Archive: March 21, 2010 - March 27, 2010
For me, perhaps the most profound beauty of Heaven is its plurality and diversity of people. Heaven is dar al-salaam, the ultimate safe haven. It's a place for all those who have done good deeds - men and women, adults and children, Muslims and non-Muslims, peoples of all nationalities and cultures - to enjoy together and in harmony.
By Daisy Khan | March 27, 2010; 4:51 PM ET | Comments (10)
A more interesting question for me is whether legal action can be taken against a pope. Unfortunately, not only is the pope immune from prosecution under Vatican law, it appears that he also enjoys diplomatic immunity from prosecution under international law as a head of state. Such is the result when church and state meld.
By Herb Silverman | March 27, 2010; 4:02 PM ET | Comments (11)
The Church has been embarrassed and shamed enough by clergy sex scandal disclosures before. If the Pope recognizes that mistakes were made, he should make apologies and amends. If he recognizes that he was the one who made the mistakes, he should similarly clear the air and, using his best Latin, cry "mea culpa."
By Max Carter | March 27, 2010; 6:16 AM ET | Comments (1)
it appears this Pope is trying to work through a problem that was not adequately addressed by previous regimes. In as large an organization as the Roman Catholic Church, with its dense network of power relationships.
By Jason Poling | March 26, 2010; 9:20 PM ET | Comments (7)
If investigation reveals that Cardinal Ratzinger participated in covering up abuse in Europe, and if the pope resigns -- who could replace him?
By Tom Flynn | March 26, 2010; 4:37 PM ET | Comments (2)
In Heaven, I will see God through Jesus, the God-man. He is not just an image of God, an icon, but Very God and looking at Him in His human nature will lead me to as much of God as men can see.
By John Mark Reynolds | March 26, 2010; 3:52 PM ET | Comments (4)
Another name for Passover is Hag Ha-Aviv, the Holiday of Spring, aligning sacred time with the cycle of the calendar.
By Erica Brown | March 26, 2010; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (2)
Threats and acts of violence in response to health-care reform show how little we really care about our faith.
By Susan K. Smith | March 25, 2010; 9:45 PM ET | Comments (0)
No human created in God's image should be denied basic health care. What is hard is the detail. Who should provide this health care? How much care is "basic" and how much is a luxury? Whose fundamental job is it to provide this basic health care?
By John Mark Reynolds | March 25, 2010; 8:23 PM ET | Comments (1)
The secular tea-bagging crowd is a motley collection of nihilists who are not even close to the American mainstream. The far-right needs to take Christian Evangelicals with them in their effort to bring the American government to a stand-still; otherwise, they don't have the numbers, or the cultural clout. Rev. Jim Wallis, because he is an Evangelical Christian who writes about reforming the economy according to biblical principles, is a clear and present danger to the secular far-right.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | March 25, 2010; 3:18 PM ET | Comments (0)
While the actions of Lawrence Murphy were sinful and criminal, it is tragic that members of the Vatican hierarchy did not listen to their subordinates who belatedly recognized the gravity of the case.
By Mathew N. Schmalz | March 25, 2010; 3:11 PM ET | Comments (37)
Heaven is not where God sits upon a cloud, in my view, but the sense of where God belongs, in our hearts, in our heads, in our world and beyond it.
By Julia Neuberger | March 25, 2010; 6:18 AM ET | Comments (2)
Judaism, Hinduism, and many Buddhist schools, on the other hand, place more focus on this life than the afterlife. How one lives is far more important than what one claims to believe.
By Ramdas Lamb | March 25, 2010; 4:13 AM ET | Comments (8)
For the real beauty of heaven is not the aesthetics of the Holy Kingdom, it is the presence of Christ. The healing light of His presence heals the iniquities, inadequacies and the emptiness of men.
By T.D. Jakes | March 24, 2010; 8:40 AM ET | Comments (15)
In spite of this being a "God-fearing" nation, concerned and sometimes consumed by "moral" behavior in an immoral society, too many have failed to identify that putting profit ahead of people might be good capitalism, but it's not good religion.
By Susan K. Smith | March 23, 2010; 10:08 PM ET | Comments (0)
The Holy Week lesson starts with thinking about sin and suffering, and how sometimes, when sin drastically overreaches, it tips its hand and becomes visible for what it is, the rejection of justice and mercy.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | March 23, 2010; 6:27 PM ET | Comments (0)
Too much is made of the divide between believers, doubters, and non-believers. For Jews, doubt is not hypocrisy. Instead, it is a necessary ingredient of faith.
By Steven Wernick | March 23, 2010; 5:01 PM ET | Comments (1)
Heaven is close to God himself, or herself. That is heaven. Existence in the immediate presence of God.
