This week’s headlines out of Arizona are jarring, a wakeup call about extreme political rhetoric. Certainly, the young Arizona killer on our front pages this week appears to be mentally ill. Nevertheless, seeing our fiery political attack speech refracted so explosively through the broken glass of this young man’s mind gives us all pause. We must mourn with those gunned down in Arizona—and with the state of our political discourse as we open a new year.
But, in addition to mourning, what can we do? ReadTheSpirit covers the whole range of religious and spiritual traditions. On this point, all agree: Restoration of compassion depends on clearing our minds, hearts, spirits and restoring right vision. From the Torah to Buddhist teaching, all agree.
First, please express yourself! The OurValues.org project, nationally known for encouraging civil dialogue, is asking for your reactions to the Arizona tragedy today. It only takes a moment to visit the OurValues website and express yourself in a brief comment.
Remember Interfaith Heroes Like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
As you will discover in ReadTheSpirit over the next few weeks, the whole world seems to be crowding interfaith observances into the depths of winter. Baha’i World Religion Day is coming soon. The World Sabbath is on the horizon. There’s a new United Nations week for religious harmony.
In 2008 and 2009, ReadTheSpirit worked hard to fuel such New Year’s reflections by celebrating an Interfaith Heroes Month throughout January in each of those years. Thousands of readers enjoyed the series. Right now, we’ve got the entire series available online—free to read right now. If you’re looking for daily inspirational reading, you can read a story a day and take heart from all of the heroic figures you’ll meet in 31 days. Here is the original Day 1 in the 2009 Heroes series, celebrating the work of Pope John Paul II in building interreligious bridges. You’ll notice links at the top of that page to the next day’s story. Just keep following those links day by day. On Day 2 of the series, you’ll meet Baruch Tenembaum. As you read, each day, you’ll find strength for your own spiritual journey.
Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a new way
Next week, the nation will recall one of our most famous martyrs in the search for justice and compassion: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Below, you’ll find a remarkable video opening up the importance of King’s work to prompt timely reflections on other minorities Americans tend to marginalize. You should see a video screen below. Click it to watch this 2-minute YouTube video. If you’re not seeing a video screen, click here to reload today’s story, “Clear your mind of extremism.”
We want our international conversation to continue
Conversation is far better than the dangerous shouting matches we’ve been witnessing in our global culture. So, please, email us at [email protected] and tell us what you think of our stories—and, please tell a friend to start reading along with you!
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(Originally published at readthespirit.com)