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How do you reflect upon the birth of the Buddha into a Hindu family?

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center: It is true that the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born into a royal family that practiced and studied the Vedic tradition (Hindu is a modern term). This is no different than the fact that Jesus was raised in the Jewish faith.

The Bible says we are created in God’s image, but how could he be something we resemble?

The Rev. Duke Tufty, Unity Temple On the Plaza: I believe the image of God put forth in religious books is a fabrication from the mind of man. A wise old man with long hair and beard sitting on a throne somewhere in the far off reaches of the clouds is quite a compelling image.

If God does not forgive – per the Book of Revelation – why should we?

The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church UCC, Kansas City, Mo.: “You can’t forgive?”

Could you speak of the place Jesus holds in Islam?

Mohamed Kohia, Rockhurst University professor: No Muslim is considered a Muslim unless he believes in Jesus.

Did Protestants discard the idea of saints?

The Rev. Perry Sukstorf, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Mo.: While the term Protestant has had many different meanings, connotations and definitions over the years, this question of the saints, specifically the acts of venerating and praying to them, was one of the touchstones that sparked the Reformation of the 1500s.

Do you believe God’s revelations ceased after biblical times?

The Rev. Paul Rock, Second Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Mo.: I know I’m a pastor, but when it comes down to it, I’m basically a Christmas, Easter and Pentecost guy, especially when it comes to the subject of God’s revelation.

What does ‘in much wisdom is much grief’ mean?

Rabbi Avi Weinstein, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Overland Park, Kan.: In Jewish tradition, King Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes, and nobody’s wisdom is more heralded than that of Solomon.

If you could change one thing about our current American Christmas, what would it be?

The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo:

How does your religion view capital punishment?

Arvind Khetia, engineer: In Hinduism, God is not seen as the one handing out reward or punishment. However, there is a recognition of the universal law of karma, also known as the doctrine of justice.

What are we to make of Isaiah’s mythical cockatrice and the flying fiery serpent?

The Rev. Eugene Curry, senior pastor, Park Hill Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo.: Translating animal names in ancient documents is notoriously tricky because the specific identity of the things mentioned can’t always be deduced from context alone. The “cockatrice” of the Old Testament is a great example of this.

Voices of Faith: Is yoga a religion?

A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council: Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “union,” by extension “union with God.”

Are tattoos sinful?

Father Joe Nassal, Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Liberty, Mo.: Most biblical scholars suggest the prohibition in the book of Leviticus, “You shall not … print any marks upon you,” has more to do with ceremonial markings the Canaanites used as a sign of mourning than with morality.

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