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Praying for Iraq

August 20, 2014

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The traditional answer to pacifism is the so-called “Just War” argument. It’s a classic case of bad branding. Pacifists look like peacemakers while “Just War” advocates look like they’re arguing for war.

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Interrogation verses torture: One is good and necessary; the other is terrible and desctructive

September 14, 2011

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I’ve been in e-mail contact with Jennifer Bryson after she found my obscure internet rants when Terry Jones threatened to burn the Qur’an. I soon discovered that her education makes mine look like glorified day care: she got a BA after studying political science at Stamford, an MA in European intellectual history at Yale, and a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and civilizations — again at Yale. She also did a stint at Karl Marx University during the 1980’s in the old East Germany (I’ve been meaning to ask her what that was like), before they ripped down the wall. She’s worked at the Defense Department and she now directs the Islam and Civil Society Project at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. And she likes dogs. And cats. And gardening. She’s a veritable advertisement for gentleness.

Imagine my near out-of-body shock when I learned a little detail about her DOD stint: She was a Guantanamo interrogator. Whuh? “Our” Jennifer?

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Warped thinking and a double-dare

April 2, 2011

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You finally did it. You realized your dream and leaped the “brave” leap. Your fellowship sneaked in the Qur’an burning while we weren’t looking and word spread to the Muslim world. Riots erupted in Afghanistan and several now lay dead. Dozens are injured. But please, don’t forget to make that next, crucially “brave” step. Do it for us and for you. I dare you. The world is watching.

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Thinkers thinking the formerly unthinkable …

February 19, 2011

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Wow. The moral high ground is actually more practical. Something to think about.

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Watch Out. The Impossible Could Be Possible

February 16, 2011

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Hear the imperative once more: Smile boldly. Cuddle up. Nuzzle and snuggle in a bear-hug frenzy of interfaith empathy and love. Let’s be so cotton-candy sweet we spread acne and cavities … Mi casa tu casa …”

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No Such Thing as a “Muslim World”

November 18, 2010

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The phrase “the Muslim world” inaccurately implies that Muslims are in some separate location and that they are a monolith. Muslims, however, are not segregated in one part of the globe. Muslims live in many different communities, including right here in America. In America Muslims are part and parcel of my town, owners of businesses where I shop, colleagues at work, public servants in government, members of the military which protects us.

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John Green uncovers the real story: the factual facts, the reality behind the face

November 9, 2010

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One member of the YouTube VlogBrother duo dug deep and emerged with the tell-all answer to the perenial question: “Is the president a Muslim?” He gave us the inside scoop on the issue that won’t go away — primarily because people want to believe what they believe despite all evidence. Here he is, in full, with no commercial breaks.

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The Price of Convenient Falsehood, Part 2

September 19, 2010

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Imagine yourself. You’re a typical working-stiff alien in a cloaked vessel 400 miles above the Earth. Your unit’s mission: Keep an eye on those niggling humans. Your individual specialty: Raucous America. Your conclusion: No deep-space bonus was worth … this.

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A round-up of thoughtful thinkers thinking thoughtfully — I think

September 14, 2010

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I’m still floored by yesterday’s discovery. It’s as if I unearthed a thirst-quenching pool in a dune-filled desert. I actually stumbled across depth, insight and acumen. Really. No kidding. Thinkers are thinking after all. There is wisdom beyond the rants of talking heads — and the people in the street (or at their laptops, at least) deserve to know. Today’s mission is to bring their thoughts to the foreground. Call this a “brain-power round up.”

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“When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold”

September 10, 2010

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“These and some other events that took place in the West have had destructive impacts on Christians in the developing parts of the world.”

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