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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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Today we consider once more the diminishment of American Christianity -- in membership, in influence, in various ways -- from both a Protestant and a Catholic perspective. First, this opinion piece from Religion Dispatches suggests that we can learn more... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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The news about federally supported boarding schools for Native American children just gets more and more disheartening. And there's still more to come. What contributes to the horror of this dark picture is the role some churches played in the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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When Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn and I published our book about people in Poland who rescued Jews there from the Holocaust, the very first story we told was about a survivor named Zygie Allweiss, now of blessed memory. And in that... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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As the immoral, murderous war of desecration continues in Ukraine, many people have noticed that the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), Patriarch Kirill, has chosen badly by backing the war criminal, Vladimir Putin. And there has been plenty... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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As you may have noticed, the human capacity for evil has transformed social media. It has moved from mostly a fun and interesting way to share thoughts and news with people we at least sort of know to an appalling... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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What does it -- or can it -- mean to think theologically? In other words, is it possible in the midst of war, pandemics, economic disparities, racial oppression and so much more to keep an eternal perspective on life? To... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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When religious leaders fail to follow the path that their tradition has traveled for centuries (with, of course, certain adaptations and occasional missteps), they inevitably get challenged by members of their community who call them to account. Some of that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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The recent news that "the final instrument aboard the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope finally achieved its operating temperature of just above absolute zero" is a reminder of what, from the beginning, humanity has done to explore the creation... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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One of the stories about religion today that nearly everyone has heard has to do with the diminishment of Christianity in the U.S. It's been going on for decades, as Protestants now make up less than half the population and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Among the many mysteries of faith, the roles of apologies and forgiveness rank pretty high on Easter weekend. One way of putting the Christian story, after all, is that the death of Jesus meant the forgiveness of our sins. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Writing about religion, especially as a journalist (as opposed to an academician or a theologian), can be a tricky business because it's important to know a lot about many faith traditions and to be able to use the right terms.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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On the Christian calendar, Good Friday happens this week. On the Jewish calendar, Passover begins at sunset that same day. And on the Muslim calendar, Ramadan began April 1. So I can't think of a better time than this week... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Delavan, Ill. -- As some of my extended family gathered here recently to celebrate the wonderful reality that my late father's brother Lawrence (pictured here with me) has reached age 100 but acts like he's about 60, I was trying... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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What is the most perplexing question human beings ask about themselves? It's some version of this: What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? If life has meaning, what is it? In other words, people ask themselves the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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More than 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, including my own nephew, the frustratingly slow process of bringing to trial five Guantanamo prisoners charged with participating or planning the attacks still hasn't resulted in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Despite a fair amount of recent attention to church-state issues as they play out in Christian Nationalism, the basic question of how people of any faith tradition relate to their surrounding culture, including the nation-state in which that culture is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Many faith communities maintain offices in the capitols of the country in which they're headquartered to be able to promote legislation and policies that conform to their traditions and beliefs. An example is the Office of Public Witness of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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The Bible used by Christians (well, Bibles, plural, given there are differences among them) was written originally in Hebrew, Greek and some Aramaic. The original Qur'an, of course, was in Arabic. Translating holy writ can be a daunting task for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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There are, of course, countless stories across history of how religion can be bad for you, from religious fanatics who turn into terrorists to people who hate others merely because of their religion or tradition. Antisemitism and Islamophobia come to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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In 2002, some months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- perpetrated mostly by men from Saudi Arabia -- I visited that kingdom with other opinion journalists from the U.S. and Canada. We spent time talking with private citizens, government officials,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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For most of the history of the United States, religious freedom has been a foundational value. The Constitution even prohibits the government from making laws that favor one kind of faith over another. But the reality is that ideas about... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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After last Sunday's worship service at my church (it was youth Sunday and two high school students preached an absolutely terrific sermon), some of us got into a discussion about how students learn history these days. Not just church or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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As we consider developments in Ukraine and the efforts of Russia to make sure it is either no longer independent or at least is part of the Russian sphere of influence, let's think about the role of religion in those... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Many times in recent decades, I've written about the relationship between religious ideas and science. Quick summary of that: Each area tries to answer different questions. Science is about what, how, when and other measurables. Religion asks about purpose, about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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In so many ways, Afghanistan has disappeared from the radar of many Americans. The government there collapsed last August, the Afghan army dissolved, tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the capital of Kabul and the brutal Taliban came... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2022 at Bill's Faith Matters blog