Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: President-elect Obama hasn’t been to church in three weeks, saying he doesn’t want to disrupt the service for others. Reagan and Bush said the same thing, but Carter and Clinton attended church regularly. What’s your advice? Where should presidents worship?
Since Barack Obama ran to bring hope in a time of change, I’d like to see him extend that to how he worships. Presidents are forced to attend church as an empty ritual. A cynic would say that if they wanted to worship the way that 70% of American males do, they should attend the church of televised football and golf. Other honest alternatives would be the worship of ambition, money, and political revenge, wherever those dogmas happen to be preached. To overcome such cynicism, and to end the masquerade of public piety, soon-to-be President Obama might consider the following innovations:
Worship where “the other” worships: Our so-called enemies consist of “the other,” people we claim aren’t enough like us. So let Obama worship in a mosque in suburban Maryland. Let him spend a Sunday with Black Muslims in Detroit. Film him praying with illegal immigrants in an impoverished corner of southern New Mexico.
Worship on the fringes: Millions of Americans prefer alternative churches, such as the hundreds of Unity churches scattered around the country. Some of the most humane and liberating theology to be found is preached there. I’d like to see Obama expose himself to these new ideas — for his own good, really — and make fringe believers feel more included. By the same token, he should pray with the fundamentalists in Dallas or Columbia, S.C. who think he’s a Muslim and vociferously opposed him.
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