Jay Michaelson

Jay Michaelson is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Jay Michaelson

To some, Planned Parenthood is immoral; to others, it’s doing God’s work (COMMENTARY)

By Jay Michaelson — July 24, 2015
(RNS) Many of us have fervent religious beliefs about aborted fetuses: namely, that if utilizing them for medical research can save a life, it is a moral obligation to do so.

Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical is even more radical than it appears (COMMENTARY)

By Jay Michaelson — June 19, 2015
(RNS) "Laudato Si'" may turn out to be politically influential. It is already theologically revolutionary.

Why North Carolina’s unprecedented exemption is wrong for America (COMMENTARY)

By Jay Michaelson — June 12, 2015
(RNS) The courthouse is not a religious space, and the magistrate is not acting in a religious capacity. She is doing her job, which she took an oath to do.

We’re meditating all wrong, says ‘Buddha from Brooklyn’

By Jay Michaelson — June 4, 2015
(RNS) Westerners are missing the point of meditation, according to one of the first American teachers of meditation, Brooklyn-born Lama Surya Das. He explains in his new book, "Make Me One With Everything."

No ghost in the machine: Anti-humanism of ‘Ex Machina’ makes it the post-Christian film of the year (COMMENTARY)

By Jay Michaelson — May 8, 2015
(RNS) “Ex Machina” is a radically anti-religious movie that challenges the whole notion that human beings are more than meat, have free agency and have some soul that transcends the body and brain.

A ‘religious freedom’ proposal that I can agree with (COMMENTARY)

By Jay Michaelson — April 6, 2015
NEW YORK (RNS) A Kansas pastor floats an idea that enables small businesses to maintain their religious scruples in a way that doesn’t smack of discrimination. And I'm all for it.

Where did Indiana law come from? A brief history of religious freedom (ANALYSIS)

By Jay Michaelson — March 31, 2015
(RNS) Until the last few years, RFRA cases were victimless. That all changed in the 2000s, as conservative activists began using RFRA in a new way: as a sword, rather than a shield.

Is anti-Semitism really increasing on US college campuses? (COMMENTARY)

By Jay Michaelson — March 24, 2015
(RNS) The factors that differentiate anti-Semitic from anti-Israel speech are subtle.

In the grips of Jewish fundamentalism: New memoir sheds light on Hasidic community

By Jay Michaelson — March 17, 2015
(RNS) Jewish fundamentalists are often depicted as cuddly, harmless and quaint. But as Shulem Deen describes, in passage after passage, this is myth, not reality.

Malcolm Boyd, the gay rights icon you’ve probably never heard of

By Jay Michaelson — March 2, 2015
(RNS) One gets the sense that the Rev. Malcolm Boyd and many others like him were a little too religious for the liberals, and too liberal for the religious.

Was Obama right about the Crusades and Islamic extremism? (ANALYSIS)

By Jay Michaelson — February 6, 2015
NEW YORK (RNS) No one is suggesting that Christians are just like the Islamic State. But Obama did suggest that Christianity is like Islam; both faiths have the capacity to be exploited by extremists.

Is there a right way to respond to extreme homophobia? (ANALYSIS)

By Jay Michaelson — December 11, 2014
(RNS) The best reason to ignore Anderson isn’t to deny him press coverage, or to acknowledge that gay rights won and he lost, but to recognize that there are more important social justice issues the LGBT equality movement should focus on.
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