religion

Esther Shittu / WNPR

When we did our show on Romeo and Juliet a few months ago, Tina Packer invited us to come up to Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass., to see her new production of The Merchant of Venice this summer. Colin said we'd love to; we'll come up there and do a show!

It seemed like the sort of niceties that people often toss off on the radio.

But it turns out they meant it. And so, so did we! So we went up and taped a show in the Berkshires with Tina and her Shylock, Jonathan Epstein.

A Muslim community center in Kingston was the target of vandalism, in what may be a response to an apparent terrorist attack in Nice, France.

Mabel Lu / flickr creative commons

Last fall, Colin saw The Bloodstained Men and Their Friends demonstrating in New Haven.

They wear white coveralls with red stains on the crotches.

Thegreatlandoni / flickr creative commons

From scientists to fiction writers, conspiracy theorists to theologians, aliens have captured the imagination of us all. But as we ponder the possibilities let us pause to ask ourselves why.

Why do these yet to be found creatures from space occupy such a central role in the musings of so many? And should their existence be confirmed, what will it mean for us on Earth?

Aboard a flight home from Armenia, Pope Francis fielded a pointed question from reporters: Did he agree with German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who, in the wake of the Orlando shooting, said gays deserve an apology from the Church?

His answer was frank.

Methodists from churches all over New England met last week at the New England Methodist Conference in Manchester. At that conference, they passed a resolution that attempts to make the broader church more inclusive for LGBTQIA people. It’s a decision that may have deeper resonance now after the attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando last week. Beth DiCocco is spokesperson for the New England Conference and she joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss this resolution.

What is the Methodist Church's position on homosexuality?

Katie Burns

The Islamic Association of Greater Hartford hosted an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Orlando, Florida shooting on Tuesday night. Attendees came together to try to make sense of the events that occurred. 

Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET.

He called it yapping, loose talk, and sloppiness. President Obama dismissed criticism of his administration's avoidance of the term "radical Islam" and urged America to live up to its founding values Tuesday, speaking at length about inclusiveness and religious freedom.

US Embassy / Creative Commons

Orlando, Florida was the scene of a mass shooting Sunday that left 50 people dead and dozens more injured. We've heard the story before: a shooter walks into a crowded room with multiple weapons to kill large numbers of people in an astonishingly small amount of time.

Vice / Flickr

Between orthodoxy and cultism exists a narrow divide; a proving ground of public opinion where spirited groups vie for entry into the hallowed halls of true religion. Few are more firmly planted in this place than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Steve Terrell / Wikimedia Commons

There has never been a time in the last ten presidential cycles when voters have disliked two presidential front-runners as much as they dislike Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Yes, the country is becoming increasingly polarized, but that doesn't explain why the candidates aren't well-liked by their respective parties.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Ali's Funeral Set For Friday

Muhammad Ali, the man considered the greatest boxer of all time, died late Friday at a hospital in Phoenix at age 74. He was battling respiratory problems.

He died of septic shock related to natural causes, with his family at his bedside, according to family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Ali inspired millions by standing up for his principles during the volatile 1960s and by always entertaining — in the boxing ring and in front of a microphone.

Nancy Shilts stood just inside the door of St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate, Mass., on Sunday, handing out fliers and hugs to parishioners as they arrived — for the very last time.

"It's just like I just lost my house," she said.

Shilts is one of the parishioners who have taken turns staying in St. Frances, day and night since 2004. That's when the Archdiocese of Boston said it was shutting the church down to sell the land.

Wikimedia Commons

Krista Tippett must know something. After all, she's been hosting a show -- originally called Speaking of Faith and now called On Being -- for about 15 years. She talks to the wisest of the wise and the sagest of the sage, about matters of existence, transcendence, and, you know, what does it all mean? What kind of universe is this anyway?

Gabe Simerson / WNPR

A group of Muslim men and boys knelt in prayer in the Berlin Mosque as an imam recited from the Qur’an. A few hours earlier, they were downstairs, hosting their first "Youth Hangout" -- an afternoon of Jeopardy for high schoolers of all faiths designed to show solidarity in the face of anti-Muslim hate rhetoric. 

