Religious Diversity News

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December Dilemma: Advice for interfaith families celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah

Seattle’s Jennifer Stock grew up celebrating Christmas.

“Christmas for me was fun, it was important, there were lots of rituals involved.”

But when she married a Jewish man 30 years ago, holidays got complicated.

“Growing up and ever since, Christmas was the very worst time of the year,” said her husband, Sidney Stock.

Sidney was born in 1935, in the midst of the Hitler regime, and when he was four years old his father told him to keep his Judaism a secret. He says the strong Christmas presence in America has always made him feel isolated and lonely.

Source: December Dilemma: Advice for interfaith families celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah

Christianity Today Calls for Trump’s Removal

Evangelicals just received an ultimatum: Abandon President Donald Trump, or betray your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Christianity Today—the magazine founded by the famous preacher Billy Graham, and the longtime forum for mainstream evangelical thought—has published an editorial calling for Trump to be removed from the White House. The editor in chief, Mark Galli, acknowledged that “the typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square.” But the facts are “unambiguous,” Galli wrote. “The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Source: Christianity Today Calls for Trump’s Removal – The Atlantic

The Critical Angle: Is ‘Star Wars’ really about Taoism?

I was raised in a hippy household. We started our meals with a reading from the Tao Te Ching, the founding text of Taoism. I also had the more conventional experience of growing up obsessed with Star Wars. I loved the original film trilogy, and though I watched Return of the Jedi until the VHS tape broke, it’s the scenes with Yoda in Empire Strikes Back that ultimately resonated with me the most.

Yoda was the first experience I ever had with a taoist sage. He managed both the irreverence and wisdom that goes with living in harmony with the Tao. As an adult, I’ve sadly realized that the Jedi are pretty terrible, primarily because they really don’t understand the philosophy they’re aping. Here’s what Star Wars gets wrong about Taoism and some suggestions to improve the Jedi, and by extension the Star Wars universe. Disney, I hope you’re taking notes.

Source: The Critical Angle: Is ‘Star Wars’ really about Taoism? | AIPT

Is Judaism an ethnicity? A race? A nationality? Trump signs an order and provokes an identity crisis.

“People keep coming into my office asking to talk about it,” Jewish educator Jordyn Barry said as she stood in a Barnes & Noble at Tysons Corner Center wearing a menorah on her sweater and a light-up Hanukkah hat.

They want to discuss a question that’s both new and as old as Abraham: What is Judaism anyway?

It’s a religion, yes — but then again, many who identify as Jews aren’t religious. It’s passed down from parents to children and bears recognizable genetic characteristics — but then again, Jews come in all colors and racial backgrounds.

Source: Is Judaism an ethnicity? A race? A nationality? Trump signs an order and provokes an identity crisis. – The Washington Post

Woman Forced To Remove Hijab In Front Of Male Jailers Settles Lawsuit For $120,000

A Muslim woman who says she was forced to remove her hijab in front of male jailers while taking a booking photo has received a $120,000 settlement from a Minnesota county, her attorneys said.

Aida Shyef Al-Kadi said Tuesday that she pursued a federal lawsuit against Ramsey County to ensure that no other Muslim woman in her area would be forced to violate their religious beliefs if they ended up in jail.

Source: Woman Forced To Remove Hijab In Front Of Male Jailers Settles Lawsuit For $120,000 | HuffPost

Faith-based Groups Spearhead Community Solar Projects

Minnesota winters are long, brutal and gray. Minneapolis resident Keith Dent has endured 38 of them. But over the last several years, he’s experienced what he calls a “reintroduction to the sun.”

In 2017, Dent helped install, and later subscribed to a massive community solar garden mounted atop Shiloh Temple — a majority black church in north Minneapolis. Today, the 630-panel array provides Shiloh itself, the nearby Masjid An-Nur Mosque and 29 local households with green energy.

Source: Faith-based Groups Spearhead Community Solar Projects : NPR

How a mom blogger celebrates Diwali with her daughter

Nisha Vedi Pawar is a mom and blogger based in New Jersey who uses her platform to talk about her Indian heritage.

Pawar started her blog Love Laugh Mirch in 2011 to document her cooking projects.

The site has evolved since she became a mom six years ago, and Pawar often shares her Indian culture with her followers, spotlighting how her family integrates their Hindu religion into their everyday lives.

Source: How a mom blogger celebrates Diwali with her daughter – Insider

How long is the sermon? Study ranks Christian churches

How long should a sermon be?

The major branches of Christianity in the U.S. have sharply different traditions, with sermons at historically black Protestant churches lasting — on average – nearly four times as long as Roman Catholic sermons.

That’s among the findings of an analysis by the Pew Research Center — billed as the first of its kind — of 49,719 sermons delivered in April and May that were shared online by 6,431 churches. Pew described its research as “the most exhaustive attempt to date to catalogue and analyze American religious sermons.”

Source: How long is the sermon? Study ranks Christian churches – The Washington Post

As Americans become less religious, the role of chaplains may grow

The Rev. Donna Mote regularly accompanies military personnel escorting the caskets of fallen service members through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where she serves as a chaplain at the busiest airport in the world.

Mote is the first person to greet the escorts once they step off the plane. She stands shoulder to shoulder with them while Delta Honor Guard members march with flags of the five military branches. She stays with them through their layover at the airport. She’s there for support. In many cases, the escorts are grieving because they knew the deceased.

Source: As Americans become less religious, the role of chaplains may grow – SpokaneFāVS

House Speaker Pelosi rebukes reporter: ‘Don’t mess with me’

Finger pointing and voice hoarse, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday delivered a broadside to a reporter that might well apply to all of impeachment-era Washington: “Don’t mess with me.”

It was a warning scarcely needed among the official set, least of all by President Donald Trump as he fights Pelosi and the Democrats in their drive to impeach him. Only a few hours earlier, Pelosi had instructed the Judiciary Committee to write articles of impeachment — formal charges — against Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden and resisting Congress’ probe.

Source: House Speaker Pelosi rebukes reporter: ‘Don’t mess with me’ | National Catholic Reporter