Blog

What’s the Deal With Ghosts?

Religious Literacy

October 31, 2019

What’s the Deal With Ghosts?

When the first Ghostbusters movie came out in 1988, most of my friends were in love with it, myself included. But one friend...

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If You Find Yourself Stuck in a Motel in a Thunderstorm

Scientology Religion

October 25, 2019

If You Find Yourself Stuck in a Motel in a Thunderstorm

My wife and I recently had a free weekend and decided to drive to the coast. But as we traveled west, dark clouds rolled in,...

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The Controversy at Maunakea—Why Science and Religion Need Each Other

Religious Literacy

October 20, 2019

The Controversy at Maunakea—Why Science and Religion Need Each Other

According to the astronomers supporting the project, it “will allow us to see deeper into space and observe cosmic objects...

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How Does It Feel to Be a Scientologist?

Scientology Religion

October 10, 2019

How Does It Feel to Be a Scientologist?

Since I have been a Scientologist for over 20 years, I feel I’m very qualified to answer this question. I’ll answer it...

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Unanswered Questions About Jonestown—Part Four: The Buried Agenda of Leo Ryan

Religious Freedom

September 3, 2019

Unanswered Questions About Jonestown—Part Four: The Buried Agenda of Leo Ryan

To this day, the assailants that closed in on Ryan’s fallen body and riddled it with rifle and shotgun blasts have not been...

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You Can Only Kick the Church Up—An Interview With LDS Member Steve Russell

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 1, 2019

You Can Only Kick the Church Up—An Interview With LDS Member Steve Russell

There is nothing more personal—and, for many of us, there is nothing more precious—than the right to live as we believe...

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A Place for Women in Religion—Hint: It’s Not the Kitchen

Religious Literacy

August 31, 2019

A Place for Women in Religion—Hint: It’s Not the Kitchen

Let me just start by saying I’m about as girlie of a girl as anyone I’ve ever known. A dress is my attire of choice, even...

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Are We Supporting Mass Shooters in the Name of Free Speech?

Media & Ethics

August 31, 2019

Are We Supporting Mass Shooters in the Name of Free Speech?

Before taking out his AK-47 and using it to murder 22 innocent people in El Paso, Texas, alleged shooter Patrick Crusius published...

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How and Why I Became a Scientologist

Scientology Religion

August 30, 2019

How and Why I Became a Scientologist

Fellow says, ‘What is the reason for life?’ Oddly enough, the apparent answer to the thing... if he wants a very finite,...

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A&E: When You Pay for Hate Speech That’s Exactly What You Get

Media & Ethics

August 28, 2019

A&E: When You Pay for Hate Speech That’s Exactly What You Get

It’s obvious why journalists are wary of those who offer to trade information for profit— such people are all too likely...

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An Investor’s Open Letter to Amazon: Don’t Endanger Our Company by Sponsoring Hate

An Investor’s Open Letter to Amazon: Don’t Endanger Our Company by Sponsoring Hate

As a stakeholder, I’d like to know that Amazon’s Corporate Social Responsibility reaches far beyond just utilizing recycled...

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“Dear White People”: Practice What You Preach

“Dear White People”: Practice What You Preach

What’s ironic is that a show that is so heavy-handed with its messaging about staying woke and ending discrimination against...

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UN Devotes New Day to Combatting Anti-Religious Violence

Religious Freedom

August 23, 2019

UN Devotes New Day to Combatting Anti-Religious Violence

There’s a day that now comes right after the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. Because...

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Tony Ortega: A Nettle of Fiction and Failure

Media & Ethics

August 17, 2019

Tony Ortega: A Nettle of Fiction and Failure

It may be hard to spot the common denominator of all of Ortega’s flops, but I’ll tell you what I see.

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Highlighting the Difference: A Study of Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Religious Freedom

August 15, 2019

Highlighting the Difference: A Study of Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some smells made customers stay longer. Others had them fleeing the premises. The research also found odors needed to be appropriate—the...

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Why Religions Shouldn’t Take the Bait

Tolerance

August 14, 2019

Why Religions Shouldn’t Take the Bait

No government, no institution, no club will ever be able to give purpose to man like his religions do.

