Archive: Willis E. Elliott
"The potential consequences of singling out one religious group" are not as grave as those of failing to do so.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 7, 2011; 09:35 PM ET | Comments (0)
Anti-abortion activists, with their single-issue politics, idolatrously overvalue the human fetus and undervalue human life today.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 6, 2011; 10:57 PM ET | Comments (1)
Human rights, religious freedom and environmental issues are the three points in America's current sermon to the world. Instead of being paid for preaching it, we pay a stiff price for doing so. But we should preach it.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 18, 2011; 07:48 PM ET | Comments (4)
Every Christmas we hear again that Christmas is a mix of Christianity and paganism. Of course it is!
By Willis E. Elliott | December 21, 2010; 12:27 AM ET | Comments (12)
Not all the marriage news is bad.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 8, 2010; 10:11 PM ET | Comments (5)
Our Father, you provide for our needs, and call upon us to aid the needy. As we enjoy the fruits of the good earth, help us to keep it good, make it better, and prevent its becoming worse. Grant to those in authority a right judgment in all things pertaining to the common good.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 29, 2010; 02:53 PM ET | Comments (0)
The Pew survey, while not worthless, is easy to overvalue in that it is a product of the rational mind, which in the West is, among the ways of knowing, overvalued.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 29, 2010; 11:31 PM ET | Comments (23)
Essential facts about the implications of 'Cordoba.'
By Willis E. Elliott | August 24, 2010; 08:25 PM ET | Comments (6)
While I applaud Obama's desire to "reinvent America's relationship with the Muslim world," his word-manipulation is too clever by half. "We are at war," he says; but he refuses enemy-identification - refuses to face the reality that this is a war of religion.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 13, 2010; 06:09 PM ET | Comments (8)
Each human being has both an appreciative and a critical capacity, and should use both in evaluating all religions: the failure to use one is as wrong as the failure to use the other.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 6, 2010; 11:11 PM ET | Comments (8)
My response is that before we answer the question in/out of Afghanistan, "we have a moral responsibility" to give Gen. Petraeus four months and a spiritual responsibility to pray for his effort to make a positive difference as great as he made in Iraq.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 29, 2010; 11:08 PM ET | Comments (3)
While human life is not sacred (that is, inviolable by execution or abortion), it is to be respected as God's most complex, innovative, and responsible creation.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 23, 2010; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (20)
West Bank Palestinians are showing signs of accepting distributive justice. Trade with Israel is increasing, and an influx of foreign capital is lifting the economy. The will to live is trumping the will to live injustice, which continues to strangle life and hope in Gaza.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 7, 2010; 11:51 PM ET | Comments (0)
The more "developed" and complex the world has become, the more fragile the works of our hands and minds. It is as though earth were fighting back against "the world" for our worshiping and serving "the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 2, 2010; 12:13 AM ET | Comments (2)
Personally, if a religious test for Supreme Court membership were not illegal, I would want membership restricted to devotees of "America's religious traditions." My preference would not be a matter of prejudice. Rather, my preference would be a matter of national identity, the particularity of the American civilization sustained by the American mind.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 11, 2010; 08:23 PM ET | Comments (6)
"Religion" (historic religions) ritualizes the common ventures of life (birth, marriage, death), giving them sacred meaning, form, and purpose. This is "an alternative view of sex and sexual relations to the culture at large," for the present American culture at large is formed by the secular (religion absent) public schools.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 21, 2010; 12:08 AM ET | Comments (8)
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; 03:17 PM ET | Comments (1)
Think of the COURAGE it takes to pastor: one aspect of your job is to confront, even at times to cross the interests of, your employers, the members of the congregation singly and collectively! No one should be surprised to learn that long pastorates are extremely rare, or that the courage of some pastors fail.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 15, 2010; 10:31 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; 02:03 PM ET | Comments (24)
The secularist illusion that foreign policy can be conducted without consideration of religion has fast faded since 9/11 and the global increase of religion's valence in common and political life.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 25, 2010; 08:21 AM ET | Comments (1)
For the Founders, religion was a legal afterthought." The truth is, religion was a seven-year forethought, in the Constitution's predecessor, the Articles of Confederation. Indeed, also in the Declaration of Independence, a five-year forethought to the Articles of Confederation.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 22, 2010; 03:51 PM ET | Comments (0)
Here in America we are, and should be, free to buy abortions and anti-abortion ads. We are not, and should not be, free to kill "abortionists" or to suppress "speech."
