Tuesday, October 21, 2014         

On Faith

NEW YORK » A new survey of U.S. Jews has confirmed some of the community's worst fears: One in 5 American Jews say they have no religion, and their ranks appear to be growing.

MAR GIRGIS MONASTERY, Egypt >> There was no mention of churches torched or Christians killed, but the prayer neatly written on a tiny piece of paper and placed atop an icon of St. George in the chapel of a desert monastery left no doubt about the growing fear and despair of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.

Yes, a victory for Mitt Romney on Tuesday would have been the ultimate sign that Americans accept Mormons — that a tradition until recently considered a cult throughout the evangelical world, unable to shake its association with long-discarded polygamous ways, has come to seem pretty normal.

HOUSTON » For three straight weeks, high school football players in a small Southeast Texas town took the field by bolting through large red-and-white banners that hollered the praises of Jesus Christ.

ST. LOUIS » American nuns described as dissenters in a Vatican report that ordered an overhaul of their group said Friday they will talk with church leaders about potential changes but will not compromise on the sisters' mission.

There are generally two modes of salvation in the major world religions: the way of works, salvation through one's own efforts; or by grace, salvation given by a god or divine reality. Differences lie in the conception of divine reality affecting the way of works or grace.

Modern revelation offers us a much more sensible, rational and fair judgment -- if it can be called a "judgment" -- one consistent with a loving and just God, and not dependent on luck.

One of my good friends sent me a video clip recently that was titled "Your Religion Is Not Important." Even though most of my ministry is within Honolulu's interfaith community, I found the statement troubling.

Having just returned to Honolulu from a 4 1/2 -month sabbatical - Maryknoll's word for that is renewal - I have a new appreciation of the word and the concept of the Sabbath.

What is all the fuss about the word "social" when it is applied to a political system or some policy, some social policy?

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