Miscellaneous Published

Members of the Interfaith Council’s Executive Committee and its Advisory Board from time to time submit commentaries to local or national media about various social-spiritual issues of current concern. Below, please find an index of these commentaries. Included are the title and author, the media outlet in which the item was published/posted, the date it ran and a paragraph or two from the article. You can view the entire article by following the link.

Guest Commentary: Michael Flynn is wrong: We don’t need one national religion

Guest Commentary: Protest punishments are clear racial discrimination 

Two radical companion bills are currently being considered in committees of the Florida Legislature — SB 484 in the Senate, and HB 1 in the House of Representatives. The bills are sinister and alarming. And I don’t use such terms lightly. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: When society is polarized, Golden Rule matters more than ever
Guest Column: Educate yourself about diversity to fight bigotry 

(Orlando Sentinel, September 6, 2020)


Guest Column: Don’t let extremists distract us from core issue of racial injustice  
Guest Commentary: Stay-at-home church exceptions do religion a disservice


Guest Column: Is telling the truth merely a relic of a bygone era?


Guest Column: Are Christians discriminated against in the United States?
robert ray

(Orlando Sentinel, August 2, 2019)

By Robert J. Ray

Over the past few years, I’ve increasingly heard fellow Christians complaining that our faith is under assault. I’ve even heard it claimed that Christians are the most mistreated faith group in the United States.

When delivering a couple of graduation commencement addresses this past spring, Vice President Mike Pence warned the graduates at the Christian universities where he was speaking that it has become “acceptable, even fashionable, to malign traditional Christian beliefs” and “to ridicule and even discriminate against people of faith.” READ MORE . . .

Guest Column: Atheists’ board invocations help religious freedom

Jim Coffin--2(Orlando Sentinel, July 22, 2019)

By James Coffin

Commissioners on the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners were no doubt stunned when, on July 8, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit unanimously declared (Williamson v. Brevard County) that the commissioners’ practice of automatically denying atheists the opportunity to offer solemnizing invocations/reflections at the board’s meetings was “discriminatory,” “unconstitutional” and “must be rejected.” READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: It’s time Florida passes the Competitive Workforce Act 

Schmitz Profile(Orlando Sentinel, June 11, 2019)

By Rev. Kathy Schmitz

As Pride Month continues across the country, here in Central Florida we reflect on the events at Pulse Nightclub three years ago.

We knew at the time of the massacre that we, as a community, would be changed forever. And this has proven true. So much has happened. There has been much healing. There are signs of social progress. But there also remains much work to do. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: When I vote for a president, I’m seeking a pastor

Jim Coffin--2(Orlando Sentinel, May 26, 2019)

By James Coffin

When President Donald Trump is faulted — as happens at times — for behavior that fails to comport with the values many of us had instilled during our upbringing, the response from Republican legislators and conservative Christian leaders often goes like this: “We didn’t elect him to be our pastor. We elected him to be our president.”

 “Au contraire,” I mutter. “When I vote for a president, I’m seeking a pastor.” READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Rabbi Kay: To fight hatred, rally around what unites us

The United States Holocaust Museum calls anti-Semitism “the longest hatred.” The celebration of Passover last week was a reminder of why: The story of the ancient Pharaoh’s enslavement of the Israelites is one of the oldest examples of vilifying and persecuting a people simply for being different. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Don’t lose sight of the ripples sent forth by terrorism

Jim Coffin--2(Orlando Sentinel, March 19, 2019)

By James Coffin

On March 15, during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, evil raised its despicable visage in a manner that has become all too familiar.

As worshippers bowed in reverence, gunfire shattered their tranquility. When the shooting stopped, 50 people lay dead, and nearly an equal number were wounded. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Elections have consequences — hostage-taking shouldn’t be one of them

Jim Coffin--2(Orlando Sentinel, December 27, 2018)

By James Coffin

Elections have consequences. You’ve heard that before. But it bears repeating.

