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Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life

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Judaism

Praying for Rain in California

This piece originally appeared in the Yale ISM Review.

“As an American Indian, all my life I have been cursed with the myth of the ‘Indian rain dance,’” Johnny P. Flynn wrote in Religion Dispatches in 2012 when the United States Agricultural Secretary, Tom Vilsack, suggested a rain dance to end a drought. “I am here to say there is no such thing. Not in my Potawatomi tribe or in any other tribe across the Americas.” Weather-related rituals, Flynn wearily pointed out—including the Hopi’s famous late summer dances—recognize the season rather than bring on the rain.

That hasn’t stopped some from trying. Continue reading “Praying for Rain in California”

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Sultans of Satire aims to bridge gaps with Muslims, Arabs through comedy

Published by The Washington Post, The Christian Century, Sojourners, Huffington Post Religion, Religion News Service, October 31, 2012; The Houston Chronicle, November 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Unshaven and wearing a black hoodie and cap, Omar Elba looked out from the lectern, surrounded by a gold cross and organ pipes. “Moses, you are my nizzle fo’ shizzle,” said the Egyptian-born Muslim comedian, doing his best to channel Snoop Dogg.

It’s a joke he’s done before, but never in a church.

Continue reading “Sultans of Satire aims to bridge gaps with Muslims, Arabs through comedy”

L.A. Interfaith Gathering Commemorates 9/11 Victims

Published on NeonTommy.com, September 11, 2011

LA interfaith gatheringReligious leaders of a variety of faith groups honored the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in a Saturday-evening ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall with the aim of fostering interfaith activity for peace.

About 900 people, representing at least 218 Los Angeles-area congregations, gathered “not just to memorialize our victims,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in his opening remarks, but also to recognize the differences and similarities among religions, and pray for peace. …

Read more on NeonTommy.com

Sensitivity training: An interview with Rabbi Ruth Langer

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, August 2009

Rabbi Ruth LangerCatholics need to learn more about their Jewish brothers and sisters, Rabbi Ruth Langer says, so they don’t make the same mistakes all over again.

Read more on USCatholic.org

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