religion

How One Church Is Handling The Coronavirus Outbreak

Mar 16, 2020
Annacaroline Caruso, WVPE

As Midwest states limit large gatherings to halt the spread of coronavirus, religious groups have had to adjust. Some congregations are cancelling services altogether; others are changing familiar customs. Side Effects visited a Catholic mass in South Bend, Ind., to see how things have changed.

Paige Pfleger / Side Effects Public Media

Nicole Dempsey remembers crying in a pew at church, watching a video of a woman with long dark hair and deep brown eyes. The woman was talking about her abortion, and how a local organization called Heartbeats helped her heal.

"And I thought, 'Wow, that’s what’s been missing in my life for 24 years,'" Dempsey says.

The Rev. Talitha Arnold was just 2 years old when her father, a World War II veteran, took his own life.

"You just didn't talk about those things back then. We didn't even talk about suicide when I was in the seminary," says Arnold, who leads the United Church of Santa Fe in New Mexico.

Then, when the wife of one of her divinity school professors killed herself and no one muttered a word about it during the service, Arnold says she was appalled. "I was sitting there thinking, 'This was nuts. Why can't you name it?' " That was almost 40 years ago.

Debunking The Communion Cup Myth

Nov 17, 2017
fcor1614 / Flickr

Pastor Matt Doan of Calvary Church Santa Ana, in Southern California, pours grape juice into individual plastic cups, each about half the size of a shot glass. He fits them into deep silver trays, in preparation for the next day’s Communion.


Stunner On Birth Control: Trump’s Moral Exemption Is Geared To Just 2 Groups

Oct 17, 2017

Few people were surprised last week when the Trump administration issued a rule to make it easier for some religious employers to opt out of offering no-cost prescription birth control to their female employees under the Affordable Care Act.

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.

But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.

Religious Beliefs And Brain's Thickness

Jan 19, 2014
stock photo

In a country like the United States, religion is a matter of personal choice. But according to neuroscience research, spiritual belief may have something to do with how your brain is put together. Jeremy Shere has more.