For example, if the party of the president wins a solid majority in the House of Representatives, if the president’s party has at least 60 senators, if the party has a clearly defined agenda, if the agenda enjoys uniform party support, and if the agenda doesn’t push the limits of constitutionality (thus risking the “veto” of the courts)—when all the foregoing are present, the ability of the president’s party to enact its agenda is virtually limitless. READ MORE . . . 


Guest Commentary: The paradox of Pittsburgh: Nothing fails like success

When we feel hopelessly inadequate to bring true comfort and consolation to those going through indescribable pain because of the evil that has been perpetrated against their family, their friends, their affinity group, their fellow humans, we sometimes search for a silver lining, some deeper implication, some overlooked fact that puts into a slightly different perspective the horror of what has transpired. READ MORE . . .

Guest Column: Orange County definitely should renew funding for OCPS

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, August 21, 2018)

By James Coffin

On Aug. 28, Orange County residents will decide whether the one-mill property-tax assessment that has benefited Orange County Public Schools for the past six years will be renewed for an additional four years.

I hope the vote will be a resounding Yes. OCPS needs those resources. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Gay wedding cake case, and others, make Christianity look bad

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, June 13, 2018)

by James Coffin

Many in the LGBTQ community breathed a muted sigh of relief when the U.S. Supreme Court, in its decision concerning Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, stopped short of actually saying that one person’s religious conviction should trump another person’s civil rights. Many conservative Christians had hoped for something more definitive. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: I choose #NeverAgain student activists for Public Health Hero Awards

Because I’ve served on a committee or two for the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, I received an email on Feb. 20 inviting me to nominate someone for the Public Health Hero Award 2018. The award is part of National Public Health Week (April 2-8). READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Graham autographed my Bible. I treasure it: First Baptist Orlando pastor

Danny de Armas(Orlando Sentinel, February 21, 2018)

By Danny de Armas

In 1983, Billy Graham came to Orlando to conduct one of his legendary crusades at what we now call Camping World Stadium. During that week I met Graham immediately before one of the services. For this 21-year-old son of a Baptist preacher, it was an awe-inspiring moment. READ MORE . . .


Front Burner: Raise smoking age from 18 to 21 in Florida?

Michael Joe Murphy(Orlando Sentinel, January 23, 2018)

Introduction by Michael Joe Murphy

Should the state of Florida raise the legal age to buy cigarettes?

A push to raise the legal smoking age to 21 is a growing movement across the country. Five states — California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon — have increased the legal age to 21, as well as more than 250 municipalities nationwide. READ MORE . . .


Front Burner: Freedom of religion? A Christian and an atheist share their views

Michael Joe Murphy(Orlando Sentinel, January 15, 2018)

Introduction by Michael Joe Murphy

Tuesday is Religious Freedom Day, annually proclaimed by U.S. presidents to remind Americans of the religious freedom our nation enjoys. The day actually commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on Jan. 16, 1786. READ MORE . . .


Guest Commentary: Imam: Why MLK’s life and legacy mean so much to me

Hatim Hamidullah(Orlando Sentinel January 5, 2018)

By Hatim Hamidullah

Over the next couple of weeks, Central Floridians will be feted to an array of events celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I contend that MLK’s history is vitally important to all of us. READ MORE . . .



Front Burner: Allow pastors to endorse from pulpit?

Michael Joe Murphy(Orlando Sentinel, November 29, 2017)

Introduction by Michael Joe Murphy

At a National Prayer Breakfast shortly after taking office, President Trump pledged to end political limits on churches. With the U.S House of Representatives and Senate poised to vote on legislation that would rewrite much of the federal tax code, Republicans in Congress are about to make good on Trump’s vow to repeal a 1954 law that bans churches and other nonprofits from engaging in political activity. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Rabbi: Hate groups have rights but must never get equal standing in America

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Orlando Sentinel, August 22, 2017)

By Steven W. Engel

As a religious leader in Central Florida, I have been disappointed over the past several days in what some of the opinion pieces in the Orlando Sentinel, the commentators in the media and President Trump have all said about the events in Charlottesville, Va. The legitimacy of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis has been justified as a matter of freedom of speech and assembly, the right to preserve Confederate history, and other rights as American citizens. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Did the Founders intend the United States to be a Christian nation?

