religion

Chion Wolf / WNPR

I was still digesting some of the lessons of the play "Freud's Last Session" -- a 90 minute conversation between Freud and C.S. Lewis -- when I stumbled upon Adam Gopnik's New Yorker essay about rise of polemical atheism -- that is atheism that takes an openly contemptuous tone toward faith.

National Park Service

I'm trying to get my panelists for today's Nose interested in this, so I have to lay out some thoughts.

I will tell this story (a) without permission and (b) quoting only to the best of my abilities. A few years ago, Bill Curry and I, and some dogs, were walking in the meadows of Avon.

Somehow, we got onto the subject of deism, and I must have said it was difficult to believe in the existence of God, given all the devastation and profound  unfairness which overspread the world every day. And Curry turned and stretched his arms out as if to encompass the landscape. He's a big guy, which enhanced the effect.

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The U.S. is curtailing drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, a step toward better relations between two allies who’ve seemingly been at odds for years.

As Husain Haqqani sees it, it’s all part of a history of misunderstanding between the countries. He’s the former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., and a Boston University professor whose new book is called Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

In it, he explains the Pakistani obsession with it’s rival India, and with building military might, something the U.S. has been quick to support. We talk with him on a recent visit to the state. We also run these ideas of U.S.-Pakistan relations past two members of that community here in Connecticut.

New 1Illuminati / Creative Commons

The first secret society, according to Theodore Ziolkowski, a Princeton-based scholar on the literature of cults and conspiracies, "consisted of Eve and the serpent and then it just kept going," Ziokowski writes.

Bishop-accountability.org

A federal magistrate judge is allowing a lawsuit to move forward against a disgraced Roman Catholic order which has its U.S. headquarters in Connecticut.

In the Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx, Wednesday night is prayer meeting night.

Fifty people gather in the spare assembly room for a ceremony that looks very different from a Catholic Sunday Mass.

For one thing, the service is led by a woman rather than a male priest. She preaches excitedly while a rock band of young Salvadoran immigrants backs her up.

Some people in the audience hold up their hands; others are swaying gently. There are tears in the crowd.

Suddenly, the woman stops speaking in Spanish and begins speaking in tongues.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next Monday marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Next week in Woodbridge and Madison, there will be two screenings of the film "Nicky’s Family," a Czech documentary that tells the nearly-forgotten story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who organized the rescue of 669 children just before start of World War II. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

I spent one night in the company of James Carville and Mary Matalin, in the course of being their onstage moderator at the Bushnell. My lasting impression was that these were two people whose primary loyalty was to each other. To an unusual degree, when there was down time, they wanted to be alone, together, door closed. I don't know how they sort out their extreme political differences, but I think the answer lies somewhere in what I just said.

The Justice Department is preparing to unveil new guidelines that ban racial, ethnic and religious profiling in federal investigations, a law enforcement source tells NPR.

The long-considered move by Attorney General Eric Holder could be announced by the end of January. Holder discussed the guidelines in general terms Wednesday in a meeting with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio; a closed-door conversation that covered strategies for preventing crime "while protecting civil rights and civil liberties," a Justice Department spokesman said.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The race for governor has been underway for months now. But the race for lieutenant governor is just heating up. Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker announced he was throwing his hat in the ring for the number two job. But why?

Also, Connecticut's former Secretary of the State Miles Rapoport was just named the new president and CEO of Common Cause. He'll join us to talk about the work that lies ahead for him.

As the White House continues dealing with well-publicized problems with the HealthCare.gov website, there's at least one big question related to the Affordable Care Act that's outside the president's control: Can employers with religious objections be compelled to provide access to contraception coverage for their workers?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has granted a temporary injunction while she considers a challenge to the contraception requirement by a group of nuns called the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Catholic organization serves the poor elderly.

Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe / Creative Commons

As Ukrainian Christmas celebrations get underway, the recent political protests in Kiev have been on the forefront of some people's minds this holiday season.

On-going rallies have been held at Independence Square in Kiev in opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych's stand with Russia. Protesters want their former Soviet-country to sign an economic deal with the European Union.

Kitt Walker/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Yale's Paul Bloom is an expert on research showing infants do, in fact, act with moral purpose, if given the opportunity.

Babies, says Bloom and his colleagues, show empathy, compassion, and have a clear understanding of what is and is not fair.

The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court not to extend a temporary injunction given to a group of Colorado nuns who want to be exempt from some rules in the new health care law. The rules relate to the requirement that most employers provide health insurance that includes coverage of birth control costs.

