WXXI AM News

Religion

The third African American Roman Catholic female priest will be ordained on Saturday, and she’s in Rochester. Reverend Myra Brown is an associate pastor and deacon at Spiritus Christi Church. We talk to Reverend Brown about her 25 years in the ministry, her anti-racism initiatives, and her efforts to help people in poverty. 

We are coming up on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's famous event, that either did or did not happen. Luther's famous 95 Theses are legend now, nailed to a church door in a German town. He was attacking the Roman Catholic leadership.

We discuss the legacy of this revolutionary, in what we hope will be an enlightening and free-ranging conversation with our guests:

Maybe you are excited about your vote for president...or maybe you view it as a choice you are not thrilled to make. Eric Metaxas is a Christian author, theologian, and radio host who says Christians have a certain obligation on November 8: he says God wants them to vote for Donald Trump. He made the case in a Wall Street Journal piece, and he has been continuing the conversation on the cable and talk show circuit.

Some Christian leaders have agreed with him, saying Trump is not a great choice, but God wants Trump to be president. Do you agree? We discuss the position with our guests:

A new play looks at what might happen if a conservative Republican leader changed his mind about God and guns.

"Church and State" imagines a Newtown-like mass shooting, in which a Senator's children survived. His views on God, and on gun rights, immediately shift. This comes as a problem for his wife, a devoutly religious woman who favors no restrictions on guns, despite the massacre at her children's school. And what would voters say? Our guests:

  • Jason Odell Williams, playwright, Church and State
  • Ralph Meranto, artistic director, JCC CenterStage

 

 

Perhaps the most controversial DNC email released in the recent leak was the one that questioned whether Bernie Sanders is actually an atheist, and whether that could be used against him with voters. Across the country, atheists groaned at yet another slur against the non-religious. Polls show atheists are viewed with great suspicion by religious Americans.

We talk about atheist-phobia, and whether atheists feel like they'll have a chance to ever hold higher office in this country. Our guests:

Sunday is Father’s Day, and we spend the hour talking about the influence of fathers – specifically one daughter’s life with and without her dad.

Author Rebecca Rene Jones discusses her new book, Broken for Good: How Grief Awoke My Greatest Hopes.

Nazareth College is getting ready to host perhaps the first ever conference on the intersection of faith and the fight against climate change. The conference is called Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Nature and Environment in World Religions.

How does faith guide our approach to climate change? Is environmentalism a religious value? Our panel discusses it:

  • Thomas Donlin-Smith, professor of religious studies at Nazareth College
  • Etin Anwar, chair of religious studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Nancy Rourke, director of the Catholic Studies program at Canisius College
  • Nathan Kollar, co-founder of the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies at Dialogue

The Christian Educators Association International is trying to bring Christian values into public schools by helping teachers understand the law, and to spread their Christian faith without crossing legal lines. Executive director Finn Laursen says American children are not learning right from wrong, in large part because Jesus Christ is not a part of public schools. Laursen told the Washington Post his organization is not advising teachers to proselytize, but they view public schools as a mission field.

We talk to Laursen about his goals, and we hear from parents and education leaders who have objections. Our guests:

  • Finn Laursen, executive director, Christian Educators Association International
  • Howard Maffucci, retired superintendent of East Rochester schools
  • Jeremy Button, parent

550 local high school students gathered this week for the largest-ever interfaith day at Nazareth College's Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies. We discuss what the students learned, and what they shared about their own experiences regarding religious tolerance. Our guests:

  • Reverend Gordon V. Webster, co-chair of the Hickey Center's Global Citizenship Conference 
  • Nora Bradbury-Haehl, co-chair of the Hickey Center's Global Citizenship Conference
  • Awal Deu, junior at Bishop Kearney High School
  • Jake Evans, sophomore at Victor High School

Tarek Fatah is a writer, broadcaster, and liberal Muslim who founded the Muslim Canadian Congress. His book, The Jew Is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism, examines the historical, psychological, and political divide between Jews and Muslims. 

Fatah will be a guest of ROC4 Israel on Sunday, February 28, but first he joins Connections to discuss his book and the current state of Muslim-Jewish relations.

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