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February 24, 2009

A tough question in tough times


Noting the “spiritual free fall” brought on by hard times, Cathleen Falsani. the religion correspondent at the Chicago Sun-Times , asked faith leaders what they tell people who “have lost their jobs, homes, tuition and sense of security.” Elizabeth Musselman, the ELCA campus pastor at the University of Chicago, was among the Protestant, Jewish, Muslim leaders who offered perspectives based on their tradition.

It’s a question that will probably be asked a lot this year. In fact, a friend recently e-mailed questioning her faith,  asking why “following the rules and being a good person” hasn’t led to a better life. She wondered if this was an “unrealistic sense of what life should be.”

My friend isn’t Lutheran by background. Given the different perspectives noted in the Sun-Times article, how does one answer such a question?

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