Religion & Other Curiosities
Dreams of Home
An Austrian novelist once wrote “Home is where one was a child.” Stories from around the world illustrate how immigration is a very difficult moral issue for liberal democracies today.
Some stories of interest—”and other curiosities”—from around the web.
A sermon preached on the eve of Yom Kippur by a Conservative rabbi in Seattle makes for some startling reading.
Rome, Canterbury and Moscow
As Pope Francis appears to be tacitly approving certain liberalizations in the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury canceled the upcoming Lambeth Conference due to strong opposition from African clergy to the Anglican Church’s developing attitudes on gay clergy and bishops, same-sex couples, and generally tolerant attitudes toward homosexuality. Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church seeks to “return Europe to its true self”.
In the Matter of Incest
In mid-September, the German Ethics Council recommended that sexual relations between consenting adult siblings be decriminalized. It is worth noting how all arguments presented in the Council’s carefully worded document are of a completely secular nature.
“Speaking Truth to Power” Redux
A group of progressive Methodists, accompanied by similar-minded other Protestants and Catholics, signed an “Open Letter to President Obama” earlier this summer warning against intervention in the Middle East, even as congress and public opinion have been moved toward action. Are they “speaking truth to power”, or just talking to themselves?
A New Monasticism
What could monastic life today look like? Two attempts at reimagining how it could thrive in the twenty-first century.
There is ample Biblical warrant for noisy worship. And indeed, noisemaking is a feature of many different religious traditions.
Genocidal Murders and Ordinary Thuggery
There is no moral equivalence between the Islamic State and Putin’s Russia—the first is a genocidal totalitarianism while the second is brutally authoritarian, but not genocidal. But both want to carve out new or enlarged states across internationally recognized borders, both threaten international stability, and both ultimately legitimate themselves in religious terms.