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There is no such thing as Islam

The refusal to use the term “Muslim extremist” or “Islamic terrorism,” is stupid, and the insistence that extremism and terror are intrinsic to Islam is no less so. To claim, for example, that jihadism is a distortion of Islam is to assume there is an “Islam” to distort. There isn’t. There’s no such thing as […]

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Beware the God of Your Understanding

Later today I am to give the first of two keynote addresses at the annual Haymarket Center gathering of mental health and addiction counselors at Elmhurst College. I am to speak on the topic of “The God of Your Understanding,” a completely apolitical presentation on the radical theological openness at the heart of 12 Step […]

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Is a Moral Revolution Possible?

During his May 27th speech at Hiroshima President Obama said, “The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well.” I agree, but I doubt such a revolution is possible. Humans are intrinsically violent, tribal, and afraid. These traits are probably key to our survival as a species, […]

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Reimagining Judaism

[I delivered this talk on April 30th at United Congregational Church Awakening Conference in Holyoke, MA] The theme of this gathering is “re-imagining faith.” Tomorrow I plan to explore the deeper meaning of faith itself, faith beyond religion, faith as the innate human capacity to awaken to, in, and as Ultimate Reality. But tonight I want […]

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Four More Questions for your Passover Seder

Ever wonder why our Passover story opens with the claim that a new Pharaoh arose in Egypt “who knew not (i.e. felt no loyalty toward) Joseph” ( Exodus 1:8)? Read your Bible: To save the Egyptian people from starvation during the predicted seven years of famine, Joseph collects all the surplus grain and seed harvested […]

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What Jewish Group Am I In?

In an April 18th editorial in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz * Peter Beinart wrote that with regard to Israel American Jewish Millennials fall into four groups: The assimilated who have little if any interest in Israel because they have little if any interest in Judaism; The Jewishly Orthodox and politically Republican who, as long as […]

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Trump’s Truth on Abortion

In last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan attacked Donald Trump’s statement that if abortion is banned a woman who has one should be punished. Ms. Noonan wrote that a woman who receives an illegal abortion is “operating within an emotional and spiritual context of fear, disappointment, confusion, and sadness,” and therefore should not be […]

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