Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Visit www.pbs.org/religionandethics for additional information. Show #1930 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on March 25, 2016 (check local listings).
SCOTUS Contraception Mandate – This week, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to cover contraception services for their employees. After protests from some in the religious community, the government agreed to allow faith-based non-profits with religious objections to opt-out if they fill out a specific form. But a coalition of faith groups, including an order of Catholic nuns, filed suit, saying the law still violates their religious freedom. Other faith-based groups support the mandate as a matter of justice, saying all employees should have access to contraception. Tim O’Brien reports on the issues at stake.
Candidates Reach Out to Jewish Voters – Democratic and Republican presidential candidates reached out to Jewish voters this week at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the nation’s largest pro-Israel lobby. Kim Lawton reports on the strong clashes over Jewish values that took place during the gathering.
The Symbolism of Easter Flowers – As Western Christians celebrate Easter, Kim Lawton looks at the central role flowers play in Easter worship services as a symbol of new life. She talks with Linda Roeckelein, head of the Flower Guild at Washington National Cathedral, about decorating that massive building, and with Rev. Fleming Rutledge, author of the new book The Crucifixion, who cautions Christians against moving too quickly to celebrating their belief in the resurrection without first adequately reflecting on the crucifixion.