Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET. Visit for additional information.   Show #1713 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on November 29 (check local listings). Program Note: Due to pledge be sure to check local listings.

Methodist Gay Marriage Controversy – The issue of same-sex marriage continues to roil the United Methodist Church, the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination. Last week, a Methodist court convicted a Pennsylvania pastor of violating church law after he officiated at a gay wedding.  He will be defrocked if he does not withdraw his support for same-sex marriage in 30 days.  And other church trials on the issue are still ahead.  Betty Rollin speaks with Rev. Tom Ogletree, a United Methodist scholar and former Dean of the Yale Divinity School and the Drew Divinity School, in New Jersey, who faces a possible trial for officiating at the marriage of his gay son.  Rev. Ogletree says there is “no concept of homosexuality or sexual orientation at all” in scripture.  But Rev. Rob Renfroe of the Woodland United Methodist Church, near Houston, is among Methodists who insist “there is not any passage in scripture that is condoning or accepting of that practice.” (Originally aired on September 20, 2013)

Taylor Branch on 1963 – Last week the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch says that event was among several major milestones in 1963 that played a key role in struggle for civil rights.  “1963 is without a doubt the breakthrough pivotal year” for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, says Branch, whose latest book is called The King Years.  Managing editor Kim Lawton talks with Branch about some of those events and the central role churches played in all of them. (Originally aired on June 21, 2013)

Gettysburg Address 150th Anniversary – Students and tutors from Washington DC’s New York Avenue Presbyterian Church’s after-school tutoring program Community Club recite the Gettysburg Address in honor of its 150th Anniversary.  The club meets at the church every week and provides dinner, academic tutoring and mentorship to DC students ranging in age from 5 to 18.  New York Presbyterian is also the church where President Lincoln rented a pew and sometimes attended services.


Lindsey Bernstein


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