Recent Religion Commentaries

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Grace in the Golden State
Wade Clark Roof is the J.F. Rowny Professor of Religion and Society and Director of The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Author or co-author of 14 books and over 100 articles, Clark’s mission through the Center is “to advance conversation on major public issues, ethics and...
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March 19, 2012
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What’s the deal with men and sex… lately?
May is shaping up to be an incredible month for sex scandals, and we’re only half way through the month! No sooner did we learn that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, had been pulled off a plane minutes before departing for France due to an alleged sexual attack against a hotel maid, than reports began to surface that...
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May 19, 2011
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The Verdict
Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. That quote, from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, came to mind when I read the recent decision by the current U.S. Supreme Court regarding Snyder v. Phelps. The First Amendment case had the Westboro Baptist Church appealing a lower court’s...
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March 4, 2011
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What Happened to America’s Optimism?
“There is something about too much prosperity that ruins the fiber of the people.”      – Diplomat Dwight Morrow In 1933, the president awoke to the news that the United States banking system had collapsed. Unemployment had reached 25 percent. Hourly wages nose-dived 60 percent. Distraught dairy farmers blockaded highways in order to dump hundreds of gallons of milk in...
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December 31, 2010
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Speech v. Respect
On October 8, 2010, I posted a commentary regarding Snyder v. Phelps, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the key question, as outlined by the court, is “Does the First Amendment protect protesters at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on the family of the deceased?” Among the comments I received, was this one that sided...
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October 15, 2010
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Snyder v. Phelps
Last Friday (Oct. 8) I published a commentary discussing the case Snyder v. Phelps currently before the U.S. Supreme Court; a case that, at first glance, would seem to fall under the free speech aspect of the First Amendment. Quoting from the Court’s own website: “Does the First Amendment protect protestors at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on...
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October 11, 2010
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Only About the Law?
At its best, religion can offer hope and comfort in time of need. At its worst… well, that brings us to Snyder v. Phelps – a matter before the U.S. Supreme Court which is sure to raise reaction on both sides. In plain English, the issue is “Does the First Amendment protect protesters at a funeral from liability for intentionally inflicting emotional...
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October 8, 2010
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Tikkun Olam
How long does it take to correct a wrong? On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.  Two months later, President Franklin Roosevelt signed United States Executive Order 9066;an order that moved approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans into 10 internment camps located in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. FBI Director J. Edgar...
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May 17, 2010
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“Let me see your papers.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  – Matthew 7:12, (King James) The Bible “I won’t tolerate racial profiling… We must enforce the law evenly, and without regard to skin color, accent, or social status. We must prove the alarmists and the cynics wrong.”  – Jan Brewer, Arizona state governor Since signing Senate Bill 1070 into law last...
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April 26, 2010
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Cups and Balls
When Hieronymus Bosch painted The Conjurer, in the 1500s, I’m sure he never imagined that the cups and balls routine he rendered would morph into a variety of schemes, scandals and shell games. Here’s just a few that make this month’s list. The Eric Massa mess – Among the newly uncovered allegations: “Beginning in March 2009,” the New York Times reports, “male staffers...
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April 14, 2010

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