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Outrageous Conception

Richard Mourdock crashed his dogma into the wall of logic. He totaled his belief system with one elegantly absurd utterance. Now would be a good time for him to get a new religion, and a new political philosophy to go with it.

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Faces of Fasting

Simone Weil was a Jewish philosopher from France who was hungry for God, and found God through Christianity – even though she never became a Christian…For her, being hungry for God was the way to have God. Yearning for God was her experience of God.

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The Varieties of God

Musings by Jim Burklo -

I offer here a categorization and listing of ways that people think about God. I offer this list in order to stimulate my own thinking, and hopefully yours, about the tremendous variety of ways that people have tried to define or begin to comprehend Ultimate Reality.

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The Heart of Freedom

For Whitehead and Hartshorne, the indeterminacy of subatomic events suggests that freedom, and the creativity that flows from it, are ubiquitous in the universe. Even electrons make choices. According to process thought, we’re so free that even God can’t know the future, since all entities have the God-given ability to behave unpredictably.

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Soulful Citizenship

Isaiah, the prophet, who said “… seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) This passage is a key to the whole scripture; It’s what led Jesus to say three times to his disciple Peter, after Jesus’ resurrection: if you love me, feed my sheep. All my sheep.

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Another Reason for Women in Church Leadership

It does mean that each gender should recognize that their opposite may have a naturally different way of perceiving and weighing things and not label it as either inferior or superior but as something to be understood and learned from. This, I believe, provides one of many good reasons for society and its institutions, including religions, to actively seek ways to include women at all levels of leadership and decision-making.

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Arbitrarily Close to God

I like to think that my job at our Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California is to facilitate the experience of goosebumps, when students discover how all things fit together into the Holy Whole. Sometimes, of course, religion itself gets in the way of this experience. Denial of science and common sense by dogmatic theology is a sure way to dull the kind of glow that illuminated Nicolas of Cusa’s face in 1464, and prevent the kind of tingle that went up my back in calculus class in 1975. Happily, within religion there are cures to be found for religion’s diseases.

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Common Sense

I think the problem is exactly the opposite of the one Romney suggests. Americans aren’t as dependent on their government as they should be. If Tom Paine’s plan had prevailed in 1797, if the principle of universal income had become integral to the culture of this country from its founding, a whole range of problems we suffer in America today would not

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A God of Sensations

But there is another way I believe God and spirit may be experienced: kinesthetically. It is primal and pre-rational, our first encounter with something beyond ourselves. It begins in our mother’s womb, immersed in embryonic fluids, nourished and protected by our mother’s flesh. We feel the pulsing of her heart. On a men’s retreat, I heard the Franciscan Richard Rohr speculate that men’s love of drumming may come from that early memory of our mother’s heartbeat.

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What Does Rabbi Gamaliel have To Do with New Testament Interpretation?

So in a round-about way, Gamaliel, as quoted by Luke, is giving us a powerful clue about what kind of literature the Gospels are — a unique mix of a few core historical events with lots of theological overlay, all blended with a good dose of the kinds of stories of miraculous signs that we know were common and sometimes persuasive in that day. And not surprisingly…. They still are today!

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Dear Medical Student…

I hope it will be a long time from now; I am grateful to be occupying this body today. But when you see this body lying before you in your gross anatomy lab, don’t call it mine. It will be for you, and for all the patients you will serve in your career as a doctor. Cut this body open with deep reverence, not for me, but for the living people whose bodies you will work to heal. My experience of eternal life during the process of my death will transcend this body completely.

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“Blessed Are the Job-Creators…”

More enervated than inspired by this year’s campaign season, I thought of writing a parody of Jesus’ Beatitudes (you know, “Blessed are the job creators…”) or maybe collect Jesus’ sayings about the way things are and the way things should be and place them in contemporary U.S. contexts (such as the parable of the laborers in the vineyard whose time cards differed but whose pay was the same)…

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Ayn Rand Was Consistent

Individualism vs Collectivism

I would say that belief in either God or spirituality goes hand in hand with collectivism. Spirituality is about “the whole enchilada.”

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Voting With Enthusiasm

“….seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) Here’s how I translate this biblical urging into the way I will vote in November: 1. The passage of the Affordable Health Care …

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Who Is God and How Do We Know?

God is persuasive love, containing but somehow still beyond all that we can grasp, and within whom “we live and move and have our being.”

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Dark Knights — How Spiritual Communities Could Help

The recent horrible shooting incident at a premier showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado has focused attention, once again, on some aspects of what has gone wrong when a person takes such a violent and antisocial turn.

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Messiah’s Resurrection and Messianic Jewish Belief

I’ve titled this as about the Resurrection, which is just one part of a complex of beliefs… but let’s return and end there… What similarities or differences do you see in Paul’s Resurrection statements and beliefs and those of the early Jerusalem Jesus-followers?

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Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch’s Buddhist Spirituality Permeated His Life And Music

UPDATE: News outlets have confirmed that Yauch’s death was from cancer. Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys member who went by the stage name MCA, had long practiced Tibetan Buddhism before his death, which was announced Friday in several …

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