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The Tribes of Bad and Good

Tolerance

August 12, 2019

The Tribes of Bad and Good

A few years ago, a seven-year-old boy waving a Pop Tart and saying “bang bang” was suspended from school in Maryland....

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Interfaith Courage Awarded at Second Ministerial for Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

August 3, 2019

Interfaith Courage Awarded at Second Ministerial for Religious Freedom

More than 30 years ago, Ivanir dos Santos began combating racial discrimination and promoting rights of members of minority...

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Supreme Court Allows Cross to Remain: Did It Establish Religion?

Religious Freedom

August 3, 2019

Supreme Court Allows Cross to Remain: Did It Establish Religion?

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that a 40-foot-high cross honoring residents of the Maryland town of Bladensburg...

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Catholicism in the Age of Scandal

Religious Literacy

August 1, 2019

Catholicism in the Age of Scandal

Damning headlines and unforgivable scandal have, in recent times, become synonymous in the media with the Catholic Church,...

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Speaking of Religion

Tolerance

August 1, 2019

Speaking of Religion

Religion is tough to talk about. It’s true. And instead of welcoming the chance to learn something new, we tend to shy away...

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Second Ministerial for Religious Freedom Shines a Light on Intolerance and Genocide

Religious Freedom

July 24, 2019

Second Ministerial for Religious Freedom Shines a Light on Intolerance and Genocide

It was a big event: on its final day, a participant reported, “Close to 900 members of civil society and religious groups...

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Three Religions and a Wedding

Religious Literacy

July 11, 2019

Three Religions and a Wedding

Guests of many religions were in attendance. We had Jewish relatives from my side, Catholics from my husband's side, Christians...

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Why I Trust L. Ron Hubbard

Media & Ethics

July 9, 2019

Why I Trust L. Ron Hubbard

Occasionally in the course of a day, I hear disparaging things about people I know and love. I’m sure this has happened...

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What Faith In Our Schools Really Means

Tolerance

July 8, 2019

What Faith In Our Schools Really Means

I have good friends who are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist, and many more who are still searching and haven’t quite...

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What Happens When You Die?

What Happens When You Die?

And the more I studied religions, the more I saw the common thread. They all believed that you are more than your body and...

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Religious Freedom and Religious Tolerance

Tolerance

July 5, 2019

Religious Freedom and Religious Tolerance

While training as an Army officer, I was taught not to discuss politics and religion. This seemed eminently practical advice...

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Let’s Keep Religion Out of Political Attacks

Tolerance

July 5, 2019

Let’s Keep Religion Out of Political Attacks

Attacks on religion begin with bashing minority groups—and spread from there. It is our duty and obligation to protect and...

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The Fingerprint of the Spirit

The Fingerprint of the Spirit

The theory of evolution postulates that the many different forms of life all descended from a common ancestor, with the many...

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Why are Physicists Convinced of the Human Soul?

Religious Literacy

June 26, 2019

Why are Physicists Convinced of the Human Soul?

Are science and spirituality mutually exclusive? Alan Lightman, a physicist who has researched black holes, stellar dynamics...

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I Left Scientology as a Teen: Here’s Why I Came Back

I Left Scientology as a Teen: Here’s Why I Came Back

In the end, I gave the “live life one day at a time and just do what makes you happy” thing a try. By the age of 23, I...

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All Hail Aladdin

Tolerance

June 25, 2019

All Hail Aladdin

But all in all, I give this Aladdin high marks for trying to do the right thing, and for being highly entertaining to boot.

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Is Freedom of Religion Limitless?

Religious Freedom

June 25, 2019

Is Freedom of Religion Limitless?

In the weeks prior to the tragic raid, one such demagogue, the notorious convicted felon Rick Ross of the now defunct Cult...

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Here’s to the Artists

Religious Literacy

June 22, 2019

Here’s to the Artists

Artists bring their own special energy to that endeavor and deserve support and encouragement and validation. Here’s to...

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Freedom Without Bars

Tolerance

June 18, 2019

Freedom Without Bars

“Buy me a drink?” That is what the policeman said to my relative after stopping him for speeding on a highway in a Caribbean...

