Archive for July 10th, 2011
The central Confucian virtue of jen, most often rendered as “goodness,” defines the proper relation of one person to another, a relationship always articulated for Confucianism in ethical terms. Its core foundational meaning is best understood in terms of the Confucian virtue of shu, reciprocity, defined by Confucius as: “Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you” (Analects 15:23).
The virtue of goodness thus occupies a critically important position within Confucian teaching. Still, how do we get a handle on the concept of “goodness,” its meaning and its actions and how it can be applied in a contemporary context?
Let me suggest a way of understanding Confucian “goodness” through an unlikely comparison — Confucius and Martin Buber.
One of the great Jewish theologians of the 20th century, Martin Buber (1878-1965) proposed a unique way of describing relationships within humanity and between humanity and God. He used two descriptions that have become emblematic of his teachings and theology in general — “I and Thou” and “I and It.”
Buber’s concern was to take notice of the condition in which people live their lives, largely alienated from both humanity and God (continue reading…)
The future of liberal religion in America depends entirely on its ability to generate experiences of religious ecstasy.
Hundreds of articles and books have been written on the decline of liberal religion, and the explanations offered usually depend on sweeping and unproven sociological generalizations: the decline is due to cultural turmoil, or economic dislocation, or confusion about sexual mores, or growing individualism. These ideas are interesting but wrong. Americans are disenchanted with liberal religion because they crave religious passion, because they yearn for moments of religious ecstasy, and because they are disenchanted with religious institutions and leaders who spend too much time talking and who are seem genuinely afraid of religious feeling.
Let me be clear: The majority of Americans are not fundamentalist in their religious orientation and they are not drawn to fundamentalist religion. They are not attracted by a religious tradition that reduces everything to black and white, tells them what to do in every situation and requires them to check their brains at the door when they enter a place of worship (continue reading…)
As we continue to experience change to the Earth due to climate changes, it is important for us to shift our perspective about what is happening. We are also witnessing deterioration on political and economic levels.
Today many people talk about the change in consciousness and evolution that humans are going through. And at the same time all of life — all species and the Earth herself are going through a change.
The landscape of the earth is evolving and changing as it has done throughout time. Land masses have changed over time and will continue to do so (continue reading…)
Recently I was looking through the backlog of event images we’ve got piling up here and found photos from one of my favorite 2010 projects: The Huffington Post’s Game Changers Celebration. Kicked off last year with great fanfare, this honor was bestowed on “100 innovators, mavericks, visionaries, and leaders who are changing the way we look at the world and the way we live in it,” Arianna Huffington cited in her writing. It is exciting because it will be a yearly program to look forward to. So (continue reading…)
The Census Bureau is doling out its 2010 data a little at a time, leaving cities, counties and demographers who count on the updated information to wait for their turn. Filling out the forms last year may have been an inconvenience to you, but the results are a highly-anticipated, golden treasure for me.
I need to know who lives where — not in individual houses, but across communities. I cannot wait to analyze how the populations of our urban areas, suburbs and outlying exurbs have changed since the last comprehensive count in 2000 (continue reading…)
Have you ever stopped to think about childhood depression? If you are like many people you might think that is an absurd thought. What could kids possibly have to be depressed about? Bland cereal? Boring video games? Too much homework or long school days? Seriously, kids can’t be depressed: they get to play, they don’t have to go to work or pay bills, and it is socially acceptable for them to watch cartoons. What could they possibly have to worry about, much less be depressed about?
If it were only that simple.
Childhood depression is real. It can be caused by a number of things (continue reading…)
This week self-help book author Gabrielle (yours truly) got caught up in a BADitude. Rather than let my negativity take me down I turned to my happiness toolbox for help. I led myself on a three-step process for releasing a BADitude. In a short period of time my BADitude had subsided and peace set back in (continue reading…)
I watched “How to Train your Dragon” on Netflix this weekend. It’s a DreamWorks animated film about an adolescent boy who chose to communicate with a dangerous dragon, rather than slay it. Like most modern animations, it has deep meaning. In the case of “How to Train Your Dragon,” it gives young males the option to express strength through gentleness and understanding rather than physical power and brute force (continue reading…)
This week, as I was in London for the launch of HuffPost UK, Britain’s phone hacking scandal mushroomed from journalistic black-eye to a crisis engulfing the UK’s most powerful institutions. You know a scandal has reached critical mass when people start asking of those at the top: “What did you know and when did you know it?” So far, Rupert Murdoch is standing by right-hand gal Rebekah Brooks, while David Cameron, who is close to Brooks and had made the now-arrested former News of the World editor Andy Coulson his communications director, felt compelled to toss his chums under the double-decker bus. Big Society, small world.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
At times I feel like I’m practicing medicine in a tunnel, one where the only way out is to prescribe pharmaceuticals that have gone through double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Modern medicine has brought us many wonderful advances — and, believe me, I understand that controlled trials are important — but what about the art of medicine?
Have we forgotten about the many modes of healing at our fingertips? And what about the individuality of each patient? The reality is that what happens in a laboratory or in a clinical trial is not always what we see in practice every day. Besides, the data we read in scientific journals may not even be reported accurately. I recently read Sherri Tenpenny, M.D.’s blog on fraudulent medical research, where she discusses researchers making up results and publishing them in prestigious medical journals (continue reading…)
With all of us feeling the pinch of the economy these days, it’s smart to find ways to cut back. I asked some of my closet friends and beauty pros to come up with some easy at-home ways to save a buck or two when it comes to your beauty routine. Know that you are not alone — almost all of us are dealing with these tough times — but we can still look gorgeous while going through it.
