Archive: Max Carter
In an age of "viral videos," 24/7 cable channels, the Internet, and Facebook revolutions, we cannot control how these hearings will be framed, presented, and interpreted around the world.
By Max Carter | March 7, 2011; 07:14 AM ET | Comments (6)
While politicians and media personalities fulminate against "the enemy," we might be better served by visiting a local mosque, a local Mormon congregation, a neighborhood synagogue.
By Max Carter | February 22, 2011; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (3)
The freedoms we see being called for in Africa and the Middle East today transcend religious boundaries and speak to the very condition of all humanity.
By Max Carter | February 15, 2011; 07:53 AM ET | Comments (0)
If a candidate with ties to Salt Lake City emerges with the qualities the electorate sees as needed in a president at this time: an answer to our economic woes; a sensible foreign policy; a viable domestic policy, then s/he may well be the next president.
By Max Carter | February 8, 2011; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (2)
Even more so than with Christianity, Mike Huckabee's own religious faith, Islam calls for a unity of purpose in the sacred and secular realms. All of life is to be governed by the will of Allah - of G-d. If one looks at the "99 names of G-d" in Islam, one gets the distinct feeling that justice, mercy, compassion, love, and beneficence are mighty important. If those are "G-d's standards" there, too, I have no problem with it!
By Max Carter | February 1, 2011; 09:47 AM ET | Comments (3)
In the interest of religious freedom, I find myself coming down on the side of allowing a religiously affiliated hospital to make decisions based on its most deeply held beliefs. In this instance, I disagree with a Catholic hospital's withholding a legal procedure from a patient. But I remember how I felt when I was faced with my government's possibly forcing the institution I love to violate one of our deeply held convictions.
By Max Carter | January 25, 2011; 03:26 PM ET | Comments (5)
I do hope we can learn as a society from the tragedy in Tucson and tone things down. Early evidence, however, after a brief flurry of breast-beating, doesn't seem to be encouraging.
By Max Carter | January 11, 2011; 04:32 PM ET | Comments (2)
It will take the concerted efforts of all concerned: common individuals, political powers, and religious organizations, if 2011 is to be a year different from other years marked by sectarian depredations.
By Max Carter | January 4, 2011; 09:39 AM ET | Comments (3)
Why is it that we look to the "high and mighty" as the "newsmakers," as the ones who have had the most impact on the world? Isn't the lesson of this season one of the weak overcoming the strong?
By Max Carter | December 27, 2010; 01:29 PM ET | Comments (6)
Instead of focusing on the Christian holy day, people today used the season to emphasize such non-Christian values as, say, consumerism, materialism, excess, overindulgence, fighting for the last "must have" toy on the shelf, and tacky displays of plastic yard ornaments.
By Max Carter | December 21, 2010; 06:01 AM ET | Comments (2)
Marriage is becoming less and less viable in the American context because it too often isn't being "practiced" in a sustainable way.
By Max Carter | December 6, 2010; 03:58 PM ET | Comments (9)
The emphasis on American exceptionalism these days is rooted in this Christian exceptionalism.
By Max Carter | November 29, 2010; 02:49 PM ET | Comments (3)
I applaud the pope for being willing to recognize that "pro-life" may sometimes mean prophylactics.
By Max Carter | November 23, 2010; 08:41 AM ET | Comments (0)
I would love to see us progress as a society to the point where we can get out of our narrow confines and benefit from the insight of other seekers of truth, recognize that G-d continually reveals insights into truth, and accept that we ever only partially have a grasp of the truth ourselves.
By Max Carter | November 15, 2010; 04:01 PM ET | Comments (0)
As the midterm elections displayed, there is little that President Obama can do to dissuade his opponents from making everything he says and does fodder for defeating him in the 2012 presidential race.
By Max Carter | November 8, 2010; 02:43 PM ET | Comments (0)
Voting - and engagement in political activity - is an extension of ones religious and spiritual practice.
By Max Carter | November 1, 2010; 03:27 PM ET | Comments (2)
Reason and sanity are no guarantors of taking the right path.
By Max Carter | October 25, 2010; 06:04 PM ET | Comments (7)
Why does religion play such a central role in debates about homosexuality? Why shouldn't it?
