• Which Memphis-area house of worship do you find most beautiful, spiritual, sacred? And why? I have a special regard for St. Mary’s Episcopal on Poplar, as the Rhodes Singers’ Christmas performances in that space the past couple of years have touched transcendence. And I have a sense of reverence about St. John’s Orthodox near my house [...]

  • What are your views on the fact that Protestants are no longer the majority religion in the U.S.? Now this is America. An African-American, two Catholics, and a Mormon — three of the most despised and marginalized communities in American history — are filling out both presidential tickets. If you’ll pardon the hyperbole, our current circumstances [...]

  • What is your favorite verse of holy scripture and why? I expect most On Faith contributors to include some disclaimer concerning the impossibility of choosing a single, favorite verse of holy scripture. I’ll sign onto this qualification by noting that I really like Bhagavad Gita 3:35, the entire book of Job, and my mother’s chocolate-chip cookie [...]

  • 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? [...]

  • By David Mason Special to The Commercial Appeal Opposition to including sexual orientation and gender identity among the attributes protected by Memphis’ nondiscrimination ordinance is, perhaps, best summarized by the Family Action Council of Tennessee. The organization’s recent “Talking Points on Non-Discrimination Ordinances” include such…[Read more]

  • The ethics of anonymous online commenting: I’m not a lawyer. Those with expertise can inform me. Do we really have to take the Shelby County Commission’s subpoena seriously when it will not or cannot articulate the purpose of the subpoena? In the absence of their own justification, what are we to imagine is their interest in [...]

  • What accounts for our such low and declining confidence in ‘the church or organized religion’? he real problem for religious institutions is that religious people — genuine, sincere believers — increasingly feel that their religious beliefs and practices need not be constrained by the bureaucratic structures of religious institutions. This is a…[Read more]

  • 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 [...]

  • Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn wants the the city to study the idea of creating an ‘adult entertainment district’ for strip clubs and other sex-oriented businesses. He wants a committee to look into a possible location as well as answer the question whether “this is the right thing to do.” Is it the right thing [...]

  • In a world in which most religions begin with God the Father or some sort of male image of the divine, and are founded by male figures such as Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, do we undervalue Motherhood or the role of women in faith? This coming Mother’s Day, Mormons in churches around the globe will [...]

  • Why do we pray in public? When and where is public prayer inappropriate? Are there too many restrictions on public prayer? Too few? The dancer Manjari Chaturvedi has characterized the dancing she does as prayer. “I see my dance as a prayer,” she told the Indian newspaper The Hindu in 2010. “When we use our tongue [...]

  • Gov. Haslam is expected this week to sign a new law that would require public schools to allow science teachers to discuss purported weaknesses of theories such as Evolution and Global Warming in their classrooms. What should we do about teaching evolution? Is the theory of evolution a scientific controversy or a social/religious controversy?…[Read more]

  • In a recent interview, Rev. Franklin Graham questioned the Christian credentials of President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He apologized Tuesday for questioning President Obama’s faith. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, members of the NAACP’s religious roundtable called on Graham and all Christian leaders to “refrain from using…[Read more]

  • I have gladly signed the Clergy for Tolerance letter (partly in my role as an ordained clergy-person in the LDS-Mormon church). The letter, its numerous signatories, and the great breadth of faith traditions with which the letter’s signatories identify, indicates a remarkable unity of mind concerning the human responsibility to love and respect humanity.

  • Should religious groups be allowed to rent and use public schools for worship services? Why or why not? Public school buildings are relatively inexpensive, well-equipped facilities that can be found in the least-wealthy, least-equipped neighborhoods. Consequently, school buildings offer a particularly practical means of helping the country…[Read more]

  • President Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address one week on Jan. 24. If you could address the nation next week, how would you describe the Spiritual State of the Union? My Fellow Americans, while we remain spiritually healthy, we may be so determined to do the right thing that we forget that [...]

  • In recent months, the controversy over Mormonism’s Christian character (or lack thereof) has shouldered its way to the foreground of presidential politics. One Mormon — Mitt Romney — has claimed the lead in the race to secure the Republican nomination. Another Mormon in the race — Jon Huntsman — has impressed everyone by not being [...]

  • David Mason became a registered member 2 years, 12 months ago