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, July 7, 2017)

By James Coffin

The July 4 issue of the Orlando Sentinel contained a fascinating compendium of historic quotations in a full-page advertisement titled “God Bless America.” The ad was sponsored by Hobby Lobby, Hemispheres and Mardell stores.

The ad’s carefully selected quotations could easily lead a reader to assume that our nation’s Founders planned for the United States to be a Christian nation. The reality is far less tidy and considerably more nuanced than the quotations imply. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Pulse, a year later: We must protect the vulnerable

JimCoffin(Florida Today, June 11, 2017)

By James Coffin

My faith tells me, as a member of the Christian clergy, that discrimination categorically does not belong here or anywhere.

One year ago, a sanctuary in Orlando was brutally violated. Men and women came to the Pulse nightclub to celebrate, socialize with their friends and express themselves. Yet on that busy Saturday night, a man armed with a rifle and a handgun opened fire outside the club and ran inside to hold hostages for a three-hour standoff. READ MORE . . . 


Guest Column:Regulations and the need to recognize that people matter

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, April 19, 2017)

By James Coffin

President Donald J. Trump isn’t shy about voicing his distaste for federal regulations. The main reason? Regulations get in the way of business profits.

Trump campaigned on a promise to roll back regulations. And a mere 10 days into his presidency, he’d already signed an executive order mandating that before any new federal regulation can be implemented, two existing ones must be revoked. READ MORE . . . 


Guest Column: Preserve the distance between nonprofits (religion) and politicsPresident Lyndon B. Johnson is seen with Pope Paul VI in 1965. Eleven years earlier, while a senator, Johnson introduced the Johnson Amendment.


Guest Column: Harass Muslims? Torch mosques? What would Jesus do?

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, September 23, 2016)

By James Coffin

Scripture assures us Jesus would not burn mosques and harass Muslims.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. At least, that’s what my parents told me. They said it repeatedly and emphatically. And their words have stuck with me.

Neither were my parents moved by such arguments as: “But he hit me first!” READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Will faith leaders push LGBT solidarity after adrenaline stops?

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, June 21, 2016)

By James Coffin

Faith leaders should show commitment to the LGBT community every day.

My favorite Hemingway vignette:

While the bombardment was knocking the trench to pieces at Fossalta, he lay very flat and sweated and prayed, oh Jesus Christ get me out of here. Dear Jesus, please get me out. Christ, please please please, Christ. If you’ll only keep me from getting killed I’ll do anything you say. I believe in you and I’ll tell every one in the world that you are the only one that matters. Please please, dear Jesus.  READ MORE . . .


My Word: On ISIS: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, December 12, 2015)

By Robert Ray

FDR is right about ISIS: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

I’ve watched with deepening concern the responses to the ISIS-inspired massacre in San Bernardino, Calif. The rhetoric is truly alarming.

By profession, I’m a risk-management consultant. I identify risks. Then I analyze them. Then I double-check to ensure that other risks aren’t lurking in the shadows. Then I look for the most effective ways to manage all the risks involved. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Let’s take the political out of political correctness

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, November 22, 2015)

By James Coffin

What’s left when we take the politics out of political correctness?

William Shakespeare assured us in his play “Romeo and Juliet” that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

He might equally have said that a thorn by any other name would be just as prickly. Or he could have said that political correctness by any other name would still be political correctness — had he known about political correctness, that is. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Resist judging whole groups by despicable acts of some

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, August 16, 2015)

By James Coffin

Let’s move beyond labeling Muslims and other groups, and judge them as the individuals they are.

On July 28, a group of Muslims in Central Florida provided an impressive example of what relations should look like between a faith group and the larger community. READ MORE . . .


Guest column: Labor unions hardly saintly but vital to workers’ rights

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, March 10, 2015)

By James Coffin

When I heard that Wisconsin had become the 25th right-to-work state, it sent a chill down my spine. But what really jolted me was the realization that I was actually bothered by the precipitous decline of labor unions in the United States. READ MORE . . .


