In the United States, the debate between science and religion seems to be powered by a perpetual motion machine. The claims that Neil deGrasse Tyson's inspired Cosmos series was anti-religious stands as the latest salvo in a long battle that generates lots heat but very little light. Having been in many of these debates, both formally and informally, I'm often struck by how narrow the discussion remains.
Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:56 am
Religion is a cross-cultural universal, even though not every human being professes faith in God or some other supernatural being. Those of us who are atheist or agnostic make up 6 percent of the American population. A further 14 percent say they are not affiliated with any particular religion.
Kevin Kane, founder and president of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, discusses his institute's push for the reduction of drug possession sentencing - chiefly marijuana possession.
Libertarian attorney Michael Wolf is back in the studio on Good Friday and he does not shy away from discussing religion. He touches on what it's like being a Buddhist and whether or not it's constitutional for public employees to have a holiday on Good Friday. He also discusses the recently proposed sodomy laws, Vance McAllister's recent scandal, scientific creationism, and much, much more.
Also, novelist Ayelet Waldman joins Jim to discuss her new novel Love and Treasure which weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train during World War II.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 7:40 am
A new religious statue in the town of Davidson, N.C., is unlike anything you might see in church.
The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban's Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.
Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.
The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn't.
Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 6:35 am
Barely half of millennials say they look to religion for guidance, but a higher percentage "talk to God," suggesting that the 18-to-34 demographic is more spiritual than sectarian, according to a new survey by the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
The survey of 2,000 U.S. men and women, ages 18-34, found that 62 percent said they talk to God, while 52 percent said they look to religion for guidance.
Jim Engster interviews Tamar Jacoby, President/CEO of Immigration Works, about immigration reform, Reverend Steve Crump and Reverend David Diamond talk about remarks by Reverend Pat Robertson and also discuss politics and religion.
Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:26 pm
In an era of shifting populations and values, the notion of America's Bible Belt can be a slippery concept. But a new study gives us an idea of which cities can be considered to be part of that tradition — and which cities aren't.
Chattanooga, Tenn., was named America's most Bible-minded city, followed by Birmingham, Ala., and Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.
And despite its name, Providence, R.I., was named the least Bible-minded city. It tied New Bedford, Mass., in that slot, followed by Albany, N.Y., and Boston.
Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:24 am
It's Sunday evening, and services are just getting underway at the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. Nearly 200 worshipers sit in circles of plastic chairs around a simple altar table. Together they follow traditional Christian rites. They sit. They stand. They sing.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:39 pm
A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.
To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.