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religion

The Catholic Church beatified Oklahoma-born priest Stanley Rother on Sept. 23, 2017. More than 20,000 people attended the ceremony at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

More than 20,000 people gathered in the Cox Convention Center on Saturday to witness the beatification of an Oklahoma-born priest.

Father Stanley Rother was born in Okarche, Okla. in 1935.  He served as a missionary in Guatemala for 13 years, introducing the people of Santiago Atitlan to farming techniques and establishing a radio station, among other services.

Among the artifacts Hobby Lobby forfeited to the United States Department of Justice were more than 1,500 cuneiform tablets.
U.S. Department of Justice

Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts company Hobby Lobby has agreed to return more than 5,500 ancient Iraqi artifacts and pay $3 million to the United States Department of Justice.

With guest host Noel King.

There’s a lot to the story of religion in the United States that we’ve forgotten.

Consider the giant metal cross used by the first Catholics to settle in the 13 colonies — it was lost in a university storeroom for decades. Or Thomas Jefferson’s story of Jesus, which he pieced together from the Bible, removing all the miracles. Or the Arabic papers written by slaves who had practiced Islam (some scholars estimate as many as one fifth of African-born slaves had some affiliation with Islam).

Two major centennial anniversaries took place this week. April 24th marks Genocide Remembrance Day to commemorate the massacre of millions of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, and Wednesday was the 100th anniversary of the first widespread use of chemical weapons on World War I’s Western front.

Later, Rebecca Cruise talks with Asma Uddin. She started the online magazine Altmuslimah as a forum for issues of gender in Islam, but it resonated across many faiths.

The Jewish Star of David, Arab- Christian Cross and Crescent on the front of Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Center in Haifa.
zeevveez / Flickr

According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 56 percent of adults in the United States said religion was “very important” in their lives, with another 22 percent saying religion was at least “fairly important.”

Pope Francis over the weekend became the first pontiff to hold a private meeting with a transgender person. It’s one of many firsts for Pope Francis that have been seen as promoting greater inclusiveness in the church.

But what about women in the church? According to a Georgetown University study, 72 percent of nuns in the U.S. have left the church in the last five decades, compared with 35 percent of priests.

Just six years ago, the Vatican’s launch of an investigation into American nuns sparked outrage, but the release of the report in December was more warmly received.

The Jewish Star of David, Arab- Christian Cross and Crescent on the front of Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Center in Haifa.
zeevveez / Flickr

What makes religion turn violent?

That’s the question Charles Kimball is trying to answer.

An ordained Baptist minister with a Th.D. in comparative religion from Harvard, Kimball has studied the intersection of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam for four decades. He’s made more than three dozen trips to the Middle East, worked closely with Congress, the White House, and the U.S. State Department as an analyst of Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations and of the intersection of religion and politics in the United States.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the announcement this week by President Obama that the United States would work to normalize relations with Cuba, and North Korea's hacking of Sony in response to the film The Interview.

Then Suzette talks with Charles Kimball, the director of the religious studies program at the University of Oklahoma. He's the author of the books When Religion Becomes Evil and When Religion Becomes Lethal.

Religous School Choice Ruling Appealed

Aug 29, 2014
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Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced Thursday that he will appeal a ruling invalidating a scholarship program for religiously affiliated schools.

abercrombie & fitch store front
CER91 / Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of an Oklahoma woman who says she wasn't hired by Abercrombie & Fitch because her headscarf conflicted with the retailer's dress code, which has since been changed.

Provided / Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination, with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide.

The new president of its Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission – the division tasked with addressing moral and religious freedom issues — is Russell Moore, a theologian from Louisville, Kentucky.

The Southern Baptist Convention has been criticized for its strictly conservative views.

@jbtaylor / Flickr Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the removal from state Capitol grounds of a monument that bears the Ten Commandments.

The Tulsa World reports Monday that the civil liberties group filed suit in Oklahoma County District Court and names the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission as the defendant.

Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge says Hobby Lobby and a sister company will not be subject to daily fines for refusing certain birth-control for workers.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton on Friday set a hearing for July 19 on claims by Hobby Lobby and the Mardel Christian bookstore chain that they should not have to provide some types of birth control, as required under the federal health care overhaul.

Oklahoma Tax Commission

A federal appeals court says Oklahoma's Indian "rain god" license plate can be challenged on grounds that amounts to a state endorsement of a religion.

The license plate depicts Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture, in which an Indian shoots an arrow into the sky to bring down rain.

TheSevenTastic / YouTube

Friends, fellow players, and coaches remembered former University of Oklahoma standout quarterback Steve Davis as much for his prowess from the pulpit as on the gridiron.

Davis, an ordained Baptist preacher and the Sooners' starting quarterback when it won back-to-back national championships in 1974 and 1975, was one of two people killed when a small aircraft smashed into three homes in northern Indiana, officials said Monday.

Pastor Deron Spoo at First Baptist Church in Tulsa said Davis had "very deep faith" and was committed to the church.

Liberty or Political Stunt? School Religious Viewpoints Act Passes

Mar 14, 2013
nanny snowflake / Flickr (Creative Commons)

A bill designed to allow public school students to express religious viewpoints and organize prayer groups has passed the House despite concerns the measure could actually lead to more lawsuits against schools.

The House voted 79-13 for the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act by Sallisaw Republican Rep. John Bennett, who says the bill is modeled after a Texas law. The bill further directs school boards to adopt policies for student speakers at all school events that protects "the voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint by a student."