prayer

Why President Obama Should Not Visit the Western Wall

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While the Western Wall remains under the administration of a state-sponsored religious entity that prohibits the free worship of its citizens, President Obama should not visit the site. To do so would be a tacit endorsement of the laws and policies that limit civil liberties in Israel in favor of religious control of public prayer, life-cycle events, and, in cases involving conversion, even questions of citizenship.

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The Papal Prayer Machine

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With Twitter, there is just the right mix of calculable dissemination and mystery. You know who has retweeted or favorited your prayer, but what of the followers of the followers of the followers who follow you who did not retweet or favorite but may have read and been affected by your prayer?

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Spiritual-Not-Religious or Just Lazy?

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The folks most likely to be alienated by Daniel’s book are, unsurprisingly, the seekers—those who call themselves SBNR, of course, but also those who want religious community, or at least want to want it. For these folks, who may be, as she says, “shopping” for a place to belong, Daniel has absolutely no patience.

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God Wants You to Work Harder, and to Stop Complaining

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So-called “workplace spirituality” teaches people that the anxieties associated with global capital are inevitable, even part of the natural order of things. Under the highly deregulated conditions that prevail in the twenty-first century, individuals struggle against constant job insecurity. In this socioeconomic stew, workplace spirituality offers the individual a stable community where ultimate meaning and purpose become anchored to his or her place of employment. Workers feel more fulfilled and empowered on the job, and, therefore, will freely work harder and more productively, the theory goes, while ignoring more material concerns such as declining wages and diminishing benefits. Workplace spirituality neatly legitimates globalization while muffling its psychological effects.

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Manly Prayers at Penn State

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Besides the weighty matters of truth, justice and protection, Coach Brown prayed for something much less obviously connected to the alleged sexual abuse: a restoration of masculinity to the game of football.

“There are a lot of little boys around the country, today, who are watching this game. And they’re trying to figure out what the definition of manhood is all about. Father, this is it right here. I pray that this game will be a training ground of what manhood looks like.”

When I heard that prayer I couldn’t help but ask, why here and why now? What is it exactly about this scandal that relates to little boys trying to learn what manhood looks like?

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