Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - October 7, 2016

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Visit for additional information. Show #2006 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on October 7, 2016 (check local listings).

 Creating Working Schools in Liberia –West Africa’s Liberia was founded by freed American slaves.  In recent years, two long wars and an ebola epidemic all but destroyed the country, not least its school system.  For instance, two years ago, not one of 25,000 high school graduates passed the country’s college entrance exam.  Now, as Fred de Sam Lazaro reports, Liberian educators are trying to re-build their schools by experimenting with a new system -- part private, run by an American company, and part public, as before. There are uniforms, computers for teachers with built-in lesson plans, and a longer school day.

Holocaust Denial – According to Holocaust Scholar Prof. Deborah Lipstadt, “Holocaust denial is at its heart anti-Semitism.” She is the subject of a new feature film called “Denial,” which tells the story of how she was sued for libel by UK holocaust denier David Irving.  Prof. Lipstadt speaks about her experience during the trial and the impact of Holocaust denial today.

Belief & Practice, the Blessing of the Animals – This week many Christians observed the Feast of St. Francis, a day that recalls the life of the 13th century saint revered for his devotion to prayer, suffering and love for every part of creation.  In his honor many churches observe the day with a blessing of the animals. At the Franciscan monastery in Washington, we spoke with Father Jim Gardiner and Catholic historian Father Michael Cusato.