Preparing for Pope Francis and In Studio with a Virtuoso Shofar Player

Pope Francis: A Shift in Tone, but Not in Doctrine

As we prepare for Pope Francis’ visit to the United States on September 22nd, we explore some of his statements and decisions that have shifted the Church’s tone on gay marriage, divorce, and abortion. But will this lead to changes in official doctrine? And our favorite religion pollster paints a portrait of the 50 million Catholics who make up Francis’ American flock.  Featuring Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, John Gehring, author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church and Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association.

Reverend Barry Lynn: Separating God and Government for  25 Years

From his perch as the head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Reverend Barry Lynn has seen a lot of battles in the last 25 years: over Christmas trees on public property, taxpayer dollars for religious schools, and recently, marriage licenses for same-sex couples. He joins us to reflect on the issues that have defined his career, and those that still trouble him.

Judaism’s Sacred Sound

If Judaism has a sound, it’s the trumpet-like blast of the shofar, a sacred instrument made from an animal horn. According to the Hebrew bible, the shofar has framed some of the most important moments in Jewish history: it’s been there to announce revelation of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, to bring down the walls of Jericho and to celebrate the Arc of the Covenant. As we head into Rosh Hashanah, when the shofar is blown in synagogue, we find out why this instrument has endured for so long.

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