Archive: February 28, 2010 - March 6, 2010
People do need to be converted to better ways of behaving towards one another. My own religion has taught me a great deal about the spirit of selfless service to support, not impose, the growth of freedom of thought throughout the world, and I sincerely believe that most U.S. religious groups are equally well motivated in their efforts.
By Phil Davis | March 5, 2010; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (4)
Freedom of religion includes the ability to argue for the truth and even necessity of your beliefs. If you are right, it is a moral necessity to tell your friends they are ruining their chances at true happiness. If you are wrong, then expressing your beliefs is a good way to test them.
By John Mark Reynolds | March 5, 2010; 3:42 PM ET | Comments (21)
Catholic bishops enrage conservatives, who want them to renounce reform, and inflame liberals, who want them to take an easier stand on abortion. The bishops refuse. They believe they're right, and righteousness drives them.
By Lisa Miller | March 5, 2010; 2:37 PM ET | Comments (1)
Qadri's fatwa is an exhaustive, systematic theological and legal study of the Islamic tradition's teachings on the use of force and armed resistance to support an absolute condemnation of any form of terrorism for any cause.
By John Esposito | March 5, 2010; 9:18 AM ET | Comments (15)
Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri's fatwa against terrorism will strip terrorists of what little legitimacy they might be still enjoying in the eyes of Muslims who fear that Islam is under attack by Western powers.
By Muqtedar Khan | March 5, 2010; 3:34 AM ET | Comments (12)
Gandhi said: "The day you stop talking about how good your religion is and start living it then everyone will come willingly to join you." I think this is the crux of the problem here.
By Arun Gandhi | March 4, 2010; 2:35 PM ET | Comments (3)
Is Islam compatible with modern notions of democracy, rule of law, gender equality, and human rights? Can Muslim minority communities be loyal citizens in America and Europe?
By John Esposito | March 4, 2010; 2:16 PM ET | Comments (1)
True Torah study is not about a day of choices; it's a choice to make Jewish learning a daily part of our lives.
By Erica Brown | March 4, 2010; 11:47 AM ET | Comments (0)
Amid the loud public debates about gays in the military, the church and the courthouse, private dramas are playing out in agonized prayers and secret tears behind closed doors.
By Brian D. McLaren | March 4, 2010; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (131)
I am a strong supporter of freedom of religion. Most proselytizers are not. They want the freedom to coerce vulnerable and gullible individuals into converting, and they can justify many nefarious methods to accomplish their goal.
By Ramdas Lamb | March 4, 2010; 3:41 AM ET | Comments (12)
Finding the seminary was difficult because many buildings in the city do not have addresses, and with the city in ruins, even using landmarks as navigation points was impossible. We ended up in front of a large church that was empty and chained shut.
By Mark Driscoll | March 3, 2010; 4:12 PM ET | Comments (0)
If America were an empire, we would be interested in extending our territory; but since we are interested only in extending our ideas and advancing their interests, we are a missionary society.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 3, 2010; 2:03 PM ET | Comments (24)
"Proselytism" is officially recognized by the international covenants as part and parcel of one's freedom of conscience or belief--it is the freedom to share the essence of one's identity. Today, however, "proselytism" and "sharing" have quite different connotations.
By Chris Seiple | March 3, 2010; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (7)
The violence of conversion is very real. The religious conversion is too often a conversion to intolerance. A convert is asked to repudiate his sangha (community), reject the customs and traditions of his family passed down for generations, and refuse to attend religious ceremonies that are the very basis of daily life in much of the world.
By Aseem Shukla | March 3, 2010; 12:59 AM ET | Comments (12)
On Faith is highlighting this video of Young Muslim Americans as a snapshot of the incredible range of talents and contributions of this growing segment of American society and inviting emerging leaders from this community to comment and expand the conversation.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | March 3, 2010; 12:29 AM ET | Comments (0)
God is Love; that is what we are all taught. Proselytizing does not transmit a feeling of love; it creates an atmosphere of tension based on religious competition.