By Max Carter | October 11, 2010; 03:13 PM ET | Comments (15)
My own understanding of G-d does not include room for a Grand Karl Rove in the sky directing the minutiae of a politician's bid for office.
By Max Carter | October 4, 2010; 04:47 PM ET | Comments (1)
Limiting knowledge of and inquiry into other religious traditions - or into all fields of knowledge, for that matter - limits our understanding of G-d.
By Max Carter | September 28, 2010; 02:40 PM ET | Comments (4)
I vote for letting the majority of sensible Israelis and Palestinians determine their future along the lines of secular formulations of justice, equity, and mutually agreed upon security issues.
By Max Carter | September 14, 2010; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (6)
What part of separation of church and state and "freedom of religion" don't we understand?!
By Max Carter | September 7, 2010; 01:29 PM ET | Comments (7)
I hesitate to criticize Beck's faith, but his belief that Christianity is about "individual salvation" is actually counter to the faith of millions of Christians who see the Church as the "ark of salvation" and that "personal salvation" is itself a perversion of the Christianity of Acts 2 and the earliest years of Christianity. Ask any Amish person.
By Max Carter | August 30, 2010; 08:43 PM ET | Comments (2)
Any faith can be twisted, misused, and made into a tool of oppression, hatred, and violence, but that if one looks at the core of the great Wisdom Traditions of the world such as Islam, much that is life-affirming and salvific can be found.
By Max Carter | August 23, 2010; 04:32 PM ET | Comments (3)
The forces behind the opposition to the community center - forces largely politicized in nature, whether from the Tea Party faction, Anti-Defamation League spokespersons, Republicans smelling blood in the water, Democrats smelling defeat in November, or the merely bigoted and intolerant - represent a threat to more than a little domestic tranquility.
By Max Carter | August 16, 2010; 07:43 PM ET | Comments (0)
To cite one of my favorite theologians, Tom Cochrane/Rascal Flatts, "life is a highway." We are, indeed, on a journey.
By Max Carter | August 9, 2010; 03:50 PM ET | Comments (1)
For Quakers, "Christianity" is not necessary - we have Christ. "Religion" is not necessary, we have the Spirit.
By Max Carter | August 2, 2010; 02:57 PM ET | Comments (4)
]My own faith tradition, Quaker, was endogomous for its first 200 years. One could not "marry out," and the result was, literally, an inbred tradition. When Friends began to abandon marriage restrictions in the mid-1800s, it brought renewed vigor to the faith, and not merely through adding genetic diversity.
By Max Carter | July 26, 2010; 02:22 PM ET | Comments (2)
What better place for a mosque than near a place where some misguided followers of the faith corrupted its teachings and committed unspeakable acts?
By Max Carter | July 20, 2010; 01:14 PM ET | Comments (26)
Terms matter. As we continue unquestioningly to use such descriptions as "Islamic terrorist," we drill into the public's mind a stereotype that hurts others - and, in the end, hurts us.
By Max Carter | July 13, 2010; 01:37 PM ET | Comments (9)
All religions have to deal with life and death, hope and desire, fear and the need for acceptance. And each has come up with a system to offer meaning to humanity in a world that ultimately kills us. The elements of that system are very different in many respects. Codes of ethics are often very different. But as brothers and sisters, offspring of the same "parent," we can find common cause.
By Max Carter | July 6, 2010; 10:49 PM ET | Comments (3)
Perhaps the Attorney General should have thought more carefully about the appropriateness of dismissing a human life with a "tweet," but I am far more concerned that he spend more than 140 "bits" of his thinking on the moral reasoning behind capital punishment.
By Max Carter | June 21, 2010; 02:29 PM ET | Comments (4)
Okay, so I'm a compromised pacifist! I won't kill fellow humans, but I will eat meat. I'll admit to being somewhat hypocritical - in the same way that some "pro-lifers" are in favor of capital punishment and many fellow pacifists are okay with abortion.
By Max Carter | June 14, 2010; 03:30 PM ET | Comments (6)
Palestinians and Israeli Jews are equals. Both are humans. Both deserve dignity and freedom. It's time for the "something new" to be a recognition of that fact, to stop treating Israel as something "special" and hold it to the same standards of international law and human rights that are defined by the rest of the world.
