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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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On a fairly regular basis here on the blog, I talk about new books with some kind of religion theme. Most of the time I do this after receiving and reading (or deeply scanning) books from publishers. That's what I... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In Alvin Rosenfeld's 2011 book, The End of the Holocaust, which I reviewed here, he notes that between one million and one and a half million children were among the six million Jews murdered by Adolf Hitler's Nazi killing machine... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Yesterday here on the blog I wrote about the appalling ignorance Americans showed in a recent survey about the Holocaust. I don't have recent survey material to back up my related point today about American ignorance about Islam, but I... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Holocaust Remembrance Day last week provided shocking evidence that millions of Americans seem to know next to nothing about this monstrous scar on human history, which the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum accurately describes as "the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The ways in which Russia, under the direction of Vladimir Putin, interfered in our 2016 presidential election -- and appears poised to continue its cyber attacks both here and around the world -- have produced lots of outcries from lots... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One recent Friday evening I attended a Shabbat service at Temple Israel of Greater Kansas City and heard these words shared in the worship liturgy: "The Eternal One was with us during the long years of oppression. Our faith sustained... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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When Paul Rock and I wrote our 2015 book, Jesus, Pope Francis and a Protestant Walk into a Bar: Lessons for the Christian Church, it was unclear, despite the immediate popularity of Francis among not just Catholics but people of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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For many theological reasons, faith communities from many traditions often get involved in promoting good health practices and in providing ministry to those who are ill. Kansas City, for example, is not unique in being able to say that many... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Governments of free countries almost daily face moral decisions. One of the most difficult -- because it can require a massive commitment of blood and treasure -- is whether to stand against an evil dictatorship that is barging its murderous... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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It comes as a disappointing surprise to racists to discover that if each of us traces our family history back far enough we discover that we're all pretty much related -- no matter what "race" we think we are. Race,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Books about bad missionaries and terribly misguided approaches to charity are not new. In the first category, it's hard to beat Barbara Kingsolver's novel, The Poisonwood Bible. The picture she paints there of Nathan Price, a missionary in Africa in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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There's a funny story told in my church about the first woman who was asked to serve as an elder. In Presbyterian polity, elders are elected by the congregation to serve on a board called the Session, which oversees the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The last time I was in Egypt, in 2002, I heard various stories about the ways in which the government, then led by Hosni Mubarak (of unblessed memory), was persecuting the Coptic Orthodox Church there. The Copts said then that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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As I've said many times, the two creation stories in Genesis are not meant to be scientific explanations of the start of the cosmos, whether by Big Bang or some other less-violent cause. Rather, they are meant to tell us... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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A prominent atheist, Chris Stedman, author of the book Fatheist, finally is speaking out against the growing number of atheists who, as he says, have failed to address some of atheism's "darker currents — such as overt sexism, racism, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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For centuries, people have argued about when a nation is justified in going to war. The earliest roots of what now is called Just War Theory predate Christianity and grow out of Hinduism and its epic Mahabharata. Over the centuries... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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As we prepare to commemorate the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago tomorrow, we'd do well to remember both how things have changed since then and how they haven't. One thing that has changed is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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For good reason, I'd like to back up several dozen (or way more) mass shootings and return to August 5, 2012, when a white supremacist killed six worshipers in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. If you follow such... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Non-Christians in the U.S. can be forgiven if they imagine that the most important Christian holiday of the year is Christmas. After all, the whole culture goes sort of gift-nuts as people imitate the generous actions of the Magi in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In some ways the Ten Commandments have become weaponized in the culture wars. Fools like Judge Roy Moore in Alabama want to put them on display on government-owned property as a way of supporting the second religion (Christianity) to promote... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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A new study shows that white Christians now are a minority of the U.S. population, continuing a trend that has been building since at least 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed immigration reform into law (though that's far from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Anyone who has grown up in almost any faith tradition has heard over and over the importance of gratitude as an essential approach to living a healthy and spiritually fulfilling life. And we've all known ingrates and what a pain... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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People leave faith communities for many reasons. They range from the serious (theological disagreements, no help in educating children) to the spurious (the pastor has an annoying accent, the choir never sings my favorite hymns). But a new University of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Over the weekend here on the blog, I shared with readers columnist Michael Gerson's excellent Atlantic cover story about how white Christian evangelicals made the stupefying choice to be big supporters of President Donald Trump. It's a cautionary -- and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One of the most astonishing theological-political stories of our era (and, in fact, in all of American history) is how white Christian evangelicals abandoned their moral values to vote overwhelmingly to elect as president Donald J. Trump, a man whose... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog