Judges on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on Wednesday a previous decision by a Utah judge striking down a law that banned same-sex marriage in the state. The ruling broke new ground by focusing on the fundamental right of marriage for same-sex couples, and the judgment could extend that right to every American. As the State of Utah weighs its legal options, and as plaintiffs in the case celebrate another victory, a panel of legal experts joins us Thursday to analyze the court’s decision.
Earlier this week, Mormon feminist Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the LDS Church. Leaders in her former Virginia ward said her ongoing effort to secure women's ordination to the all-male priesthood constituted "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church." Wednesday, we're asking what her excommunication means, not just for Kelly personally, but for all women and activists in the LDS Church. Kelly will join Doug. He'll also talk to Mormon commentator Neylan McBaine and historian Amanda Hendrix-Komoto.
After her father suffered a debilitating stroke, the journalist Katy Butler became his caretaker. Doctors gave him a pacemaker and other medical devices meant to keep him alive, but past a certain point, they were only sustaining his suffering. At the end of life as he wanted to live it, his doctor’s refused to turn off the gadgets and let him die “naturally.” Butler is in town this week and she joins us Tuesday to share her family’s struggle and to talk about what it means to die a “good death” today.
What would you give to see a breathing woolly mammoth? Or a flight of passenger pigeons? For all the damage humans have done to the planet, science may be offering a way to bring animals back from extinction. Some researchers and environmentalists are exploring how to combine the DNA of lost species with their living relatives. But would this be resurrection or dangerous reinvention? Wednesday, we're talking about the ethics and implications of "de-extinction" with essayist Nathaniel Rich and science writer Brian Switek. [Rebroadcast]
There's a lot of hand wringing over what the digital age may be doing to us and society as a whole. And though you may not think LOLCats and auto-tuned politicians are high art, Friday's guests contend the internet is a vibrant platform for human expression. Lynn McNeill and Trevor Blank are folklorists and they say people have been telling stupid jokes and complaining about government long before the web. They join Doug to talk about digital culture and what we can learn about ourselves from it. (Rebroadcast)
Along with the Rockefellers and Kennedys, the Kochs are among America's most influential dynasties. Fred Koch built a business empire and helped create the ultraconservative John Birch Society. When he died in 1967, his four sons waged war over their inheritance. But that legacy allowed controversial brothers Charles and David to become two of the world's wealthiest men and a powerful force in American politics. Thursday, biographer Daniel Schulman joins Doug to talk about the dynamics that created the Koch family.
Did you go to “high skull” instead of “high school?” Maybe you put “melk” in your coffee instead of “milk”. Have you seen a cougar “ki’uhn” in the “mou’uhns” of “Lay-uhn?” If so, you speak like a Utahn, especially if you call fried bread a “scone.” In the age of globalization and cultural flattening, regional accents and vocabularies are thriving, especially in urban areas. Wednesday, we’re talking about the way we talk, not just on the Wasatch Front, but across America, and we hope to hear from you.
Tuesday, we're continuing our conversation on discipline and excommunication in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Doug's guest for the hour is Ally Isom, Senior Manager of Public Affairs with the LDS Church. Two high-profile, progressive Mormon activists have been called before their local leaders and are being threatened with excommunication. It's raised a lot of questions about what makes a faithful Mormon, the disciplinary process and what all this reveals about the modern LDS Church.
Last week, two prominent voices in the progressive Mormon community were notified they face possible excommunication from the LDS Church. John Dehlin is creator of a popular podcast discussing Mormon issues and an advocate for LGBT rights. Kate Kelly is founder of Ordain Women, the group seeking access to the all-male priesthood. Monday, Doug sits down with each to talk about what excommunication would mean to them personally and the reaction they've been getting from their communities.
"I just shot an elephant in my pajamas," said Groucho Marx. "How he got in my pajamas I don't know." To the neuroscientist Scott Weems, jokes like Groucho’s aren’t just funny; they’re opportunities to explore the brain’s inner-workings. Weems wants to know why we find things funny and why our brains and bodies respond to inconsistent ideas by laughing. He joins us Friday to talk about what humor reveals about how we think and feel, and its deep connection to elephants in pajamas…and our humanity. [Rebroadcast]