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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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Ever since the results of the 2016 presidential election became known, all kinds of analysts have tried to explain why 81 percent of white Christian evangelicals abandoned their moral center and voted for a man whose life has been an... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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At some point in my high school years I decided I didn't want to be a member of our church or even attend, though my parents frankly didn't give me much choice about the matter. The problem with church, as... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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All of us know that sometimes religions produce people so convinced they are right about matters of theology that they become not just haters but terrorists. I find it so damn frustrating that they don't understand the value of doubt... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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DENVER -- I've been here for a few days with my bride to help friends celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary and to visit with some other friends here in the Mile High city, where Marcia used to live. I expect... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The biblical book of Job radically challenged conventional wisdom of its time (roughly the 6th Century BCE). That alleged wisdom suggested the suffering was a sign that the sufferer had sinned and was therefore being punished. What the anonymous author... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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I was in Buffalo, N.Y., in June for the annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a strangely wonderful group that used to have me as its president. At one of the banquets I wound up sitting next... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Several years ago I read two books by investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet that had to do with the secretive political-religious group colloquially known as "The Family," but formally called The Fellowship Foundation. The group organizes the annual National Prayer Breakfast... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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My childhood friend from India, Markandey Katju, former justice on India's Supreme Court, will not be celebrating today as Pakistan marks the 72nd anniversary of its independence from Britain and its creation as a separate country. Katju (pictured here with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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China, under the Chinese Communist Party, is an appalling religious train wreck. This China section of the latest annual report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says China's government is guilty of "systematic, ongoing (and) egregious violations of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Religious illiteracy, it turns out, is a measure not just of what we don't know about faith traditions beyond our own but also what we don't know about our own. And sometimes that is a surprising, even appalling, amount. Back... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Several decades ago, the late Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced her now-famous list, the five stages of grief. They have proved useful but in many ways have become cliché and, in some ways, an inadequate understanding of how we move through bereavement... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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As it happened last weekend, I did not check the morning news on Sunday before heading off to church. So when, in his pastoral prayer, our pastor mentioned the shootings in El Paso, I was aware of that news and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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On this date in 1945, the military leaders of the United States -- in this case mostly meaning its civilian commander, President Harry S. Truman -- were waiting. They had dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One of my former associate pastors, when reading a passage from the Bible that has historically been subject to many different interpretations, sometimes would say this: "I don't know if that's factually accurate, but I do know it's true." That's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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If there's one thing we know about religion across the span of human history it's that it has undergone countless changes, starting from when a human first stared at the star-packed sky in awe and wonder. And it's still changing.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In Ariel Burger's lovely 2018 book, Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom, he quotes Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, as saying, "It is the otherness of the other that fascinates me. . .What can I learn from him? What... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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If you've ever tuned in to broadcast outlets that bill themselves as Christian, you've almost inevitably heard appeals to what the speakers declare are "biblical values." What that often means is that the Bible is being used to buttress whatever... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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What is Christian nationalism? Well, as the Wikipedia page to which I just linked you says, Christian nationalists "focus primarily on internal politics, such as passing laws that reflect their view of Christianity and its role in political and social... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In late 2017, I wrote this Flatland column about people in the Kansas City area from Turkey. As I noted, "The brutal, imperious reaction of Turkey’s dictatorial government to a failed coup attempt last year has turned life into a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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The great German reformed theologian Jürgen Moltmann once declared that any religious community that doesn't include disabled people is in some way itself disabled. I think of that quote almost each Sunday when I push my stepson's wheelchair into the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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In this post here on the blog recently, I wrote about attending a memorial service at a Catholic Church for a young woman (in her 20s) who had committed suicide. In response, a representative of Paraclete Press, a Catholic publishing... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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One reason to have good religion journalism is to keep track of the various forces that seek to shape and then influence institutional religion. So I'm glad that The National Catholic Reporter has done a four-part series on the Eternal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Civil disobedience has a long and in many ways honored history in the American story, maybe beginning with the original Tea Party in Boston. The article to which I linked you in the first two words of the previous sentence... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Ah, Texas. Brash, proud, big and wrong about so much, including its prominent leadership among states that continue to use the death penalty, an immoral system that is wildly expensive and that sometimes lets the state kill innocent people. At... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog
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Even those of us who are active in interfaith work in the Kansas City area sometimes lose track of how much goes on in this important field. A new booklet by Geneva Blackmer should help everyone keep track of that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2019 at Bill's 'Faith Matters' Blog