By Max Carter | June 8, 2010; 06:29 AM ET | Comments (11)
We "sow the seeds of violence" by our consumptive behavior and lifestyle. It is easy to point the finger at others, but if we didn't have such a desire for "the goodies," companies such as BP wouldn't be engaging in risky behavior.
By Max Carter | June 1, 2010; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (1)
Those practicing hospitality with those in need of a better life religiously, economically, or politically are among the first. It would be wonderful to see the rest of society follow...before it is too late for many of the most vulnerable in society.
By Max Carter | May 25, 2010; 12:39 PM ET | Comments (2)
We are all inconsistent; we all "fall short of the glory of G-d." Sarah Palin is "pro-life" yet supports capital punishment, blowing the dickens out of our "enemies," and sending any human being that G-d didn't create with a U.S. passport packing back to their g-dawful situation. What's so "pro-life" about that?
By Max Carter | May 17, 2010; 03:49 PM ET | Comments (5)
Although there is every likelihood that there will be a new Quaker judge at the Circuit Court level - and thus a future Supreme Court nominee of the Friendly persuasion - I really don't care if the High Court has "one of my kind" on it. I want the best and the brightest, people of integrity, folks who know their Constitution from a hole in the ground.
By Max Carter | May 10, 2010; 02:02 PM ET | Comments (1)
The point is, the clothing one wears is often an outward and visible expression of an inward and invisible commitment. Governments begin meddling in such expression at extreme risk to the very "open society" they hope to promulgate.
By Max Carter | May 4, 2010; 06:46 AM ET | Comments (6)
Now, if Franklin Graham were to step to the podium in the Pentagon and call for a time of silence in which he invited each person to pray in the manner of their own faith and tradition, that might really be "cool!" But it might be uncomfortably close to "establishing" a Quaker presence in the heart of the military enterprise!
By Max Carter | April 26, 2010; 07:50 PM ET | Comments (2)
Beyond offering youngsters the opportunity for "safe" soft porn, though, the Bible does present two very good pieces of advice about sex, advice which I do share with my students - again, much to their bemusement: Seek first G-d's reign, and G-d's righteousness, and idolatry is a big "no-no."
By Max Carter | April 20, 2010; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (9)
As a Quaker, I gladly re-distribute what I have been blessed with - but I should do more. I would hope Glenn Beck does the same, voluntarily, from the enormous wealth he gains from his "bully pulpit."
By Max Carter | April 13, 2010; 08:50 AM ET | Comments (11)
A group that feels threatened by a public outcry will frequently put up a solid front to that public, and then work on their problems behind closed doors. We can hope.
By Max Carter | April 6, 2010; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (2)
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; 06:16 AM ET | Comments (1)
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; 03:36 AM ET | Comments (2)
Congregational pastors are faced with a different set of circumstances. In most cases their livelihood depends on "pleasing" their congregation (a major flaw, I feel, in the "hireling" ministry!), and flying in the face of orthodox religious, social, or political belief is a recipe for unemployment.
By Max Carter | March 16, 2010; 07:53 AM ET | Comments (0)
Imagine a United States under a government that decided that tax-exempt status for religious organizations went only to those that practiced specific forms of baptism, communion, and other sacraments
By Max Carter | March 9, 2010; 12:09 AM ET | Comments (1)
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; 01:41 AM ET | Comments (6)
The question isn't IF; it is HOW? There are as many different religious perspectives as there are political parties and advocacy groups in any region where our government is plying its interests. Finding a way to navigate the minefield of competing interests religiously is just as tricky as negotiating with competing socio-political views.
By Max Carter | February 22, 2010; 03:27 PM ET | Comments (0)
Perhaps those who are "challenged" in various ways in their mental development (Aren't we all in some way?!) may one day join together and claim the word proudly the way groups have taken formerly pejorative words like queer, Methodist, Mormon, Hoosier, and Quaker and worn the sobriquet proudly.
By Max Carter | February 16, 2010; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (0)
Far be it from a Quaker to encourage ANYONE to serve in the military! But as a Christian who believes that Jesus' essential message was one of compassion, love, and the breaking down of the holiness code's social boundaries, I would have to say that excluding anyone from what they feel called to do, simply on account of whom they love, is a violation of Jesus' message.
By Max Carter | February 16, 2010; 05:05 AM ET | Comments (3)