Meet the God Squad, the brains behind our series “Faith, Food, Friday: Improbable conversations for people of faith and no faith at all (because talking politics wasn’t hard enough). We hope you’ll join us as we explore what happens when people of good will who might not agree cross each others’ thresholds and break a little bread together. Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, bring an open mind, an open heart (and an empty stomach) for a continuing conversation on the two topics your mother taught you to never broach in polite company. Faith, Food, Friday is $8 if you register through the Tuesday ahead of each program ($10 after) and free if you’d like to bring your own lunch (or not eat).
God Squad, meet The Reverend Dr. Gary Mason, a Methodist minister who has spent a career in inner city Belfast building peace across the “ghosts of religious division which have dogged this island for hundreds and hundreds of years.”
Shortly before his assassination, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King offered us this stark warning on race: “Together we must learn to live together as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.” Tragically, over half a century later, race in America is arguably a more divisive topic than in most of our memories.
The landscape of sexuality has changed so rapidly that we as faith leaders are each being faced with previously unforeseen dilemmas, especially as gender is being regarded as fluid rather than biologically grounded and dichotomous. How do we respond to our society’s ever-changing sexual norms?
This summer’s shooting in Orlando re-ignited the swirl of issues that make up our ongoing civic tornado. But it also seemed to also bring with it a more complex subtext as culture war issues collided so uniquely in the tragedy and its aftermath.
Something seems different about the political anger right now – it seems to have escalated to a point where it feels that we’re actually in danger of losing our moorings. It feels like the ties that bind us are disintegrating in ways that feel unfamiliar and dangerous.
Hope. We figured we’d take the opportunity – before we know any election results – to find reasons for real hope. Who better than the God Squad to give us a reason to feel a little better – whichever side of the aisle you’re about to fill in the bubble for on Tuesday.
Exit the Echo Chamber: Fake News, Filter Bubbles and Faith Summer is right around the corner and we know you have plans – fishing, sunbathing, a summer read or two? Whatever you’re up to, we say you add just one more to-do: “Save the planet by escaping the echo chamber.” Doable.
Freedom of Conscience It’s likely that there truly is no freedom more dear to Americans and more central to our national character than our freedom of conscience. But in the era where we seek agreement and approval, it rankles us when others don’t hold our same values and don’t hew to our personal moral compass. […]
Is Islam compatible with Western democracy? With the concerning escalation of rhetoric amid calls to stop Muslims from immigrating, we’ll have this conversation across faiths and with our Muslim friends, as usual. Joining us is special guest Dr. Parvez Ahmed.
Life or Death? Faith and the Death Penalty This is a hard conversation, one with wide differences of opinion, but also one we’ve almost just given up on ever managing to agree on. So this season we’re having difficult, unflinching conversation The God Squad specializes in.
Atomization. We live in an age when we can summon up a personally tailored life experience with the touch of a button. We’re so programmed to receive instant gratification that the complexities and compromise of building community wear quickly.
At FSU’s Club Downunder! As bad manners and ill-tempers replace conversations of substance and charges of “hate speech” sprout like crabgrass on an un-mowed lawn, we seem to be in a societal-wide spitting match about just who is the most tediously offended.
We’ll be looking at everything from “safe spaces” to “trigger warnings” in light of the freedom of speech. How can we have a diverse society if we’re not confronted with opposing viewpoints, even if they seem mean-spirited?