Religion

NHPR

The Democrats hoping to win their party’s nomination for president represent the most diverse field in history. Along with age, race, and sexual orientation, the candidates also come with a broad range of religious and spiritual beliefs. As they make their way across New Hampshire, some candidates are talking about those beliefs in ways Democrats usually don’t.

Peter Biello / NHPR

A federal judge Wednesday denied "without prejudice" a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a veteran challenging the presence of a Bible on a display table in the lobby of the Manchester VA Medical Center.

The VA sought to dismiss the case, arguing the man who filed the complaint, James Chamberlain, is Christian and therefore could not be personally injured by the presence of the Bible.

Chamberlain's attorney, Larry Vogelman, disagrees.

Manchester VA Medical Center

The leader of a national Hindu organization is calling on the Manchester VA to include a copy of its sacred text alongside a Christian Bible already on display in the medical center's lobby.

Rajan Zed is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, based in Nevada. He asks the Manchester VA in an open letter Thursday to add the Bhagavad Gita to the display.

Zed says doing so would provide veterans "comfort and strength," which is in line with the VA's mission.

Sara Ernst / NHPR

Religious leaders met with Senator Maggie Hassan, an FBI agent, and state officials Tuesday to discuss efforts to protect places of worship from terrorist attacks. 

 

This event comes after seven New Hampshire synagogues and churches were awarded federal grants earlier this month to bolster their security against domestic and foreign terrorists. 

 

 

 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

After several New Hampshire religious organizations were awarded federal grants last week to help strengthen security, others are wondering why they weren't included.

The grants, funded through the State Homeland Security Program, totaled $150,000 for seven religious organizations in the state. They're meant to help protect places of worship from foreign and domestic terrorism.

How Should We Preserve And Repurpose Old Churches?

May 29, 2019

New Hampshire's landscape includes many old houses of worship, and while some are being restored, while others are being adapted for new use, as homes, businesses, or meeting spaces.  We examine the importance of these structures to communities, and the debate around what their future should be. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The Temple Israel synagogue in Manchester gathered people on Sunday for a discussion on how the U.S. treats refugees and immigrants. The event had been planned for over a year, but it took on new meaning in light of the massacre last weekend at a Pittsburgh synagogue.


Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A synagogue in Manchester is hosting an event this Sunday to discuss how the U.S. treats refugees.

The gathering, titled "Understanding the History of and Morality of U.S. Refugee Policy," will be held at Temple Israel and will feature an expert on refugee policy, a civil rights lawyer, and a Congolese immigrant who now lives in Manchester.  

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

We talk to religious leaders, educators, and the director of a new civil rights unit at the N.H. Dept. of Justice about the killings this weekend at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead and several wounded, including four police officers. This latest mass shooting occurs amid an apparent surge in hate-related speech and crimes in this country, as well as calls for political unity. 

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Drawn On Church Door In Wilmot

Jul 5, 2018
Courtesy photo

The First Congregational Church of Wilmot is hosting public gathering this weekend to respond to anti-semitic graffiti recently discovered on the church’s front door.

A couple weeks ago, reverend Sara Marean drove up to her church for the Sunday service and found the scrawled in black permanent marker across the building’s white door. She says it was a shock to her community.

Leila Goldstein/NHPR

Imane Naji Amrani is in total party planner mode. She wears a pink dress and matching pink headscarf. Focused and firm, she tells a group of teenage helpers where food should go and hurries to get everything done before sunset.

Every night for the month of Ramadan, families at the mosque in Manchester take turns cooking for the Iftar, the evening meal where Muslims break their fast each night during Ramadan. Tonight is Naji Amrani’s night to cook.

Photo Courtesy Islamic Society of New Hampshire

Seated around a folding table in a mini-mall just south of downtown Manchester, a group of Muslim men have just been Googling the time for sundown. It was 8:14 PM to be exact tonight. Everyone here is waiting to break their fast, which they’ve held since dawn.

In the mid-19th century, the country was in the throes of a widespread religious revival. It was called the Second Great Awakening, and it fostered the founding of new denominations and inspired millions of converts. This movement laid the groundwork for Methodists and Baptists to exponentially in number, and for Joseph Smith to establish his church of Latter Day Saints.

Peter Biello/NHPR

The Islamic Society of Concord has moved into its very own mosque, after 15 years of renting space.

In their new home, congregants now have a private space to meet with the Imam. Men and women can now pray on the same floor, which they couldn't do in the rented space. All Things Considered host Peter Biello recently spoke with Imam Mustafa Akaya about the significance of being able to move into a permanent space. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Will Coley walks through the old house in Keene he’s been renovating since September. It’s a work in progress.

He steps over rusted metal tiles and points to ceilings and walls awaiting a new coat of paint.

“This is the mosque,” he says, “this is our place to pray.”


Samantha Fogel

The Islamic Society of Concord is in the early stages of renovating a building on North Main Street to build the first permanent mosque in Concord.

The society currently rents space in the East Concord Community Center.

Hubert Mask is president of the society.  He explains that space is expensive, there are no offices - and it offers no privacy for prayer.

The group has plans to purchase and renovate a small building in downtown Concord, adjacent to the First Congregational Church.

Mask says he knows they'll face some challenges.

Clinton Steeds via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/54ose

An Islamic group says the permitting process for building a mosque has become "Kafkaesque". The town says that's normal for development, but the Justice Department says it's discrimination. What happens when religion and zoning collide?

