Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum: God Loves Queer People

Do religious institutions have an obligation to fight for social change? The Civil Rights movement sprung from the Baptist churches of the South. Without the congregations and the organizing power of a certain young reverend by the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., African Americans would not have achieved de-segregation. Now another social battle divides America, and once again religious leaders are on the frontlines, for the fight for LGBTQ rights.


Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum works to change people's hearts and open their eyes to treat and accept LGBTQ people as fellow human beings. What causes people to hate those of a different sexual orientation? Rabbi Kleinbaum says that their ignorance stems from their sexuality having been "oppressed": 

“I think politically and spiritually it’s important for me to say and to be out there saying God loves queer people. This isn’t a mistake that God’s embarrassed by and is tolerant of but this is essentially part of God’s plan. So that’s the first thing.  The second thing I would say that I believe what LGBTQ perspective brings to Judaism and to world religions as well is the liberation of all of us straight and gay.  And by that I mean I think that straight people are oppressed by religion and how religion has been used to oppress sexuality and gender roles and gender relationships and has hurt men and women who are living extremely on the surface traditional heterosexual lives.”

For more on Rabbi Kleinbaum's discussion on how religious leaders must promote social consciousness and greater understanding, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:

Befriend your ideological opposite. It’s fun.

Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
  • Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
  • "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

3 ways to find a meaningful job, or find purpose in the job you already have

Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

Videos
  • Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
  • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
  • "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Keep reading Show less

Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
Keep reading Show less

UPS has been discreetly using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo

TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.


PAUL RATJE / Contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
  • UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
  • TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.
Keep reading Show less