Religions

Lessons from a Culture that Celebrates Life

Read Time: 4 min.

Finding his way through the vibrant “Land of the Dead” in the Disney/Pixar film Coco, Miguel sadly watches an older soul fade away in front of him. Perplexed that someone can disappear, even from the land of those who no longer live, he asks his trickster companion Héctor what happened. Poignantly, Héctor informs Miguel that, “Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—...

The First and Only Rule of Being Good

Read Time: 3 min.

Being a good person is simple. Like most things, people tend to overcomplicate it. They scour the internet or ask the smartest people they know (i.e. parents), hoping for the missing piece to the puzzle. But like I said, it’s pretty simple – all you have to do is pay attention to religion. I’ll admit, coming from someone who isn’t religious, this might seem like shaky advice. Now, I’m not sa...

Call Me Old-Fashioned

Read Time: 3 min.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think technology is a little overrated. Yes, we can have pretty much anything we want delivered to us without even putting on pants. Yes, we don’t have to go through the hassle of making real friends when we can easily connect with people online. Yes, we don’t even need to know where we’re going before we get in the car. But just because we have unlimited power at our ...

Combatting Hate with Simple Relationships

Read Time: 3 min.

For Dawud and the Muslim American Society’s mosque in Katy, Texas, it all started with pig races. Soon after the group purchased land in the Houston suburb in 2006, their neighbor, Craig Baker, began hosting pig races and selling tickets to his friends and members of the public. In time, some 300 spectators showed up every Friday evening corresponding precisely with the jummah prayers—the holiest ...

Looking Back at Islam & the West

Read Time: 4 min.

In our post-9/11 world, the relationship between the “West” and “Islam” is often misunderstood. Perceived contrasts and persistent stereotypes often have nothing to do with reality, and tensions continue to increase in our polarized world. As these biases against, and fear of, others becomes deeper ingrained, it is more important than ever to take a look at our shared past to consider how we might...

Do we make faith too complicated?

Read Time: 3 min.

If you ask me, religion has a funny way of complicating things. For example, take something as straightforward as faith. I don’t necessarily mean faith in the religious sense; I’m simply referring to the idea of trusting in someone. Can someone be faithful and not religious? Is faith reserved for those that believe in and practice a specific religion? Can those of us that don’t identify with a rel...

Prayer in Public Schools—The Laws Make Sense

Read Time: 3 min.

Every year of high school I met with my fellow Christian classmates and friends during the designated Wednesday in September. We met to pray for our country. We met to pray for our school. We met to pray for each other. We met to prove that the First Amendment still gave us the right to profess our faith, even if a Supreme Court decision said we could not have school-wide corporate prayer. Most of...

Putting Religion Back in Our Schools

Read Time: 3 min.

It’s about time we put religion back in our schools. Now, hold on…I’m not talking about what you think I’m talking about. The separation of church and state is important. I truly believe that prayer, theology, and religious practices are not meant to permeate the boundaries of our secular institutions—school, the halls of government, etc. But that doesn’t mean we should take religious education—te...

If I identify as a Christian, does it have to be ‘all-or-nothing’?

Read Time: 3 min.

Some people associate an ‘all-or-nothing ultimatum’ with identifying as a Christian: ‘You believe the entirety of the Bible and take it as fact, or none of it. There isn’t room to pick and choose.’ This is a big challenge for people who—by contrast—identify as Christian, but take more of a middle-ground approach on many of the issues the Bible raises. On one hand, I get it. Religion isn’t Chipotle...

Science and Religion—Pieces of the Same Puzzle

Read Time: 3 min.

I saw a video that a pastor made about creationism. In this video, he adamantly argued that God created the world in 6 days—point blank, period. He said scientific theories were “just theories” and therefore had no merit. That science and technology were anti-religion. He posted this video to Facebook… It was recorded using a smartphone… And he was driving a car… All pretty technologically-advance...

Jesus Christ, Inc.

Read Time: 3 min.

*Disclaimer: I currently do not identify with any specific religion. You could say I’m spiritual, but not religious. I’m a curious person. Especially when it comes to religion. When I think about Christianity, I tend to obsess over the same question: “If Jesus was alive today, how would he position himself?” This might seem like a weird question, until you get to know me. I’ve been hel...

Spiritual But Not Religious

Read Time: 2 min.

Does this title sound familiar? It should. In this day and age, it’s: The overwhelming response from many millennials when asked about their religious views A popular, seemingly neutral choice when completing your profile on Facebook My answer when people ask me what religion I practice Usually, I’m adamantly against an answer like this because it lacks any sort of thought or conviction. In my cas...

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