faith

  In recent years, there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough among children in California, mumps in New York, and measles in Ohio’s Amish country—despite the fact that these are all vaccine-preventable diseases.

While America is the most medically advanced place in the world, many people bypass modern medicine in favor of using their faith to fight life threatening illnesses.

According to our next guest, children suffer and die every year from treatable diseases, and in most states it is legal for parents to deny their children care for religious reasons.

Dr. Paul Offit is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His new book is Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine.

  Jackie Mercurio lives with her husband, five children, and black Lab in New York. She was recently named Winner of the Good Housekeeping Memoir Contest (2014). Her website is www.jackiemercurio.com

  In Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, we learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.

    Irshad Manji is Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University and she will be speaking at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams Thursday night at 7PM.

Clearstory Collective

        The Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts recently launched a new initiative to reach out to people of faith who have become disaffected by the institutional church. It’s called  Clearstory Collective and it promotes opportunities for people seeking faith based communities and  alternative worship.  It is the brainchild of Rev. Christopher Carlisle, the diocesan missioner to higher education.  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.