By Willis E. Elliott | February 1, 2010; 10:50 PM ET | Comments (3)
Obama is not a "spiritual leader." He is a political leader with spiritual convictions which, rightly, he neither conceals nor obtrudes.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 26, 2010; 05:56 PM ET | Comments (2)
Well, collapse happened to more than a million Haitians. Did their meaning-in-life disappear? Doubtless it did in some cases, leaving at least a temporary vacuum. More commonly, tragedy deepens one's meaning-in-life.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 21, 2010; 11:40 PM ET | Comments (4)
In every human society, speech is adequately regulated by social sanctions and should not be throttled by legal sanctions. "Politically correct" speech should not be politically defined and enforced, nor should "hate speech" or "blasphemy" be subject to court punishment.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 4, 2010; 11:54 PM ET | Comments (6)
Oral was "Mr. Pentecostal," the personal symbol of the fastest-spreading form of Christianity with the exception of the "indigenous church" movements. In addition to his televangelistic work, he led some 300 evangelistic campaigns on six continents, wrote scores of books, and founded a university which today has almost 3,800 students and is in good financial condition.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 17, 2009; 08:34 PM ET | Comments (4)
While the West is decreasingly Christian in religious praxis, it continues strongly to affirm an emergent in Christian civilization, namely, the sense of the human being as individual, as PERSON. Steadily though imperfectly, the West will continue to war for this cultural artifact, whose enemy - for the foreseeable future - will be Islamism.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 2, 2009; 02:25 PM ET | Comments (122)
"Be good for goodness sake" is a line in the pop Christmas song, "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." The line embeds the expletive, "For goodness sake!," which is a euphemism for the blasphemous "For God's sake!"
By Willis E. Elliott | November 23, 2009; 10:40 PM ET | Comments (27)
Do "church leaders have a duty to raise moral concerns?" Yes, in three spheres: their own members, the general society, and government. Secular forces would like to see religion confined to the private sphere, but Christianity teaches that churches should care - as God does - about all of human life.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 18, 2009; 01:31 PM ET | Comments (4)
1.... .End-of-life physical-health care can prolong both life AND suffering, depending on the kind of care given. Over one-third of the residents in our retirement home are 90 or older, and none of these (including myself, nearing 92) is without at least one major health issue involving some degree of suffering. When the facility opened eight years ago, few were that old. The wave of the truly old has hit, and it's a tsunami of Medicare-Medicaid costs. Not far out to sea is an even greater wave, the baby boomers beginning to qualify for Medicare.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 4, 2009; 09:20 PM ET | Comments (2)
Implicit in our faith is also this: People who think they are good without God are under at least one, perhaps two, illusions. And people who don't claim to be good, but who claim that some are good who don't believe in God, add one more illusion.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 30, 2009; 12:38 AM ET | Comments (7)
What would free speech amount to if the speakers had no legal right to their biases? I believe that it is hateful to have on the books any laws criminalizing anything even remotely qualifying as "hate speech."
