faith

At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.

Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.

As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.

Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.

The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, it's time for "Faith Matters." That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. In a few minutes, we will hear from an American monk who has been tapped to lead one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism, and we think you will be interested to hear of his unusual path to his current place.

A federal judge has set an Oct. 1 hearing for a city ordinance restricting religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

The Times-Picayune reports that U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon issued a temporary restraining order on Friday that blocks enforcement of the law for now.

Under the law, Christian evangelists were arrested earlier this month for preaching on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence, an annual celebration of gay culture.

A street preacher is suing to block New Orleans city officials from enforcing an ordinance that restricts religious or political speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday by New Orleans pastor Paul Gros claims the city's "aggressive solicitation" ordinance sets unconstitutional limits on free speech. Gros says a police officer threatened him with arrest in May while he was preaching on Bourbon Street with his wife, another pastor and a friend.

Embracing Diversity In A 'Multi-Faith World'

Sep 15, 2012

Time magazine named author and pastor Brian McLaren one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

McLaren has written more than 20 books, and he is a principal figure in the Emerging Church, a Christian movement that rejects the organized and institutional church in favor of a more modern, accepting community.

McLaren's new book is called Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.

There's no ready euphemism for this, so be warned.

The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously today in favor of a new regulation that would require parents of young boys who undergo ritual circumcisions involving "direct oral suction" to sign a consent form first.

More than 150 evangelical leaders, from across the political spectrum, have come together to call for immigration reform. Host Michel Martin looks at the crusade for reform with Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

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