Archive: Gustav Niebuhr
One might wonder if the call to love--by people of many faiths and none--isn't now being demonstrated remarkably, as hundreds of millions of dollars and thousand of aid workers pour into Haiti.
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 20, 2010; 02:38 PM ET | Comments (3)
For those Christians who worry they see signs of hostility to their beliefs, well, what's the issue? Didn't Jesus explicitly warn you that might just happen?
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 12, 2010; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (4)
In the way women are treated globally, religion plays only a part--sometimes greater, sometimes less, depending on location--in a larger culture where secular and ethnic traditions, economics and political ideologies are also significant shaping forces, and often far from liberating ones.
By Gustav Niebuhr | July 23, 2009; 03:44 PM ET | Comments (0)
Mayor Bloomberg, do you really want to put yourself, as holder of a secular office, in the uncomfortable position of seeming to favor Christianity and Judaism as the two faiths deserving of school holidays? Probably not.
By Gustav Niebuhr | July 8, 2009; 02:47 PM ET | Comments (2)
There are many things that one can reasonably call Mark Sanford. Whether he is pandering or penitent we can't know. But what's clear is he has a certain facility with the "language of Zion," as its called, and that's a quality he shares with many of his Southern brethren and sister-en.
By Gustav Niebuhr | June 30, 2009; 01:38 PM ET | Comments (114)
Nearly eight years after 9/11, Americans have discovered Muslims they see as allies, not enemies.
By Gustav Niebuhr | June 26, 2009; 09:57 AM ET | Comments (29)
Can a religious case be made for gay marriage? Well--and here's the key thing--yes, if you judge by the fact that there are clergy very willing to marry gay couples.
By Gustav Niebuhr | December 9, 2008; 12:41 PM ET | Comments (7)
Fitzgerald's novel is one I return to year after year. His writing is so sublime that individual sentences still stop me cold in their elegance and I have to read through them again.
By Gustav Niebuhr | June 24, 2008; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (1)
A certain deftness is required, a sensitivity to the matters at hand, not to mention an awareness of the cultural grievances, real or perceived, of the group being portrayed.
By Gustav Niebuhr | June 18, 2008; 05:44 AM ET | Comments (2)
Barack Obama didn't just leave the building. He left a community of faith. That's not something done lightly or easily.
By Gustav Niebuhr | June 5, 2008; 10:50 AM ET | Comments (17)
Within the tradition of the deadly sins, it's pride that causes us as individuals and nations to place ourselves before others, to believe (REALLY believe) that our interests are best and we see clearly where others don't or can't.
By Gustav Niebuhr | May 30, 2008; 03:46 PM ET | Comments (29)
These are exceptionally daunting times. And one might even argue that their challenge bears more attention than all that being meted out to a single, intemperate phrase from a Chicago minister
By Gustav Niebuhr | April 30, 2008; 07:34 AM ET | Comments (15)
Any reporter who tries to fit the old news templates from John Paul II's visits over Benedict's trip is going to miss the point, and badly.
By Gustav Niebuhr | April 18, 2008; 05:31 AM ET | Comments (8)
Maybe we ought to ask people running for elective office if they completely agree with all the individuals they are variously close to--their spouses, siblings, friends, physicians, attorneys, bankers... Gee, we've got the makings of a real inquisition here. What fun.
By Gustav Niebuhr | March 18, 2008; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (11)
These days, we would count Lincoln (never baptized), as a member of Pew's "unaffiliated, but religious" sub-set.
By Gustav Niebuhr | February 29, 2008; 08:51 AM ET | Comments (6)
Judaism in the United States has been inventive and adaptive.
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 14, 2008; 12:34 PM ET | Comments (1)
First, are you able to admit a mistake and, as a chief executive, take responsibility for it and work humbly to undo any damage resulting from it?
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 2, 2008; 02:50 PM ET | Comments (176)
If Congress wants to honor Christianity... Gee, I can't finish that sentence. It seems out of place here in America.
By Gustav Niebuhr | December 23, 2007; 07:50 PM ET | Comments (81)
When we have an administration that seems to waffle on declaring all forms of torture off-limits, I can't help but wonder what other people make of us these days?
By Gustav Niebuhr | November 9, 2007; 01:53 PM ET | Comments (7)
We live in a time, to borrow an old expression, of "every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost." Not an era to care much about the health of our children.
By Gustav Niebuhr | November 5, 2007; 09:19 AM ET | Comments (9)
From where I sit, I plainly see many examples of the physically dead very much alive among us.
