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By Rabbi Mark S. Miller | March 30, 2012
I am pleased to respond to a special request from the features editor for a column timed with the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season. I want to begin with a favorite story about my beloved Chicago Cubs: A 7-year-old Chicago boy challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy had been beaten by his parents, and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt. The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents, and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. And after two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Chicago Cubs, who the boy firmly believed were not capable of beating anyone.
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By Mark OConnell | February 25, 2012
After reading the Feb. 19 commentaries in the Daily Pilot titled "Obama wages war against Catholic Church" and "Readers should give Muslim column a chance," I am bewildered by the current lack of factual honesty in our public discourse. The first piece claims President Obama is waging a war against the Catholic Church in his recent attempt to require church-based health-care providers and employers to not force their religious, non-contraceptive policy on all their members and employees but allow them access to contraception benefits as each person sees fit. The Republican right wing is using this subterfuge to advance their overall agenda to defeat Obama in the next election.
NEWS
August 13, 2010
According to a news report this week on National Public Radio, many inhabitants of the world's second most populous country, India, who are afflicted with depression, psychosis and other mental health problems rely on faith healers and doctors at their local temples, instead of traditional medicine, to treat their problems. NPR reported that only 37 mental health institutions operate in that country of 1.2 billion people, where there is only one psychiatrist per 400,000 people. In your view, can religion be a substitute for medicine in the treatment of mental health problems, or would you advocate medicine over religion, or a combination of the two?
NEWS
September 3, 2010
The American public's questions and doubts about President Barack Obama's religion continue to dog him nearly two years after his election. For example, a new poll by the Pew Research Center shows that nearly 1 in 5 Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim, although in fact he is a Christian. According to the Pew survey, the percentage of Americans thinking that he is a Muslim increased from 12% to 18% between March 2008 and August 2010, while the percentage of those thinking that he is a Christian dropped from 47% to 34% during that period.
NEWS
By Billy Graham | December 20, 2013
Q: A family in our apartment complex comes from a country that isn't Christian. Do you think they'd be offended if we asked them for Christmas dinner? We don't know them very well, but I can tell they're kind of lonely. — Mrs. E.N. A: I seriously doubt if they would be offended. In fact, they might be honored to be invited into an American home. The Bible says, "Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" (Romans 12:13). At the same time, ask God to help you to be sensitive to them and their customs.
NEWS
By: | August 27, 2005
o7An appeals court recently ruled on a case involving a prison inmate attempting to hold a study group on atheism and humanism. The court ruled that the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin violated James Kaufman's 1st Amendment rights when it refused to allow the group to meet. In the opinion, a judge cited the U.S. Supreme Court's recognition of atheism as being equivalent to a "religion," even though the dictionary defines it as "disbelief or denial in the existence of God or gods."
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman | January 17, 2014
Q: I'm reading and studying the necessity of rising above dualistic thought, which separates, and embracing a much more holistic approach, which seeks reconciliation and unification. After all, who gave us all the scientific knowledge we now possess? I believe we need a new paradigm if we are to help move civilization toward true peace for all of humanity. Eben Alexander's book, "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife," for example, is a stunning validation from a scientific perspective of all we Christians believe and hope for in life after life.
NEWS
By Daniel Tedford | June 20, 2008
A teacher at OCC for 39 years, Theodore “Ted” Wall gave students the gift of perspective when it came to religion as the world religions teacher and religious studies department chairman. He died Saturday, June 14 of cancer of the bone marrow. He was 86. Formerly a minister in the Methodist church for about 20 years, Wall came to OCC in 1969 to teach religion. Over the years, he developed a style that pushed students to learn about various religions from different angles.
NEWS
September 17, 2010
How could the Daily Pilot do a better job of covering religion and spirituality in the Newport-Mesa area? What are some of the local issues or stories about your church, synagogue, mosque or temple that need to be told? Faith communities contribute mightily to life in our area. The Daily Pilot might ask what we do with: hunger and homelessness, hospitals, prisons, schools (public and private), and governmental agencies; welcoming children and families as well as oldsters like me; music in worship; evangelism and proselytizing; education in our faith and heritage and that of others unlike ourselves; communicating and advertising; and balancing budgets with programs in these financially challenging times.
FEATURES
October 22, 2005
In touting John Roberts as a Supreme Court Justice -- and ultimately Chief Justice -- President Bush said Roberts' religious views should not be used as an issue in his confirmation. However, when Bush promoted Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers last week, he said Miers' evangelical background was a factor in his decision to nominate her. Is it incongruous for Bush to promote the religious views of Miers, while asking the Senate not to consider Roberts' views? Or are they two separate issues?
