Religion

Religion

God Squad: A reflection on 9/11 and a eulogy delivered 15 years ago

My reflections on 9/11 always happen after 9/11. The day is too powerful for me even now. Father Tom and I officiated at many, many memorial services in the days after 9/11 and none of them had a casket. Even now, 15 years later, I remember how this gauntlet of grief broke both of us in ways we understood immediately and in ways that took years to understand. I was also the president of the New York Board of Rabbis during 9/11 and in that capacity I was asked to deliver the Jewish eulogy for 9/11 at the memorial service in Yankee Stadium on Sept. 24. I offer to you on this year of memorial, some of what I said then. At that time we thought that 6,000 people had been killed in the attack and only later did we discover that the number was half that. May God receive all their souls and comfort our still grieving nation with peace. God bless us one and all.

National

U.S. Muslim reflects on 9/11 and his lonely fight against extremism

Fifteen years after 9/11, Rushdi Abdul Cader has come to personify mainstream America’s idea of the “good Muslim” – the guy Republican nominee Donald Trump has in mind when he says American Muslims “have to cooperate with law enforcement”; the ally Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is referring to when she talks about Muslims as a “coalition at home,” an “early-warning signal” and a “first line of defense against radicalization.” It hasn’t won him friends among Muslims.

Religion

God Squad: Mother Teresa has been a saint for quite some time

This week, by my rough calculations, Mother Teresa became the 10,804th Catholic saint. However, I have a much shorter list of Catholic saints I gladly venerate, a list that includes Augustine, Anselm, Francis and John Paul II, but includes Mother Teresa at the very top. I truly loved her and considered her to have been the most morally and spiritually significant human being on earth until her death in 1997, when I gladly and informally bestowed that title upon His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. By the way, I have no one on the list to replace Mr. Lama, so I pray he decides to keep his dharma body with us for many more years.

Religion

God Squad: A personal connection could assist your leap of faith

Q: You have written in a recent column that to be a Christian, you have to get to the belief that Jesus is God and that God appeared on earth to die for your sins and be resurrected. My question: How does one “get there?” Do you mean that to become a Christian, one must let the overwhelming desire for a God that will care for one in this life and provide an afterlife in paradise win out over the lack of evidence for those beliefs? How does one justify belief in the dogma of any religion? Should one remain loyal to the religion of one’s childhood and not question the dogma of a religion that claims to be “the Word of God” when it may not be? Thank you for reading this, and your articles, which help me seek to understand God. – J from Wilmington, N.C.

Religion

God Squad: A letter to help a reader through the death of a dear dog

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.

Videos

Protesters and supporters clash as Noah's Ark park opens

A group of protesters and supporters clashed outside the Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky as it opened to the public last week.
Marcus Dorsey / The Lexington Herald-Leader
Protesters and supporters clash as Noah's Ark park opens 2:14

Protesters and supporters clash as Noah's Ark park opens

Rev. Nancy Petty on providing comfort in these times of despair 2:02

Rev. Nancy Petty on providing comfort in these times of despair

Replica of Noah's Ark to wow visitors in Kentucky 1:13

Replica of Noah's Ark to wow visitors in Kentucky

Men become first same-sex couple to get married publicly in a United Methodist church in North Carolina 0:45

Men become first same-sex couple to get married publicly in a United Methodist church in North Carolina