north carolina

I love North Carolina. I’m not a native, but I’ve been here for a while now. The midwesterner in me still thrills at the possibility of a day trip to the mountains or the beach. I regularly try to convince my friends to move here. It’s a great place, I tell them … except for the state legislature.  Last week, the legislature outdid itself in embarrassing the state in front of the rest of the country, a feat it has perfected in recent years.
March 30, 2016

(RNS) Deah Barakat took my class “Islam in the Modern World” at North Carolina State University a few years ago. He was curious about Islamic history and contemporary spiritual and political movements, and he was great in class discussions. I’ve taught thousands of students in the last 11 years here, but Deah stood out for his enthusiasm, kindness, calm demeanor, and obvious charisma. Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha were the very best of people. 
February 16, 2015

On the porch of a cottage in North Carolina, I gaze in wonder at the expanse in front of me. It's conducive to thinking and reading as well as meditating and praying.
August 25, 2014

On Monday evening, my daughter and I joined several hundred others outside the Capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were there for the latest in a series of Moral Monday rallies organized to oppose the legislature’s policies toward (among other things) social programs, education, environmental legislation, and voting rights. The statehouse is a solid 90-minute drive from our house, so it makes for a long evening on a school night.
June 5, 2014

Early this week, the same video kept popping up on my Facebook wall. It's from a press conference in Greensboro, at which North Carolina NAACP president William Barber (whom the Century profiled here) made a crucial point: "How do you feel, personally, about same-sex marriage?" is the wrong question. The right question is about equal rights under the U.S. Constitution and federal law. By midweek, my Facebook wall was overwhelmed with comments (and links) about President Obama's decision to give the right answer to the wrong question.
May 10, 2012

North Carolina voters go to the polls today, and the race that will make all the headlines doesn’t have a candidate. On the ballot is a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman as the only legal domestic union recognized by the state. I’m against the amendment--a popular view here in Greensboro. The city council passed a resolution opposing it. Light blue “Vote Against” yard signs dot the neighborhood around our church. Across the state, opinions are more varied.
May 8, 2012

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