By Gustav Niebuhr | October 16, 2007; 07:27 AM ET | Comments (33)
I don't want anyone becoming president for whom religion or irreligion is the only thing that matters.
By Gustav Niebuhr | October 8, 2007; 09:55 AM ET | Comments (20)
Hitchens' statement is fully protected by the First Amendment. He's got every right to declare his opinion. So does the guy wearing the "Yankees Suck" t-shirt.
By Gustav Niebuhr | September 29, 2007; 07:23 AM ET | Comments (111)
A few days back I read somewhere that Thomas Jefferson was a lousy public speaker. Interesting, but kind of beside the point, I thought. I've had something of the same reaction to the news that Mother Teresa often felt cut...
By Gustav Niebuhr | September 4, 2007; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (3)
I doubt I'm alone in saying my beliefs can be inspired, magnified, by what I read, often in unlikely places.
By Gustav Niebuhr | August 21, 2007; 06:58 AM ET | Comments (184)
In a question like this, we might also do well to try to think beyond the rather limited frame of middle-class America.
By Gustav Niebuhr | August 14, 2007; 09:48 AM ET | Comments (125)
Voters last November effectively extended the religious pluralism within the House of Representatives by electing a Muslim and two Buddhists to that chamber.
By Gustav Niebuhr | August 7, 2007; 01:10 AM ET | Comments (33)
Islam in all its varieties deserves a great deal more of our attention and knowledge than what's imparted by fleeting, television news images.
By Gustav Niebuhr | July 31, 2007; 07:36 AM ET | Comments (10)
I always feel like this question of God's presence or absence or wounding can't be addressed without the parallel question, "Well, where are the humans?"
By Gustav Niebuhr | June 4, 2007; 07:31 AM ET | Comments (14)
"Man-made" tells us nothing about inspiration, a faculty that individuals possess in different capacities and that they appreciate to differing degrees.
By Gustav Niebuhr | May 28, 2007; 08:44 AM ET | Comments (12)
There's a wider context to one's life, isn't there? And somehow the word satisfied just doesn't really work there.
By Gustav Niebuhr | May 21, 2007; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (8)
If Falwell became the public face of the religious right, it was in part because he returned reporters' phone calls and was eminently quotable.
By Gustav Niebuhr | May 15, 2007; 06:47 PM ET | Comments (18)
In secular terms it is called "taking responsibility," but I'm at a loss to come up with any recent examples.
By Gustav Niebuhr | May 1, 2007; 09:11 AM ET | Comments (11)
To ask specifically about Islam and violence seems to bypass a rather glaring cultural issue: We seem to like violence.
By Gustav Niebuhr | April 24, 2007; 12:52 PM ET | Comments (39)
The church suggested its members might consider "intentionally work[ing] to remove handguns and assault weapons from our homes and communities."
By Gustav Niebuhr | April 17, 2007; 12:32 PM ET | Comments (32)
One of the basic truths of Christianity is that many of its adherents experience Jesus as a presence in their lives.
By Gustav Niebuhr | April 10, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (30)
What many of us would like in the public treatment of religion is an approach that's intelligent, informative, even provocative.
By Gustav Niebuhr | April 2, 2007; 01:55 PM ET | Comments (9)
Belief in the Earth's end and a divine reckoning with humanity don't necessarily cancel each other out.
By Gustav Niebuhr | March 26, 2007; 08:05 AM ET | Comments (22)
What gets called discrimination is much more likely a matter of individual bias.
By Gustav Niebuhr | March 19, 2007; 04:50 PM ET | Comments (31)
A candidate's religion should not be accorded a status apart from the other influences in his or her life.
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 30, 2007; 01:21 PM ET | Comments (13)
"Formative" experiences--especially those that involve coming to (or abandoning) faith--are not always confined to the person directly involved. They can ripple outward to affect family, friends, strangers--even those yet to be born.
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 9, 2007; 04:15 PM ET | Comments (12)
As with some of the other panelists, I'm not convinced atheism is enjoying a "new vogue." That may be because in the various places I've lived--New England, California, Great Britain and, certainly, the Bible Belt--I've never had much trouble encountering...
By Gustav Niebuhr | January 2, 2007; 01:10 PM ET | Comments (0)
Asking whether the United States is a "Christian nation" poses as much a challenging political problem--and a legal one, too--as it raises a religious question. James Madison, one of our greatest political philosophers, certainly realized this....
By Gustav Niebuhr | December 19, 2006; 10:37 AM ET | Comments (419)