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Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

International Relations Archives

World’s Religious Leaders Mourn the Obama Escalation in Afghanistan

posted by Michael Lerner

Many of the world’s religious leaders in attendance at the Parliament of World Religions taking place in Melbourne, Australia,  are in partial mourning for the dream of a new world that President Obama promised, and decisively torpedoed in his announcement […]

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The Power of Words: President Obama Receives the Nobel Peace Prize

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Afghanistan, the Olympics, the Dalai Lama…in a week when the President was domestically burdened by several international quagmiers or miscues, the Nobel Committee awards Barack Obama the Peace Prize.  According to the New York Times: The Nobel Committee announced in Oslo that […]

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Shame on President Obama for Not Meeting with HH the Dalai Lama

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Last summer a handful of students and I had the chance to meet with HH Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.  We spent an hour and a half listening, laughing and learning his views on inter-faith relations, the meaning of non-violent […]

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The Separation of Mosque and State

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The clerics of Iran are not of one mind on the recent Iranian election and voter fraud.  In fact they are deeply divided. The New York Times reported that in the religiously important town of Qum there is a group of […]

A Non-Violent Reflection on Independence Day

posted by Paul Raushenbush

On July Fourth many of us attend parades that, in addition to the local chamber of commerce float, include men, boys and sometimes girls dressed in soldier costumes reminiscent of the war that brought the colonies independence from the British.  […]

President Obama vs. Illegal West Bank Settlements (I support the President)

posted by Paul Raushenbush

It is time to get serious about stopping ALL Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.  All moderate Americans and Israelis should rally behind President Obama in applying pressure on Netanyahu to stop these illegal settlements that are devastating both for Israeli security […]

The obvious questions about Iran that aren’t being asked or answered

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Two questions worth asking: What if the Green Revolution fails? And what if it succeeds? If it fails, I argue that we still have to engage Iran, just like we continued to engage China after Tiananmen Square. Doing otherwise will […]

Obama to Iran: The Whole World Is Watching the Moral Arc Bending Towards Justice

posted by Paul Raushenbush

“The whole world is watching” is a chant that many of us shouted as we marched and protested in vain to stop the Iraq war before it began.   The phrase indicated both a belief that it was important for the […]

The Obama Effect In Lebanon and Iran

posted by Paul Raushenbush

As the Vienna Philharmonic finished its annual outdoor program at the Schonbrunn Castle, the guest conductor Daniel Barenboim exclaimed to the 50,000 gathered that he had a new hope because of the speech by the American President Obama on that day.  […]

Obama’s (Almost) Perfect Speech

posted by Omid Safi

Historic. Brilliant. Nearly Perfect. The tone of President Obama’s speech in Cairo was most reminiscent of his masterful speech on race in America:  acknowledging open wounds on all sides, while laying out a hopeful vision for a shard future.   It […]

Cairo and the New Faith Frame

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Following the President’s Cairo University speech a number of journalists commented that it was a political speech and not very “religious.”  Indeed, one referred to his policy remarks as “wonky” in which he primarily addressed seven areas of tension that […]

Obama’s Mistaken Middle East Peace Strategy or No More Negotiations to Nowhere!

posted by Michael Lerner

While doves in the American Jewish community are lining up to support President Obama in his supposed confrontation with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the hard-nosed supporters of the Occupation can sigh with relief. Nothing proposed by Obama is likely to […]

Pray Away the Swine Flu

Dear God, Please take away the swine flu. Amen According to Martin Luther King, Jr. there is a power in us more powerful than the power of bullets. King knew that that power was the power of the Spirit. Call […]

Ahmadinejad Gives Another Victory to the Israeli Right: It’s time for Muslims and Arabs to Join Us in Denouncing His Racism and Holocaust Denial

posted by Michael Lerner

When representatives of many Arab and Muslim nations publicly applaud Ahmadinejad’s racist rant, the real losers are the Palestinians. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the Durban II conference on racism turned into a racist rant against Israel and the […]

Dalai Lama Denied Visa to Peace Conference

posted by Paul Raushenbush

UPDATE: They cancelled the conference.  And now from the “what the heck were they thinking” department, the South African government has denied the Dalai Lama a visa to attend a peace conference to showcase – get this – South Africa’s […]

Avigdor Lieberman: A Threat to Israeli Democracy

posted by guestblogger

Matthew Weiner is the Program Director at the Interfaith Center of New York. He is writing a book about interfaith and civil society.    What does it take to get a secular Israeli Harvard Mathematician who has never engaged in […]

Sharia Law in Pakistan: The Despair of Religious Totalitarianism

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Pakistan has instituted Sharia law in the Swat Valley.  As this BBC article explains, the move has serious implications for the religious and personal freedom:   “The head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Afrasiab Khattak, says the move […]

Pushing Obama Towards Justice and Peace (by Mark Johnson)

posted by guestblogger

Mark Johnson is the Executive Director of The Fellowship of Reconciliation These are difficult times in which to discern the truth, to know what to believe. The language has shifted, the rhetoric softened; but behavior, actions are still troubling. President Obama and Secretary […]

Taking Back the Night

posted by Leonard Fein

Cross posted from The Forward It is still much too early to start singingdayenu, that wonderful song that celebrates each element of the Exodus and that says, bluntly, that each alone would have been sufficient. But the first building blocks […]

Faith in Davos?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Arianna Huffington reports that while most of the mood of the participants in Davos was grim, their was an uipsurge in religious talk: If bankers and politicians were stocks, the people here would be shorting them (although there is definitely still a “buy” […]

Obama, the Muslim World and a New Way Forward

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Katherine Marshal is the former director of the religion and development program at the World Bank.  She has been tracking international responses to the election of Barack Obama and wrote about reactions from the Muslim world to the inauguration which ends with […]

Obama Signs Executive Order of American Ideals

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The New York Times reports:  “Saying that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” to combat terrorism, President Obama signed executive orders Thursday ending the Central Intelligence Agency‘s secret overseas prisons, banning coercive interrogation methods and closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp […]

Cease Fire Now in Gaza – Full Page Ad in the New York Times

posted by Michael Lerner

On Wednesday Jan. 1st the Tikkun Community and the Network of Spiritual Progressives purchased an full page Ad in The New York Times (it appears on page A17 of Wednesday’s issue).  It was signed by about 3000 people and funded […]

“There Is No Alternative” Is No Answer

posted by Leonard Fein

Crossposted at The Jewish Daily Forward.  In August of 1973 I arrived in Israel as a guest of the Foreign Ministry. For reasons I no longer recall, the ministry had decided that trying to effect my conversion to its view […]

The Gaza Conflict and Concentration Camps

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Beliefnet Bloggers Rabbi Brad Hirschfield and David Gibson have had an interesting, heated and apparently productive debate that was initiated by a Catholic comparing Gaza to a concentration camp.   From the last post by Rabbi Hirschfield:  Thanks to Pontifications […]

The Gaza Conflict: From Status Quo to Solutions

posted by Paul Raushenbush

My friend Eboo Patel, the executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, wrote a great piece on the On Faith blog at the Washington Post.  He has three status quo approaches that continue the cycle of violence and then contrasts […]

Obama Rejects Torture

posted by Paul Raushenbush

President Elect Obama gave the American people an injection of much needed hope for the moral underpinnings of our country at this press conference. It is especially striking in contrast to Dick Cheney.    ‘Under my Administration the United States does not […]

The Urgency of Now – Obama Must Act on Gaza

posted by Omid Safi

The death toll from Gaza keeps rising like a morbid nightmare, from 150 to 300, to at last count 702 victims.     702 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military through massive bombings that have inflicted unimaginable violence upon some of the […]

The Truth About Rick Warren In Africa

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Max Blumenthal on Daily Beast digs deeper into the work of Rick Warren in Africa.   “Team Obama likes to cite Warren’s work on AIDS in Africa to combat criticism about the controversial pastor. But how does burning condoms in […]

Jon Stewart Speaks on Gaza

posted by Paul Raushenbush

John Stewart speaks some difficult truths on this segment. The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10c Strip Maul Barack Obama InterviewJohn McCain Interview Sarah Palin VideoFunny Election Video

A Strategy to End the Israel/Palestine Struggle Once and For All

posted by Michael Lerner

The leadership of the State of Israel has rejected the latest calls for a cease fire. Only President-Elect Obama has the moral authority to make a call for a cease fire that could be listened to seriously by the Israelis. […]

Israel in Gaza

posted by Michael Lerner

Israel is still using a strategy of domination in its struggle with Hamas, trying to use force to gain security. But this is a recipe for endless war. Gaza, December 31, 2008Israel’s attempt to wipe out Hamas is understandable, but […]

The Gaza Conflict: Towards a Miracle in the Middle East

Today is a day to cry for Israel. Today is a day to cry for the Palestinians. Today is a day to cry for all of us.   Today is a day of war. War anywhere, at this point in […]

Israeli Attacks on Gaza: Not by Might, and Not by Power

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center sent out this message about the Israeli bombing of Gaza. Today the starkest choice of values and visions of the future was laid before the Jewish people throughout the world. On the one […]

Missionary Giving and Waste

posted by tcampolo

Rick Warren, the most prominent Evangelical pastor of our day, has established a highly successful program arranging teams from his church to help specific villages in Africa. Given the effectiveness of his organizational skills and the extensive direct involvement that […]

How Does a President Chose a Church?

posted by Eric Sapp

My good friend Amy Sullivan is a very hard act to follow in any writing assignment, and she covered this topic very well for Time last week.  But in an attempt to help provide a little perspective for our good […]

Now is the Time…

posted by Omid Safi

Dear Mr. President-Elect, It is hard to believe that it has just been two weeks since your historic election.    There has been so much discussion in this country about what this election signifies, from what we hope is the beginning […]

Sky High Expectations

posted by Paul Raushenbush

My friend Kathering Marshal, wrote this on her Faith in Action blog on Washington Post On Faith.  It’s interesting that both domestically and internationally the flip side of hope is beginning to show – fear. After the euphoria that greeted […]

