May 30, 2013

Dispelling Mormon Myths Part 2

By Ramona Siddoway
Last month I wrote about some common myths about the Mormon church. I continue the discussion this month with Myth #3: Mormons have more than one wifeThe practice of having more than one wife – polygamy – is strictly prohibited and not endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today.

May 23, 2013

Interfaith Communities Respond To Disasters Together

By Esmeralda Valague, MA 

June is the beginning of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season but this year, we have already had several disasters including the one in Moore, Oklahoma on May 20 to remind us of how fragile our safety and security can be in an ever-changing world. Though every disaster is traumatic and causes a lot of pain and suffering, disasters also tend to bring out the best in humanity – particularly in drawing together diverse groups toward the common cause of relief and recovery. Go to any disaster scene yourself and ask people what their religion is and you will find that people are doing what needs doing and not caring about the differences.

May 12, 2013

I Became a Mother on Mother's Day

By Rabbi Laura Sheinkopf
I became a mother on a stormy Mother’s Day in the year 2000.  My labor may have been induced by an infection and accompanying fever.  And what a labor it was! The sun rose and set. Nurses came and went. By the time my son was born, I barely knew my name, let alone the day. But it was Mother’s Day, and everyone made quite a fuss about that. In my post-partum haze, I thought it was strange, if sweet, to focus on this seemingly superfluous detail. Nothing could have made me any happier or more relieved than I already was. In the hours just after my son was born, my thoughts centered on physical wellbeing, not the larger meaning of the moment.

May 10, 2013

Does Religious Freedom Allow Stereotyping?

By Saadia Faruqi
Source: Tikkun Daily 
These days, anything and everything can be uttered under the guise of free speech. We can hurt the religious sensitivities of others, call people names, stomp our foot on someone considered the son of God by billions. It’s all protected in the name of free speech. Don’t get me wrong, as an American Muslim I am indescribably thankful for the freedoms I receive in this great nation of ours. Without the First Amendment, I’d be unable to practice my religion freely, take time off for Friday prayers, invite friends over to my local mosque or even write posts such as this one in a Jewish publication. No doubt about it, freedom of speech is probably the greatest liberty and blessing we all enjoy here in the United States. But sometimes I think we misunderstand this freedom altogether. 

May 3, 2013

American Muslims are Moderate and Peaceful - Who Knew?

By Saadia Faruqi
Source: Tikkun Daily
The Pew Research Center this week revealed another extensive and newsworthy piece of research: The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society. The results of the survey, which consisted of more than 38,000 interviews of Muslims in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia in approximately 80 languages, reveals many things on many topics. Some revelations are interesting, others curious, and a few even downright alarming. As an American Muslim, though, I was mostly interested in the appendices, which discuss the attitudes of U.S. Muslims and compared them to similar themes among Muslims of other countries. Here’s my take: