Knowing Religion, Understanding Society

Ever been in an argument that seemed irreconcilable? Did this argument turn out to be an issue of miscommunication and a misunderstanding of where the other person was coming from?

An inability to communicate with someone different from us can often be the result of ignorance. Not knowing anything about your communication partner can lead to some hairy situations. Do you both speak the same language? If not, a lot can be lost in translation. Do you know the customs of their culture? If not, you could unknowingly offend them. It’s important to know something about those with whom we interact and, if we know nothing, to learn. Read more

Religion Photography, An invasive practice?

*Originally posted on my portfolio site*

I encountered a dilemma that has perplexed me for years as a religious studies student during the second week of journalism school – religious tourism.

It was obvious that I would cover a Muslim prayer ceremony when we received the assignment to report on a D.C. area event listed in the AP Daybook. After six years of study religion academically, a religious event was exactly the story I wanted.

Read more

“To Be or Not To Be”: My Take On the Choice to Be “Spiritual, but not Religious”

For weeks now, I have been composing a post in response to an article written about the “spiritual, but not religious.” Yet, my multiple starts did not have an ending or it read as a ramble about my beliefs. The article that caused me such writing strife, “My Take: ‘I’m spiritual, but not religious’ is a cop-out,” is by Alan Miller and is posted in the CNN Belief Blog.

Read more

Hump Day Reflection

Every week at my job, we have a staff meeting on Monday mornings. We take turns leading a reflection before we get down to business – one of the perks of working for a people focused organization. This week a co-worker offerred these words from Mother Teresa. I find that they have followed me this week, so I now offer them to you on this hump day.  

 

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”

– Mother Teresa