By Willis E. Elliott | October 19, 2009; 10:47 PM ET | Comments (11)
Armstrong and her fantasy deity smile, and preach compassion. But "it" smells of the library rather than the street, and she does not pray to it. But we God-believers can be grateful to her for insisting that there is a there there, which is an ever-so-small but real advance on atheism
By Willis E. Elliott | October 9, 2009; 02:44 PM ET | Comments (6)
For the "state" to require that employment be open to unbelievers in the particular faith is in violation both of the social fact that the agency is a faith community and of the sound principle of subsidiarity. But American individualism makes these violations probable.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 21, 2009; 09:18 PM ET | Comments (5)
Our former thickness of trust in God has shrunk into the thinness of trust in "the system" sustaining their consumerist way of life.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 16, 2009; 12:19 AM ET | Comments (13)
Irony: religion is back into Russia's public schools, but not into America's.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 1, 2009; 11:03 PM ET | Comments (4)
Only God is capable of setting things right after wrongdoing. Our jurisprudence can only approximate justice. But our vengeance, in violating love and forgiveness, is in itself unjust.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 25, 2009; 05:32 PM ET | Comments (5)
Each human being has a moral responsibility for the health needs of the class of persons Jesus defined as "the neighbor," namely, the person in need.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 24, 2009; 02:19 PM ET | Comments (2)
Dr. Welton Gaddy's invitation to dialog toward "common ground" is really a thorough bash-job against all opposition to defining "marriage" down to include same-sex unions.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 27, 2009; 10:43 PM ET | Comments (22)
Excluding women from leadership in religion violates the essence of religion
By Willis E. Elliott | July 20, 2009; 04:38 PM ET | Comments (4)
America's calendar of public holidays should be limited to the cultural-religious roots which account for America as a distinct civilization, namely, the Bible (Christianity and Judaism) and the Enlightenment.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 8, 2009; 09:24 AM ET | Comments (9)
The public knows the difference between penitence and pandering by the aftermath: when real, repentance in words is followed by behavioral improvement. In old biblical English, "Repent, and do works meet for repentance."
By Willis E. Elliott | July 2, 2009; 10:33 PM ET | Comments (1)
Not surprisingly, since it has played so huge a part in the histories of both France and the United States, FREEDOM is the civic value motivating both Presidents.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 25, 2009; 10:50 PM ET | Comments (3)
The unintended consequence of the revolution of '79 was the replacement of a secular monarchy by a theocracy Potemkin-clothed as a democracy.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 19, 2009; 08:46 AM ET | Comments (4)
Gay coupling is a less stable social institution than straight (male/female) coupling, but the laws should give to this institution such recognition as is commensurate with its positive contribution to society's stability and prosperity.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 10, 2009; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (24)
Conversation does not ascend to common ground until each participant feels "I am understood." No previous President of the United States was as well prepared as is Obama to say to the Muslim world, "I understand you."
By Willis E. Elliott | June 6, 2009; 01:16 AM ET | Comments (4)
As Tiller's murder shows, any conviction extended far enough and sufficiently inflated arrives at violence.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 1, 2009; 10:39 PM ET | Comments (5)
Faith or medicine is a false either/or that needs the corrective of both-and. Medicine without faith is weaker than it can be, and faith without medicine is sometimes fatal.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 23, 2009; 11:27 AM ET | Comments (4)
Not surprisingly, Obama's speech at Notre Dame was an honest, masterful, Hail Mary by-pass of all the phrases his "pro-life" enemies might use as banners against him
By Willis E. Elliott | May 18, 2009; 09:31 PM ET | Comments (2)
The ordination of clergy is the human response to "vocation," God's "call" to ministry in and through the churches. I consider it blasphemous to give God a list of excluded categories.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 11, 2009; 10:57 PM ET | Comments (2)
Proclamation, YES; related event at the White House, NO.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 4, 2009; 09:58 PM ET | Comments (3)
Torture is ambiguous, its value is challenged, and its use should be restrained, by its violation of some essential human values.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 28, 2009; 12:04 AM ET | Comments (6)
Of all the world's legal systems, Islam's sharia is the most change-resistant and the greatest threat to personal freedoms.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 20, 2009; 11:59 PM ET | Comments (11)
To war against any particular religion is, for America, inconceivable.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 13, 2009; 09:50 PM ET | Comments (7)
Benedict's apologies are welcome -- but some day, some Pope may apologize for Rome's long-continued use of the Roman emperor as model for the papacy.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 6, 2009; 05:13 PM ET | Comments (21)
True religion frees human beings to live responsibly and joyfully in relation to all realities, immanent and transcendent. Cults bind persons to a narrow range of reality, mentally if not also physically cutting off access to everyone and everything the cult leader disapproves.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 30, 2009; 08:08 PM ET | Comments (22)
Why does the question "Does Satan exist?" exist?
