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Category Archive for 'religion'

A Humble Case for Prayer

I’ve never lived through a destructive earthquake like the one that hit Japan recently.  I’ve never experienced a tsunami like the one that resulted from that earthquake, nor the potential of radiation poisoning from a damaged nuclear reactor.  I’ve never had to endure the kind of oppression and cruelty that the people of Libya and […]

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Practical prayer to the rescue

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith June 4, 2010) Jesus Christ was the master of practical, successful prayer and demonstrated how great an impact for good his form of prayer could have on the environment. He stilled storms, fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. He even healed physical ailments […]

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Celebrating selfless prayer

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith April 28, 2010) Q: Did the Pentagon do the right thing by disinviting evangelist Franklin Graham from a National Day of Prayer event next week? Should government officials decide who can or cannot speak at such an event? Should the government proclaim a National Day of Prayer? Was a federal judge […]

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What does "proselytize" really mean?

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith March 5, 2010) Q: Is there a problem with proselytism overseas by U.S. religious groups? Isn’t sharing one’s faith part of religious freedom? When does it cross the line into manipulation and coercion? For many of us, proselytism is a loaded word like “crusade,” “righteous,” or “conquer” – it has such […]

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(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith February 23, 2010) Q: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is recommending that the U.S. government develop a strategy to make religion ‘integral’ to American foreign policy. Should U.S. foreign policy get religion? History teaches that healthy societies are governed by guiding principles that support inclusiveness and universality where the welfare […]

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Don't blame the Haitians

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith January 21, 2010) Q: Many have criticized Pat Robertson’s suggestion that the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti was the work of the devil or a form of divine punishment. But if one believes God is good and intervenes in the world, why does God allow innocents to suffer? What is the best […]

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(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith December 24, 2009) Q: What was the most important religion story of 2009? I’m very curious about which of the many good stories for 2009 my contributing colleagues will focus on. But as I have thought about what is most important this year, I keep thinking about two religious stories that […]

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(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith November 30, 2009) One of the best parts of my job is seeing my religion through the eyes of the journalists I talk with. I learn a lot from our conversations. The reporters and editors are frank with me, probing, and in most cases equally open to seeing things from my […]

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(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith November 11, 2009) Q: What is the proper role of religion — and personal religious belief — in the U.S. armed forces? Should a particular religious affiliation disqualify someone from active military service? How far should the military go to accommodate personal religious beliefs and practices? This question applies directly to […]

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A Real God

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith October 14, 2009) To me, making a case for God comes down to one word – proof. I know, some will disagree with the idea of faith being dependent on actual proof. After all, it is faith we’re talking about! Faith should be something you just trust in and don’t have […]

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Praying for Civility

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith September 16, 2009) We have entered what columnist Kathleen Parker calls “a political era of uninhibited belligerence,” that is finding expression in sermons, at town hall meetings, on radio talk shows, even on the floor of Congress — especially when we differ. Why are people so angry and belligerent, and so […]

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(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith August 18, 2009) When the topic of health-care reform is so focused on economics and politics, I often think of a woman in the Gospels who had been hemorrhaging for many years. Who knows what her actual problem was, but it was severe enough that she had spent all her financial […]

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Real Humility, Beyond the Sound Bites

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith July 2, 2009) Why do so many American politicians — from Bill Clinton to Mark Sanford — use religious language when they make public confessions of marital infidelity? Are they truly penitent or just pandering? How can we tell the difference? In times of crisis or trouble, even the otherwise apathetic […]

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Prejudging Spiritual Healing

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith May 26, 2009) What should be done when parents rely on religion instead of medicine to heal sick children? I think that depends, doesn’t it? It depends on whether the parents are getting results. Whether the child’s health and well-being are protected as a result of the parents’ choices. Isn’t this […]

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Prayers to Heal the Nations

(Originally posted on www.washingtonpost.com/onfaith May 7, 2009) Thursday is National Day of Prayer, as mandated by Congress. What should President Obama do? Should he follow tradition and sign a ceremonial proclamation? Should he follow President George W. Bush’s practice of hosting a formal White House event? Should he ignore it completely? As one whose life […]

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