cab fare. On the way up the Janiculum Hill I remarked how beautiful the […]

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Construction of Noah's Ark by Memberger

The Ark’s Physical Resurgence

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the construction of Ark Encounter, or “Ark Park” as it has become informally known, has commenced.  Marketed as “edu-tainment,” the theme park, based on the Noah narrative in the Hebrew scriptures, will be, according to the website, “the largest timber-frame structure in the USA.”  The first phase of the construction […]

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