Guest column: A little advice about bad drivers, sex, ‘bad apple’ cops

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, January 4, 2015)

By James Coffin


My Word: Barbaric attitudes sow barbaric actions

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, October 12, 2014)

By Robert J. Ray

Eye for an eye for ISIS breeds murderous attitudes.

I’m pretty laid back when it comes to religious disagreements. But something that began unfolding on Sept. 5 has revved me up. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Atheists, conscience and God’s name

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, October 5, 2014)

By James Coffin

Atheists rightfully should not be kept from military service, a Christian clergyman writes.

An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada recently wasn’t allowed to re-enlist because he refused to sign an oath containing the phrase “so help me God.” READ MORE . . . 


Huffington Post: ISIS Beheadings of Journalists Are Nothing Short of Barbaric

Imam Musri(Huffington Post: 


When a couple of weeks ago I heard about the barbaric beheading of American photojournalist James Foley, strong-but-inadequate words rushed through my mind — words such as “despicable,” “diabolical,” “deplorable.” Yet I recognized immediately that even such strong words fall far short of adequately describing the degree of human depravity that leads to such an act. READ MORE . . .


Huffington Post: Stop the Violence — for the Sake of the Children

Imam Musri(Huffington Post: 

By Imam Muhammad Musri

As a Muslim Imam born in the Middle East, I’ve watched from afar with a deep and growing concern as the region (which holds so many wonderful memories from my childhood and youth) is being decimated by an assortment of animosities that are pitting Muslims against Jews, Jews against Muslims, and Muslims against Muslims. My heart aches. READ MORE . . .


My Word: My freedom ends where your rights begin

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, July 2, 2014)

By Robert J. Ray

The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act today and the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on Friday have inspired me to reflect on rights and freedoms. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Don’t use religious liberty to discriminate

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, March 9, 2014)

By James Coffin

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But what happens in neighboring Arizona doesn’t necessarily stay in Arizona; it could be copied elsewhere. READ MORE . . .



My Word: Don’t give FCAT during holy days

Skolnik photo(Orlando Sentinel, March 4, 2014)

By Hillel Skolnik

Recently, it has become common knowledge that this year Orange, Seminole and many others counties will administer the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test for a number of grades during the week of April 14. This is distressing to many people of various faith traditions since the exams fall during Holy Week, and the night of April 14 begins the Jewish holiday of Passover. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Ham and eggs, a church and a stadium

By Robert J. Ray

There’s a fable that goes like this: A chicken suggests to a pig that they open a restaurant together — they can call it “Ham and Eggs.”

“I’ll provide the eggs,” the chicken excitedly tells the pig, “and you can provide the ham.” READ MORE . . .


Huffington Post: Muslims Need to Speak Out Against Persecution

Imam Musri(Huffington Post: 01/24/2014 2:45 pm)

By Imam Muhammad Musri

A few days ago, I came across three separate items on the Internet that, combined, have not only given me much to ponder but have left me greatly disturbed. READ MORE . . .


My Word: MLK: Celebrating a movement and a man

During the next couple of weeks, people across the nation will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This year especially — the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act — we’re reminded of his achievements. READ MORE . . .


Huffington Post: Besmirching Allah’s Name By Trying to Protect It

Imam Musri(Huffington Post: 01/07/2014 5:03 pm)

By Imam Muhammad Musri

I’m not Malaysian. I haven’t visited Malaysia. Nor have I engaged in intense academic study about Malaysia. So I don’t claim to be an expert on all the local dynamics that led Malaysia’s high court in October 2013 to declare it illegal for non-Muslims to refer to God as Allah, which led recently to hundreds of Bibles being seized from a Christian group because they used the world “Allah” to refer to God. READ MORE . . .


Huffington Post: Pope’s Values and Message Impressive for This Muslim

Imam Musri(Huffington Post: 12/20/2013 4:22 pm)

By Imam Muhammad Musri

Despite being a Muslim Imam and a member of a minority religion in a predominantly Christian nation, I pay close attention when Pope Francis, Christianity’s most influential leader, speaks. I find him inspiring. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Hobby Lobby case not a simple one

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, December 17, 2013)

By Robert J. Ray

When the U.S. Supreme Court decides the case Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, they’ll need the wisdom of Solomon. Why?

