Blog Posts

Poles Apart

May 25, 2023

Everyone is talking about how divided we are. Most of the time this conversation is accompanied by a sense of dread and despair. People don’t know what to do. In her book, Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, professor Lilliana Mason tells a story about how we got here and what it means. In…

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Connecting Us to One Another

May 11, 2023

I was honored to be on a panel at an antisemitism conference at Kol Ami Center for Jewish Life in Kirkland, WA. I first met Rabbi Kinberg when she spoke out against anti-Muslim bigotry and the Muslim ban in 2017. I so appreciate all she does to rehumanize people to each other in these divisive…

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Truth and Relationship with Indigenous Communities

April 27, 2023

Paths to Understanding was invited by Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee to bring Indigenous leaders and Lutheran clergy together to engage in a question: How can Lutheran Christians begin to have a right relationship with Indigenous communities? In my work to counter dehumanization in the Pacific Northwest since 2015, I have often sensed that underneath Islamophobia,…

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Shocked but Not Surprised

April 19, 2023

Temple De Hirsch Sinai synagogue in Seattle was vandalized with Antisemitic slurs and images this week. I am shocked but not surprised. I am certain that every person who receives our emails is saddened by this and stands with our Jewish neighbors. Here are some ways to do that: I talked about Antisemitism with a…

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Why “Wisdom Traditions”?

April 17, 2023

People often refer to the kind of work we do at PTU as “interfaith” or “multifaith.” These are good words. The challenge is with the word “faith”. Not all traditions use that word, and even many people in the Christian tradition use that word in different ways. For instance, some Christians use the word “faith”…

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A Day of Blessing

April 11, 2023

About ten people gathered to support the Jewish community at Kol Ami last Thursday on the second night of Passover. We had a great time! We got to talk with each other. We welcomed people as they arrived to share a meal and remember stories of liberation from enslavement. This story is a not just…

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Join Us in Kirkland

April 4, 2023

On Thursday we will be at Kol Ami, a Center for Jewish Life starting about 4:45 PM. We will have signs printed or you can bring signs of support for our Jewish neighbors. We are doing this to offer our blessings for the celebration of Passover. In light of the increase in hate crimes against…

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A Holy Season of Solidarity

March 31, 2023

A Holy Season of Solidarity I was out hiking today with my spouse and our dog. I realized I needed to write an email to all of you. Dehumanization leads to violence. It is a process of associating a group of people with a threat to what people value. In the last few days major…

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A Beautiful, Complicated Story

March 21, 2023

Saturday night my spouse and I were invited to the first of its kind gathering in Anacortes. The occasion was ancient: the Persian New Year Nowruz. It originated in the Zoroastrian tradition but is practiced my many traditions today. The couple who organized the gathering are Zoroastrian, although they grew up Muslim. They are the…

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