religion

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.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

What can religion say about climate change? It turns out a lot. Take for example, the Old Testament story of Noah and the flood. You remember how it goes: people behaving badly, Noah building an ark, God sending a flood, and, eventually, a Rainbow covenant formed between God and man. Except, said Terri Eickel, the covenant was larger than that. 

On a busy street in Berlin's shabby-chic district of Kreuzberg, the gray and dirty pavement glistens with little brass cobblestones. Millions of these stones are embedded in sidewalks all over Europe. They commemorate the last address the city's Jewish residents called home before the war.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has a lot on the table, including a Hartford scandal that has turned into yet another dispute over freedom of information. Also, there were hearings earlier this week on the Metro-North outages. So who's to blame, and who's going to pay? We'll also check in with someone who writes about Catholicism. When the new Archbishop in Hartford was announced, he said it was "not a happy day" in the city.

Archdiocese of Hartford

Pope Francis has appointed a new leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. Bishop Leonard P. Blair will succeed current Archbishop Henry Mansell. 

Ray Hardman / WNPR

A coalition of Connecticut anti-gun and peace groups gathered in Hartford on Wednesday. The goal of the conference was to come together as a unified voice for peace and safety. The first-of-its-kind conference brought together representatives from 30 anti-gun and peace groups from around the state, just as Newtown is beginning demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School

Perhaps it's no surprise that Mary Catherine Hilkert, a Catholic theologian, a professor at Notre Dame and a Dominican Sister of Peace, believes that people can find love, mercy and union with God after death. In her eyes, however, the concept of hell is far less definitive.

As part of All Things Considered's series on the concept of life after death, Hilkert spoke with host Robert Siegel about her perspectives on heaven and hell, why she thinks of banquets when she imagines the afterlife and why people hold such strong beliefs about what happens when life ends.

John Dankosky

Near the beginning of Thursday's Colin McEnroe Show about guilt, Colin referenced a selection from the Book of Common Prayer:

"Almighty and most merciful Father;
We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have offended against thy holy laws.

Chion Wolf

Author David Schickler wanted to be a priest as a young man, but he struggled between his desire to serve God and to be with women. He said, “For me to have become celibate for life would have been to become half human.”

Chion Wolf / WNPR

At a time when a lot of attention is focused elsewhere, Israelis and Palestinians will join together for an interfaith march for peace in New Haven this weekend.

Chion Wolf

As a shot in the dark, this week I asked my rather large Facebook audience whether any of them were lapsed Catholics thinking about tiptoeing back to the church based on the recent comments of Pope Francis, who talked about rebalancing the church's priorities with possibly less emphasis on what he called an obsession with abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage.

Two suicide bombers struck the All Saints Church following a service in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, killing more than 70 people and wounding more than 120, according to the AP and other news outlets. The victims are believed to include many children.

Americans who count themselves among the "nones" — as in atheists, agnostics or those of no definite religious affiliation — have launched a new political action committee.

The goal? To support the election of like-minded lawmakers or, at a minimum, candidates committed to upholding the constitutional separation between church and state.

Doug1021/flickr creative commons

As a follow up to our very popular 2010 show, Bishop John Shelby Spong returns for the full hour. For two hundred years, scholars have been analyzing one of the most important books ever written—the Bible—and overturning much of what we once thought we knew. Everyday Christians, however, are not privy to this deeper conversation. Bishop Spong's Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World takes readers into the contemporary academic debate about the Bible.

 

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