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Religion in the Workplace: How Diversity Creates Better Cultures

Religious Literacy

June 13, 2019

Religion in the Workplace: How Diversity Creates Better Cultures

After I’d been working there for a few days, the CEO called me into his office and said “You know, I really admired the...

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Religion in Schools: Teaching Isn’t Preaching

Religion in Schools: Teaching Isn’t Preaching

Tolerance of one’s fellow man, including his race, his nationality and his creed, is an essential part of everyday life.

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Canadian Church Permits Atheist to Remain Minister

Religious Freedom

May 29, 2019

Canadian Church Permits Atheist to Remain Minister

Religion is extremely valuable to society, but only when people are free to examine the subject for themselves and draw the...

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Identity Politics: Divided We Fall

Tolerance

May 18, 2019

Identity Politics: Divided We Fall

A shining example just occurred in New Zealand. A week after the insane murder of fifty Muslims and the injury of dozens more…

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How a Jew and Roman Catholic Make Their Marriage Work

Tolerance

May 9, 2019

How a Jew and Roman Catholic Make Their Marriage Work

I was raised Roman Catholic and my husband was raised Jewish. I had my First Communion at the age of 6 and my husband had...

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The Danger of Hate Speech on Social Media

Tolerance

May 6, 2019

The Danger of Hate Speech on Social Media

How to express oneself is a personal choice. But just know that hate speech is not rational; its effect is cumulative and...

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One Night on Council Beach

Tolerance

April 10, 2019

One Night on Council Beach

Hysterical cheers swept through the flock like gusts of wind across a wheat field. Krak stood silent, smiling, soaking in...

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Why People Are So Passionate About Religion Online

Tolerance

April 2, 2019

Why People Are So Passionate About Religion Online

I believe that the more confident you are in your beliefs and viewpoints, the more generous you can be with beliefs and viewpoints...

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Anti-Semitism 101, Part 2: <br />Modern Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism 101, Part 2:
Modern Anti-Semitism

Old lies die hard. A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League revealed that 13 percent believe that “Jews are more likely...

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Religious Freedom: The Elephant in the Room

Tolerance

March 11, 2019

Religious Freedom: The Elephant in the Room

If we keep enforcing the “my religion is better than yours” game—if we keep squashing the religious freedom of another...

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Teamwork & Friendship Tear Down Intolerance

Tolerance

March 8, 2019

Teamwork & Friendship Tear Down Intolerance

Our friendships grew and our business thrived because we worked together as one team. We also worshipped together.

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Five Easy Ways to Tell If Your Post Is Bigoted

Tolerance

March 8, 2019

Five Easy Ways to Tell If Your Post Is Bigoted

Religious intolerance can be sneaky. You may not even realize you’re being a bigot. Probably because someone said some line...

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What We Can Learn From the Jussie Smollett Story

Media & Ethics

March 6, 2019

What We Can Learn From the Jussie Smollett Story

Objectivity in media is, based on my experience, a myth. Some groups and organizations are more altruistic and civic-minded...

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How Billionaires Are Helping Us Fight Defamation

Media & Ethics

March 5, 2019

How Billionaires Are Helping Us Fight Defamation

Yes, something is changing: the rest of us, who have had to live with invasions of privacy and out-of-control attacks, are...

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Where Does Freedom of Speech End?

Tolerance

February 28, 2019

Where Does Freedom of Speech End?

What the individuals and organizations promulgating falsehoods do not understand that we fully understand, is that with freedom...

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Bigotry Is Only a Symptom of the Actual Disease

Tolerance

February 28, 2019

Bigotry Is Only a Symptom of the Actual Disease

This is the germ that starts the infection—this is the first disruption of normal social interaction between two groups.

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A Fairy Tale for Grownups

Tolerance

February 28, 2019

A Fairy Tale for Grownups

Once upon a time, when stars and sunsets were still in fashion and the world had not yet lost its glow of fresh wonder, there...

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The Quran: Paving the Way in the Land of the Free

Religious Freedom

February 26, 2019

The Quran: Paving the Way in the Land of the Free

The origins of Islam in the U.S. today trace back to one simple concept, one word, three syllables: sla-ve-ry. When Ilhan...

