Q: I just had to put my poodle of 14 years to eternal sleep. Coping with having to make that decision has been quite difficult. I read your column every week, every one is comforting and informative. I am wondering if you can suggest how I can justify playing God when I had to make that decision. My guy had many issues, so I prayed for weeks that God would take my little boy and spare me the pain of deciding. He didn’t. Thank you for your advice and help. – K from Bellerose, N.Y.
Men have joined in a social media movement protesting the fact that women in Iran are required by law to cover their hair in public by posting photos of themselves wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf.
Q: I believe in God. I see the perfection of the universe and the beauty of his creation. I was raised in a Christian home, have studied the Bible extensively, and I believe the teachings of Jesus are God-inspired. Here is my issue: I have a strong faith in God but my faith in Jesus as “God” is not as strong. I believe many people feel this way but are not willing to say it because they were raised being told that Jesus is God and not just a God-inspired prophet. What are your thoughts? – From M
Q: It seems to me that over the millennia religion has been a major cause of harm in this world. We need only look in the papers to see the ongoing bloodshed. And no religion seems to be immune. From ancient Roman times through the Middle Ages to the 20th century to now, more atrocities have been committed in the name of religion than anything else. Maybe on a very local level religious establishments can play a positive role in terms of youth clubs, comfort in times of sorrow, helping those in need, providing a place for community of the faithful, etc. But on a more universal level, religion has been nothing but a cause for hatred, fear, anger, envy, mistrust and killing. Everyone thinks that his or her religion is the true one, and it seems to be getting worse. Religion is supposed to be synonymous with love of one’s neighbor. But in truth, on a global level, it has mostly been a scourge. In the face of all of this, how can we still praise religion as a force for good? – P from Hauppauge, N.Y.
Q: I was perusing a display of books at a church conference when a gentleman made a comment about a book on display. He said, “I have friends who actually believe in evolution.” He further stated, “No way am I from a monkey. It says in the Bible we were made in the image of God and God is not a monkey!” Of course, I believe he was interpreting literally the phrase that states we were made in the image of God. I immediately thought of your weekly column and wondered, firstly, what is the Hebrew translation of this passage. – M from Nova Scotia, Canada
Evangelist Franklin Graham renewed his call for a boycott of Target following reports that a transgender woman in Idaho was arrested for taking pictures of an 18-year-old woman in one of the retailer’s fitting rooms.
A year ago this month, a Baptist church in Shelby held a ceremony after Sunday morning worship on its front lawn around a newly installed flagpole. During the event, the Christian flag was hoisted above the American flag.
After a tragic week that saw three days of racially charged violence across the nation, Triangle religious leaders face a challenge as they head to Sunday services: How to comfort congregations looking for hope and guidance.