The Affordable Care Act requires large businesses to provide employee health insurance. It’s the law. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Why the High Court’s ruling on prayer won’t affect all Christians

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, November 5, 2013)

By James Coffin

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of Greece v. Galloway, which will test the constitutionality of prayer as a component of government meetings. READ MORE . . .


My Word: We’re never too powerless to protest

Imam Musri(Orlando Sentinel, September 4, 2013)

By Muhammad Musri

When I heard that hundreds of people in Syria had been killed by chemical warfare, I recoiled in horror, as did most Americans. But for me, the implications hit even closer to home. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Irreplaceable quality of human labor

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, September 2, 2013)

By Robert J. Ray

As Central Floridians celebrate Labor Day today, it’s a time for shopping and super sales. A chance for outdoor barbecues. A day of r-e-e-e-a-l-l-y long lines at the attractions. But relatively few people will think about labor. READ MORE . . .


Guest Column: Well-crafted laws can ensure a more peaceful community

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, August 7, 2013)

By James Coffin,

The bulk of the world’s population seems to believe in the right of both individuals and nations to defend themselves against aggressors — even to the point of using deadly force. READ MORE . . .



My Word: Inalienable rights simply don’t exist

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, June 26, 2013)

By James Coffin

Christian apologist C.S. Lewis observed that “nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.” READ MORE . . .



My Word: One step closer to freedom from fear

nav khalsa(Orlando Sentinel, May 15, 2013)

By Navtej Singh Khalsa

Years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed four fundamental freedoms that all people everywhere ought to enjoy: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Of the four, freedom from fear is the most difficult to deliver. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Don’t allow proselytizing at public schools

By James Coffin

On Thursday, while people across the United States were collectively praying for a divine blessing on our nation, volunteers from the Central Florida Freethought Community were disseminating atheistic materials to students in Orange County public high schools. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Prayers from diverse faiths for our nation

Imam Musri(Orlando Sentinel, May 1, 2013)

By Muhammad Musri

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. It’s not a public holiday. We won’t get a paid day off from work. The mail will still be delivered. And banks will be open as usual. So what exactly is this special day? READ MORE . . .


My Word: Rollins College versus religious liberty?

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, March 19, 2013)

By Robert J. Ray

The headline was jolting: “Rollins boots religious group, says it violates anti-bias policy” (Orlando Sentinel, March 8). The article said the group was kicked off campus “for requiring its student leaders to be Christian and promote certain conservative beliefs.” READ MORE . . .


My Word: Shared humanity as prime identity

By James Coffin

On March 3, a bomb blast in Karachi, Pakistan, killed at least 45 people and wounded some 150 others as they exited a Shia mosque after evening prayers. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Model gun discussions on religion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Orlando Sentinel, January 17, 2013)

By Rabbi Steven Engel

“Rabbi, the debate on guns — for or against?” READ MORE . . .




My Word: We need to remember King’s legacy

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, January 13, 2013)

By James Coffin

Forty-five years ago this spring, the most high-profile figure of the U.S. civil-rights movement was cut down by an assassin’s bullet. READ MORE . . .



My Word: Does morality demand a minimum wage?

By Robert J. Ray

A friend of mine likes to say, “We all agree there’s such a thing as too hot, and such a thing as too cold. The challenge is to agree on what temperature the room should be.” READ MORE . . .


My Word: Should all free speech be exported?

JSB_0052-2 copy(Orlando Sentinel, October 30, 2012)

By Jasbir Singh Bhatia

As the dust settles following the international furor caused by the posting of the movie trailer “Innocence of Muslims” on YouTube, it seems a good time to ask: Should all free speech be exported? READ MORE . . .


