• Years ago, a wise older friend told me, “After you retire, always have one thing you have to do each day. Don’t wake up with absolutely nothing you plan to do.” I also personally try not to make jokes about senior […]

  • Whenever a utilities cutoff would threaten life, health or safety, there should be a mechanism for continuing the service. I have long advocated that Plus-1, the joint program of MLGW and MIFA, be expanded […]

  • After years of white brutality against his people and his own long imprisonment, Nelson Mandela had to have felt anger and a desire for revenge against white South Africa. Yet he engaged in acts of forgiveness and […]

  • The commercialism  of Thanksgiving is the exact opposite of the purpose of the day.  Thanksgiving is meant to be a day for appreciating the gifts and blessings we already have. It is the American application of […]

  • 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? “Now you can admit that the ‘other side’ has a real case to make. If you are a liberal, watch, listen to and [...]

  • What is your favorite verse of holy scripture and why? My favorite verse is from Leviticus 19 — God says, “You shall be holy as (or for) I, the Lord, your God am holy.” I believe that the ultimate goal of life according to Judaism is to become holy by our actions. And that verse is [...]

  • What are your views of the food-stamp program and the proposed cuts to it? In a time when we passionately debate whether to increase the taxes of the rich or only the super-rich, how easy it is to tax the very poor — women, men and children, white, black and Hispanic — by cutting society’s aid [...]

  • Who/what is an American? What does America mean to you and your faith? America is and has been unique in the experience of Jews and Judaism. For centuries in Europe, to be a Jew was to be legally defined as an alien, an underclass and part of a religion constantly told that it was in error. [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • I welcome President Obama’s statement. The government has no compelling interest in preventing two people who wish to be a family from being a family. I would go further: I believe that government should not license “marriages”. “Marriage” has increasingly been taken as a religious term. The argument against same sex marriage usually cites or [...]

  • 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]

  • Times are tough. Money is tight. Unemployment is high. Consumer debt is high. It’s hard to save and harder to give. Offer our readers some faith-based financial counsel. What do you tell people about spending and debt and consumerism? What do you tell them about saving and giving? What are some faith-based principles for dealing with [...]

  • 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]

  • 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? I understand the desire to distinguish “normal” from “abnormal” grief and to get help for those suffering from the latter. My concern is that labeling grief as a disorder [...]

  • In 50 words or less send a holiday greeting to the Memphis community. What is your holiday wish your fellow Memphis area residents?

    My wish for coming year: For those of us who have more than enough, gratitude, empathy, compassion and generosity.

    For those yet to have enough, enough and more than enough!!

  • Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11attacks. How has America changed since then? How did 9/11 change faith in America? What impact did 9/11 have on the soul of America? After 9/11, we paid enormous and heartfelt honor to public employees who were first responders. They were national heroes, living and dead. Ten years later, [...]

  • Are government budgets moral documents? How should our morals and values guide our political decisions about budget cuts and deficits? Government budgets are expressions of values. We value what we fund, not simply what we pay lipservice to. Teachers are objects of criticism and attacks on their salaries and benefits even while we claim to value [...]

  • President Obama came to Memphis this week and spoke to the 2011 Class of Booker T. Washington High School about the value of education and dedication. What message do you have for this year’s graduates at BTW and other schools across the community? Contrary to what you may hear, we really can’t become just anything we [...]

  • How should people of faith respond to Osama bin Laden’s death? It is human to feel joy at bin Laden’s death. He embodied the evil that left so much devastation and grief in our country. But that joy is limited. His death was just one of thousands he caused, planned or inspired, and the grief he [...]