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Top 10 Ways Mimetic Theory Can Help Create Interfaith Empathy – A Panel Discussion

I was delighted to be invited to an international discussion about creating more empathy between people of different religions. The panel consisted of a Christian (that was me!), an atheist, and three Muslims. (You can watch the video by scrolling down.) The producer of the panel was Edwin Rusch, who is the founding director for the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. Edwin’s goal is to create “a worl ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Holy Week (Poem)

Dear Friends, For a final "Repent For Lent" post, I offer a Palm/Passion Sunday Meditation that I delivered two years ago in the form of poem. These are some Girardian reflections on how Christ "takes away the sin of the world" by his death. The resurrection is crucial, but during Holy Week, I want to leave us in the dark and terrible recognition of our sin as we "look upon the one we've pierced." Still the ...

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My Biggest Concern for My Gay Son is Religion: On Being Catholic and Gay

I recently wrote about a former member of my church youth group. She was everything that a youth pastor could ask for in a student. She was kind, welcoming, smart, funny, and she took following Jesus seriously. And I’ll never forget the day that she told our youth group that she is a lesbian. Fortunately, she continues to be a faithful follower of Christ. I’m a proud member of the United Church of Christ. W ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory — Family

Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. – Jesus (Luke 14:26) Well, let’s jump right in, shall we? For the rest of my “Repent for Lent” series, I aim to wrestle, like Jacob in the Jabbok, a blessing from some of the most difficult scriptures in the Gospels. This week I chose Jesus’s shocking words on f ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Original Sin

Original Sin. For many progressive Christians, these two words are vulgar and repellant. Some consider the belief in an inherent evil to be a self-fulfilling prophecy; that is, they hold the doctrine of original sin itself to be a human-made evil, responsible for dehumanizing others and at the root of all manner of atrocities. Tracing back to Genesis 3, the story of “the fall,” sin appears to originate with ...

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Green Eggs And Love: A Tribute to Dr. Seuss

Tomorrow, children in elementary schools across the country will celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss. As a tribute to one of my literary mimetic models, I am sharing a parody of Green Eggs and Ham that I wrote a few years ago for Sunday school. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!          GREEN EGGS AND LOVE Will you still love me every day? Even when I forget to pray? Every hour of every day. Ev ...

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Bill O’Reilly, Brian Williams, and Jesus: On Goodness and Love

I’m cringing as I write this. That tells you a lot about me. When it comes to politics and theology, I identify as liberal. I firmly believe that Jesus wanted everyone fed, wanted universal health care, and that the Kingdom of God is about politics. It’s about structuring our personal and communal lives in a nonviolent way that ensures everyone has food to eat, debts are forgiven, and healing is freely prov ...

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Relaxing into Lent: Identity and those Voices in Your Head

The Christian journey of Lent is upon us. Lent commemorates Jesus’ journey into the wilderness. After his baptism, where Jesus heard the voice of God say to him, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased,” Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. After 40 days of fasting, he was tempted by the devil. In good mimetic fashion, Jesus had received his true identity from God at his baptis ...

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Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day with the Wicked Truth About Love: Part 6, Custodian

I’d like to end my series on the obstacles to love with a few last thoughts about what love is. We’ve been talking about obstacles to love as tangled patterns of desire and then trying to get ourselves untangled by learning that desire itself is triangular (we learn what to desire by imitating the desires of others).  We looked at five different patterns of desire to better understand how the triangle of de ...

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Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day with the Wicked Truth About Love: Part 5, Sidekick

In my book, “The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire”, I identified 5 obstacles or “tangles” that trip us in our love relationships. In previous blogs, I’ve given an overview of the Best Friend Forever, Celebrity Chef, Super Hero and Rock Star tangles. Today’s article is about the last tangle in my book. On Friday, the day before Valentine’s Day, I’ll explore what it looks like to get untangled a ...

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