There’s been a lot of talk recently about religious freedom, and it seems to have intensified as gay marriages have become legal in many states. Sen Orrin Hatch calls judges “uniformly hostile to religion.” Pundits see Sen Ted Cruz building a presidential campaign on the idea that religious liberty has “never been in more peril.” But the researcher and activist Jay Michaelson says this is a political strategy to marshal allies in the ongoing culture wars. He’ll join us to dissect what he sees as a “covert campaign against civil rights.”
The Rocky Mountains have always posed a forbidding obstacle for travelers, but there’s one place where "God ran out of mountains," and passage is relatively easy. For generations, Indians, fur traders, missionaries, and explorers moved through South Pass, a treeless valley in southwestern Wyoming. It’s a place rich with history and extraordinary tales, and it's the focus of historian Will Bagley's latest book. He joins us to explain how South Pass figured in the development of the American West. (Rebroadcast)
Religion scholar Candida Moss began thinking about Christian martyrs when she heard a sermon comparing the plight of today's believers to that of the early church. But when she started exploring what early Christians really endured, she learned that these stories of victimization had been exaggerated and even invented to inspire the faithful. Friday, Moss joins Doug to talk about what she calls the myth of persecution and how those stories continue to create the "us vs them" mindset of today. (Rebroadcast)
RadioWest and Plan-B Theatre return our radio drama series to the Halloween season with this year's Radio Hour Episode 9: Grimm. Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett has adapted three beloved Grimm Brother stories to their original, dark tellings: Little Snow-White, Rapunzel, and The Juniper Tree. We'll broadcast the performance live at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and we'll air it again Thursday at 11:00 a.m.
If you always use GPS to navigate your destination, do you ever learn where you are? If spellcheck keeps you from making mistakes, do you eventually forget how to spell? Nicholas Carr says automation is a fine tool, but we have to be careful about what we concede to computers. Carr is speaking at the Utah Humanities Book Festival this week, and Tuesday, he joins Doug to explain how giving up our decision making means giving up something essential to being human.
Monday, University of Utah President David Pershing joins us to continue our conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. We'll ask him how he's thinking about the issue as both leader of Utah's largest public university and as a father. We'll then talk to journalist Robin Wilson and Westminster College's General Counsel Melissa Flores to discuss how it is that universities became responsible for handling assault cases and what new federal regulations mean for the way institutions protect their students.
Earlier this week, veteran news man Dan Rather was a guest at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah’s annual meeting. He sat down with Doug to talk about his influences, his more than 40 years of broadcasting and the state of journalism today. Friday, we’re broadcasting the conversation. Really, it’s Rather telling great stories – from his days at a small-town Texas radio station to covering JFK's assassination and reporting from war zones and the White House.
Fictionist’s Stuart Maxfield says it’s strange that music isn’t actually about making music these days. In 2011, the Utah band was a semi-finalist in a Rolling Stone cover contest and was signed by Atlantic Records. But Maxfield says they were still outsiders, and their album languished as the label tried to homogenize their sound. Atlantic has dropped them, but it’s not slowing Fictionist down. They’ve just released a new album, and Thursday, they join us live to play the new music they’re making.
Whether you are sitting at your desk, in the kitchen, or walking down the street, you’re likely near something that came from a tree. But biologist and world-renowned tree expert Nalini Nakarni says that our relationship with trees goes much deeper than the resources they provide. From spirituality and recreation to medicine and the arts, trees play many roles in our lives. Wednesday, Nakarni joins Doug to discuss what trees can teach us about our place in the world.
Tuesday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation about the history of hell. Our guests are Utah scholars Margaret Toscano and Isabel Moreira, co-editors of a book that looks at historic and modern views of the underworld. They say that hell is all but disappearing in mainstream religions, but it still permeates our books, films and even cartoons. We'll talk about how the idea of hell developed in religion and philosophy, and why we still seem to need it today. (Rebroadcast)