Social Issues

Taken by author Jenn Lindsay in Dhesheh Refugee Camp, Palestine.

“This is our life.”–Dispatch from Palestine

Dhesheh Refugee Camp houses 17,000 people in less than 1 square kilometer. It was established for two waves of refugees in 1948 and 1967 by the United Nations, which is still in charge of providing medication, education, and maintenance. The streets were empty when we arrived at 10am. The night before, all night long, there […]

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Yoruba Orisa Goddess Osun

Is God Afraid of Sexuality? – Part 2

A few weeks ago, I was inspired to begin exploring the relationship between sexuality, religion and fear. In Part 1 of my essay, I purposefully chose an image of God that was a man with a stern expression because this is what I was socialized to believe God was as a child. God was male. He […]

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English: Walaja Barrier 2011. Author Wickey-nl. Creative Commons license. 31 March 2014. Source: Own work, based on http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_the_closure_map_2011_12_21_bethlehem.pdf, published by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHAoPt). http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walaja_Barrier_2011.jpg

“You are an ambassador”–Dispatch from Palestine

We drive along the barbed electric fence that surrounds the Israeli settlement of Har Gilo.  We are headed to the Walajah valley of the Palestinian territory. The valleys are deep and lush with pine trees and olive groves, steppes cut into the hillsides with round white stones. The land here has been largely confiscated by […]

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1024px-Stuffed_turkey

Being Thankful Without Affirming Privilege

“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will […]

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AA_woman_of_Samaria_c1912.jpg. By unattributed [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Life is Hard Here — Dispatch from Palestine

The heavy rain doused the aluminum-roofed shack. Rivulets carved paths through the thick mud around the house. But inside, the house was cozy, comfortable. Thick carpets and bouncy velvet couches make this hard Palestinian life easier. Because life is hard here. This woman has three children and all three of them are disabled with Berardinelli […]

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AJewish_Settlement_Police.jpg. Source: Yair Malachi, circa 1942

The Beginning of a Settlement — Dispatch from Palestine

Mahmoud’s family lives one Palestinian hill over from a newly-forming illegal Jewish settlement. Six Jewish settlers arrived about a year ago with tents and made a primitive campsite. All year they prayed on the hill in religious pilgrimage. All settlements start this way. The original owner has a claim on this land and papers originating […]

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Galileo Before the Holy Office

The Limits of “Religious” Equality: Humanism, Religion, and Defining our Purpose

Last week, Senior District Judge Ancer Haggerty issued a ruling on American Humanist Association v. United States, declaring Humanism a religion and therefore deserving of the same rights as other religious groups in the United States. This is a victory in the non-theistic community, and potentially clears the way for additional Humanist chaplaincies on campuses, […]

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Taken by author Jenn Lindsay in Palestine

“Come and see, then go and tell”–Dispatch from Palestine

The Tent of Nations is an organic farm on a long narrow strip of Palestinian land that has held its deed since 1917, through four occupations: Turkish, British, Jordanian, and Israeli. It is placed in the middle of a circle of 5 Israeli settlements. The farmers mark the last clash with Israeli military forces in […]

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Courtesy Tulsa Funeral Homes

Finding Common Ground in Grief

The last month has been a roller coaster for me personally. A friend, who became a friend only through interfaith dialogue, was grieving. Her younger sister had suddenly been taken to the hospital with several imminent health concerns, and finally after about three weeks of ups and downs, hope and despair, she passed away. I […]

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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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