religion and faith | KUOW News and Information

religion and faith

Here's what we've heard about evangelical voters lately: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and now Ted Cruz are fighting for them. Cruz says that a bunch of them are "missing" (and that he's the man to find them). And anyone will tell you that they play a decisive role in Iowa GOP caucuses.

'Week in Review' panel Bill Radke, Joni Balter, Paul Guppy and Pramila Jayapal.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Does Star Wars teach kids that people are either good or bad, dark or light? Do college students need to toughen their skins? Can we make a football coach pray alone? Can Santa be a woman?

Bill Radke solves this week’s dilemmas with state Senator Pramila Jayapal, Seattle Channel's Joni Balter and Washington Policy Center's Paul Guppy.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who devoted herself to helping the poor, will be canonized as a saint, after Pope Francis issued a decree attributing a second miracle to the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

A mosque, a church and a synagogue go up on the site of an old Jewish country club ...

It sounds like the setup to a joke — but it's not. It's actually happening in Omaha, Neb. The Tri-Faith Initiative may be the first place in history where these three monotheistic faiths have built together, on purpose, with the intention of working together.

The project has inspired some, and antagonized others.

Terrorism and economic woes may be big concerns, but Republican candidate Ted Cruz sees another issue dominating the presidential race.

"I'm convinced 2016 will be a religious liberty election," he said in a recent interview.

Cruz says religious people, devout Christians in particular, are routinely marginalized and harassed for their beliefs, and that such treatment has gotten worse under the Obama administration.

People rally on Capitol Hill in December in memory of Hamza Warsame, a 16-year-old Somali American who died in a fall from an apartment building.
Alex Garland

The sister of a Somali-American teen killed in a fall on Seattle’s Capitol Hill is asking the city’s Muslim community for patience as police investigate.

Hundreds of people unfazed by rain gathered Thursday night for a second day to raise awareness about the death of Hamza Warsame.

President Obama's request that American Muslims help "root out" and confront extremist ideology in their communities is getting mixed reactions. Muslim leaders say they want to help, but some are not happy that they are being singled out.

A Google map shows the outline of the North Seattle eruv.
KUOW Staff

After the sun sets on Fridays, Orthodox Jews may not push a stroller. Nor may they carry tissues or books outside their homes.

But there’s a loophole: People who live within certain neighborhood boundaries may carry books and babies outside.

Aliya, Batoul and Amina Al-Sadi. Aliya Al-Sadi, a student at the University of Washington, spoke with her older sister Amina, a KUOW producer, about how she processed the San Bernardino shootings.
Courtesy of Amina Al-Sadi

After the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, California last week Muslims across the country held their breath.

Was the shooter a Muslim? They hoped not.

As yet another mass shooting claimed the lives of 14 people Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., a familiar refrain echoed from the lips of politicians: Pray.

But for many fed up with the now seemingly routine shootings and the resulting inaction from each over how to stop another tragedy, pleas to God weren't enough anymore.

Jewish and Christian leaders are urging elected officials to show compassion to refugees, amidst public debate over allowing Syrian refugees into the country.

A letter released on Wednesday by several leading evangelical Christian churches and other groups calls on elected officials to show "compassion and hospitality" to refugees fleeing violence.

The Pilgrims are among the early heroes of American history, celebrated every Thanksgiving for their perseverance in the New World against great odds.

To Christian conservatives, they are role models for another reason as well: They were deeply committed to their Christian faith and not afraid to say so.

In the Mayflower Compact, the governing document signed shortly before the Pilgrims disembarked in Massachusetts' Provincetown Harbor, Pilgrim leaders said they undertook their voyage across the Atlantic "for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."

What To Do With Underused Churches?

Nov 23, 2015
Nathan Marion stands on stage at the Fremont Abbey during a community concert.
Courtesy of Abbey Arts/ Eratosthenes Fackenthall

Bill Radke takes a tour of the Fremont Abbey with Abbey Arts director Nathan Marion, who explained why he believes community art spaces improve public health.

Rainn Wilson: 'I was on the chess team. Model United Nations. Computer club. Debate club. I played xylophone in the marching band, and the Shorecrest High School Highlanders wear kilts.  So I was a skinny, xylophone player in a dress.'
Flickr Photo/Jens Schott Knudsen (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1QHS5SR

Rainn Wilson – Dwight Schrute on The Office – grew up in the Seattle area and attended the University of Washington. He spoke recently with KUOW Ross Reynolds about nerd-dom, the Baha'i faith and his new book, "The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith and Idiocy."

The Paris attacks have brought new attention to Dimitri Bontinck, a member of Belgium's Dutch-speaking majority. His life was dramatically changed a few years ago, when his then-teenage son converted to Islam and went to Syria to join Islamist fighters there.

