An American monk is now leading one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas Vreeland as the abbot of a southern Indian monastery to help bridge Buddhist tradition with the Western world. Vreeland talks with host Michel Martin about what it means to be an American holding such an important post.
The Catholic Church started an ambitious effort 50 years ago to adapt to the modern world. Vatican II changed everything from the language used during worship, to the role of women within the Catholic church. Host Michel Martin discusses the role of Vatican II in today's church with Greg Tobin, author of The Good Pope.
Religion figured prominently in the last two presidential races, but is virtually absent from the 2012 campaign. After invoking faith throughout his first presidential bid, President Obama now barely mentions God. Similarly, rival Mitt Romney refers to religion in only the vaguest of terms.
Catholics used to reliably side with Democrats, in large part because of the labor union movement. But after a century of integration, the group started to look like the rest of the American constituency. But out of this population, two new voting blocs have emerged — with more reliable preferences.
When the archbishop of Newark, N.J., said that people who support same-sex marriage should refrain from communion, he was just one of several bishops taking aim at such unions. His comments came on the heels of the Bishops' campaign about contraception and they have led some see to see it as a political move.
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