The first lovely lady I spoke with is my good friend and top manicurist Myrdith Leon-McCormack (continue reading…)
Opposition to almost all taxes has been the defining characteristic of the Republican Party for several decades. At least as far back as the late 1970s, the Republican Party has identified cutting taxes as the key to solving almost any economic problem. For Republican ideologues the best way to stimulate the economy, create jobs, balance the budget, bring people out of poverty, improve education, develop a better health care system or virtually anything else has, for some time now, been to cut taxes.
This has been an important part of the Republican Party’s electoral appeal, and indeed message, for most of this time (continue reading…)
Links:Full news story
This year, two notable controversies have been brewing in Tennessee: a proposed bill that would forbid educators from using the word “gay” in the classroom, and a court battle to determine if Islam is a religion. (The verdict? Islam is in fact a religion — for now, anyway.)
These two issues may seem unrelated, but I believe they’re actually symptoms of the same problem: our nation’s historical difficulty with those who are seen as disrupting the status quo. Intolerance against Muslims and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) individuals isn’t exclusive to Tennessee. With a fever-pitched debate over Park51 (or the “Ground Zero Mosque”) and headline-grabbing concerns about anti-LGBTQ bullying, these issues are a national concern.
Last month, I went to Tennessee for the first time (continue reading…)
“I hope you die and never come back!” the woman screamed at her husband as he left for work. Although the couple loved each other, it didn’t stop them from having the occasional quarrel. That morning’s quarrel, however, was worse than usual.
As fate would have it, the man never made it to work. He died of a heart attack shortly after leaving the house (continue reading…)
I’m a Christian. But I probably shouldn’t be. If you’re a young adult in America, you probably shouldn’t be either. The odds are increasingly against it (continue reading…)
It’s been a busy week on HuffPost Religion. Big Question: When thousands meet for a peace gathering whether with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar or His Holiness the Dalai Lama – do we really get more peace? Maybe from the inside out. These Two Minutes of Wisdom with Deepak Chopra may help all of us become more peaceful in our lives and in the world.
We haven’t had a good Christian, Jewish or Muslim peace rally for a while, but maybe the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq might finally push the Abrahamic traditions to pray for peace while exchanging swords for plowshares – or war drones into health care (continue reading…)
I wrote an article last week — “From Hope to History: It’s Time to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment” — that generated hundreds of comments and thousands of shares. Why? Many readers were dismayed and confused to learn that this simply worded sentence is still not in the U.S. Constitution, even after 88 years:
Readers who believed the Equal Rights Amendment had already passed through Congress to become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution years ago were shocked. The amendment, first written in 1923 by Alice Paul, was, in fact, approved by Congress and sent to the states in 1972 with a ten-year deadline for ratification, but by 1982, supporters had managed to sign on only 35 of the 38 states needed to add the amendment to the Constitution (continue reading…)
On Wednesday, the White House announced a profound change in the government’s response to service members who commit suicide. President Obama will now send their families condolence letters just as he does to families of troops who die in combat or as a result of noncombat incidents in a war zone.
“This issue is emotional, painful and complicated,” President Obama said in a statement. “But these Americans served our nation bravely … we need to do everything in our power to honor their service and to help them stay strong for themselves, for their families and for our nation.”
Military families have been lobbying for this change for a few years, and six weeks ago, a group of senators– 10 Democrats and one Republican — asked the president to change the “insensitive” policy (continue reading…)
Janet Grillo and I are both believers in the sisterhood. There are actually a great number of women in Hollywood who have each other’s backs, but you would be hard-pressed to see evidence of this in the media. We are bombarded with images of women behaving badly toward one another: the “housewives” hurling daggers, “mean girls” going for the jugular, Chelsea Handler attacking… everyone (continue reading…)
When the Titanic was sinking, first class passengers got the lifeboats and the rest were left to fend for themselves. Listening to the economic plans of leading Republicans, the Titanic approach still appears to reign over conservative rhetoric a century later.
Of course, some might argue it was only fair for first class passengers to get the best treatment. After all, their $4,000 tickets (costing roughly $100,000 in today’s dollars) paid for the lion’s share of the voyage (continue reading…)
Of the many confessions I have made in my life, one will always stand out in my mind. It was Holy Thursday. I was in my early 20s. I was working as an associate at a large law firm on Wall Street, a job I had pursued relentlessly after finishing law school at a young age (continue reading…)
It intrigues me that gay Catholics either fall victim to being called a “heretic” or a “living oxymoron” depending on whose company you find yourself in. In fact, in the wake of my previous article (“LGBT Catholics March Not in Defiance, but in Love,” June 27), I received a number of emails, tweets and Facebook messages that have questioned why I don’t just become an Episcopalian or argue that I should leave the Church because of my apparent lack of devotion to the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church). Are gay Catholics really heretics or are they merely people who love being ostracized by their religious leaders? I don’t think either of these accurately characterize gay Catholics or queer spirituality for that matter. Either way, it appears that some people on both sides of the debate want LGBT people out of the Catholic Church (continue reading…)