A rabbi noted recently that when Jews and Christians view Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ, they tend to see two different stories—and neither seems to appreciate or understand the reactions of the other. A perceptive observer of Christianity, the rabbi pointed out that Christians don’t all see the same story either.
Some conservative strategists accept the idea of gay civil unions
Apr 06, 2004
While churches continue to debate their understanding of homosexuality, the political debate on gay partnerships has moved dramatically toward legal acceptance. Consider the movement of the past four years. In 2000, when Vermont enacted a “civil unions” law giving homosexual couples the rights and benefits of marriage, the move seemed at the extreme edge of political feasibility.
Does the public have a reason to evaluate a candidate's spouse?
Mar 23, 2004
As John Kerry nailed down his grip on the Democratic nomination for president, Americans craned their necks for a look at his wife. Teresa Heinz Kerry, who by a previous marriage came into part of the Heinz Company fortune, was a very visible presence at each stop in the marathon of primary contests.
Is the extent of Jesus' physical suffering theologically significant?
Mar 09, 2004
The Passion of Jesus, more than other parts of the gospel story, cries out for a theological commentary. While the uninitiated can easily appreciate scenes of Jesus’ ministry, in which he appears as a compassionate healer and teacher, they will be less clear about what to make of a gruesome execution.
Religious freedom does not demand a privatized faith
Feb 24, 2004
Christians in the U.S. often worry about the nation’s “secularism” and the attendant privatizing of religion. While it’s true that the U.S. is not officially religious, and there are many forces that lead people to treat faith as merely a private matter, the country’s political tradition and constitutional framework do not demand such a result.
The food movement has called attention to the abuse of animals that are raised and killed on factory farms. But even farmers who raise animals in humane ways, in small-scale operations, intend for the animals to be slaughtered. Bob Comis, a professional pig farmer, asks how can he ethically raise pigs knowing that his ultimate aim is to kill and market them for consumption. “As a pig farmer, I lead an unethical life,” Comis confesses. “I am a slaveholder and a murderer” (American Scholar, Spring).