By Gardner Calvin Taylor | March 23, 2010; 4:31 PM ET | Comments (0)
When conservative Christians, Muslims and Jews talk about heaven, they often use the word radical to describe what they mean. The heaven that will come at the end of the world is a radical reversal of the social and natural order.
By Lisa Miller | March 23, 2010; 2:39 PM ET | Comments (5)
I believe what I believe about heaven not only because of what I've read in the Old and New Testaments, but because I have met the one man who has been there and back -- my Lord and my Savior, Jesus Christ.
By Jim Daly | March 23, 2010; 1:41 PM ET | Comments (3)
For atheists it is the very transience of life that helps to give it its meaning: for it prompts us to live it to the full, to try to make the most of each day, each hour, and to savor every experience along the way.
By Paula Kirby | March 23, 2010; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (14)
It did not take a Karl Marx to see that dreams of the afterlife could be an "opiate of the people," an enslaver instead of an inspirer of work and, if need be, of revolution. Just as often hope of heaven, however, has challenged people to endure prisons and death camps or take risks which benefited others.
By Martin Marty | March 23, 2010; 9:47 AM ET | Comments (1)
I personally think it best not to try to imagine what we call 'heaven', because it can only be some kind of projection or wish-fulfillment. We can become so fixated on 'getting into heaven' that all our good deeds become purely selfish - as irreligious as paying into a retirement annuity for a comfortable life in the hereafter. Religion is supposed to be about the loss of ego - not fantasies about its eternal survival in optimum conditions.
By Karen Armstrong | March 23, 2010; 9:39 AM ET | Comments (12)
Heaven seems far too generous a reward for a few years of belief and being a good person. Even more so, Hell seems a disproportionate punishment for even a lifetime of barbarism. And yet the Qur'an is quite adamant about the truth of Heaven and Hell.
By Pamela K. Taylor | March 23, 2010; 7:16 AM ET | Comments (8)
Thomas Friedman, columnist for the NY Times, recently wrote that the Israeli government has become a drunk driver, addicted to swallowing up more and more territory at the cost of any decent peace with Palestine. And like a serious drunk,...
By Arthur Waskow | March 22, 2010; 7:12 PM ET | Comments (0)
Peace, and the wisdom that makes for peace, is the presence of God in this world. The Epistle of James describes this very practically and concretely. Peace is the wisdom that comes from heaven. "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." (James 3:17-18)
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | March 22, 2010; 6:45 PM ET | Comments (4)
One of the delicious things about heaven (at least as viewed from this side of death) is the questions it prompts. To say you hope for heaven is all well and good, but who is this "you"? Is it embodied? If so, does it age? If not, how old will we look?
By Stephen Prothero | March 22, 2010; 4:45 PM ET | Comments (6)
Heaven is God in us, God over us and around us. God in us brings peace "in spite of," hope in spite of horribly hard times. God in us is heaven, giving us the peace that passes understanding. Heaven is the gift of God's presence in us.
By Susan K. Smith | March 22, 2010; 4:10 PM ET | Comments (1)
Home is house + communion. Heaven is "the home of God" and of those in communion with him. In my favorite analogy, it is where I will enter by "walking into the arms of God."
By Willis E. Elliott | March 22, 2010; 3:17 PM ET | Comments (1)
If a pastor loses his/her faith, or a rabbi or imam for that matter (though it's a bit different), they must offer to resign and perhaps should do so,and then work out how they wish to take their changed faith, or lack of faith, or agnosticism, forward personally.
By Julia Neuberger | March 22, 2010; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (1)
Among many Jews, it's popular to say that Judaism doesn't believe in heaven or hell. For better or worse, Jewish literature is actually filled with images, reflections and meditations on heaven and hell. But it is true that far more Jewish ink has been spilled on how to create heaven on earth than how to find it in the next life.
By Brad Hirschfield | March 22, 2010; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (3)
Congratulations, to President Obama for steadfastly fighting for this vision and to the Democrats for finally standing up and being counted on behalf of something meaningful.
By Muqtedar Khan | March 22, 2010; 4:00 AM ET | Comments (3)
For me, "heaven" is a state of being rather than a place, and I am informed not only by Quaker writings on the matter, but by others, as well. It was a Medieval Catholic saint who once said, "All the way to heaven is heaven, for Christ said 'I am the Way'."
By Max Carter | March 22, 2010; 3:36 AM ET | Comments (2)
Mental peace, contentment and joy transform one to a heavenly existence even as they live in the here and now, and a restless, tortured and depressed mind cannot but place one in a very personal hell.
By Aseem Shukla | March 21, 2010; 10:51 PM ET | Comments (3)
Now I think of heaven as a place that's all around us, that might even include my kitchen, where a slight tear in the fabric of the universe--in the vein of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials--might allow me to step through and find that my mother and grandmother await there, standing in almost the very same spot on my wooden floor.
By Donna Freitas | March 21, 2010; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (1)