religion and faith | KUOW News and Information

religion and faith

You may think Jewish cooking can be summed up with a few dishes like chicken soup, knishes, chopped liver and gefilte fish.

But there once were Jewish communities all over the world — most of which no longer exist and all of which had a distinctive cuisine.

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

It's been only two years since the Vatican released a highly critical report on American nuns that caused years of tension and distrust. But Catholic cardinals offered the same nuns praise on Tuesday as part of a report on women's religious orders in the United States.

Amin Shifow, general manager of Puget Sound Yellow Cab, said he wants to start a hotline for drivers to report harassment and other potential crimes against them.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A Muslim advocacy group in Seattle is calling on the FBI to look into a possible hate crime against a Somali taxi driver. According to Seattle Police, the attacker reportedly told the driver “you are a terrorist” and “I will shoot you,” then repeatedly punched him in the face.

“The severity of the incident makes this a more serious matter,” said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) in Washington state, which is part of a national organization. “The person was attacked by three people who left him bloodied and unconscious.”

Seattle's Mormon Temple, used for rituals and weddings. Mormons attend church in wards on Sundays.
Flickr Photo/Tyler Foote (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Earlier this week Kate Kelly, the founder of a group advocating for women to be ordained into the Mormon priesthood, was excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for apostasy.

“For Mormons it’s really the equivalent of spiritual death,” said Natalie Kelly, a Seattle-based member of that group, Ordain Women. She is not related to Kate Kelly.

United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer speaks during a news conference Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ross Reynolds talks with Frank Schaefer, author of "Defrocked: How A Father's Act of Love Shook the United Methodist Church," about his decision to officiate his son's same-sex marriage and the ensuing case over his dismissal from position as pastor in the Methodist church.

This segment originally aired October 20, 2014.

African-American clergy, academics and activists will hold a march on Washington this week, protesting the grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City and call on the federal government to intervene in the prosecutions of police officers accused of unjustified use of force.

Author Ruth Ozeki.
Flickr Photo/Kris Krug (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you’re driving a car or operating other heavy machinery when you listen to this Speakers Forum podcast, we hope you’ll pull over for the guided meditation portion. But don’t be alarmed. This talk is more likely to invigorate and inspire you than put you under a spell. And it may change forever how you react when your smart phone vibrates with some bit of news.

There are organizations pushing for more religious speech – and some demanding less. That’s a product of the country’s ongoing culture wars, but these cases aren’t changing the law – because the role of religious speech in public schools is already clear.
Flickr Photo/Challenge Convention (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Michael Leal, a student at Everett’s Cascade High School, had been suspended three times for passing out Christian literature and preaching on campus. The school worried his activities would offend other students.

Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo
Courtesy Seattle Archdiocese, file

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' migration committee, about the Roman Catholic Church's push for immigration reform. 

Author Anne Lammott at the lighting ceremony for the Rainbow World Fund's World Tree of Hope on Dec. 10, 2013 at San Francisco City Hall
Wikipedia Photo

Spirituality is never far from writer Anne Lamott's mind.

The Bay Area writer, a recovering alcoholic, is a proud and very liberal Christian. She's written extensively about her own life, and about her personal take on the power of prayer to help people get through crises.

Lamott's latest essay collection, "Small Victories," is a compilation of old and new work. In each essay, she contemplates daily, sometimes mundane, manifestations of grace.

People in black face dress up as Black Peter, a traditional holiday figure in the Netherlands.
Flickr Photo/Hans Pama (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with James Kennedy, an American historian who researches Dutch history at the University of Amsterdam, about the history of Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter, Saint Nick's helper in the Netherlands. 

Celebrations with Black Pete usually involve performers in blackface, and can be seen locally this weekend in Lake Forest Park.

mars hill church
Flickr Photo/Mars Hill Church (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle’s Mars Hill Church announced Friday that it will disband its network of churches. According to its website, each location will now become independent or close all together.

How The Gun Debate Plays Out In Faith

Oct 22, 2014
KUOW Photo/Ryan Katz

Charles Stephens performed opera in New York City for 20 years. He sang with the Seattle Symphony on opening night. But Stephens says that doesn’t compare to the concert he recently directed last month.

