religion

Ecjmartin1 / Wikimedia Commons

For nearly 200 years, Jackson County has been home to followers of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Today, thousands of members visit the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Mo., which is a sacred destination for the faithful.

But if you take a look back at the early days of Mormonism, peace and joy weren't in abundance, as militia forces, settlers and the state fought against the church for nearly a decade.

The beginnings of Mormonism

The Catholic Church is located in Vatican City, an ocean away and then some. But what happens in Rome affects the lives of Catholics living in Kansas City, and what happens here reverberates all the way up to the top. This conversation explores whether a perceived shift in the Catholic Church affects the priorities and attitudes of Catholics in our region. 

Guests:

From the world's fascination with Pope Francis to the rise of ISIS overseas, religion played a significant role in some of the biggest headlines of 2014.

On Wednesday's Up To Date guest host Brian Ellison speaks with Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service, and Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, executive religion editor of the Huffington Post, on the top religion stories last year, and religion's rising profile in the news. 

KU / Creative Commons

For the past few decades, American communities have been trying to foster this thing called "multiculturalism." As we continue to debate notions of privilege and perception, how is this experiment going? Are we more empathetic than we used to be? Plus, having "the talk"... about race.

Guests:

Courtesy / Black Archives of Mid-America

In an age before the internet—and in an environment that in some ways promoted isolation and disconnection—African-Americans in Kansas City in the early 20th century still found ways to find connection and community.

Churches and social clubs have been called the “glue” that held the black community together, alongside families and schools, and a new exhibit at the Black Archives of Mid-America chronicles some of that important history.

Guest:

  • Michael Sweeney, collection librarian for the Black Archives of Mid-America

Anne Roberts / Flickr-CC

It’s no secret that people of different religions often clash over their differences. But when you look closer, the similarities jump out, especially when it comes to significant objects. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, our Religion Roundtable takes a look at why objects such as stones, crosses, bread, drums and incense have places of prominence in spiritual observance and how their function differs in each religion.

Guests:

917press / Flickr-CC

Many politicians declare the United States to be a Christian nation-- but it’s not, even though the majority of the population is part of some stream of Christianity. The Founding Fathers, while using religion as a basis for some of their decisions, were very clear about making this a country with no official religion.

Ozma1981 / Wikimedia Commons

The Episcopal Church’s first female presiding bishop has experienced her share of strong reactions to her progressive views on gay marriage, immigration and more.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, Katharine Jefferts Schori joins us to talk about her positions on these issues. We also talk about what’s next for the 110 church dioceses she oversees.

Guest: 

Medical personnel who wish to opt out of participating in procedures that violate their religious or personal beliefs are one step closer to being allowed to do so legally in Missouri.

There is a growing trend of atheists who also recognize the importance and impact of the communal nature of faith based worship. As a result Sunday Assemblies have popped up throughout the United States. Now their popularity is spurring others to offer even different options, with even less of a focus on communal worship. Oasis is one such group that will begin meeting in April.

A committee in the Kansas Legislature could vote this week on a controversial religious freedom bill. It says businesses, individuals and other groups with strong religious beliefs can't be forced to recognize same-sex marriage and provide employment or other services to same-sex couples.

Michael Schuttloffel is with the Kansas Catholic Conference. He uses the example of a photographer asked to photograph a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Roger Ross Williams / God Loves Uganda

A new film, now playing in Kansas City, makes a startling case – that American evangelicals, in the name of doing mission work, have triggered something in Africa that’s very different from prayer and worship and medical help for the needy. Instead, the film suggests, they’ve influenced governments and societies to discriminate against gay and lesbian people … or worse.

Ryan Schuessler / KCUR

Friday, June 21 will be the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. And for one religious group it's a time to celebrate the Oak King falling to the Holly King.

We take a look at the often misunderstood Wiccan religion. Recently they’ve made inroads into popular acceptance, but practitioners still say there's more to be done.  Owen Davies, author of the book America Bewitched,  joins two local Wiccan practitioners, "J" and "Thorgo" to discuss the Wiccan faith locally and internationally.

New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Mountaintop" speech from Memphis is famous for its ending and because he was assassinated the next day. However, much of the speech doesn't receive a lot of attention today. 

Resurrection Downtown

The renaissance of downtown that has happened in recent years has attracted more than restaurants and real estate developers. As more and more people have come to live, work and hang out downtown, churches have also had their eyes on the area.

Islamic Center of Johnson County

Kansas is home to thousands of Muslims, but just a handful of mosques.

The Religious Diet

Mar 11, 2013

As we find ourselves in the midst of Lent and with Passover on the horizon, the idea of food and the role it plays in various religions is on many people's minds. Why do Catholics not eat meat on Fridays, why do Jews not let their bread rise and why do members of Islam have permanent restrictions on what they can eat?


Good Samaritans Found In A War Zone

Mar 1, 2013

When three Americans found themselves caught up in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, they found sanctuary with the local Muslim community of Rutba, which sheltered them, despite their religious differences.

Kansas Army Base Hosts Shariah Class

Oct 30, 2012
Alex Smith / KCUR

In Kansas, the Islamic code of laws called Shariah has drawn a lot of suspicion and debate during the past year.

Alex Smith

In Kansas and Missouri, it’s now common for a lot of to politicians to not just proclaim their faith, but to openly push a pro-religious agenda.

Drepung Gomang Monks / LGBTQ Youth Activism

Sep 13, 2012
flickr / mr.gibbs

On Thursday’s Central Standard, special guest host Brian Ellison is joined by a group of Tibetan monks currently touring the city. We'll talk about their simplistic, yet powerful values. Plus, hear some chants for peace and healing.

Then, later in the hour, we’ll talk with an ambitious group of young people about LGBTQ activism in schools and in the community.

Whether as participant or observer, sooner or later we all go to a wedding.  And whether under a mandap or chuppah, at the altar or in the parsonage, ceremonies in any faith are marked by one common denominator: a couple embarking on a life together.

Alex Smith / KCUR

While the Wisconsin shooting that took place on August 5th is the most dramatic attack on Sikhs in recent memory, members of the faith often experience harassment and discrimination.

prayinghandspictures.net

On Tuesday, Missouri citizens will vote on Amendment 2, the so-called “right to pray” ballot measure

Alex Smith / KCUR

In mid-April, the Vatican issued strong criticism of its largest organization for American Catholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

KCUR

Probably the most volatile fault line in America’s shifting opinion on gay rights is in churches. Both those who support gay rights and those who don’t claim that their beliefs are supported by their church’s teachings.  

Sadakat Kadri is an English barrister, a Muslim by birth and a historian. His first book, The Trial, was an extensive survey of the Western criminal judicial system, detailing more than 4,000 years of courtroom antics.

Inside The New Mormon Temple

Apr 11, 2012
Andrea Silenzi / KCUR

On this Wednesday's Central Standard, learn what the erection of the new Mormon temple means for area Mormons, and join us for a virtual tour.

While attending services and small group meetings at The Vineyard, an evangelical church with 600 branches across the country, anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann noticed that several members of the congregation said God had repeatedly spoken to them and that they had heard what God wanted them to do.

In When God Talks Back, which is based on an anthropological study she did at The Vineyard, Luhrmann examines the personal relationships people developed with God and explores how those relationships were cemented through the practice of prayer.

In a Mass today at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a scathing homily that reiterated the Catholic Church's ban on female priests.

He also criticized a group of priests who have called on their colleagues to ignore Rome. NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Pages