Popular Culture

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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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James Harden of the NBA isn't Sikh, but wears a headband in accordance with NBA rules.

Sikh’ing Equal Treatment: Why FIBA’s rules are discriminatory, unfair and have no place in international sports competition.

Originally Published on The Cauldron of medium.com International basketball’s governing body, the Federation Interenationale de Basket-ball (“FIBA”), will meet in Spain next week to determine the fate of religious freedom in the sport. Presently, FIBA rules do not allow its players to wear religious articles of faith, including the traditional Sikh turban or the Muslim […]

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“You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me”: On Robin Williams, Suicide, Ultimate Concern, and Actual Hope for the Rest of Us, Part II

In reflecting on Robin Williams’s death, a conversation I had with a friend came to mind from a couple of weeks ago. I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine at work, when he mentioned that he didn’t think it would be a bad thing, necessarily, if he died at 42, or […]

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