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Jesus and the Buddha

Date: 10/05/2014

Jesus said, "Deny thyself" (Luke 9:23). The Buddha spoke of "Non-self" or "No self." Both Christians and Buddhists frequently misunderstand what these teachers meant. Jesus and the Buddha (Photo Used by Permission www.MichelleMcSwain.com) What Christians Have Been Taught Christians, for example, mistakenly think Jesus was suggesting his followers had to deny, denigrate, dissolve, or dis ...

Related Topics: The Buddha, Jesus, Human, No Self, Deny Thyself, Living Buddha, Living Christ, Jesus And The Buddha, Denying Yourself, Divine, Being A Christian, Angry, Feeling Angry, To Deny Self

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Love is Strange

Date: 08/28/2014

Love is strange.  As this movie opens, a deeply devoted couple of more than three decades wakes up and prepares for a big, important, emotional, happy occasion.  They bicker a little bit, but it is clear to them and to us that these are reassuringly familiar rhythms for them, almost a contrapuntal love duet in words.  Later in the film, two people who admire and care for each other deeply but a ...

Related Topics: Blog 97, Entertainment, Movie Review, Trailer, Quotes, Ira Sachs, Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Catholic, LGBT, John Lithgow, Marriage Equality, DVD/Blu-Ray Pick Of The Week, Romance

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Interview: Ira Sachs of "Love is Strange"

Date: 08/24/2014

It's hard to imagine that there will be a more tender love story on screen this year than John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in "Love is Strange," from writer/director Ira Sachs.  They play a long-time couple who get married after decades together but then end up living separately when they can no longer afford their apartment. One of my all-time favorite interviews was with Sachs for his film, " ...

Related Topics: Blog 97, Entertainment, Ira Sachs, Alfred Molina, LGBT, John Lithgow, Love Is Strange, Marriage Equality

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Magic in the Moonlight

Date: 07/31/2014

Woody Allen's 44th film is an amuse bouche without a meal, a dollop of whipped cream without the dessert underneath.  In last year's film, "Blue Jasmine," the strength of the performances (especially Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett) and the resonance of its Bernie Madoff-ish crossed with "Streetcar Named Desire" plot line provided a simulacrum of seriousness of purpose that suggested a deeper meani ...

Related Topics: Blog 97, Entertainment, Movie Review, Trailer, Quotes, Woody Allen, Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Magic In The Moonlight

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Skepticism and a Million Dollar Challenge

Date: 06/23/2014

When public perception is skewed and distorted, it's important to push back. I've found myself doing this in the arena of skepticism. Without a doubt we live in a skeptical age, and it affects everyone. To doubt is a tool for finding truth, but like every positive value, there are pitfalls. Skepticism, of the kind advanced by characters as diverse as James "The Amazing" Randi, Richard Dawkins, Lau ...

Related Topics: Richard Dawkins, Skepticism, The-Amazing-Randi, Jerry Coyne, Laurence Krauss

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Movies Get Wiser About GLBT: How To Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street

Date: 06/13/2014

This week's two big national releases are both sequels featuring Jonah Hill.  But they have something more important in common: Both reflect a wiser, kinder, more just treatment of GLBT characters.  It was only a few years ago that I wrote an article about the disturbing prevalence of gender and sexual orientation "jokes" in movies for families that ranged from insensitive to insulting to downri ...

Related Topics: Blog 97, Entertainment, Gay, LGBT, How To Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street

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Irreplaceable

Date: 05/05/2014

" Irreplaceable " is indefensible. My parents taught me that you automatically lose an argument if you (1) fail to state the other side's views in a manner they approve or (2) fail to attribute to the other side the same good intentions you assume for your own. Focus on the Family's faux documentary "Irreplaceable" fails on both grounds.  It probably also violates one of the Commandments as well, ...

Related Topics: Blog 97, Entertainment, Movie Review, Trailer, Quotes, Focus On The Family, Irreplaceable, Bigoted

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Wasn't April Fool's Day Last Week?—World Vision, Evangelicals and Gays

Date: 04/01/2014

April Fool's Day seems a fitting day to review what happened last week, when, within just two days of announcing its decision to hire gays in recognized same-sex marriages, World Vision reversed its decision. An official statement from World Vision president Richard Stearns communicated "heartbreak"— "over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a revers ...

Related Topics: Faith And Prayer, Church And Homosexuality, World Vision, Richard Stearns, Same-Sex Marriage, Culture Wars, Evangelicals And Gays

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