446: Readers Tell Us About … youthful celebrations of a Muslim hero, plus … GM and NPR’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty

Once again, readers like you have filled our mailbags …

FIRST, a Whole Town Honors Us,
As We Honor Their Students,
As They Honor a Muslim Hero …

WE LOVE stories like this! We published 2 stories this week by high school students from a small town in Iowa—a town that bears the name of a long-forgotten Muslim hero once honored by President Lincoln. Please, read Stephannie’s story and Rebecca’s story, too.
    Readers told us they were moved by the signs of hope in these stories. Mary Liepold of the international women’s network Peace X Peace said these 2 stories rank among “your best.” Now, Peace X Peace is arranging to republish excerpts of the essays for their peacemakers around the world.
    Plus, the town of Elkader, Iowa, is so proud of these girls that a link to ReadTheSpirit was added to the town’s homepage.
    WAIT! That’s not all! Late this week, Stephannie revealed that she also has written and illustrated a poem everything she’s learned so far from her exploration of interfaith peacemaking. It’s an amazing piece, well worth clicking to see what she’s created!
    Thinking of clicking to see the poem? Reader Dee Chapell, a retired teacher, read Stephanie’s piece on Friday and emailed in: “Wow! Awesome poem!!”

Speaking of Peacemaking, 
Andrew Marin This Week
Drew High Praise—and Condemnation

ANOTHER BRAVE YOUNG WRITER, Andrew Marin (he’s 28), has published a landmark: an evangelical book by an evangelical publishing house calling for a moratorium on gay bashing. Click here to read our in-depth Conversation With Andrew Marin.
    As you might expect, readers ran hot and cold on Andrew’s message.
    Here’s an example of the praise: Popular author Phyllis Tickle stands among the growing number of Christian writers calling for an end to the condemnation of gays by devoutly religious people. Phyllis also recommends Andrew’s book. After reading our Conversation this week, she wrote to ReadTheSpirit: “This is one of the best ever. God bless you for what you manage to do for the Kingdom in powerful and influential ways!”
    Here’s an example of the condemnation: We know that many of our readers don’t see the world this way. One reader who was offended is Linda Harvey, the founder of a ministry that opposes acceptance of homosexuality. Linda wrote: “Those of us who believe Scripture and don’t worship ourselves and our own instincts, but honor the God who actually is, will just keep on fighting to educate those of you who are either willfully or woefully ignorant.” On homosexuality, she wrote: “It was sin, is sin, and will always be sin. And people can avoid this sin.”
    We welcome your feedback.

Readers Find Love and Encouragement in
Conversation With NPR’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty …
on the Science of Spirituality …

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty appeared in our online magazine more than a week ago and we’re still hearing from readers touched by her reflections. Raised in Christian Science, Barbara’s book is an exploration of spirituality that Christian Scientists in particular can appreciate—which is why we heard from a number of followers.
    Here’s an example from reader Marsha Cunningham: “I was raised in CS and have had healings all of my life, I’m now 63. … One of the things we learn is that when we love more—which means to see ourselves and others as God sees us—this is the Love that heals. It is quite different than the human sense of love which is based on emotion. It involves a sacrifice because the human mind has a tendency to find fault, pick on people or ourselves, get revenge, hold grudges, and so on. The prayer to learn to love more is not a begging or pleading or vain hoping. It is a very disciplined acknowledgment of God’s power and grace, a consecrated activity which takes place privately, alone with God.
     “Loving ourselves as God does is actually an all day event, and loving others in the same way is then more natural, but may still take effort. Total mastery doesn’t come while still on earth, but is worked on moment by moment by sincere students.”

FINALLY, Please Join the Discussion
Over at OurValues.org—
a Spirited Discussion of General Motors’ Future

AND NOT JUST GM’S FUTURE, BUT OUR FUTURE, as well. Dr. Wayne Baker, a sociologist and a leading professor in the University of Michigan’s business school, is uniquely poised to help us sort through these complex issues.
    All this week, he’s been helping readers walk through this complicated new landscape with thoughtful posts—and questions to spark discussion at http://www.OurValues.org/. We thank all those readers who’ve posted their comments this week over in that section of our online magazine.
    Next week, stay tuned! Dr. Baker also plans to share a few thoughts from another scholar with expert advice in these turbulent waters—Dr. Rob Pasick, author of “Balanced Leadership in Unbalanced Times.”


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    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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