Real Religious Differences


Every year, I laugh out loud at this week’s Torah reading, the crossing of the Red Sea. There Moses stands, so close to his goal of guiding the Israelites out of slavery, when suddenly everything goes wrong. A body of water blocks the group’s path forward. An advancing army blocks them from behind. The people begin to melt down, yelling that they prefer slavery to death. What does Moses do? He says, […]

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Crazy Interfaith Vision


When the End of Days comes, we will find out: One particular religious group has been right all along, and all the rest were wrong. So says the religious the “triumphalist.” To a liberal religious ear, this binary thinking sounds almost comical. It shouldn’t, really. You believe in right and wrong. Why, you yourself have said on occasion, “We have to eliminate the wrong answers, so that we can find the right one.” You […]

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Spiritual Imagination

asheville at sunset

I used to imagine that my late mother was “religious, but not spiritual.” She loved going to synagogue, hosting holiday gatherings, lighting Shabbat candles, and keeping a kosher home. But she did not believe in God. If I tried to speak with her about a creator, she would say, “How could the world have a beginning? It’s inconceivable that the world could have not existed!” She had deeply mystical dreams. […]

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Forty Shades of Interfaith


Girl About Town. Toxic Tale. Heroine. Flat Out Fabulous. Sweet and Sour. Stunner. Unchanging. Gospel. Zen Rose. Love Temple. Divine Choice. Tribalist. No Faux Pas. Up the Amp. Lipstick colors at the Mac Cosmetic kiosk, where I watched my daughter try forty different shades. Bored, I looked around, hoping to people watch. A middle-aged Woman About Town caught my eye, and said, “I have a Mac Gift card. Would you […]

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Is God Privileged?

>For every $1 spent on legal aid, the savings can range from $1.60 to $30.

What do we teach about how power works? What do we teach about how a Higher Power works? Terrible events in the U.S. have brought the concept of “white privilege” center stage. Political philosophers Naomi Zack and George Yancy offer a definition: having privilege means you are more likely to have the opportunity to exercise your legal rights (New York Times, Nov 5, 2014). Privilege is a theme of last week’s […]

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