UA-130573019-1 2019 July

Archive for July 2019


Susan Jacoby is an independent scholar specializing  in the history of reason, atheism, secularism, and religious liberty. Her best-known books include Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and the New York Times best-seller, The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies.  

At turns passionate, ardent, funny, and defiant, Jacoby lives her truth and embodies the vibrance of her beliefs. 

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In 2011 Chip Skowron was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit securities fraud.  It was a spectacular fall for a hugely successful hedge fund manager and medical doctor. As he prepared for prison, he found comfort in the Bible. Surrounded by supporters and skeptics, financiers and felons, Skowron has embraced a new way of living, and a late-blooming faith. 

Skowron has embraced a new life, even as he misses the past. And it’s not the life of a Greenwich, Connecticut titan of capital he misses. He misses the simplicity and fellowship of life in prison. 

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As we look back on our first six months of Beliefs, we’ve noticed some themes in the stories and topics we’re bringing you...We’ve covered origins and practices, abuses and pain, and hate speech and bigotry. 

One bright theme we’ve seen is the enduring commitment in all religion to social justice and community. This week on Beliefs, we’re returning to three compelling moments that speak to the way religion asks us to help and protect each other.  

Political activist and social justice advocate, Rabbi Rachel Timoner from Congregation Beth Elohim is our first guest on the inherent responsibility she feels toward social justice she feels as a rabbi and Jew. 

Continuing our review of community and social justice is our conversation with the senior minister of the 350-year-old First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, speaking with guest host Karen Hayward about a Puritan approach to modern society. 

Our last conversation is with a respected and thoughtful voice in the Catholic Church. Fr. James Martin is a Jesuit priest, scholar, author, and editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine “America.” 

He has turned his attention to a social justice issue that has moved to the front of many faith’s consciousness in recent years. Methodist, Episcopalian, and Evangelical Covenant Churches – just to name a few recent examples - have wrestled with LGBTQ inclusion.

Fr. Martin is the author of the book, “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.” 


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