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Pluralism and politics: seeing democracy at its best

During spring break, I co-led an Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C. on the theme of “Pluralism and Politics: Exploring Faith-Based Advocacy in American Society.” Before the trip, I wrote a reflection on my preliminary understanding of the role of faith in public life, hypothesizing that religion “illuminates our moral commitments,” “motivates us to act on our values” and “galvanizes productive engagement in democracy.”

Revealing religion: Understanding faith at Stanford

It’s my first day at Stanford: a whirlwind of unpacked suitcases, reshuffled notebooks and crumpled bedding. My roommate and I meet each other for the first time and choose our beds. Our parents all shake hands. Then, in the blink of an eye, we’re alone for the first time.

I take a deep breath and ask my roommate the question I’ve been waiting to ask: Are you comfortable if I pray?

Holidays around the world

Holiday season is in full swing; we’re wrapping up Thanksgiving and moving into Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the New Year and more. Growing up Catholic means that I’ve been on the Christmas bandwagon for as long as I can remember. Back home, we show our holiday spirit by displaying colorful Christmas trees and lights, singing Spanish-influenced…