Thegreatlandoni / Flickr

From scientists to fiction writers, conspiracy theorists to theologians, aliens have captured the imagination of us all. But as we ponder the possibilities let us pause to ask ourselves why.

Why do these yet to be found creatures from space occupy such a central role in the musings of so many? And should their existence be confirmed, what will it mean for us on Earth?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The top federal prosecutor for Connecticut is holding a meeting this week with Muslim and Sikh community leaders to discuss issues of concern to their communities. 

Bernie Sanders will be taking a few days off the campaign trail to attend a Vatican conference about social, economic and environmental issues.

The day after a debate in New York next week, Sanders will travel to Rome for the event.

In an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Sanders said he was "a big, big fan of the pope."

"He has played an unbelievable role, unbelievable role in injecting a moral consequence into the economy," Sanders said. "He's talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that's out there."

Alison and Fil / Creative Commons

It's Yale and New Haven Humanism Week in New Haven, and so we thought: Hey, wait. Just what the heck is a humanism exactly anyway?

And so then we thought: And what about, uh, agnosticism? Unitarianism? Universalism? Unitarian Universalism? Maybe even atheism?

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

The Catholic Diocese of Springfield has settled a lawsuit over child sexual abuse by a priest who committed suicide in 2011.

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

For a normal show, on a normal day, in a normal time, we'd usually put two or three experts in a room with Colin and ask them to hash out whatever it is we're interested in for that hour.

For this show, by the time it's over with, we'll have corresponded with dozens of people and recorded interviews with seven or eight experts from ten or eleven different disciplines: a philosopher, an ethicist, a futurist, a speechwriter, a comedy writer, an author of speculative fiction, a politician, an 'investigative humorist,' a Muslim, an expert in international affairs, and an expert in... manners.

Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have charged three former leaders of the Franciscan religious order with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to work in a high school. The prosecutors say the friar had molested more than 80 children.

Giles Schinelli, 73, Robert D'Aversa, 69, and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61, were successively in charge of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regulars, Province of the Immaculate Conception in western Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010.

Creative Commons

Connecticut is one of the least religious states in the country, according to the latest Pew Religious Landscape Study.

louisck.net

If there is a through line to this week's Nose, I would have to call it trespass.

In the remarkable third episode of Louis C.K.'s from-out-of-nowhere filmed theater web series thing "Horace and Pete," the two characters (and there are very nearly only two) played by Laurie Metcalf and C.K. are working out the nature of trespass, as it appears in the Lord's Prayer. As adulterers, they are each trespassers. (But then, we are all trespassers.) And they are both aware that, in trespassing in order to seek pleasure, they create their own hells.

An Islamic center and mosque in Worcester is taking a proactive approach to confronting Islamophobia.

The Worcester Islamic Center is holding an event Saturday that it’s calling “Meet a Muslim Day.” It’s designed to get members of the public who may not know much about Islam — beyond the headlines — to learn about the faith practiced by about one-fifth of the world’s population.

Dave Zajac / Record-Journal

A Connecticut man charged with firing a rifle at a mosque next to his home has been placed under house arrest. 

Marriage licenses in Kentucky will no longer need to be printed with the name of the county clerk who issues them.

The state's new governor, Matthew Bevin, issued a executive order yesterday saying he was changing protocol in order to "ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored."

Neighbor Charged With Firing Shots at Meriden Mosque

Dec 18, 2015
Dave Zajac / Record-Journal

Federal authorities have charged a Meriden man with firing several shots into a local mosque in November.

It’s lunchtime, and Salah Asfoura walks into Bahnan’s International Marketplace with the ease and familiarity of a regular.

“I shop here all the time,” he says. “I mean, not just here, but when we’re looking for Middle Eastern stuff, they have great pastry here, very fresh.”

Tim Green / flickr creative commons

For most shows, I’d use these first paragraphs to explain why we’ve chosen to spend an hour on its particular topic. I’d remind you of events in the news. I’d site a publication date. I’d point out a trend that we’ve maybe noticed that you maybe haven’t.

For today’s show, for instance, I could type a list of towns here — international towns, domestic towns, Connecticut towns — and you’d recognize them all as spots on a map that share a wound, as place names that represent a raw, unhealed sore in our shared memory.

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