Faith Community Weighs In On Gun Initiatives

Oct 22, 2014
M Glasgow / Flickr

This November, Washingtonians will vote on two opposing initiatives on background checks for firearms: 591 and 594. Some of the leading voices on the gun rights debate have come from religious organizations. Reporter Ryan Katz tells us how communities of faith have been viewing this issue.

On a Friday evening in late September, a couple hundred people arrive at the United Methodist Church in Queen Anne to listen to some classical music. But this particular event was not supposed to happen here, and not now. It was meant to happen at Seattle Pacific University, in June.

"Pessimism, skepticism, complaint, and outrage," New York dentist Paul O'Rourke explains to his devoutly religious hygienist. "That's why we were put on earth."

Barbara Ehrenreich is known for her books and essays about politics, social welfare, class, women's health and other women's issues. Her best-seller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, explored the difficulties faced by low-wage workers. So fans of Ehrenreich's writing may be surprised at the subject of her new memoir — the mystical visions she had as a teenager.

Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.

President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.

Thou Shalt Not...

Mar 21, 2014
City of Sandpoint

A little-known display of the 10 Commandments in North Idaho has attracted the attention of a couple of national legal organizations.  The issue involves a stone monument in a city park in Sandpoint.  It has similarities to a controversy over a war memorial in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Washington’s Supreme Court will decide whether employers must accommodate the religious practices of their employees. The high court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case involving four employees of an airline catering company.

Sueann Ramella / NWPR

Off Crooked Mile Road in Granite Falls, Washington stands a giant wooden Torii. This Japanese arch marks the entrance to the only Shinto shrine on mainland U.S. soil: the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America. It’s serene here cedar trees rising up along the banks of the Pilchuck River.

When religious scholar Reza Aslan was 15, he went to an evangelical Christian camp. For the first time, he heard the gospel story — the story of Jesus. It was a profound experience for him, and he immediately converted. But later, when Aslan went to college and began working toward a degree in the New Testament, he found he had doubts.

Writer and scholar Reza Aslan was 15 years old when he found Jesus. His secular Muslim family had fled to the U.S. from Iran, and Aslan's conversion was, in a sense, an adolescent's attempt to fit into American life and culture. "My parents were certainly surprised," Aslan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.