By Willis E. Elliott | March 25, 2009; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (14)
The post-prosperity American mood is to call yourself nothing, identify yourself with no institutions political, religious, or cultural.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 19, 2009; 09:30 AM ET | Comments (23)
Human life begins at conception: each conceptus and embryo is a human being. But the pre-fetal stages of human life should be open to scientific study and medical use.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 10, 2009; 12:09 AM ET | Comments (19)
There is a time for justice, letting the financially irresponsible suffer. But there is a time for mercy
By Willis E. Elliott | March 9, 2009; 02:57 AM ET | Comments (12)
I've seen no poll indicating, in cases of domestic violence, the presence or absence of religion as factor.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 27, 2009; 12:04 AM ET | Comments (34)
Literacy is required for the laity to "read sacred texts alone."
By Willis E. Elliott | February 18, 2009; 01:33 AM ET | Comments (13)
The only justification for government grants to faith-based programs is public proof that the programs benefit the general public with secular values.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 17, 2009; 09:07 AM ET | Comments (11)
Benedict is a good man, a competent scholar, and a faithful celebrant in all the holy orders of the Roman Catholic Church. But, like everybody else, popes sometimes make disastrous decisions with consequences the size of their power, in their case monarchic. How refreshing it would be were Benedict to repent of this disastrous decision!
By Willis E. Elliott | February 4, 2009; 12:16 AM ET | Comments (4)
"A new way forward" for America and the Muslim world is possible to the extent that the focus abides on the President's priority, namely, "mutual interest."
By Willis E. Elliott | January 30, 2009; 07:54 AM ET | Comments (3)
I smiled with satisfaction at the deft solution to the question whether the presidential oath of office should include the words, "so help me God."
By Willis E. Elliott | January 21, 2009; 07:16 AM ET | Comments (53)
A presidential inauguration combines ceremonial (actions) with ritual (words). Obama should submit to both, including "so help me God".
By Willis E. Elliott | January 19, 2009; 07:06 AM ET | Comments (10)
At whatever cost to the Gazans, Hamas believes it must continue to make the statement that land once Muslim (dar es salam) must always be Muslim; and if taken from Muslims, it is "war territory" (dar es harb) until recovered for Islam.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 9, 2009; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (11)
Being both religious (but not old fundamentalist) and secular (but not new fundamentalist), Obama is a disappointment to America's extremists right and left. But he will persist in calling us Americans to unity.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 2, 2009; 03:40 AM ET | Comments (8)
Since Obama is an evangelical-liberal Christian, I assume he sees Rick Warren as the Christian leader who best represents Obama's vision of life and understanding of America's needs and potential for being good news to humanity and to the good earth.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 27, 2008; 12:56 PM ET | Comments (6)
Those "conservative Episcopalians" who hold to "biblical literalism" should stay in the Church, make their witness, and - like everybody else - take their lumps.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 19, 2008; 02:47 AM ET | Comments (30)
Gay unions should have equal rights, but these should not be confused with equal benefits or with equal dignity.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 9, 2008; 01:44 AM ET | Comments (9)
The White House should avoid emphasizing the religion factor. Religion-driven terrorists hope to achieve, in addition to chaos, an intensification of inter-religious conflict. The more their religion is mentioned, the more heroic and martyrial they feel, and the more energized to further their terrorism.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 2, 2008; 01:30 AM ET | Comments (0)
As a United Church of Christ clergyman, I'd love to see the Obama family in one of our many churches in the Washington area. But in a way no previous president has been, Obama will be a president for all the people; and being identified with any one denomination within one religion would be un-ecumenical.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 25, 2008; 05:49 PM ET | Comments (13)
Fasting, not feasting, was an element in our early Presidents' calls to prayer. Feasting, with the Pilgrim-Indian trappings of the 1621 harvest festival, got added when the accent in presidential prayer-calls moved from penitence to thanksgiving.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 23, 2008; 04:46 PM ET | Comments (11)
The notion that "compassion is central to all religions" is wishful thinking, not sound scholarship.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 17, 2008; 06:16 AM ET | Comments (26)
The global celebrations of Obama's victory were an opening of the letter. That is why, in responding to the "On Faith" questions, I did not distinguish between "about America" and "to the world." What Obama's election says about us it says to the world.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 11, 2008; 06:31 AM ET | Comments (0)
What does OBAMA have a record of not being serious about? Nothing serious that I know of.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 2, 2008; 04:35 AM ET | Comments (4)
