Sam Smith, 2008 - We are once again being treated to that remarkably self-serving and hypocritical myth that there should be no religious test for high office. For one thing, it's a lie: if you aren't religious, you don't get high office. For another thing, if you are religious, you spend a good deal of … Continue reading There is a religious test for high office and here it is
SAM SMITH - According to the Washington Jewish Week, "That signature piece of Judaica is a fixture (literally and figuratively) on doorposts almost anywhere there are Jews. But in some isolated communities where the Jewish population is shrinking and scribes are becoming an endangered species, the supply of mezuzot is dwindling as well, and that's … Continue reading Hoarding my mazuzah
Sam Smith 2007 [I am occasionally asked why I sign my letters, "Keep the faith," and of which faith am I speaking. When an ex - Mormon - turned - Episcopalian journalist raised the issue, I sent the following reply] Far be it for me to distinguish amongst such ancient and venerable theologies, but the … Continue reading Keeping the faith
Sam Smith, 2007 - I grew up part Jewish. It was hard not to if you lived in a New Deal family where your father was involved in things like starting Americans for Democratic Action. My own introduction to politics came as a pre-teen stuffing envelopes for the local ADA director Leon Shull as he … Continue reading Growing up part Jewish
Sam Smith Although it may be because I don't really believe in him, but I can say with certainty that God has never stopped his majestic efforts to talk with me. Further, even among the more religious I know, I can't recall any describing an instance in which God actually conversed with them. These people … Continue reading Who does God talk to?
Sam Smith, 2007 - As far as the government and the media are concerned, the world's fourth largest belief system doesn't exist. By one count, in number of adherents it's behind Christianity, Islam and Buddhism but ahead of Hinduism. Globally it's 85% the size of Catholicism and in America just a little smaller than Episcopalians, … Continue reading Seventh Day Agnostics arise; you have nothing to lose but your stereotype
Sam Smith ALTHOUGH the media - brainwashed by years of religious propaganda - hasn't discovered the fact, it is a lot harder to be religious bigot than it is to be an ethnic or homophobic bigot. The reason is that in the latter cases, the target has no choice. Religion like politics, on the other … Continue reading WHY AL SHARPTON WAS NOT A BIGOT
SAM SMITH 2007 I've received a promo from Jim Wallis of Sojourners that reads in part: "There are very few moments when we have the opportunity to turn the eyes of the nation away from the three-ring circus that our electoral process resembles and onto the concerns of those whom Jesus called the 'least of … Continue reading Who owns faith and values?
Sam Smith, 2007 I recently quoted from correspondence I had as a 20-something with a born-again Christian. In one of my letters I wrote: "You have a clear understanding of what you believe to be the nature of God and Christ. I have not. Does that set us so far apart? I believe not, for … Continue reading The fight that doesn’t matter
Sam Smith, 2006 - The death of the activist minister, William Sloane Coffin, propels a troubling question to the front of my mind: where have all the cool preachers gone? It may seem an odd query for a Seventh Day Agnostic but I have always tried to separate cause and character and have enjoyed a … Continue reading Where did all the cool preachers go?
Sam Smith, 2005 - Every time I get totally fed up with Washington, something happens to remind me that some of the best of the city isn't gone, only hidden. Like the big house on Portal Drive across the street from the one towards which I was heading for a holiday party. I had never … Continue reading Sweet Daddy Madison
Sam Smith, 2004 [Encouraged by our presidential candidates, I decided to also try to have a conversation with the Father Almighty. I got through without any trouble] SAM - Hey Pops, this is Sam down on earth just checking in. GOD - Good to hear from you. I get so tired of those suck-ups at … Continue reading A conversation with God
Sam Smith, 1999 - Three unusual things happened yesterday. (1) I went to church, (2) I did so as a political act, and (3) the church service was held in a synagogue. The proximate cause of this curious triptych of events was the Rev. Daniel Webster Aldridge, who was launching an all new … Continue reading Church
Sam Smith - Our text for today is found in the eighth chapter of 1 Samuel. When Samuel got old he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. As so often occurs with nepotism this didn't work out: the offspring taking dishonest gain and bribes and perverting justice. So the elders of Israel paid a … Continue reading What the Christian right forgets about the Bible
Sam Smith, 1982 - The past few weeks have given evidence to support Benjamin Whichcote's aphorism that "among politicians the esteem of religion is profitable; the principles of it are troublesome." Seldom has the Lord's name been taken in vain with such consistency, length, sanctimony, hypocrisy and self-service as during the debate on the school … Continue reading Prayer in school