UA-130573019-1 2020 April

Archive for April 2020

Progressive faith and politics

For decades, the political influence of faith has been seen in the might and the dominance of the Religious Right.  

A new book from Religion News Service political correspondent Jack Jenkins called American Prophets, The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country charts the so-called Religious Left.  

Beliefs producer Jay Woodward and I spoke with Jack about his new book and the emergence of a powerful new political identity. 

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Houses of worship across the world are adapting to the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Keeping congregants feeling tied to their faith, themselves, and one another has been a challenge felt by all. But what if faith isn't at the center of the congregation? How are humanist, atheist and agnostic spiritual communities handling the isolation caused by the pandemic? 


James Croft, a clergyman at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, spoke with Beliefs producer Jay Woodward this week to share insight on how his congregation has handled the past several weeks.

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On Feb. 3, 1943, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester  - carrying 902 service men, merchant seamen and civilian workers was sunk in the cold Atlantic.  Among those lost were four Army chaplains whose rescue efforts became the foundation of post-war interfaith activism.  
Our guest today is Eboo Patel,  Founder and President of the Interfaith Youth Corps. He sees the beginnings of a new interfaith understanding coming with the trauma and international struggle against the novel coronavirus.  
Religion News Service Editor-In-Chief Bob Smietana spoke with Eboo Patel for Beliefs.

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Last episode we spoke to Father James Martin to ask simple questions about God, suffering, and the pandemic. His episode is the anchor of a daisy chain of conversations taking us around the world – faith to faith, place to place.  

Father Martin nominated our next guest, Sister Norma Pimintel, the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande ValleyHer position servicing immigrants and refugees in the borderlands gives her unique perspective. If the pandemic can come for anyone from Prime Ministers to Louisiana Parishioners... what will we learn about human equality in the face of such a threat?

Sister Pimintel spoke to Beliefs Producer Jay Woodward from her office in Texas. 

This episode is part of a series of interviews speaking to the moral, ethical and spiritual takeaways from the global pandemic experience. 

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It’s a personal note from me this week. Not usually appropriate for news the way I prefer it, but these are very different times. My friend Father James Martin wrote a short piece that ran in the New York Times called, Where Is God In A Pandemic. Like so many other people, I wanted to know what this man – whom I admire – would say to me, to us, during a moment of universal human suffering. We spoke, as everyone must these days, on the phone.  


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