John Farina

Professor of Religious Studies, George Mason University

Guest

Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University, specializing in history of religion and politics, and author of the upcoming book, The Intelligible Sphere: Religion and Civil Society in the 21st Century

John Farina on KCRW

Pope Benedict XVI declared  today, "I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter."

The Catholic Church Before and After Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI declared today, "I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter."

from To the Point

For the first time in history: a US Supreme Court without a white, anglo-saxon protestant member. That’s what Elena Kagan’s confirmation would mean. Today: does religion matter?

Does Elena Kagan’s Nomination Mean The End Of Wasp Power?

For the first time in history: a US Supreme Court without a white, anglo-saxon protestant member. That’s what Elena Kagan’s confirmation would mean. Today: does religion matter?

from To the Point

More from KCRW

Today, on All The President’s Jawyers...

66 million years ago, an asteroid caused Earth’s Fifth Extinction, destroying the dinosaurs and most other life forms. Now Earth is facing another extinction, as fish, plants and animals vanish forever. But this time, it’s not the asteroid, it’s us. This week, hundreds of people, both young and old, took to the streets in cities all over the world to begin weeks of protest called the Extinction Rebellion. In the natural course of evolution, the decline and disappearance of a life form takes thousands of years. In the course of a human lifetime, not even one species might disappear. But now, some 28,000 species are vanishing all of a sudden. Elizabeth Kolbert of the New Yorker magazine has written a book called “The Sixth Extinction.” She says, “Extinction rates are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times higher than what is known as the background extinction rate that has pertained over most of geological history.” In her words, “You should not be able to see all sorts of mammals -- to name just one group -- either going extinct or on the verge of extinction. And that is a tipoff that something very, very unusual, and I would add, very dangerous, is going on.” “We’re running geological history backwards. Fossil fuels that were created over the course of hundreds of millions of years buried a lot of carbon underground. We’re now combusting it, putting that carbon back into the atmosphere over a matter of centuries. So we’re taking a process that hundreds of millions of years to run in one direction and then, in a matter of centuries, running it in another direction.” We’ll hear what that means now and for the future of life as we know it.

from To the Point

P eople like Becky Dennison are working to address to one  of America’s most urgent crises with a straightforward approach.

from Scheer Intelligence

Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved more than 800 bills.

from Press Play with Madeleine Brand

A state bill called AB 5 would require businesses that rely on independent contractors to reclassify them as employees and offer benefits such as health insurance and sick pay. There’s…

from KCRW Features

Absolute immunity, executive privilege, crony privilege?

from LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

Greta Thunberg inspired Fridays for Future--school strikes around the world.  Were the leaders of major polluters paying attention? Not according to what they told the United Nations.

from To the Point

“Midnight Traveler” tells the harrowing story of Afghani director Hassan Fazili and his family’s displacement as filmed on their cell phones.

from Scheer Intelligence

Climate change is an existential crisis. If Americans cut just one hamburger from their diet every week, it would be like taking 10 million cars off the road every year. After cutting energy use, less meat and more plant-based food add up to the easiest--and healthiest--way to reduce your carbon footprint. From the land and water needed to raise feed and the methane produced at the end of digestion, “Cattle are actually mini fossil-fuel, greenhouse gas producers.” So says Sujatha Bergen, head of health campaigns at the NRDC. As her title suggests, eliminating beef from your diet--in addition to pork and lamb-- is also better for you. She explains the trade-offs for helping to reduce climate change and says, “Starting with your fork is much less daunting for many people.”

from To the Point