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Tammeus
Kansas City, Mo.
Recent Activity
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The phrase "separation of church and state" is found nowhere in the Constitution. As this Forbes piece explains, "The phrase 'separation of church and state' was initially coined by Baptists striving for religious toleration in Virginia, whose official state religion... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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There are many reasons to be proud of the United States, just as there also are many reasons to feel a sense of shame at some of the country's history. This Fourth of July weekend I want to focus not... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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When the rallies, protests and other reactions to the George Floyd murder (well, that and similar outrages) began, I figured it was only a matter of time before someone would -- again -- raise the question of why so many... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Last week here on the blog I discussed whether it ever will be possible to have a historically accurate biography of Jesus of Nazareth. (Spoiler alert: Probably not.) So what if we back up about 1,000 years and ask something... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Since George Floyd's murder -- to say nothing of the nation's and world's response to the coronavirus pandemic -- there's been a lot of talk about the need for systemic change. In fact, I recently dealt with that matter here... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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The recent U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 decision that federal civil rights laws protects LGBTQ+ employees from being fired for their sexual orientation was, of course, welcome. But why would anyone still want to discriminate against gays and lesbians? And why... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Is religion mostly about what we think, feel, believe and search for today or is it more about how what happened years -- indeed, centuries -- ago continues to shape and affect us today? That question is too broad for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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If we hope that meaningful societal change can come out of the civil unrest displaying righteous anger after the murder of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer, we're going to have to do several things. At the top... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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One of the big political trend stories in the last 40 years or so has been the way Christians -- particularly those who identify as white and evangelical -- have become pretty reliable Republican voters. Many reasons for this have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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If and when we get on the other side of this pandemic and this civil unrest triggered by the murder of a black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis, we will need to stop and create both space... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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My state, Missouri, seems to have a weird fascination with death. Over the Memorial Day holiday, for instance, all kinds of reckless people gathered at the Lake of the Ozarks to party in such a risky way in the midst... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Has your house of worship, if you have one, reopened this weekend for in-person services? That, after all, is what President Trump seems to want all congregations to do. The congregation of which I'm a member isn't reopening yet. Our... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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In some ways the national debate about abortion, which began even before the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision, has been a model for the rabidly uncivil discourse that now infects our politics and our culture in general. A... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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The coronavirus did not cause all the problems in society that we've been experiencing during the time since this pandemic exploded on us, but it certainly did reveal them in case someone hadn't noticed them before. So as faith communities... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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When does our fascination with religious history slip over into idolatry of historical objects? That's one of the many questions that this Atlantic article about fraud in the world of religious artifacts raises. Before we get into some of the... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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In this Flatland column that posted last Sunday, I told the story of some members of the clergy in the Kansas City area who had been forced out of their congregations. It turns out that this is more common than... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Sometimes -- not often, but now and then -- I will reread a book I've read already. Maybe the best example is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which I've probably read 10 times. Maybe more. Nice work, Mark Twain. It's... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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As I was hop-scotching around the internet the other day, I found this 2015 column from Salon called, immodestly enough, "The 12 worst ideas religion has unleashed on the world." The author, Valerie Tarico, comes up with some notions that... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Because it's Harry Truman's birthday today (1884-1972), I thought we'd take a little break from thinking about the coronavirus pandemic and talk a bit about HST and religion. To do that, I'm borrowing from a new book by a fellow... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Quite a few times over the years I've considered the different roles that science and religion play. What I'm about to say about their relationship is too simplistic, but, like a good bumper sticker, it has its uses: Science can... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Among the books I've been reading in this time of virus quarantine is The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (he's pictured here). I'm reading his e-version, which no doubt would surprise him. But maybe not. He was ahead of his time... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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One of the persistent mysteries about the murder of of some six million Jews in the Holocaust is what Pope Pius XII (pictured here), who occupied the throne of St. Peter from 1939 to 1958, knew about it. And what,... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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No doubt faith communities are going to look and be different once (and if) we get past this coronavirus pandemic. The question is not whether but how. I've got a few guesses: Lots more meetings, study groups and other events... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Name a national or global crisis, from wars to pandemics, and one of the results -- however short-lived -- is likely to be an upsurge in participation or reliance on religion. Remember how full houses of worship were right after... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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As you know if you've been anything like a regular reader of my words for the last several decades, I have advocated religious literacy and interfaith understanding for many reasons. One reason for such advocacy that I hadn't given a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2020 at Bill's Faith Matters blog