March 28, 2016
Robert J. Hutchinson is the author of "Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth - And How They Confirm the Gospel Accounts" (Thomas Nelson) Millions of people will flock to their churches this Sunday and then enjoy Easter egg hunts, elaborate brunches, and family celebrations. The question is: Why? After all, Easter is the celebration of one of the most absurd claims in history: that Jesus of Nazareth was seen alive again after dying on a Roman cross.
March 17, 2016 |
It was a festive afternoon at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton, Fla. Families rolled out blankets on the lawn beside a man-made lake. Vendors sold hot dogs. Organizers tossed T-shirts from the stage. Then, at nightfall, Donald Trump took the stage - and things turned dark. "On Friday, we went to Chicago," the billionaire presidential candidate told his supporters. They booed the mention of the event that was canceled because of protests. "We had some, I would say they were - let's be nice - " "A-holes!"
March 12, 2016 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. Mark Appel sat at his locker in the Phillies clubhouse with his hood up and a pair of headphones tucked into his ears. The pitching prospect paged through a copy of the Bible the morning before boarding a chartered bus to make his final start in major-league spring training. Appel starts each morning in silence and reflection as he leans on his faith to help him navigate his path - which has not always been smooth - to the majors. "Get my day started the right way," Appel said.
March 9, 2016 |
The first time, Rabbi Sarra Lev thought she'd be afraid. The young man who had asked her to teach him Hebrew before he died was laid out on a table in a funeral home, and she and six others were there to wash his body. "It helped a lot that it was somebody I loved," said Lev, of West Mount Airy. "I thought of it as just taking care of him. It was Randy lying there. " Lev was performing a sacred purification rite of Judaism and other faith traditions, the cleansing of a body shortly after death.
February 24, 2016 |
It's a safe bet the only thing standing between children and their ability to absorb the most challenging art is the adult with a limited imagination. There was no danger of that happening Sunday at the Curtis Institute of Music, where a new production of The Jungle Book emerged from the pen of a group of grown-ups with an enormous sense of regard for their audience. What's more, the 45-minute ballet with a stunning small-ensemble score and crisply told story is an absolute charmer.
January 28, 2016 |
BLOOMFIELD, Iowa - Ted Cruz continued a weeklong sprint toward Monday's Iowa caucuses, traveling the state with high-profile conservatives who helped him frame the election as a moral choice between two candidates: the Texas senator, a self-described consistent conservative, and Donald Trump, portrayed as a con artist who shouldn't be trusted. The case for Cruz, pitched by the candidate, as well as by Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, boiled down to this: his respect for the Constitution and his faith in God. "It's a binary decision now," King told a few dozen people at a church here, about 100 miles southeast of Des Moines.
January 4, 2016
Rana Elmir is the deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan As an American Muslim, I am consistently and aggressively asked - by media figures, religious leaders, politicians, and Internet trolls - to condemn terrorism to prove my patriotism. I emphatically refuse. Make no mistake: The terror imposed by those who sympathize with Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State extremist group), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, and other groups is just as foreign to me as the terror advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country.
December 26, 2015
By Paul F. Morrissey On Christmas Eve, my brothers and sisters and I would sing, "Tomorrow will be Christmas, and we will carols sing; So early in the morning, the sweet church bells will ring. . . " No one ever sings that carol now, but it is still in my memory from more than 60 years ago. It was the 1950s, and the earliest Mass then was at 5 a.m. I was a choirboy, and as I hustled across the street in the frosty morning air with the red cassock, starched white surplice, thick celluloid collar, and the crimson silk ribbon bow tie, I stole a glance upward at the stars as the church bells rang.
December 21, 2015
Armando Valladares is the author of the best-selling memoir "Against All Hope" and the recipient of the Becket Fund's 2016 Canterbury Medal In December of 1785, George Washington received a letter from Quaker abolitionist Robert Pleasants pleading with him to make a priority of ending slavery. Eighty years later - 150 years ago this month - he got his wish. This month marks the sesquicentennial of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which officially ended the scourge of slavery in America.
December 14, 2015 |
Annelyssa Reynolds cares deeply about being at the annual Army-Navy Game to cheer for Navy - deeply enough to schedule her wedding around it. Reynolds, of Mount Laurel, and her beloved, David Snyder of York, Pa., exchanged vows at St. Augustine Church in Philadelphia on Friday. Less than 24 hours later, weary but exhilarated, they joined a dozen family members and friends for a pregame, blue-and-gold tailgate party in a parking lot near Lincoln Financial Field. Reynolds, 28, has been going to the Army-Navy Game to cheer for Navy since she was 10, the first time accompanying a friend whose father graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.