My no-glass-ceilings version of Christianity empowers women to become clergy, as several in our family - including my wife - are. This is the usual meaning of "empower," namely, to empower-in-society, in societal functioning.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 24, 2008; 03:35 PM ET | Comments (2)
We should have a funeral for two dead false gods, the market and the American empire. (They died at the same time; in fact, they killed each other.) Then we should have a party to celebrate their deaths.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 14, 2008; 02:59 PM ET | Comments (14)
It's wrong and foolish NOT to judge candidates by the company they keep and the company they kept. But "guilt by association" - condemning and rejecting someone solely on the basis of a single association - is foolishly narrow-minded and morally wrong.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 8, 2008; 04:12 PM ET | Comments (8)
Taking "religious beliefs" to mean what gives a human life its deepest meaning, value, and purpose, I want to hear how Biden and Palin put into words what governs their lives.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 5, 2008; 12:05 AM ET | Comments (12)
I am deeply concerned about single-issue, anti-abortion voters. I consider them immoral. Why would anyone let the abortion issue determine one's vote? Bad religion, that's why.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 27, 2008; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (19)
"Free trade," "the open market," "unregulated capitalism" invite & always result in runaway greed, then collapse.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 16, 2008; 12:38 AM ET | Comments (6)
Every religion is attractive (or it couldn't continue to exist) and repulsive (or it wouldn't be human). When a religion comes to public notice in the person of a prominent politician, its friends note the politician's embodiment of its attractiveness and its enemies remark any evidence of its repulsiveness.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 9, 2008; 05:48 PM ET | Comments (18)
No, it is not "hypocritical to think that a woman can lead a nation and not a congregation." Rather, it is ignorant.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 5, 2008; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (28)
It's dangerous to tell us that you pray for divine guidance, but it's honest. Dangerous, because enemies will be quick to accuse you of hypocritical piety. But honest to the human condition of limited wisdom.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 28, 2008; 07:18 AM ET | Comments (13)
Our society is hypocritical in encouraging natural sexual behavior (especially in commercial advertising and entertainment) while condemning it in politicians.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 25, 2008; 06:28 AM ET | Comments (12)
In the Saddleback Civil Forum, August 16, AD 2008 CE, McCain asked people to feel and Obama asked people to think.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 19, 2008; 07:53 AM ET | Comments (16)
In inviting the two presidential candidates to his church for this encounter, Rick Warren - an evangelical of generous mind, heart, and pocket - has rendered a vital service to his fellow Americans.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 15, 2008; 03:44 AM ET | Comments (2)
Every Sunday I see, in church, many low-wage workers practicing their "religion" in a community of mutual concern and affection, a community of love.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 11, 2008; 08:23 AM ET | Comments (33)
A culture's sacred (that is, its religion) reflects (though it may also critique) the culture's virtues and vices.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 2, 2008; 08:48 AM ET | Comments (7)
The Bible is the scriptural foundation of the American mind, including the mind of the American military. The American way establishes no religion and privileges biblical religion.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 25, 2008; 05:38 AM ET | Comments (64)
The supernatural is real.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 18, 2008; 11:54 PM ET | Comments (28)
In telling us that she, a non-Catholic, took Communion at Tim Russert’s funeral, Sally Quinn has asked us to get personal about her no matter how little or much we “On Faith” panelists may know about her.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 8, 2008; 08:15 PM ET | Comments (18)
For decades my custom has been to ask professed atheists, “What deity are you denying?” Almost always it’s a childhood god now outgrown: the person grew tall, but his/her god remained small.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 2, 2008; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (38)
Heading the list of “books that made a difference” in my life must be the BIBLE, which at age 12 I took to reading eagerly, intensely, daily, without either encouragement or discouragement from my family.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 26, 2008; 05:12 AM ET | Comments (7)
I found nothing disrespectful about "The Love Guru," but I did find something offensive. It reduces Hinduism to a 60s love-in.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 23, 2008; 08:58 AM ET | Comments (11)
As the Bible sees it – and as research increasingly confirms - a person’s “whole being” - in sickness and in health - is a physical-spiritual continuum, making this “On Faith” question - indeed - a no-brainer.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 17, 2008; 02:22 PM ET | Comments (4)
If we had listened to Jeremiah Wright instead of George Bush, we wouldn’t have made the tragic mess we’ve made in Iraq. America needs more preachers like Jeremiah Wright and more politicians like Barack Obama.
By Willis E. Elliott | June 8, 2008; 08:06 PM ET | Comments (12)
NO, greed can never be justified.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 30, 2008; 01:10 PM ET | Comments (16)
Church cannot nullify “rights” defined by state, and state cannot deny church the right to define its “rites.”
By Willis E. Elliott | May 22, 2008; 09:28 AM ET | Comments (32)
As a pro-choice evangelical, I was saddened by the violent anti-choice (spun as “pro-life”) language of “an Evangelical Manifesto” on this culture-war issue: we on the other side are guilty of “assaults” on the unborn.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 16, 2008; 03:04 PM ET | Comments (24)
Here is a hopeful hypocrisy: while the virtue of truthfulness-honesty-trustworthiness has declined in the American populace, we the people judge candidates for office by this standard.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 12, 2008; 06:42 AM ET | Comments (14)
“On Faith” says that “Jeremiah Wright’s sermons continue to be an issue in the presidential campaign.” Would that they were! For 36 years they have motivated their hearers to Christian hope and to extensive ministries of help in south Chicago.
By Willis E. Elliott | May 1, 2008; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (37)
There's a touch of irony and good humor in the fact that this pope, warning against privatizing religion, is himself a very private, inwardly oriented, Christian.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 24, 2008; 12:19 PM ET | Comments (24)
The problem is not the excellent scholar Joseph Ratzinger, or this good man in the papal role. The problem is the traditional autocratic papacy itself, of which he is the current embodiment.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 15, 2008; 02:34 PM ET | Comments (52)
When Pope Benedict prayed in the direction of Mecca, his action was a YES to Christian generosity toward the other religions, and when he baptized that Italian convert from Islam, his action said YES to Christian orthodoxy.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 10, 2008; 01:54 PM ET | Comments (23)
What worries me is that the very flap over Obama’s former pastor miseducates the public as to both the place of preaching in congregational leadership and the relationship between pastor and parishioner.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 8, 2008; 07:40 AM ET | Comments (17)
Jeremiah Wright is accused of “Jeremiads” in the denouncing spirit of some of Jeremiah’s speeches in the Bible book of that name. King was capable of such but his preferred mode was from the other Bible book from the Prophet Jeremiah, namely, Lamentations.
By Willis E. Elliott | April 5, 2008; 09:56 AM ET | Comments (6)
Within each race, as well as in the general society, how can we best help boys become men and girls become women?
By Willis E. Elliott | March 29, 2008; 06:34 AM ET | Comments (15)
And for all of us Christians, Easter means "the resurrection of the Son of God" with all its attendant splendors for time and eternity. The last word is not sorrow but joy, not death but life.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 24, 2008; 04:36 AM ET | Comments (14)
Jeremiah Wright and I are retired clergy in America’s most liberal Christian denomination, and “inflammatory” remarks can be clipped from our archives depending on what the clipper wants to burn up.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 20, 2008; 08:50 AM ET | Comments (32)
May Spitzer use his humiliation wisely, to make a new start by the grace of God. As for his world-class hypocrisy it was a pitiful effort at pseudo-atonement, as if one could be forgiven by being especially hard on sinners of one’s own kind.
By Willis E. Elliott | March 16, 2008; 09:42 PM ET | Comments (48)
An ironic side-benefit of this increased religious mobility in America is its effect on an old argument that no religion can be the true one or even the most true one: since almost everybody dies in their birth-religion, the true or truest religion can be available only to a few.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 28, 2008; 07:18 AM ET | Comments (29)
Among the surviving presidential candidates, Obama is the only orator. He will be our next president.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 23, 2008; 06:11 AM ET | Comments (56)
If English law opens up to admit the sword-point of a radically different legal mentality, law itself will be reduced in its dignity and law enforcement will become more difficult.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 17, 2008; 08:08 PM ET | Comments (45)
America needs a president who understands and lives the American mind as a two-string lyre, both “under God” and “under the constitution.” Bilingual, able to speak both within the limits of reason (as democratic discourse requires) and within the freedom of faith.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 8, 2008; 01:44 PM ET | Comments (113)
If we don’t block our narcissistic tendency, what people think of us will become the mold into which we pour the liquid plastic of our self-perception.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 7, 2008; 04:34 AM ET | Comments (0)
For Islam, “war territory” is the whole world except where populations live under sharia. And sharia cannot survive freedom of speech and press. That is why this 20-year-old journalist has been condemned to death.
By Willis E. Elliott | February 4, 2008; 06:46 AM ET | Comments (14)
Life would be easier—wouldn’t it?—if we didn’t need human leaders in either “state” or “church,” and didn’t need to suffer the successions from one leader to another. But we must somehow sail—in “church” and “state”—between lawless anarchy and freedomless tyranny,...
By Willis E. Elliott | January 31, 2008; 12:14 PM ET | Comments (9)
No way is this Baptist preacher (Elliott) going to agree with that Baptist preacher (Huckabee) on “God’s standards.”
By Willis E. Elliott | January 24, 2008; 07:03 AM ET | Comments (11)
GREED is my choice. It’s both the worst and, in our society today, the most prevalent and harmful. But greed can be shamed by generosity, as in the life and work of Muhammad Yunus.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 19, 2008; 05:52 PM ET | Comments (43)
Of all the Jews I have known, Abe Heschel best represents the Jewish mind in its affirmation of roots, exploration of range, and adjustment to change.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 9, 2008; 07:49 AM ET | Comments (45)
The most common thing I hear about what people want in a president: integrity.
By Willis E. Elliott | January 4, 2008; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (21)
Attacks on this legislation will center on the claim that it violates the First Amendment. It does not.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 22, 2007; 05:30 PM ET | Comments (75)
As conscience permits, let's say a hearty "Merry Christmas!" And please, nonChristian minorities and inclusive-language censors, don’t be anti-"Christmas" party-poopers.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 21, 2007; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (85)
We Americans are predisposed to kick or kiss political candidates before they open their mouths, and they know it. Clearly, Mitt Romney knew it as he was writing the speech we “On Faith” panelists have been asked to comment on:...
By Willis E. Elliott | December 14, 2007; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (70)
I’m not hopeful that governments will successfully attack the great social problems, but I am hopeful that “religious believers” will continue to do so.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 5, 2007; 08:40 AM ET | Comments (47)
America's obsession with sex scandals is sad, stupid, sick, sidelining, and sinful.
By Willis E. Elliott | December 3, 2007; 09:19 AM ET | Comments (48)
For the Christian mind, every day is thanksgiving day, and all acts of compassionate service to humanity and the good earth are return-gifts to the Giver of all.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 26, 2007; 06:24 AM ET | Comments (56)
The Archangel gives you just the children you need.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 22, 2007; 09:36 AM ET | Comments (11)
My willingness to forgive is to be so overwhelming that I stand in the way of my enemies’ getting their “just deserts,
By Willis E. Elliott | November 14, 2007; 06:44 AM ET | Comments (26)
International law says that pain-infliction is permissible as long as the pain is not SEVERE. I agree and reject arguments that no inflicting of pain can be justified.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 8, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (96)
The Republican side of me says the immoral should suffer.The Democratic side of me says society should protect children from immoral, irresponsible parents.
By Willis E. Elliott | November 2, 2007; 04:59 PM ET | Comments (131)
Let's keep Halloween going! It's scary fun, playful fright, celebrating mysterious perceptions, weirdly satisfying some needs our dailiness obscures.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 30, 2007; 06:29 AM ET | Comments (890)
Repent, you eco-hell-bound sinners, for devastation is soon (within 40 years) upon us!
By Willis E. Elliott | October 25, 2007; 09:32 AM ET | Comments (54)
The notion of their carrying “the same message” is fatuous. Worse, it’s propaganda: hold still, and whoever makes this false claim will lay on you his/her distinctive message.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 22, 2007; 08:16 AM ET | Comments (25)
We Christians don’t believe in life after death. We have full belief in Jesus, and afterlife with him is implicit in our experience of him as alive in our here-and-now.