Plus, a primer on net-metering -- the system that's now the bedrock and rationale for America’s solar industry - and it happened without any planning, strategy or government approval. We'll learn about the accidental origins of solar policy.

Castle Lass / Morguefile

Methodists from churches all over New England met last week at the New England Methodist Conference in Manchester. At that conference, they passed a resolution that attempts to make the broader church more inclusive for LGBTQIA people. It’s a decision that may have deeper resonance now after the attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando last week. Beth DiCocco is spokesperson for the New England Conference and she joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss this resolution.

What is the Methodist Church's position on homosexuality?

A House Divided: Islam in Today's Middle East

May 4, 2016
empty spaces08 / Flickr/CC

While these two Muslim groups have often co-existed peacefully over the course of history, in our time, sectarian differences have risen and boiled over, resulting in conflicts across the Middle East. Our guest is a longtime Middle East scholar who examines the religious, economic, and political factors involved.

Gender Gap: Why Are Women More Religious?

Mar 31, 2016
Rachel Martin / Flickr/CC

A new study finds that while Americans overall are a religious bunch compared to people in other developed countries. Among U.S. women, that commitment is especially high, whether it's attending worship services or daily prayer.  We'll look at this gender-gap, what might be behind it, and what it means for organized religion.

City of Boston Archives via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/bnwScM

Labels get thrown around willy-nilly during primary season...among them? Progressive.  However candidates Clinton & Sanders use the term, its history is not so straightforward. 

On today’s show, the rise and fall of progressive politics. Then, from anti-bullying seminars to the dare to keep kids off drugs program, ushering a gaggle of students into an auditorium or gymnasium for an all school assembly is a time honored tradition. But sometimes the educational value of the message is questionable.

valiantness via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/fRNWA6

This week, a federal judge sentenced peanut executive Stewart Parnell to 28 years in prison for his role in a deadly outbreak of salmonella…the first ever felony conviction for a food safety crime.  Today, we speak with the investigative reporter behind “Food Crimes” – a new video series examining everything from food borne illness, to the illegal saffron trade. Plus, a baffling new literary trend – why millions of Evangelical readers are snatching up Amish romance books.  

The Technicality Show

Jul 27, 2015

We’ve all heard of a guilty person getting acquitted of crime because of a “technicality”.  What happens when a law professor discovers a judicial loophole that could make for the perfect crime? On today’s show, it’s all about the technicalities, the loopholes, artful dodges and escapes. From how to get away with murder, to how to turn the lights off when your religion prohibits it. Plus, the most expensive typo in American legislative history.

Nic McPhee via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4zGJzN

Vocal anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy have got some in the science community saying if you don’t have an advanced degree, you have no right to question the experts.  But are they right?

On today’s show, a science journalist makes a bold argument: that free speech trumps good science. Then, we’ll tackle a controversial question for pet owners: whether or not to keep domestic cats indoors in the name of saving birds.

Plus, we’ll find out why more and more Europeans are ditching Darwin’s theory of evolution and embracing creationism.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

Aslak Raanes via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4LD1Y

Today, hell can mean a bad day, other people, or a threat to sinners, but it wasn’t always so. On today’s show: how hell has evolved, from a place of flaming torture, to tangible horrors here in the real world. Then, when Comedy Central announced Trevor Noah as the new host of The Daily Show earlier this week, there was an immediate outpouring of support. But the love-fest quickly soured when screen grabs of a few of his past, offensive, tweets were circulated online. Jon Ronson, author of the new book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed weighs in on the scandal. 

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

Sam Rosenbaum / Flickr/CC

With the holiday season in full swing, many turn to their religion for traditions and spiritual meaning. But for a growing segment of Americans, there’s little interest in finding a house of worship.  We’re looking at the trend toward these so-called ‘nones,’  who include not only atheists and agnostics, but folks with a variety of beliefs.

GUESTS:

  Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire late last year, and is now locked in a tight race with incumbent Jeanne Shaheen. Whether Brown wins or loses, he’s already having an indirect, but potentially profound effect on his new home state: as the landlord  of a nascent evangelical church in Portsmouth.

Unknown, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past 25 years, the percentage of people with no religious affiliation has more than doubled, at the same time, the internet has been widely embraced. Coincidence? Today on Word of Mouth: does the internet spell the fall of religion? Or is it more of a correlation than a cause? Plus, we peruse the new release section of the bookstore and notice a trend, Catastrophe 1914, 1914: History in an Hour, 1914: Fight the Good Fight. A look into the downside of treating years as celebrities.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments


From The Archives: The Shakers

May 14, 2014
Ella Nilsen / NHPR

I was listening back this week to New Hampshire Daily, a half hour NH news program we aired from October, 1989 to February, 1992. I was listening to the programs from the week of 14 May, 1990. Among the news of the day (including the death of Jim Hensen, and Lithuania’s independence negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev) was a four part series we produced about the Canterbury Shaker Village.

randallbalmer.com

James Earl Carter Junior is better known to the world as Jimmy and to the nation as our 39th president.   Other images appear in our minds as well: a one-time peanut farmer, the man who struggled during his time in the White House and after his presidency, and a humanitarian and global peace maker.  But in a new book, Dartmouth professor Randall Balmer takes a new look at Carter., who he says ‘was capitulated to the nation’s highest office by an electorate weary of political corruption, and enamored, however briefly of Carter’s evangelical rectitude.”  But many who supported Carter’s religi

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