At a solemn ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, to elevate 17 new cardinals, Pope Francis, on Nov. 19, delivered a ringing plea to the world, and his own Catholic Church, to reject “the virus of polarization and animosity," and the growing temptation to “demonize” those who are different.
The pontiff’s address came across as a powerful, gospel-based indictment of the populist and nationalist anger roiling countries around the world, displayed most recently by the stunning election of Donald Trump as president of the U.S.
“This is the first I know of an evangelical seminary with a free-standing requirement for graduation to participate in this kind of discrete training. There are other seminaries where sexual boundary, sexual abuse issues are part of another course or class. But it would not be a free-standing event, as Dallas is doing.”
President Obama delivered a lengthy address in Dallas in honor of the five police officers who died in the shooting that occurred in the city last week.
He was joined onstage at the memorial service by President George W. Bush, a resident of Dallas.
“Today the nation grieves,” Bush said, in his relatively short and mostly apolitical speech. “But those of us who love Dallas and call it home have had five deaths in the family.”
When African-Americans are featured in the news, especially in times of crisis and during instances of police or anti-black violence, media coverage is often laced with weak language, problematic imagery, insensitive scrutiny, and inappropriate characterizations.
President Obama strove to convey a message of solace and unity in the wake of an extraordinary week that rubbed raw issues of police safety and racial bias in policing, saying he believes Americans will come together to find common ground.
“As painful as the week has been, I fully believe that America is not as divided as people have suggested,” he said. People of all races and backgrounds are outraged by the killing of police officers in Dallas — even those protesting the police, he said. And the same people are angered by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Dallas clergy, reeling from the shootings of police in their city and the recent shootings of black men by police elsewhere, say they will start responding with prayer and then move to advocating for concrete societal changes in the aftermath of the tragedies.
“Faith leaders now have a responsibility to say we’re going to pray with our feet until real structural change happens in this country,” said the Rev. Frederick Haynes, pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.
A half-dozen Republican presidential candidates hit all the hot buttons Oct. 18 while speaking to an influential audience: Religious conservatives, the kinds of voters who could decide many GOP primaries next year.
“It’s time for us to bring God back to our country,” retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told a campaign forum at Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas.
From opposition to abortion and gay marriage, to support for Israel and the fight against the Islamic State, Carson and other Republican candidates — Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee — drew repeated ovations at the event co-sponsored by the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
So here’s my question: Is it possible to fully embrace my religious tradition, to be able to articulate eloquently what is distinctive, and true, and holy, and meaningful, and beautiful and life-giving, and even genius about it without denigrating or playing off of another one? Does my tradition have to be superior to another in order to be true, holy, meaningful, etc.? Does it have to be the only one that conveys what is true, holy, meaningful, etc.? Do we have to compete or can we cooperate?
I’m a Christian. Not always a well-behaved or particularly perspicacious one, but a Christian all the same. I have intentionally been Christian for a long time now. Did I choose this tradition? Yes. Did I canvass all available religions before I chose, picking Christianity as the clearly superior one to all others? No. I am a mere mortal with limited time on this earth, so I have not explored all of the world’s religions, made a spread sheet to compare them like a Consumer Reports product search, and then chosen the “Best Buy.” Christianity rings true to my experience (except where it doesn’t) and gives me language to articulate what I’m experiencing and what I’m hoping for at any given moment. If you ask me, I can most certainly tell you what is distinctive, true, holy, meaningful, beautiful, life-giving, and even genius about it. You’ll need to set aside some time.
On this date 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was assasinated while in Dallas on a campaign tour. As the nation remembers this event, we reflect on President Kennedy's life and death.
Walter Cronkite, visibly emotional, announced the president's death on a CBS News bulletin.
Facing crowded pews and heavy hearts, Dallas clergy took to the pulpits on Nov. 24, 1963 to try to make sense of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy just two days before.
“The ministers saw the assassination as an unwelcome opportunity for some serious, city-wide soul-searching,” said Tom Stone, an English professor at Southern Methodist University, who has studied the sermons delivered that day.
“Though Dallas could not be reasonably blamed for the killing, it needed to face up to its tolerance of extremism and its narrow, self-centered values,” Stone said.
As they finished their messages, some, including the Rev. William H. Dickinson of Highland Park Methodist Church and the Rev. William A. Holmes of Northaven Methodist Church, were handed notes: assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had just been gunned down by Jack Ruby.