The Justice Department will answer a challenge Friday morning to a controversial provision in the new health care law. It requires most employers that offer health insurance to include birth control at no cost.

A group of Catholic nuns has objected to that, and this week they won a temporary reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It's an unusual test case, but it won't be the last one.

Paying Homage to Pigs!

Dec 19, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Behold! The unique dilemma of the pig: There is nothing that smart that tastes that good. Is it true they're as smart as dogs? Why do some religions require people abstain from eating pork? What's it like raising pigs, and what parts of the pig are overlooked when it comes to eating them?

WNPR

What is your top story from 2013? We wrapped up the year on WNPR's news roundtable The Wheelhouse by asking this question. The following are some of your picks for story of the year as well as some other notable events up to this point.

Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. This time, in what observers are calling a major move, he reshuffled the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, one of the most important organizations in the Vatican.

In the biggest shakeup announced on Monday, Francis removed Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the group and replaced him with another American, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C..

Archdiocese of Hartford

Seven hundred-thousand Catholics in the Hartford Archdiocese have a new spiritual shepherd. 

In a ceremony at the Cathedral of St Joseph Monday, retiring Archbishop Henry Mansell stood at the doors of the church. It is the custom during an official installation. Mansell welcomed Leonard Blair as Hartford's fifth archbishop and told him,  "May you have health and happiness as the Archbishop of Hartford for many and glorious years."

Chion Wolf

After a two-week hiatus, The Nose, our weekly cultural panel, is back on with discussions of a controversial New York Times essay about who does housework, a contemplation of smarm versus snark, a nod to all the messiness around Nelson Mandela's funeral, and some second-guessing of Time's Person of the Year, Pope Francis or Ed Snowden.

Monsignor Robert Weiss has been pastor of St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown, Conn., for 13 years. Half of Newtown attends his church, so he knew many of the children who were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting last December 14th.

He was the first religious person on the scene that day. Weiss, known as Father Bob in Newtown, still remembers the sound of shattered glass under his feet, and he still can’t sleep at night.

Silviadc / Creative Commons

A vigil to honor victims of gun violence takes place this afternoon in Washington, D.C. at Washington National Cathedral. It will begin with the ringing of bells 30 times to mark the 30,000 people killed by guns since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest faith to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time's 2013 Person of the Year."

The magazine adds that:

It seems Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has given up on trying to make a point about the separation of church and state during the holiday season.

In a short statement issued on Monday, Chafee said the 18-foot blue spruce that will be raised inside the State House on Thursday will be called a "Christmas tree."

Kevin Dooley / Creative Commons

Metro-North has had a tough year. Yesterday's derailment in the Bronx follows the May derailment in Bridgeport that injured more than 70 people, the death of a rail worker repairing tracks in West Haven one week later, the July derailment of a freight train that occurred about 1,700 feet from Sunday's derailment, and a nearly two-week power outage in September that severely disrupted rail traffic.

Carles Tomas Marti on Flickr Creative Commons

Here in the West, Zen Buddhism is often where you go when you've concluded the religion you grew up with is marred by venality, hypocrisy, misogyny, patriarchal structure, and an insufficient commitment to peace and love. 

Buddhism seems to have less hierarchy and more commitment to pure enlightenment and oneness. So, what do Buddhists do when Buddhism falls down on the job?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Saud Anwar, mayor-elect of South Windsor and a physician, sat down with Where We Live to talk about his faith, his vision for the town, and how he plans to juggle his busy schedule. Anwar is a Muslim native of Pakistan who came to Connecticut via Illinois to study medicine at Yale. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, two stories, and a story about stories. Toni Harp talked about breaking a glass ceiling when she was elected mayor of New Haven earlier this month. The veteran state legislator fought back a tough challenge from Justin Elicker to become the first female mayor of the Elm City. We talk about her personal voyage to city hall, and her vision for New Haven. 

Chion Wolf

In 1965, the Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram, spread stamped and addressed but un-mailed letters around public locations in New Haven. Most of the letters were picked up and mailed by strangers who could not possibly derive any material reward for doing the right thing. The strangers also lived out their values based on the address.

Science Doesn't Want To Take God Away From You

Nov 13, 2013

I was once invited to give a live interview on a radio station in Brasília, the capital of Brazil. The interview took place at rush hour in the city's very busy bus terminal, where poor workers come in from rural areas to perform all sorts of jobs in town, from cleaning the streets to working in factories and private homes.

The experience would mark me for the rest of my life and set a new professional goal that I had not anticipated early in my career: to bring science to the largest number of people possible.

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