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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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In Jewish tradition an act of loving kindness that cannot be repaid is called gemilut hasadim. As the Jewish Virtual Library to which I've just linked you notes, it "is a fundamental social value in the everyday lives of Jews."... Continue reading
Posted 1 minute ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Something akin to what happened last year in Ferguson, Mo., also happened recently in Pakistan: An oppressed minority fought back. In the case of Pakistan, it was the Christian community, long not just a minority but an often-despised minority. This... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The most widely held explanation of what it meant that Jesus died on a cross is under increasing attack from Christian theologians who are deconstructing various theories of atonement and finding them not just wanting but alarmingly misleading. Two-plus years... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I wish I were going to be in New York City soon. I would love to see a just-opened exhibition at the New York Historical Society called "Lincoln and the Jews." It runs through June 7. At the moment, the... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I have said this before but I say it again today to make a point about a new book: In matters of religion, the opposite of faith is not doubt. Rather, the opposite of faith is false certitude. It's easy... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Within my own lifetime, the Good Friday liturgy of the Catholic Church spoke of "perfidious Jews." This was in harmony with Christianity's long, sad history of anti-Judaism, which I've detailed in this essay. Pope John XXIII finally removed the phrase... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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When it became official a few days ago that my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), had voted to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, I was disappointed. Not in the vote. I favored the change. Rather, I... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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It is hard to imagine how we came to this sickening place of crazily expensive, state-sponsored retribution and violence. But Missouri's continued use of the death penalty again has earned us worldwide attention and shame, so I return to this... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Each year for a long time (and sometimes still) the major news magazines would feature a skeptical cover story about religion timed to appear near Easter. I'm reminded of what the great New Yorker writer and humorist Calvin Trillin, a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Just a bit more than a year ago, on Palm Sunday 2014, a man intending to attack Kansas City's Jewish community murdered three people -- two at the Jewish Community Center Campus in Overland Park, Kan., and one at nearby... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I was really pleased the other day to learn that Jean Vanier (pictured here), founder of L'Arche, a non-profit organization that creates supportive homes for people with disabilities to live as equal with others, is this year's recipient of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many Americans have imagined that global terrorism is a single-headed monster -- the head once being Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaida. President George W. Bush's decision to label the American response a "war... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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It's time to clear all the new religiously themed books off my desk and let you know about them in case you want to pick up one or more of them for spring or summer reading. I remind you that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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When you think about religion, if you do, you may be tempted to think of it as an idea as old as humanity itself. What, after all, was the story of Adam and Eve conversing with God in the Garden... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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What comes to your mind when you hear the name Mahatma (a title; his real first name was Mohandas) Gandhi (pictured here)? Hero of Indian independence? Promoter of non-violence and religious harmony? Man of peace? Inspirational? I've heard all those... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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There is a difference between overly sensitive political correctness and insensitive actions, even if done for seemingly good reasons, that rip open old wounds and pour salt in them. Students at Wheaton, an evangelical Christian college, crossed that line recently... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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We as a nation and society are far from done with the many issues of race and justice raised by events last summer in Ferguson, Mo., as the recently released Justice Department report revealed. What happened in Ferguson (and other... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The other day here I mentioned a new look at the American religious landscape and linked you to a site that can give you lots of data about that. I want to return to that subject today because the American... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Like lots of people, some days I'm more of a hawk than a dove when it comes to issues of international diplomacy and violence and some days I'm more of a dove than a hawk. My hawkish days never feel... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I drove by Westport Presbyterian Church (on Westport Road just west of Main Street) the other day to see the work well under way to rebuild the facility after a terrible December 2011 fire destroyed much, but not all, of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The meeting room at the Marriott Hotel on the Plaza in Kansas City was packed with military officers from several dozen nations, all currently taking classes at the Air War College in Alabama. (The photo here shows some of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One of the things our 24-hour news cycles do is move us toward premature judgment about a host of matters. If it sounds like terrorism, it's terrorism. If it looks like suicide, it's suicide. Let's move on to the next... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Yes, yes, I know that this is the Christian season of Lent and not the season of Advent that leads up to Christmas. But a friend just passed on to me a piece about Jesus' birth that I found intriguing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Early in American history, various states had established religions. Well, the established religions all were Christian, but there were different branches of Christianity dominant in this or that state. European countries, of course, had established religions, which is one reason... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Sometimes people -- inevitably non-Muslims -- e-mail me snippets of the Qur'an to make what often turns out to be an anti-Islam point. I am hesitant, however, to suggest that they might want to read the whole of the Qur'an... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog