Friday News Roundup: Button, button; who’s got the button?

NEWSWhat you wear really does make a statement: a Home Depot employee in Florida and a student in Utah both get in hot water for their accessories, and at least one of these is ending up in court.

Meanwhile, fascinating health care debates go on – should health care reform cover faith healing, and is faith healing really healing?

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A Survey Look at Peacemaking in Seminary Education

That was the title of the seminar I presented at the Interfaith Youth Corps 6th Conference on Interfaith Youth Work this week. To an over-stuffed room of 19 students, professors and non-profit trainers, I presented the findings of our summer’s work: 22 interviews with 10 seminaries, one divinity school and one graduate department of religion.

I may have rushed through my PowerPoint, as I wanted to continue the survey – hearing from this group, how can and should peacemaking be incorporated into future religious leadership? Read the rest of this entry »

Interfaith Youth Core – Missed it? Check out the Twitter feed!

Use the #IFYC09 hashtag to read about all the action from the attendee’s perspectives, including great links to others writing about it.

Our own Assistant Director of the Religion and Conflict Resolution program, Heather DuBois, presented there, and IFYC posted a few questions that sprang from her presentation on their internal discussion site. I thought I’d share them with you here – what’s your take?

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Friday News Roundup: Diwali in the (White) House

NEWSA few weeks ago we wrote about Obama’s Ramadan celebration at the White House. This week, President Obama continued his practice of publicly celebrating the world’s religious traditions with Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Also, an atheist ad appears on New York subways. Read the rest of this entry »

Competing Interests – Religion and LBGT Issues in the Workplace?

Earlier this month, I attended the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Orlando, Florida where I conducted a 150 minute intensive workshop entitled “HR Innovations: A Practicum in Managing Religious Diversity and LGBT Issues”. Our presentation was designed to explore the tensions and misunderstandings that commonly emerge between religious and LBGT employees in the workplace and to introduce participants to some of the ways to recognize and resolve these conflicts.

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Friday News Roundup: A bit of all that

NEWSIn case you were preoccupied with the names Obama and Nobel this week, here are some interesting stories you might have missed.

Iranians around the US are demanding religious freedom in their home country. In Washington DC, 1400 people gathered to hear Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Shohreh Aghdashloo, Academy Award-nominated actress for “House of Sand and Fog,” speak about the suffering of religious minorities in Iran. In Los Angeles, comedian Rainn Wilson hosted a concert with international artists and religious leaders to bring attention to human rights issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday News Roundup: A Mountain of Christian Privilege?


A lone cross was erected on a remote California mountaintop with the most admirable of intentions – to honor World War I veterans for their bravery and patriotism. Now that cross is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

In 1934, a private organization built an 8-foot Christian cross on top of a mountain in the Mojave National Preserve (public land in California) to honor World War I vets. In 1999, someone asked the National Park Service for permission to build a stupa, a type of Buddhist memorial, beside the cross. The request was denied, under the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause. This seemed unfair. So in 2001, Frank Buono, a retired employee of the National Park Service objected to the cross, saying that it violated the Establishment Clause. Read the rest of this entry »