Winning the Philosophical War Against ISIS & For Humanity

The throat-slitting murder of an 84-year-old Catholic priest today in France by two ISIS “soldiers” is just the latest in a horrific series of barbaric acts. We need to win the physical war against ISIS and other radical jihadist groups, but we also need to win the philosophical war for all of humankind. My next book explores a world in which religions compete for adherents peacefully and coexist with and challenge the secular world. Several principles underline how I’m thinking about the issue. I welcome your thoughts and reaction:

1. Because each of us has been provided with a unique mind, it seems self-evident that any God would want to have a personal relationship with each of us, not one filtered through the motivations of others.

2. The scriptures and teachings of every religion have fallen sway to the imperfections of man, meaning that no single writing and no single teacher should hold unconditional command over its subjects. (I recognize this one will draw objection from many, but urge you to read the rest to put the thought in context.)

3. Each of us has personal responsibility to consider whether the teachings of any faith, including faiths such as atheism that there is no greater power, coalesce with the reason inside our minds and to specifically search for and consider evidence that our beliefs may be wrong.

4. If there is a God, he certainly didn’t choose me as his purveyor of violence. If you believe there is no God, you still don’t get to force your beliefs on others. [Continue reading]

Segregation Among Failures Triggering Bursts of Animosity

After the events of the past week, including last night's shootings in ‪#‎Dallas‬, I fear that my choice of 2040 as the setting for Melting Point 2040 didn't recognize how quickly our ongoing segregation could tear us apart. The prologue to that book … [Continue reading]

Common Complications for Muslims and Mental Illness

Political pandering driven to simplistic sloganeering is creating a common challenge for Muslims and mental illness sufferers. For Muslims in America, being perceived as sharing a common religion is an increasing burden following Orlando’s Pulse … [Continue reading]

Political, Spiritual and Mental Health Ruminations

During long walks, my mind wanders down political, spiritual and mental health paths I frequently lose by the time I reach a writing device. Some ideas stick, though not necessarily the most important ones. Please treat these as invitations to … [Continue reading]

Freedom of Speech More Critical Than Ever

Without freedom of speech that protects even ideas we abhor, we lose the opportunity to become our greatest selves. As November approaches, I suspect many of us will be tempted to seek bans on certain types of political speech, particularly if the … [Continue reading]

Integration Movement Needed During Divisive Election

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Elections are inherently divisive, with deep contention portending for November, but ruptured personal relationships aren’t a predestined outcome of differing political views. While the ballot box garners attention, groundwork for unification starts … [Continue reading]

Mental Health Steps to Reverse Troubling Suicide Trends

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Last week’s Centers for Disease Control release of deeply disturbing suicide trend data reminds us that even many proven mental health steps still require widespread attention and support. Even as understanding of brain function and chemistry … [Continue reading]

Principles on Faith and Humanity

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Ever since being confounded by contradictions in my childhood religion as well as finding disconnects between that religion and my instincts, I’ve searched for spiritual truth. Decades into that journey and still bereft of many definitive answers, I … [Continue reading]

I Want to Die; Dealing with Severe Teen Depression

It has been many months since I joined Dr. James Sutton on The Changing Behavior Network, but he still considers that interview to be "one of his best." Discussing my years when "I want to die" was more than a passing thought for me, the interview … [Continue reading]

A Mother Turns Tragic Loss Into a Lifetime of Purpose

Speaking at University of Illinois leadership development program.

A varsity football starter, 16-year-old Kyle Braid led naturally. A standout among his peers for an inclusive, inspirational attitude in addition to exceptional athletic ability, Kyle's positive presence created a deep, wide imprint at an early … [Continue reading]