My Word: Does God choose football’s winners?

robert ray(Orlando Sentinel, October 10, 2012)

By Robert J. Ray

In the little town of Kountze, Texas., the high-school football cheerleaders have been carrying banners bearing biblical messages. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has objected. Now the case is in the courts (“Biblical banners banned under Friday night lights,” Orlando Sentinel, Friday). READ MORE . . .


My Word: Religion can fit into the workplace

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, September 6, 2012)

By James Coffin

A Muslim woman in California sued her former employer last month, alleging discrimination, workplace harassment and unfair termination because of her religious beliefs. The proper interface of religion and the workplace is an ongoing challenge — and not just for Muslims. READ MORE . . .


Thimbleful of truth, bucketful of balderdash

JimCoffin[Originally posted on the Holocaust Center of Florida Blog, August 30, 2012]

By James Coffin

Mark Twain contended that there are three kinds of lies: “lies, damned lies and statistics.” I’d suggest that the three could also be: lies, damned lies and clichesREAD MORE . . .


My Word: Sikh killings: Where is true freedom?

JSB_0052-2 copy(Orlando Sentinel, August 8, 2012)

By Jasbir Singh Bhatia

Another senseless shooting. This time in a place of worship near Milwaukee. READ MORE . . .



My Word: Is the United States a Christian nation?

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, July 10, 2012)

By James Coffin

The Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday published a full-page advertisement featuring highly selective quotations from historic Americans declaring the United States to be a Christian nation. The content should have been right up my alley. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Persecution in Iran doubly disturbing

Imam Musri(Orlando Sentinel, May 24, 2012)

By Imam Muhammad Musri

At the Holocaust Center in Maitland this past Sunday, representatives of Orlando’s Baha’i community described the persecution their fellow believers face in Iran, which is the birthplace of the Baha’i faith. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Religions agree on safeguarding the poor

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, April 30, 2012)

By James Coffin

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan says his budget, passed by the House, is based on his Catholic faith. A series of letters sent to legislators and other government entities makes clear that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops doesn’t share Ryan’s perspective. READ MORE . . .


Trayvon Martin, justice and the Golden Rule

JimCoffin(Winter Park-Maitland Observer, April 4, 2012)

By James Coffin

The world’s great religions espouse a principle we’ve come to call the “Golden Rule.” It’s a universal call for all humans to treat others as they’d like to be treated. It’s not a complicated concept. Yet it’s sometimes difficult to carry out in practice because in any given situation we may have a number of values competing for prime consideration. Ethicists refer to it as having to “stack our imperatives.” READ MORE . . .


My Word: It’s time to remove profiling plague

Schmitz Profile (Orlando Sentinel, March 26, 2012)

By Kathy Schmitz

Surrounded as we are by a veritable blizzard of news reports, commentaries, rallies and protests, it’s crucial that we not lose sight of the core issues in the Trayvon Martin tragedy. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Liberty, justice, anti-Semitism don’t mix

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, March 11, 2012)

By James Coffin

Sixty miles west of Orlando is a beautiful, tree-shaded cemetery. It’s the final resting place of thousands of patriots — men and women who have served in theU.S. military. Their choice of burial grounds wasn’t accidental. They wanted family and friends to know what an honor it had been to serve their country. READ MORE . . .


My Word: King turned a light on the darkness

Gus Davies(Orlando Sentinel, January 15, 2012)

By Gus Davies

The Martin Luther King holiday, on Monday, is special for me as an African-American. Exceptionally so. READ MORE . . .



My Word: Respectfully agree to disagree

Hatim Hamidullah(Orlando Sentinel, June 01, 2011)

By Hatim Hamidullah

As a Muslim imam, I greatly appreciated Leonard Pitts’ comments concerning the furor caused when Muslims applied to build a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (“Band of bigots lives in a place beyond reason,” Sentinel, Thursday). It’s a sad story. READ MORE . . .


My Word: Earth care a spiritual duty

JimCoffin(Orlando Sentinel, September 23, 2010)

By James Coffin

Forty-eight years ago this month, Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” helped launch our modern environmental movement. Scientists, politicians and the public continue to debate just how serious the risks are, how great a role humans actually play, and how the negative consequences might best be mitigated. READ MORE . . .