Speaking as a Religious Minority in Mormon Country

Our stories were different, and yet Ossama, Sahar, Haroon and I had a commonality in our experiences. We all were religious minorities in America. Each of us had dealt with being stereotyped or maligned because we were not Christian and because those around us knew so little about our faiths. We knew too of incidents that had affected Muslims, Jews and other religious minorities in our own communities or nearby towns. Continue reading

Faith Ed Makes National TV & Other News

Church/state battles rage on in America, and last week, author Linda K. Wertheimer spoke about religion and public schools on Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. Read more Faith Ed related news in the newsletter. Continue reading

Making Our Voices Heard Through Workshops & More

Fb-Button

Like so many around the country, I have been dismayed by the tone of anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-fill-in-the-blank rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign and afterward with the election of Donald Trump as president. I have been torn about how much to weigh in, given I remain a journalist committed to not publicly endorsing politicians. With the publication of my first book, Faith Ed, however, I put myself firmly in the position as an advocate for social justice, as an advocate for respecting all, regardless … Continue reading

December Dilemma v. Thinking Broadly about Religion in Schools

Fb-Button

As I write this, K-12 schools are wrapping up classes or may have already finished them for winter breaks. In elementary schools, no doubt, many teachers have felt compelled to mention Christmas and Hanukkah in some way.

Look at the photo above, though. First-grade teacher Debbie Fagg at the Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, KS, is teaching about Hanukkah in early November as part of a multi-week unit on three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She brought the menorah … Continue reading

Seeing Hope in America on Election Eve

It’s the eve of Election Day. I’m anxious, just like the rest of America. I worry about the divisiveness in our country. This tumultuous election has revealed bigotry in many forms, toward people of color, toward Jews, toward people with disabilities, and toward Muslims. Yet, I have a twinge of hope. Continue reading

Reflections from a Religion Writing Conference, Plus Major Award for Faith Ed

Faith Ed wins a national religion book award and the author’s reflections on a national religion writing conference. Continue reading

Learning about Ramadan

It’s easy to know what to say to Christians when Christmas rolls around. “Merry Christmas,” of course.
But how many people know how to greet Muslims, Jews, or celebrants of other non-Christian faiths during their observances? This week marked the start of Ramadan for Muslims. Continue reading

Making the Case for Teaching about Religion in the Big D, TV & more

Fb-Button

So much to catch up on as Faith Ed, my book on teaching about religion in the schools celebrates its ninth month of existence. I recently traveled to Dallas to give a talk for the Jewish Book Council. Pictured with me above are: Mark Chancey, a religion scholar from Southern Methodist University, who participated in a panel with me and Rabbi Steve Gutow, and the panel moderator Cheryl Drazin. Cheryl led us through a discussion on the issues covered in Faith Ed, including some … Continue reading

Faith Ed Book Review, Interview Round-up

Fb-Button

Here are links to book reviews, when available online, and interviews:

Jewish Book Council review.

Boston Globe review by Kate Tuttle.

Wichita Eagle Review by former religion editor Tom Schaefer.

New York Times Sunday Book Review by Naomi Schaefer Reilly.

 Religion & Education has reviewed Faith Ed. and given it a nod in a foreword, too. Many thanks to the journal editor Mike Waggoner and reviewer Nicholas Piediscalzi. Here’s a snippet from the review, which also included Dr. Piediscalzi’s wonderful insight about … Continue reading