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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Merry Christmas: Shallow Ecumenism


Saying hello in December does not challenge my religious identity. “Merry Christmas!” Even as a Jew, I accept this season’s greeting as a token of friendliness. We all swim in the river of winter renewal, and draw on all kinds of language to share our joy. Praying with hospital patients does not challenge my religious identity. There, I accept every individual for who she or he is. If a patient were to […]

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Rolling My Vegetarian Eyes


Teenagers Sasha and Malia Obama couldn’t keep a straight face during the annual Turkey Pardon Ceremony. Thank God for their commentary in body language! How could anyone keep a straight face during this grotesque theater of the absurd? Two turkeys, Mac and Cheese, named sardonically for vegetarian foods, were publicly pardoned. This took place just after 45 million un-named turkeys were slaughtered for the American celebration of Thanksgiving. Maybe the […]

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Jacob IS the Ladder


The Biblical Jacob, a young man of about 19, sets out to seek his fortune. On his first night away from home, he dreams. A ladder connects earth and heaven; messengers climb up and down. Suddenly God stands right over him and speaks. Jacob wakes suddenly from this numinous dream, infused with awareness of Divine presence. “God is in this place,” he says, “and I, I did not know it!” […]

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Religion and Violence

Kristallnacht vst clipping

It has been a full week, a very full week. Full of hope, and full of despair. Full of religion, and full of violence. Last Thursday, the Vancouver School of Theology hosted a Kristallnacht Commemoration, woven with words and music, history and testimony, thought and feeling. From the podium, I saw a hundred faces moved to tears. So I said: Please do not bury today’s powerful thoughts and feelings in the […]

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