KIKE: a derogatory reference to people of Jewish heritage


There’s a lot of angst over the use of the “N” word, a derogatory name for black persons.  I am very sensitive to that word, and reject its use as well. But there are other similarly negative words for people of Irish, Italian, Hispanic people which are just as offensive.  The one I have chosen […]

HYMN: a song with spiritual foundation


I’m one of those unusual people who really pays attention to the words of music.  Especially in church.   It really bothers me when I find us singing  a hymn in which the words are diametrically opposed to the stated theology of my faith. Why are we singing it? 1) It’s an old favorite and the […]

PASSOVER: a Jewish festival that commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt


In one of those rare instances when the Jewish calendar and the Christian calendar overlap, this is the beginning of the Feast of Passover and the beginning of Holy Week.     Not only is there a timely intersection of these two highly significant holiday events, but there is an intersection also of the origins and meanings […]

HOLIDAY CONVERGENCE: Thanksgiving Day and Chanukah


It won’t happen again for 70,043 years.   I’m already making my reservations.  The Festival of Chanukah (Hanukkah) and Thanksgiving Day become a Holiday Convergence at that point.  The last time it happened was in 1888. There is some relationship to this convergence.   They both are festive celebrations and they both feature specific foods. The Festival […]

ECUMENISM [EK-yoo-muh-niz-uhm]: the aim of unity among all Christian churches throughout the world


The purpose of this posting is to correct a misuse of the word ecumenism.   This past week I heard a TV commentator talk about the fact that rabbis, imams, priests and ministers all came together in a rare show of ecumenical spirit over a topic in a neighboring city.  It was, truly, a newsworthy event, […]

SYNCRETISM: the merging of diverse positions into a common decision

This weekend is an opportunity to observe holy days for two diverse religious communities.   It is both Easter for Christians and Passover for Jews, demonstrated  by the sycretic character which exposes the centrality of God at work.   That is to say, both the observances are examples of the way in which God has been the […]