By Willis E. Elliott | October 14, 2007; 01:32 PM ET | Comments (261)
Observation 1.....“Only in America,” as “Carolina Israelite” Harry Golden used to say. In our country more than anywhere else on earth or in human history, one’s background may not be one’s foreground. We're tolerant of jumping one ship for...
By Willis E. Elliott | October 4, 2007; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (14)
1922 came to my mind, Hitch, when I read this of yours: "Religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children."...
By Willis E. Elliott | October 2, 2007; 05:15 AM ET | Comments (16)
A religion is human life centered in and celebrating what the particular religious community considers Most Real.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 21, 2007; 08:43 AM ET | Comments (54)
The West is in a religio-political war not of our choosing. The enemy is not Islam but a violent movement within Islam, a movement many Muslim leaders repudiate. For this movement, this week’s “On Faith” question doesn’t make sense: “To...
By Willis E. Elliott | September 16, 2007; 08:20 AM ET | Comments (16)
yoyo said: Rev Willis Thanks for responding to my comment. You seem to agree that the supernatural and the imagination are the same thing. The Rev John Bryson Chane,on another thread,says "God lives within each of us...not outside of us",...
By Willis E. Elliott | September 15, 2007; 05:40 PM ET | Comments (8)
wiccan said: Reverend- My sisters have taken you to task, quite correctly in my eyes, for your misconceptions (to put it charitably). I cannot improve on their postings, so instead, I ask you to pray with me. If you open...
By Willis E. Elliott | September 15, 2007; 05:32 PM ET | Comments (9)
lepidopteryx said: Rev Elliot, you're way off base inmore ways than one concerning your perception of Paganism. And quite frankly, I would find it highly amusing that you advise Terra to follow the advice of Ieshua and learn to love...
By Willis E. Elliott | September 15, 2007; 04:59 PM ET | Comments (4)
I pray that your confidence in the sword of violence will diminish, and your conviction of the power of the word will increase.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 13, 2007; 05:24 AM ET | Comments (29)
In biblical religion, "faith" is the term for affirming the non-sense that God is both powerful and good, both infinite and involved in finite affairs.
By Willis E. Elliott | September 7, 2007; 11:38 AM ET | Comments (850)
Faith and doubt are the legs on which the collective human mind walks.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 31, 2007; 08:59 AM ET | Comments (37)
"Don't sweat the small stuff." Abortion and same-gender equality--are they small stuff? "Small" signals that the question's category is size. When conversations hit a question of size, I frequently recall my father the judge saying,"In comparison with what?" The longer...
By Willis E. Elliott | August 23, 2007; 09:22 AM ET | Comments (23)
What’s wrong with me? “Not a problem,” some “On Faith” commenters would say and without hesitation have told me. More thoughtful, a cognitive therapist would muck about in my ideas to find the one labeled “Mail System Error: This message...
By Willis E. Elliott | August 21, 2007; 08:11 AM ET | Comments (45)
The question’s secular-antireligious bias is blatant....religion and medicine are only superficially and secondarily in conflict.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 13, 2007; 06:40 AM ET | Comments (112)
The roots of American democracy are not multicultural but culture-specific: Bible + Enlightenment.
By Willis E. Elliott | August 6, 2007; 09:42 AM ET | Comments (44)
No, we can’t “just” get along together on this "flat earth." It will take strong wanting to, hard work, painful listening, and resistance (Aabic "jihad") against those who want us not to get along unless under the dominance of their...
By Willis E. Elliott | July 30, 2007; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (23)
“The Pope is right” was my opening line last week. He should have encouraged the bishops of that church to restore the Latin mass, which continues the formative sounds of the Latin church. Memory is audio, and silence is amnesia....
By Willis E. Elliott | July 23, 2007; 02:09 PM ET | Comments (34)
False is the argument that people need to hear everything in their own language in order to understand.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 11, 2007; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (56)
II would vote for a Pagan, although Paganism is un-American.
By Willis E. Elliott | July 10, 2007; 08:50 AM ET | Comments (588)
“The Man upstairs, if any, will be kind to me. Never mention God to me again.” Our fisherman-neighbor on Cape Cod was packing 550 pounds of squid he’d just caught, and this was his reply to my asking him how...
By Willis E. Elliott | July 3, 2007; 08:28 AM ET | Comments (21)