Evolution, Climate Change, Denial & Beliefs

In this episode I take us back to 2012 for a re-broadcast of interviews with Michael Zimmerman and Barbara Kingsolver.

In the first part of today’s show, you will hear an interview that first aired in February 2012 with Michael Zimmerman, the founder of the Clergy Letter Project and Evolution Weekend.   Over 13 thousand Christian, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist clergy have signed a letter in support of teaching evolution in public schools.   On the Sunday closest to Darwin’s Birthday faith communities all over the United States celebrate Evolution Weekend by honoring science and religion.

Author Barbara Kingsolver lives in southwest Virginia.  She is the author of 14 books including the The  Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  She visited with me at the WEHC studio at Emory and Henry College to discuss her latest novel, Flight Behavior, a novel set in Southern Appalachia.   In part it is about denial and the beliefs that get assigned to us.

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The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation

Heart failure, accident, or murder? John Shuck interviews Hugh Turley about the mysterious death of Thomas Merton.

Investigative Reporter, Hugh Turley, makes the case that the conclusion that Thomas Merton died by accident cannot possibly be true. Hugh Turley and David Martin are co-authors of the 2018 book, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton, An Investigation.

John Shuck speaks live with Hugh Turley on Beloved Community about the death of Thomas Merton, who was an anti-war author and spiritual leader. He died mysteriously on December 10th, 1968 in Thailand.

“Merton was in apparent good health and at the height of his productive powers when he died suddenly and mysteriously while attending a monastic conference, on December 10th, 1968, near Bangkok, Thailand. He was 53 years old. Up to now, no one has examined the circumstances of his death systematically, critically, and what is most important honestly. That is our purpose here.” p. 2.

Hugh Turley, as a volunteer columnist for the Hyattsville Life and Times was winner of the National Newspaper Association award for best serious column, small circulation, non-daily division.

Book’s website – The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton.

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Biblical Mythology and Wholeheartedness

From the Progressive Spirit Archives, here are two interviews from 2012 and 2013.

Cultural Anthropologist, Carol Delaney discusses her book, Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth. Dr. Delaney explores the roots of patriarchy by asking the question, what gave Abraham the right to sacrifice Isaac?  What is the legacy of this myth on the way we regard children today?

Brene Brown is the author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Dr. Brene Brown has done research on topics no one wants to discuss, shame and vulnerability. Yet it is through these human experiences that we find the courage to “dare greatly” and become “wholehearted.” In this candid conversation she weaves her own experience with her research and thus inspires us all to live courageous lives.

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The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World: A Conversation with John Andrew Morrow

Why do the powers that be try to convince us that there is a “clash of cultures” or a conflict between Islam and the West or between Islam and Christianity?

To answer that, Dr. John Andrew Morrow discusses his book, The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.  We learn that Christianity and Islam co-existed peacefully with full protections for Christians for 1400 years. These covenants

“uniformly state that Muslims are not to attack peaceful Christian communities, rob them, stop churches from being repaired, tear down churches to build mosques, prevent their Christian wives from going to church and taking spiritual direction from Christian priests and elders, etc. On the contrary, the Prophet commands Muslims to actively protect these communities ‘until the End of the World’.”

In this informative conversation we learn about the rise of European Colonialism and its handmaiden, Islamic Fundamentalism (now funded and supported by the U.S., the Saudis, and Israel) and the role of these modern powers in smearing Islam and framing Muslims as “terrorists” for geopolitical interests.

Dr. Morrow invites us to wake up and learn our history. Find his writings on his website, John Andrew Morrow, and learn more about these historic covenants at Covenants of the Prophet.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1971. Raised in a multilingual family, he lived in Montreal for ten years and in the Greater Toronto Area for another twenty. The product of a Catholic education, he completed his elementary school in French, his high school in English, and his university studies in English, French, and Spanish. He embraced Islam at the age of 16 after which he adopted the name Ilyas ‘Abd al-‘Alim Islam. After completing his Honors BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Toronto, where he acquired expertise in Hispanic, Native, and Islamic Studies, he pursued post-graduate studies in Arabic in Morocco and the United States. Besides his Western education, Dr. Morrow has completed the full cycle of traditional Islamic seminary studies both independently and at the hands of a series of Sunni, Shi’i, and Sufi scholars. Not only is he a senior scholar, academic, and professor, he is also a respected ‘alim holding the titles of ustadh, duktur, hakim, and shaykh. 

Dr. Morrow has spent over a decade and a half in the United States working at various universities including Park University, Northern State University, Eastern New Mexico University, the University of Virginia, and Ivy Tech where he was unanimously appointed to the rank of Full Professor. One of his most noteworthy and memorable experiences involved working as a professor of advanced Spanish, Islamic culture, and world literature for the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea Program. Aside from his academic duties, Dr. John Andrew Morrow is the Director of the Covenants Foundation, an organization dedicated to disseminating traditional, civilizational, Islam; promoting Islamic unity; protecting persecuted Christians; and improving relations between Muslims and members of other faiths. He regularly travels the world to promote peace and justice.

Dr. John Andrew Morrow is a Native North American and a proud member of the Metis Nation.

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