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By Rabbi Marc Gellman | January 17, 2014
Q: I'm reading and studying the necessity of rising above dualistic thought, which separates, and embracing a much more holistic approach, which seeks reconciliation and unification. After all, who gave us all the scientific knowledge we now possess? I believe we need a new paradigm if we are to help move civilization toward true peace for all of humanity. Eben Alexander's book, "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife," for example, is a stunning validation from a scientific perspective of all we Christians believe and hope for in life after life.
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By Billy Graham | December 20, 2013
Q: A family in our apartment complex comes from a country that isn't Christian. Do you think they'd be offended if we asked them for Christmas dinner? We don't know them very well, but I can tell they're kind of lonely. — Mrs. E.N. A: I seriously doubt if they would be offended. In fact, they might be honored to be invited into an American home. The Bible says, "Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" (Romans 12:13). At the same time, ask God to help you to be sensitive to them and their customs.
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman | August 9, 2013
Q: What is your view on politics and the church? Our church held a special service recently to rally and support church members planning to attend a political protest at our state legislature. They will protest new or proposed laws they view as hurting the poor. While I am all in favor of churches performing activities that serve the poor directly, such as providing food, shelter and clothing, I'm uncomfortable with this level of involvement in political activities, even if it serves a good cause.
NEWS
By Rabbi Marc Gellman | July 5, 2013
This July 4, I thought of three important events in our history. The first occurred 237 years ago, the second 150 years ago, and the third just a few days ago. These three events explain what America means to me now. An edited version of Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence was published 237 years ago with these words in the second paragraph: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they...
NEWS
By Mona Shadia | September 5, 2012
Do you know the feeling when you have a parent or relative that you keep at a distance for one reason or another, but then they become severely ill, and you can't help but forget all your differences and stand beside them? And through it all, you rediscover their true nature and you laugh at, even regret, what kept you apart? I do. That parent I kept at a far distance was my religion, Islam. And then 9/11 happened. I had only been in the United States for three years that month, and although I still identified as a Muslim, it's fair to say that it was my most distant - and troubled - time with my religion.
SPORTS
By Rabbi Mark S. Miller | March 30, 2012
I am pleased to respond to a special request from the features editor for a column timed with the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season. I want to begin with a favorite story about my beloved Chicago Cubs: A 7-year-old Chicago boy challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy had been beaten by his parents, and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt. The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents, and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. And after two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Chicago Cubs, who the boy firmly believed were not capable of beating anyone.
NEWS
By Mark OConnell | February 25, 2012
After reading the Feb. 19 commentaries in the Daily Pilot titled "Obama wages war against Catholic Church" and "Readers should give Muslim column a chance," I am bewildered by the current lack of factual honesty in our public discourse. The first piece claims President Obama is waging a war against the Catholic Church in his recent attempt to require church-based health-care providers and employers to not force their religious, non-contraceptive policy on all their members and employees but allow them access to contraception benefits as each person sees fit. The Republican right wing is using this subterfuge to advance their overall agenda to defeat Obama in the next election.
NEWS
By Tom L. Thorkelson | February 3, 2012
In my work in the interfaith community over nearly 30 years, whenever the subject of religion has come up, I've often heard this comment: "Well, I am not religious, but I am spiritual. " My immediate reaction was to wonder what the speaker meant by that. Was he or she raised in a religious environment but still considered themselves a "good person" after having rejected the teachings of their family's faith? Was that person rejecting "organized religion" generally? Did he or she see some who claimed to be religious as being hypocritical?
NEWS
January 25, 2011
As members of the Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council Board of Directors, we are appalled at the implied violence found in the graffiti attack on St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Irvine on Jan. 11. A graffiti attack and the implied violence on one religion is an attack on all religions. The freedom of religion, the right to worship or not worship, is a right of all Americans, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. We affirm our continued support of our Catholic brothers and sisters in Orange County in the Newport-Mesa-Irvine congregations and are especially sorry that such an event took place right here within our three-city community.
NEWS
By Benjamin J. Hubbard | December 11, 2010
Hearing the word "respect," one might be reminded of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who never got any. But, in the real world, callous lack of respect contributes powerfully to inter-ethnic and inter-religious violence and death. I recently received two e-mails that demonstrated how disrespect poisons relations between religions. An extremist Israeli rabbi described non-Jews as "donkeys" whose purpose is to serve Jews. A radical Islamic cleric in Syria characterized Jews as "pigs and monkeys.
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