Ethics + Religion – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Saint Patrick. Thad Zajdowicz

10 things to know about the real St. Patrick

There are many myths associated with St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. But Patrick's own writings and early biographies reveal the person behind the legend.
Several thousand people gather at a rally in Washington in 1952 to hear Evangelist Billy Graham preach. AP Photo

Could there be another Billy Graham?

Current trends suggest that evangelicalism is out of step with younger Americans. But, a scholar says, evangelicalism has been here before.
Immigrants and activists demonstrate in front of the Republican Party headquarters in Washington. AP Photo/Luis Alonso Lugo

Why deporting the ‘Dreamers’ is immoral

Conservatives on migration claim that allowing the DACA recipients to stay shows disrespect for the law. The moral principles that underlie the American legal system, however, tell a different story.
When should you ask your doctor for opioids? Monkey Business Images/

Is it wrong to ask your doctor for opioids?

A scholar explains why there is no one answer. Some pain is devastating, and sometimes such pain responds well to opioids. On the other hand, there is evidence that some physicians overprescribe.
The Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. AP/Andrew Harnik

It’s getting harder to prosecute politicians for corruption

A legal scholar looks at the new and narrowed definition of bribery by the US Supreme Court. In the future, will politicians doing favors for donors and friends ever be prosecuted for corruption?
Worshippers at Ash Wednesday mass. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Why do Christians wear ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Churches started to use ashes early as the ninth century as a symbol of repentance. In 1091, Pope Urban II ritualized their use to mark the beginning of Lent. Today, churches provide 'ashes to go.'
Relics of St. Valentine of Terni at the basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin. Dnalor 01 (Own work)

The ‘real’ St. Valentine was no patron of love

Valentine's Day originated as a feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr, or perhaps two. So how did the day become a celebration of love?
Mahesh Yogi (seated in front) who gained a following in the United States with musicians and artists. Ben Merk/ANEFO, Nationaal Archief, NL

How Americans came to embrace meditation, and with it, Hinduism

In the 1960s many Americans may have only known Hinduism through meditation, but the story of this country's relationship with Hinduism is much longer and more complex.
What does it mean when public figures say sorry? AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The art of the public apology

Public apologies are a type of performance before a larger audience, and they are to be understood in terms that are different from a private apology.
How many times do we wonder, ‘what’s the right thing to do’? Ed Yourdon from New York City, USA (Helping the homeless Uploaded by Gary Dee, via Wikimedia Commons

How should we decide what to do?

A scholar suggests a few approaches that have withstood the test of time.
Should we be more patient with those we view as distracted? Serhii Bobyk/

Tolerating distraction

We disapprove of distraction and consider attention as being valuable. What if they were, in fact, morally charged words, referring to the same behavior? Here's what early Christian monks thought.
The tomb of Abelard and Héloise. Alexandre Lenoir, via Wikimedia Commons

What a medieval love saga says about modern-day sexual harassment

An affair between a philosophy professor and his teenage student became the subject of ballads in the streets of Paris in the 12th century. A scholar asks: Why wasn't it called sexual harassment?