Now Bontick is trying to prevent other young Europeans from following the same path.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices said Friday they would hear a group of cases brought by religious hospitals, schools, and charities that object to the system devised under Obamacare to spare them from paying for birth control coverage for their employees and students.

NPR's Nina Totenberg reports:

Dennis Lindberg was 14 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He refused to received blood transfusions, which ultimately led to his death three weeks after he was diagnosed.Dennis Lindberg was 14 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He refused to received
Skagit Valley Herald/Scott Terrell

The first time I interviewed Dennis Lindberg, he was alone on a weekday evening. He had just turned 12, and he had set out Saltine crackers on a paper towel and poured me a glass of tap water.

He sat up straight on the couch and folded his hands in his lap. “What questions may I answer?” he asked. He was polite, tall for his age, with light blue eyes and acne scattered across his nose.

Religion is apparently weakening in America. A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God, pray daily and attend church regularly is declining.

Among the findings:

  • The share of Americans who say they are "absolutely certain" that God exists has dropped 8 percentage points, from 71 percent to 63 percent, since 2007, when the last comparable study was made.

'Week in Review' panel C.R. Douglas, Bill Radke, Joni Balter and Eli Sanders.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

What's up with those scaly anteater-like animals? Why did Seattle Public Library’s rebranding effort fail? Was Bremerton High School's football coach prayer-leading or just praying? 

Bill Radke ponders the week’s news with The Stranger's Eli Sanders, Seattle Channel's Joni Balter and C.R. Douglas of Q13 FOX News.

Who is a Jew? It's an age-old question that in Israel been determined by government-selected rabbis in the decades since the country was established in 1948.

But now a group of Orthodox rabbis is challenging the state's control on determining who is and isn't Jewish — a status that affects many important aspects of life in Israel.

The parents of 7-year-old Lihi Goldstein weren't thinking about their daughter's future wedding when they adopted her as a toddler. Israelis Amit and Regina Goldstein picked the blue-eyed girl from a crowd of children at an orphanage in Ukraine.

The Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa says it has shut down its adoption services in India over religious objections to the country's new adoption rules. The Catholic sisters known for their blue and white habits and vow of free service to the poor say they have asked the government to de-register 13 orphanages.

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a 43-year-old Polish priest who revealed his homosexuality, and a same-sex relationship on the eve of gathering of bishops from around the world, has been stripped of his doctrinal responsibilities for what the Vatican says are "very serious and irresponsible" actions.

"The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure," the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.

Pope Francis in a file photo from 2013.
Flickr Photo/Catholic Church England and Wales (CC BY NC SA)/http://bit.ly/1MuUz3K

Jeannie Yandel talks to Mary Dispenza, author and director of the Northwest branch of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, about Pope Francis' visit to the United States. 

Pope Francis speaks his mind, and he did that again in his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday morning. But, in the vein of the best Jesuit teachers, Francis praised America, its rich political history and its ideals before delicately delivering some things its political leaders might, well, want to consider working on.

There were political messages that challenged the orthodoxy of both American political parties, but, in this 51-minute address, there were a lot more points of emphasis Democrats are happy about — and that put some pressure on Republicans.

Demonstrator Alice Tsai takes a photo of the police blocking her group from accessing the Westin Hotel, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is staying.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Protesters have been trying to get so close to Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle that he can hear their chants. But they’re having a hard time.

In a much-anticipated visit, Pope Francis arrived at the White House Wednesday morning, where he met with President Obama. Francis addressed a crowd of more than 11,000 people.

Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber admits that she does not look — or act — like a typical church leader. Heavily tattooed and with a tendency to swear like a truck driver, Bolz-Weber was once a standup comic with a big drinking problem.

But she was drawn to Lutheran theology, and when a group of friends asked her to give a eulogy for another friend who had committed suicide, Bolz-Weber discovered her calling.

Sunday morning services at St. Mary Magdalene Community in Drexel Hill, Pa., look different from a typical Roman Catholic mass. The homily is interactive, there's gluten-free communion bread, and the priest is a woman.

Caryl Johnson calls herself a priest, but technically she was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. That happened automatically in 2011 when she was ordained by the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Alvin Bailon and his wife were at their wits' end last September. Their 12-year-old son, an honors student, had begun having anxiety attacks, mostly about school. "And then all of a sudden he would slowly lose consciousness," Bailon recalls. "We term it as doze off. He would doze off and he would fall down slowly."

Madeline DeFrees in 1967. The poet, formerly a nun, would tuck an envelope and pencil into the deep pockets of her habit to write when she had time.
Lee Nye via MadelineDeFrees.com

Madeline DeFrees published her first poem at the age of 12.

It was called “Sympathy,” written for a Portland newspaper poetry contest.

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