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Leo Egashira, representative for Dignity Seattle, which ministers to LGBT Catholics, about the Vatican's gay-positive statements coming from an ongoing synod of cardinals.

mars hill church
Flickr Photo/Mars Hill Church (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with University of Washington religion professor Jim Wellman about Mark Driscoll's resignation and what it could mean for the future of Mars Hill Church.

AP Photo/Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

The founding pastor of one of the Pacific Northwest's biggest mega-churches has resigned.

Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted a letter of resignation to the church's board of overseers Tuesday according to a statement on the church's website.

Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET

As we reported earlier, a synod of Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican has released an interim document that signals the likelihood of a dramatic overhaul in the church's stance on gays and lesbians, as well as its view on divorced members.

Many millennials — people born after 1980 — have embraced vintage items: vinyl records, thick-framed glasses ... and now, dietary laws.

"I'm 21 years old, and, yes, I do keep kosher," says Lisa Faulds.

She says she ate whatever she wanted growing up: "bacon, ham, all that fun stuff. Seafood, shellfish."

But that all stopped a few months ago.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.

Courtesy of Nina Krasnow

On Sept. 10, Rabbi Elie Estrin of Seattle was sworn in as the first U.S. Air Force chaplain with a beard after the Pentagon relaxed its restrictions on facial hair in the military earlier this year.

Estrin, who is now based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said that though he was attracted to a military life before the ban was lifted, keeping his beard was an important part of his culture.

Youth Find Themselves By Crossing Religious Boundaries

Sep 25, 2014
KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

This month's podcast features stories about youth who are defining themselves by building new religious community. 

First, pre-teens on all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict put aside their cultural differences to find peace and friendship in a program called Kids4Peace.

Then, two young Muslim converts pursue their beliefs in spite of what their families or the media have to say.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a day when everything tastes like dessert. In symbolic hope of a sweet year to come, the table is positively sticky — honey marinades, honey cakes, raisin-studded challah bread. And, depending on where your family is from, sweet gefilte fish.

Gefilte fish, those oft-reviled patties packed in jelled broth, can be a hard sell even in the standard savory form. And with a big dose of sugar stirred in? It can be hard to swallow. But for Jews with roots in Poland, gefilte fish was always sweet. Always.

Earth Ministry's Facebook page

Marcie Sillman speaks with Jessie Dye, outreach director for Earth Ministry, about the 2014 UN Climate Summit and the involvement of religious groups in environmental work.

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.

But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.

Pastor Drew Yoos is tired of white Christian congregations perpetuating systemic racism.
Flickr Photo/Mars Hill Church (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with James Wellman, chair of the comparative religion program at the University of Washington, about why young people are drawn to evangelical institutions like Mars Hill Church and are leaving mainline denominations behind.

Wellman will be speaking at the Christ and Cascadia conference this month, an academic gathering addressing Christian renewal in the region.

Courtesy: Twitter/@jsuffering

Jeannie Yandel speaks with former Mars Hill Church Pastor and Elder Jeff Bettger about what he loved about the church and why he finally made the hard decision to leave in the wake of recent scandals.

Chasing China's Doomsday Cult

Aug 15, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Almighty God vs. the Red Dragon: It sounds like a fantasy action film, but it is in fact a real and disturbing struggle in China.

The most vivid case involves a group of people who beat a stranger to death in a fast food restaurant. They said they had no choice because the victim was a "demon."

The killers are fanatical followers of the Church of the Almighty God, a Christian doomsday cult which claims millions of members across China and pledges to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party - which it calls the Great Red Dragon.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Dr. Willie Parker is one of two doctors who performs abortions at the only women’s health clinic in Mississippi where abortions are performed.

Parker is a devout Christian who feels he is doing the right thing to help women in need. He’s the subject of a profile in Esquire magazine called “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.”

How Do You Save A Dying Language?

Jul 31, 2014

Ross Reynolds speaks with Devin Naar, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, about his attempts to save Ladino, a dying language spoken by Sephardic Jews. Naar discusses the language's fascinating history, uncertain future and how Ladino helped him uncover secrets about his own family.

A divided county council in Pierce County, Washington Tuesday voted to display the motto "In God We Trust" in its chambers. That makes it the first jurisdiction in the Northwest to become part of a national campaign to feature the motto.

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