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).
Are you "us" or are you "them"? These days every religious, nonprofit and for-profit has to state their opinion on every single political disagreement du jour. We'll talk about just how advisable this situation is and if there might be a better way.
Love Thy Neighbor. No Exceptions? Does the admonition to love one's neighbor really come without exceptions? Is everyone my neighbor? And what does love really mean?
Let Friendship Redeem the Republic: God Squad Edition. In our year-long celebration of the superpower of healthy friendships across differences, you’ll meet God Squad’s friends who they don’t quite agree with.
Isn't Hanukkah the most important holiday to Jews? Don't Catholics object to sex unless reproduction is the goal? Come and consider many of the myths, truths, and misunderstandings that everyday people have about religion in America.
It's an election year. Should churches have political candidates speak at Sunday services? Should clergy tell congregants how to vote? What are the proper lines for religious involvement in politics? And what are the consequences when these lines get crossed?
In celebration of The Village Square's determination this year to celebrate what's working and worth emulating, God Squad will kick off their 13th season honoring our fellow humans who have behaved heroically during these challenging times.
Meet "The Skeptics," a DIY lay version of "God Squad" (a Catholic, a Mormon, a Protestant, and an atheist) who have forged deep friendships by gathering regularly, where disagreement is both welcomed and appreciated.
Given the dangerous rise of political extremism in America, it's well past time we stopped wagging our fingers and do a bit of soul searching about why our society is producing so many citizens unmoored from the connections that support moderation.
As the political landscape has devolved into a Mad Max hellscape of blame and retribution (and sometimes even worse), can we find a way to wrestle up a little empathy for our fellow human, even the ones who we don't agree with?
It's really easy to be in touch right now with the dark side of human nature that's been so thoroughly highlighted through the pandemic, but is there something else to see? Maybe transcendence, empathy and heroic self-sacrifice?
Everything has become political, high conflict and seemingly inescapable as the electromagnetic suck of angry politics forces us to be either "us" or "them," when most of us would rather do nothing of the sort.
Florida State University's football coaching legend Bobby Bowden no doubt left his mark on the game. But here in his hometown, we know that the deepest impact might have been because of the man he was.
America is awash right now in conspiracy theories, a phenomena that thrives when anxiety and isolation is high (uh, now). Conspiratorial thinking has found its most fertile ground in all of human history in the dark corners of the internet. What's a democracy to do?
Cancel culture is now practiced from American college campuses to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. If your opinion doesn’t conform, you’re not only exiled but life as you know it could be over.
....but gosh...who doesn’t like free ice cream after a day at public school? We thought the holiday season might be just the time of year to walk a mile in the shoes of minority faith traditions.
America's hardcore polar political opposites seem to have something striking in common — they evoke a blind, unquestioning faith that feels like religion run amok. Conversation predicted to include whining about social media.
A conversation bound and determined to transcend everything around us now. We're going to leave behind all the recriminations about how we got here or whose fault it is for a single golden hour to just be human together.
Measures of connectedness across society are on the decline, and extremism — and violence — is on the rise. The recent increase in anti-Semitic violence in "the living memory of the Holocaust" is likely an indicator that our society is deeply unhealthy.
People of faith in America feel besieged by a secularized culture and see their basic freedom to practice as threatened. Enter “The Benedict Option” – the idea that Christians need to separate themselves further from the culture around them.
We all know we’ve got a problem in Tallahassee — we’re economically, geographically and racially too far apart from each other. Too often the costs of this separation are ignored, avoided and goes unspoken.
As much as it’s hard to take our eyes off of Washington lately, ultimately it's neighbors like us in hometowns like this one who decide who we are to each other. We’ll get The Fab Five out of their summer sabbaticals to talk the Catholic principle of “subsidiarity” – doing good work closest to the people.
The tragic events of the last week have devastated an already polarized country. As we head into a divisive election we seem to lack the capacity to be together even in times of national grief and trauma.
No issue has more deeply and durably divided us than abortion. Is there a way to step outside of the political anger and move the needle on abortion rates together? (Creative Commons photo credit.)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher Ernie Rospierski, who was grazed by 2 bullets in the shooting two months ago, will join our panel that day. You won't want to miss this special 90 minute program. (Photo: Bob Howard)
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.”
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?
We live in an age when we can summon up a personally tailored life experience with a click, so programmed to receive instant gratification that the compromise of building community wear quickly.
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.
Do we really have the freedom to pursue our conscience, or is that getting harder in modern America? We'll try to understand each other.