For the next several postings, I will be answering real questions from real people. In some cases, I am summarizing more than one question on the same topic. These questions have come to me from colleagues and friends, students in classes, audience members in talks, friends in my church and in my community. My aim is civil, insightful conversation that will stimulate thoughtfulness and wisdom that leads to fresh solutions that are inclusive and just, understanding that we live in a pluralistic world. People of conscience and goodwill will see issues – and even the universe itself! – very differently. In a world of instant reactions, I am pleading with my readers to think and live thoughtfully. This does not mean compromising conscience or faith-commitments. It does mean treating others according to the Golden Rule.