Torture is a Moral Issue

posted by Paul Raushenbush

We know President Elect Obama is pragmatic and reaches across the aisle, but this seems like a no brainer.  The army, religious people and decent Americans agree – we must stop torturing people CHICAGO (Reuters) – A coalition of more […]

The Saudis’ dubious interfaith agenda at the UN

posted by Paul Raushenbush

This is an interesting editorial in the Christian Science Monitor critiquing the Saudi sponsored United Nation General Assembly’s gatheing on Interfaith Dialogue.   Washington – World leaders gathering at the United Nations this week for a special session of the General Assembly to advance interfaith […]

International Religious Freedom: The orphan issue of 2008

posted by David Gibson

Amid the final campaign push, the 10th anniversary of the nation’s landmark covenant on international religious freedom passed largely unnoticed on Monday. That is more than a shame. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) was passed by a […]

Just Say “No” to Any Immediate Bailout-Don’t try band-aids to keep the Tower of Babel Standing

posted by Michael Lerner

Rabbis of antiquity interpreted the attempt by humanity to build a Tower of Babel that would allow people to storm heaven as a symbol of human hubris and technological power gone crazy. It was globalization for the sake of power, […]

The Apocalypse Rears Its Head

posted by Diana Butler Bass

With media attention directed toward the largest economic story in recent American history, other stories are falling by the way.  One of the most interesting–and surely least understood–is the story of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s religious faith. As […]

Praying for Obama in Africa (by Briallen Hopper)

posted by Paul Raushenbush

As world leaders gather in New York and Friday’s first debate focuses on international affairs, it is important to keep in mind the overwhelming support that Senator Obama has among the average people around the world. While this might seem […]

Darfur Follow Up: Take Action

posted by Rabbi Or N. Rose

Join the Save Darfur campaign to build political pressure for the next president to make Darfur a priority from day one in office.  The campaign includes efforts to gather a million postcards to deliver to the new president urging the […]

Sounding the Alarm: Darfur, Elul, and the Presidential Election

posted by Rabbi Or N. Rose

Today is the third day of the Hebrew month of Elul.  This is the last month of the Jewish calendar, a time of sustained introspection in preparation for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of […]

Notes from the Old Empire (by Sara Miles)

posted by Sara Miles

    “Of course,” Patricia told me, leaning in close, “of course English people don’t even like the Scottish.” Patricia, the funny, perceptive, activist wife of a progressive Church of England vicar, made a face. ” I have no idea if […]

Picking Palin: McCain’s Folly, or “crazy like a fox”?

posted by David Gibson

John McCain has certainly revived his maverick label by picking–or plucking from obscurity–freshman Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. (WaPo coverage here, and NYT coverage here.) Like every candidate, there are pluses and minuses with her. On the plus side, […]

Joe Biden and the Catholic Challenge

posted by David Gibson

By choosing the longtime senator insider and foreign policy expert, Joe Biden, as his running mate, Barack Obama got a well-respected congressional insider to help his prospective legislative agenda as well as sharp-spoken (too much, at times–but good for a veep) campaigner […]

“Voice of Palestine” passes away

posted by Omid Safi

Mahmud Darwish, the incomparable Palestinian poet and visionary, and the foremost representative of the hopes and dreams of Palestinians since Edward Said, has passed away on August 9th. When the news of Darwish’s passing came out, it was front-page news […]

Dear Rick: Would you ask Barack and John about…

posted by David Gibson

This weekend’s main event, outside of the Beijing Olympics, will be the Saturday sit-down between superpastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback megachurch and Barack Obama and John McCain–and event being called “the Saddleback Civil Forum.” Rick will have an hour […]

President Hu Jintao’s mutual respect for Tibet and the Dalai Lama

posted by Robert Thurman

This week, after coming under fire for censorship, the Chinese government lifted blocks on some websites banned to foreign journalists in Beijing covering the Olympics. As reported in Xinhua, President Hu Jintao participated in a rare joint interview with the […]

The Dalai Lama connects with Obama and McCain while at the Aspen Institute

posted by Robert Thurman

I just had the huge pleasure of spending three days with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado, with old friends and luminaries in the Tibet world. A sand mandala (sacred celestial mansion diagram) of […]

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Why Jews Around the World are Praying for the Victory of the Egyptian Uprising
Originally appeared on Tikkun Daily BlogEver since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of ...

posted 1:48:39pm Feb. 01, 2011 | read full post »

When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish
The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on ...

posted 2:44:04pm Jan. 19, 2011 | read full post »

The Spiritual Messages of Chanukah and Christmas -- and Their Downsides
Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself ...

posted 12:59:53pm Dec. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What's Bothering Their Political Base
Shortly before the California Democratic primary in 2008, the San Fransisco Chronicle invited me to write a short article explaining why I, chair of the interfaithNetwork of Spiritual Progressives, was supporting Barack Obama. Like ...

posted 1:44:11pm Sep. 30, 2010 | read full post »

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