Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET. Visit www.pbs.org/religionandethics for additional information. Show #1729 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on March 21 (check local listings).
The Contraception Mandate – On Tuesday, The Supreme Court hears arguments in the deeply divisive “Hobby Lobby” case. The religious owners of the craft chain, and other plaintiffs, say the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, violates their religious freedom by requiring them to buy certain kinds of contraception insurance for their employees. The government says it has a “compelling interest” in requiring such coverage. Tim O’Brien summarizes the arguments and discusses the case’s implications. What limits should there be, if any, on persons, including owners of corporations, claiming a religious exemption from Federal law?
Women Leading the Observance of Purim – The Jewish celebration of Purim –- reading aloud the complex and heroic account in the Book of Esther of Esther’s willingness to risk her life to save ancient Jews from annihilation by the King of Persia. Traditionally, among Orthodox Jews, the story was read aloud by men, but now Orthodox women are leading Purim services, too. Kim Lawton tells the story.
“The Story of the Jews” – In a 5-part series beginning on PBS stations next week, noted historian Simon Schama explores 3,000 years of Jewish history. What sustained Jews through anti-Semitism and persecution? In the TV series and in a companion book also entitled “The Story of the Jews” Schama says, “The problem of the Jews was that they were a nation without a home.”