When religion is part of the news stories of the day, it can be very good - as when people of many faiths work together to provide disaster relief - or very bad, as when religious institutions become embroiled in financial shenanigans or sexual abuse. In today's pluralistic world, even stories that might never be covered by the religion desk - like foreign policy debates, armed conflicts worldwide, or presidential election campaigns - have undeniably religious angles and implications.
Leawood, KS – Writer Anne Rice is best known for her vampire novels, which she moved away from when she became a faithful Catholic. But she recently renounced her Christianity very publicly, saying that too many Christians are anti-gay, anti-feminist, an anti-science.
Kansas City, MO – Earlier this summer, about 25 Cuban families gathered to honor Father Patrick Tobin, a Catholic Priest who helped them settle in Kansas City almost 50 years ago. As a board member of Catholic Relief Services, Tobin was given the job of helping refugees fleeing the Cuban Revolution. Tobin organized parishes in Kansas City to provide housing, jobs and basic services for the Cubans. Alex Smith spoke with Father Patrick Tobin as well as one of the Cubans who arrived in the early 60s, Maria Rovarosa.
Kansas City, MO – Muslims began fasting from dawn to dusk earlier this month when a new crescent moon signaled the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month. The month-long holiday commemorates the time 1500 years ago that Muslims believe the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The faithful try to be especially pious this month and refrain from food, drink, smoking and sex - all the sensual pleasures - during daylight.