By Susan K. Smith | March 2, 2010; 8:47 PM ET | Comments (3)
A current example of the problem with proselytizing is the situation in Uganda, where a bill is pending in the Parliament -- in part due to the activism and influence of American evangelicals -- to punish people convicted of homosexuality with death or, as a concession to international uproar, life imprisonment.
By Janet Edwards | March 2, 2010; 6:37 PM ET | Comments (25)
I believe systematic and institutionalized endeavors to proselytize on a global stage is warfare by other means. I am not opposed to conversion per se. But if one starts a campaign to "recruit" people through an organized crusade, then it is, I believe, contrary to the very idea of spiritualism as understood by most faiths, and is an act of aggression.
By Muqtedar Khan | March 2, 2010; 3:13 PM ET | Comments (38)
Buildings were folded up like pieces of paper. Entire blocks were rubble. There was no food or water or any sign of any store in business anywhere. Children were wandering everywhere. Garbage filled the streets. Small fires were burning. Bodies lay on the roadside.
By Mark Driscoll | March 2, 2010; 1:51 PM ET | Comments (3)
Religious diplomacy must emerge as a real hope in solving some of the most egregious conflicts that currently confront significant portions of the world. It must assert itself as a force of engagement in cultural, economic and political affairs.
By John Bryson Chane | March 2, 2010; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (2)
Everyone is and should be entitled to speak his or her mind on religious matters, and everyone else has the right to listen, or not, as they choose. Because of the central importance of these rights, no man or government is justified in interfering with them.
By Michael Otterson | March 2, 2010; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (26)
Christianity is a religion of evangelism. Christians have a divine imperative to share their faith in word and deed. Christianity is also a religion of ethics. Christians have a divine imperative to share their faith with integrity and transparency. Unfortunately, some Christians and Christian organizations follow the former and ignore the latter.
By Robert Parham | March 2, 2010; 8:44 AM ET | Comments (3)
Proselytizing, as a shared experience of listening and sharing, is the way we all advance in Truth. The greatest advances in science and society have been collaborative. Can we seek together to know Truth - each of us sharing our own insights, our own necessarily partial grasp of that which is inherently Transcendent and Unknowable fully?
By Max Carter | March 2, 2010; 1:41 AM ET | Comments (6)
Proselytizing in a globalizing world shakes the foundations of security that religion offers and it has a profoundly unsettling effect. Since increased anxiety often manifests itself in aggression and even violence, religious proselytizing is an ever more dangerous religious idea, and a bad one at that.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | March 1, 2010; 8:51 PM ET | Comments (9)
I do empathize with religious groups whose mission is to convert everyone in the world, since I happen to think the world would be a far better place if everyone "saw the light" of secular humanism. The issue is how to go about achieving your goals. Whether religious or secular, I believe the best form of proselytizing is to lead by example.
By Herb Silverman | March 1, 2010; 6:18 PM ET | Comments (9)
The issue is not whether proselytizing is appropriate, but how it can be done so that it nurtures the same religious freedom for others as it does for those doing the proselytizing. And that come down to two words: salvation and love.
By Brad Hirschfield | March 1, 2010; 2:32 PM ET | Comments (5)
Believers and non-believers alike have been blessed abundantly and ought to join in gratitude for those blessings, not in competition to prove that my god's better than your god.
By Jack Moline | March 1, 2010; 1:47 PM ET | Comments (4)
Of course there is a problem with American religious groups proselytizing overseas--not because they don't have a perfect right to proclaim their faith from every rooftop and minaret, but because many of these organizations have long received U.S. government funding for their charitable works.
By Susan Jacoby | March 1, 2010; 1:43 PM ET | Comments (57)
The images of what I have seen today in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, keep haunting me. And I cannot get the taste of decomposing bodies out of my mouth.
By Mark Driscoll | March 1, 2010; 1:10 PM ET | Comments (2)
It is a good week to consider the question of tactics against an intractable enemy. The holiday of Purim and its attendant Biblical readings ask us to confront the consequences of misplaced compassion toward sworn enemies
By Jack Moline | March 1, 2010; 12:48 PM ET | Comments (0)