• Sister Joan Chittester: “When you retire, for the first time (as an adult) you will not take your identity from your accomplishments but from God’s love for you. I try to remember that (not always successfully) […]

  • Does God like the St. Louis Cardinals? Well, there’s a lot to like, even for God! A team that develops its own players, instead of over-paying for developed stars. A team that emphasizes good relations with its […]

  • Looking at the merchants,Thanksgiving has not so much been commercialized as skipped. Many stores have immediately replaced their Halloween items with Christmas wares. However many, if not most families seem to be […]

  • Some years ago a comic strip portrayed an eager parent using a funnel to convey classical music to an infant still within the womb. A little exaggerated, but we all know that learning begins in the womb and needs […]

  • Perhaps suicide is the cuckoo in the coal mine. It tells us that the air we are breathing has become poisonous. What has created the toxins? (1) Certainly the economic stress under which many people live. But also […]

  • During Advent, we read the text from Isaiah 2: “All nations will flock to Jerusalem because there they find the living word of God.” The upshot of hearing God’s word? “They shall beat their swords into plowshares…no more will they train for war.” I tend to agree with Sister Troillett when I hear the amounts [...]

  • Which Memphis-area house of worship do you find most beautiful, spiritual, sacred? And why? A few years ago I was preparing (as a visiting priest) for a wedding rehearsal at the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The fraternity and sorority friends of the bride and groom had arrived by chartered bus and entered the church [...]

  • If you were addressing the nation on Wednesday, Nov. 7, the DAY AFTER the election, what would you say? What advice would you offer to your fellow Americans about the next four years? In leading some workshops on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship I have tried to emphasize that the hard work begins on November 7th. Regardless [...]

  • Memphis is the second most generous city in the country, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. According to the publication: “Religion plays a major role in how much money Americans give to charity. The parts of the country that tend to be more religious are also more generous.” Why is this true? [...]

  • What are you views of the food-stamp program and the proposed cuts to it? A budget is a theological document. For Christians, an overarching truth must always be this: a society is judged by its treatment of its most vulnerable members. While we seem to have unlimited funds for defense, and untold millions for large banks [...]

  • What is your reaction to the Freedom from Religion Foundation suing the Memphis City Council? I have always felt it a privilege to pray with City Council members before their meeting, as well as grateful for a nation in which we could pray publicly in such a setting. I realize that there are other faiths (than [...]

  • Noted scientist and best-selling novelist Alan Lightman, a Memphis native, asks what are the boundaries between science and religion, the two greatest forces that have shaped human civilization. What are the different kinds of knowledge in science and in religion? And how do we come by those different kinds of knowledge? Members of the Faith in [...]

  • According to the 2010 Census, of the 168,000 children living in Memphis, nearly 67,000 — about 4 in 10 — are living in a family with a female householder and NO FATHER PRESENT. Later this month, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton will host the Second Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads. (Wharton is writing a [...]

  • Lack of good jobs in Memphis is more than an economic problem, says Dr. Chris Scruggs of Advent Presbyterian Church. “It’s also a spiritual problem. If we do not create an environment in which people can find good jobs, we deprive our children of the opportunity to use their unique God-given talents, gifts and abilities. We [...]

  • Why do we pray in public? When and where is public prayer inappropriate? Are there too many restrictions on public prayer? Too few? Public praying was much simpler when I grew up in Knoxville in the 1940’s. There were no public atheists and most people seemed to be Christians. Today such prayer is much more complex. [...]

  • Tell us about The Teacher Who Changed My Life – and why. I had great teachers in grade and high school, but the most exciting teacher of my life was Rev. Ray Brown. Fr. Brown was a New Testament scholar, renowned for his commentaries on the Gospel according to John and for his seminal works on [...]

  • We should think about the death penalty in the larger context of the whole criminal justice system. Our present system is based on punishing those who commit crimes. I would hope, in a faith-filled state, that we would concentrate on rehabilitation. I am supportive of the approach of restorative justice, in which the offender is [...]

  • Earle Fisher will note in a guest column this Saturday, “One of the most prevalent and plausible critiques of the faith community is that when it comes to matters of sexual abuse and domestic violence, the church practices ‘sacred silence.’ ” Do you agree? What can we do to provide a safe place for dialogue regarding [...]

  • Should grieving be considered a psychiatric disorder? How do you define grief? How do you counsel or minister to those who are grieving? Can/should grief be medicated? The Book of Psalms is filled with cries of pain and anguish. Were the psalmists depressed? Should they have received appropriate drugs? Or did they need to know that [...]

  • Should our suburbs form their own school systems? How might this help or hurt the community at large? I consider the complex of decisions (by the Merger Transition Commission, the Unified School Board, the suburban municipalities) among the most important decisions our county will make in this decade. People of faith are praying that the Holy [...]

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