faith

Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Tourism has long been a part of the culture of New Orleans, but more people are visiting the state’s swamps and bayous than ever before.

In Blind River, one local woman’s expression of faith has become an attraction - one that her family keeps going.

Touro Synagogue

We are all living with mass incarceration one way or another. It affects everyone, passively or actively.

I was recently sitting in the beautiful sanctuary of Touro Synagogue in Uptown New Orleans. It was Yom Kippur, and when I looked down at the holiday bulletin, there was a posting — about mass incarceration. It was an invitation to learn about the issue.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Stephanie Ryan Cameron / Save Our Cemeteries

Archdiocese of New Orleans All Saints Day Mass and Blessings of the Graves – November 1, 2015.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans will be performing a special Mass and Blessings of the Graves in honor of the holiday.

Jesse Hardman

New Orleans is not on Pope Francis’s itinerary this week when he makes his first official trip to the United States. But the 266th pontiff has excited a lot of New Orleanians with his brand of social justice, and some are even making the trip out East to see him.

Whether it’s a Catholic priest, a Baptist minister, or one of the House members, each day of a legislative session, the House convenes with a Christian prayer. I asked House Clerk Albert “Butch” Speer when was the last time a prayer was something other than Christian?

“I don’t remember any time,” said the man who has served as House Clerk for 32 years.

Much of the reason is that invocations are done on a volunteer basis; members themselves or their pastors.

“The vast majority of the members of the House profess Christianity as their major religious belief, and so that’s what we’re going to end up with--because it’s purely voluntary,” Speer said.

There’s a battle going on in New Orleans-East and at the Louisiana Bond Commission, over acquisition of a 442-unit apartment complex known as Hidden Lakes. GMF -- Global Ministries Foundation, based in Memphis, Tennessee --is the buyer.

“We have almost 11-thousand units in eight states, as a faith-based housing development corporation,” GMF president Rev. Richard Hamlet told Louisiana’s Bond Commission last month.

Among those units are nearly 2500 apartments in Louisiana; in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and the greater New Orleans area. GMF is asking the bond commission to guarantee $24.5 million dollars so they can buy, renovate and run Hidden Lakes.  Area homeowner associations have been fighting it, because it’s Section 8 housing. State Sen. Edwin Murray has been facilitating meetings between homeowners’ associations and GMF property management, in an effort to resolve the impasse.

“Christians are now facing discrimination,” Governor Bobby Jindal said during a campaign stop in Iowa last weekend. “Why don’t we save some money and get rid of the Supreme Court?”

Some might view Jindal’s statements merely as presidential campaign rhetoric, but conversations with his inner circle indicate that remarks like, “Christianity is under assault today in America,” are coming from his sincerely-held religious beliefs.

One of Jindal’s closest spiritual advisors is Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills. He is an advocate of “dominionism”, sometimes referred to as the “seven mountains theory”.

Shreveport-Bossier City is home to more than 900 churches.

A new Shreveport nonprofit aims to unite as many of them as possible to deploy a more coordinated response to assist people who turn to them in crisis.

The FaithWorks board of directors, which formed two years ago, is set to open a call center Tuesday, May 26, that will coordinate resources among churches, according to Laura Vaughan director of discipleship for Broadmoor United Methodist Church and FaithWorks president.

Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting a much anticipated and much talked about prayer rally Saturday. WRKF’s state government reporter, Sue Lincoln discusses what it’s all about.


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