Coming up: Workshops for Teachers on Navigating Religion in the Schools

Fb-Button  May 16, 2017

Greetings to new and old subscribers,

As our country becomes increasingly polarized, it becomes even harder for teachers who teach about touchy topics like religion. Sometimes, parents get nervous if they just hear the word ‘religion’ combined with education.

In general, Americans are fairly ignorant about what’s legal and what’s not regarding religion and public schools.

In July, I’ll conduct two workshops for Chicago-area teachers interested in teaching about the world’s religions. I’ll use lessons learned from my reporting around the country … 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

Writing for Change in Trump’s America

Fb-Button

Greetings to new and old subscribers,

When you don’t hear for me for quite a while, it’s usually because I’m busily writing this and that. Our country’s polarization has made me even more determined to write commentaries and articles that will provoke thought and ideally, prompt change in some way. That’s not that unusual, I guess, for a long-time journalist, but these times make the job of a writer more urgent.

In the past few weeks, I’ve published a few pieces. One continues the themes I wrote about in Faith Ed. While … 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

What Can We Do When Bigotry Seems So Present?

Fb-Button

What can we do to help? I have been giving talks about teaching about religion and the experience of religious minorities in America for more than a year. That question came up sporadically before the election campaigning began in earnest. Now, I get the question every time.

Like I, people I meet are worried and even frightened about the growing vitriol in our country toward people of color, immigrants, Jews and Muslims. I wrote about the hope I had before the election results came … 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