Shattering the Sabbath’s Peace

On Saturday morning the Sabbath peace (Shabbat Shalom) was shattered in the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh. The first reports were gruesome: at least 11 people were dead, several police officers wounded. A morning celebration of a bris with 60 to 100 people was devastated by gunfire. Some hours [...]

Sodom and Gomorrah: How the “classical” interpretation gets it wrong

Recently, Franklin Graham reacted to a comment made by former President Jimmy Carter to the Huffington Post several years ago.  Carter said, “Jesus would promote any love affair if it was honest or sincere and was not damaging to anyone else. And I don't see that gay marriage damages anyone else." Breitbart dug up the [...]

Transgender Resistance: Galli to the Mother of the Gods

Westar scholar, Dr. Susan "Elli" Elliott, recently put together a video about the Galli, a group of self-castrated people in the ancient Roman Era. She connects this to the idea of transgender resistance, what it may have looked like thousands of years ago, and what implications it may have for today. Dr. Elliott and Westar [...]

The 19th Century and Us

Deconstruction involves the display of history. It involves demonstrating that no historical event has an absolute center or a final meaning. In place, every event everywhere is a composite, a collection, of relations and relationships. This basic insight is a departure from modernity where meaning was rooted in central identities. This insight is also Buddhist [...]

Image Titled Breath Of God

Religion: Neither a State nor an Ideology

I'm not someone who comments very often on politics. The reason I'm not is because politics creates enemies and I prefer friends. Sometimes, though, a situation is such that one must take a risk and speak up. Such is the case with the United States government which, for ideological reasons, moved its embassy to Jerusalem [...]