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U.S. Supreme Court Ignores Religious Freedom in Death Penalty Case

Religious Freedom

February 22, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Ignores Religious Freedom in Death Penalty Case

The case seems simple at first. Dominique Hakim Marcelle Ray was convicted in 1995 of the rape and murder of a 15-year old...

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How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

Religious Literacy

February 15, 2019

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

While I certainly didn’t have anything against the Catholics, I really didn’t know much about the religion.

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Speaking Out Against “Mainstream” Bigotry

Media & Ethics

February 15, 2019

Speaking Out Against “Mainstream” Bigotry

What if all people of goodwill, whether Muslim, Christian, Mormon, Scientologist or whatever, upon hearing any antifaith propaganda...

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Religious Persecution in South Africa—A History Lesson

Combating Bigotry & Hate

February 14, 2019

Religious Persecution in South Africa—A History Lesson

I know whereof I speak because I was an investigative reporter in the 1980s. I wandered into one of these camps in Randfontein,...

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A Glimpse of Peace in the Middle East

Tolerance

February 10, 2019

A Glimpse of Peace in the Middle East

I spent three days living as though in the future—where we can live our own faith, and respectfully allow others the same...

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Fake It Till You Make It: How Mass Media Manipulates

Media & Ethics

February 9, 2019

Fake It Till You Make It: How Mass Media Manipulates

Fake News has become a staggering problem. Public trust in media institutions has declined sharply in the wake of numerous...

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Where Do Americans Find Meaning in Life?

Religious Literacy

February 7, 2019

Where Do Americans Find Meaning in Life?

In 2017, the Pew Research Center surveyed Americans to find out what it is that makes their lives meaningful. Not surprisingly,...

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Religious Status Is for Those Who Help

Religious Freedom

February 6, 2019

Religious Status Is for Those Who Help

Reading this recent article about a jailed neo-Nazi trying to hide behind “religious freedom” to protect his hate speech...

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Religion Is Man’s Salvation

Religious Literacy

February 5, 2019

Religion Is Man’s Salvation

Though it is up to each of us to choose which religious path to follow, religion, period, is worth it. Beyond individual improvement,...

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The Greatest Tradition

Religious Freedom

February 4, 2019

The Greatest Tradition

Somewhere, thousands of years before Christ, deep in China, a spark was lit. We don’t know if it was a man or a woman but...

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Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Media & Ethics

February 4, 2019

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Ever seen a news story of how crazy everything is “over there” and then you go “over there” or actually look into...

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Where Propaganda Leads: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019

Where Propaganda Leads: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019

I was born April 19, 1945, the same day that, British soldiers in Germany pushed 13,000 decaying bodies into trenches with...

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The Scientology “Mystery” Solved

Scientology Religion

January 27, 2019

The Scientology “Mystery” Solved

I have often seen confusion arise in the minds of people who hear snippets of the theatrical, artificial media version of...

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Religious Tolerance: How You Can Earn Peace

Tolerance

January 22, 2019

Religious Tolerance: How You Can Earn Peace

A society worth living in is one in which religious tolerance is alive and well. Let us then make conscious efforts to be...

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Shape-Shifting Lizards From Outer Space!

Tolerance

January 22, 2019

Shape-Shifting Lizards From Outer Space!

Astounding but true! According to multiple studies, upwards of 12 million Americans, or 4 percent of the population, believe...

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City in Washington Prevents Minister from Helping Homeless

Religious Freedom

January 20, 2019

City in Washington Prevents Minister from Helping Homeless

Probably everyone reading this post has personally observed the large and growing problem of homelessness in the United States....

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Religious Freedom–A Dream Worth Fighting For

Religious Freedom

January 18, 2019

Religious Freedom–A Dream Worth Fighting For

Somehow religion and government, these two important arenas of human interaction, must come to terms with one another and...

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What’s the Magic Word?

Tolerance

January 18, 2019

What’s the Magic Word?

There’s a beautiful word that represents a concept, a viewpoint, a way of looking at things. I’ve been growing grey waiting...

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