RPLI Posts

Committing Faith in Public Podcast with the Revs. Marlin Lavanhar and Carlton Pearson

When folks from around the country think of religion in Tulsa, they are likely to think about Oral Roberts University, Victory Christian, or Rhema Bible. But many don’t know about All Souls, the largest Church in the Unitarian Universalist Association and a potent progressive spiritual force in public life in Northeast OK. A recent documentary […]

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The Spiritual and Ethical Limits of National Sovereignty When the Planet is Burning

A few months ago, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro took refuge in a concept that may prove to be a dinosaur sooner rather than later: national sovereignty. When the leaders of world’s nations expressed alarm about the statistically abnormal rate the Amazon rain forest is burning this year, and offered financial assistance to battle the blazes, […]

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Fred Rogers, Best of the Protestant Mainline

Fred Rogers, known to generations of children and their parents, as Mister Rogers, was a Presbyterian minister. His show, begun in 1968, embodied much of old mainline Protestantism at its best. Without naming the Name, he walked the walk, in public spaces, and taught more what the way of Jesus by living it than most […]

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Public Religion in the News Digest, November 22, 2019

New White House employee Paula White has asked each of her followers (she is a prosperity gospel preacher) to give her $229. In return, she will give instruction in how to defeat one’s enemies. From the article: White tells believers that in exchange for their money they will receive a “teaching series” on how to […]

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Committing Faith in Public Podcast with the Rev. Chris Moore

A trip to the Southern Border. A nativity display on the church lawn. A chain-link fence. An act of contrition that is misunderstood. A signboard message connecting the words “Jesus” and “Migrant.” How it all became a national story during Advent and Christmas 2018. The Rev. Chris Moore, pastor of Fellowship Congregational Church in Tulsa […]

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The ethic of “first, do no harm” would require major changes

There are laws, and there are ethics. Corporations in the U.S. have been granted legal “personhood” when it comes to matters such as political speech and campaign contributions. Some “closely held” corporations, such as Hobby Lobby, are allowed to extend their founders’ religious convictions to take precedence over laws that otherwise would apply. But what […]

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Public Religion in the News Digest, November 15, 2019

Nicholas Kristof’s review of Karen Armstrong’s The Lost Art of Scripture. Karen Armstrong is a well-known scholar who writes books for an educated laity. I’m sure the book will be a good read. And the review per se, includes some wonderful lines. Here is an example: The ancient Chinese scholar Xunzi complained about an early […]

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Committing Religion in Public, with the Rev. Dr. Ray Owens

What leads a congregation to start what became Oklahoma’s first public partnership school, and what has been their experience with the venture? The Rev. Dr. Ray Owens, senior pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Tulsa, addresses these and other matters related to the Greenwood Leadership Academy. Links mentioned in the podcast: The Metcares Foundation, Greenwood […]

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Why religion and politics are inseparable

[In the following essay, by “politics” I mean the value propositions that feed public policy, rather than electoral politics or public policy per se. I mean the “stuff” that in-forms public policy and how we vote.] Religion and politics—a pairing related to but different from church and state—are inseparable. While sometimes they taste sour together, […]

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Public Religion in the News Digest, November 8, 2019

The President’s latest private meeting with Christian-Right leaders Quote: “Trump’s meeting on Tuesday with at least 25 faith leaders from around the country was not on his public schedule, however it was acknowledged by a brief White House statement later that day. “Johnnie Moore, a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom […]

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