>> moderator: happy new year to you. cube euros here along with reverend. swisher who will share some of the top stories of 2015. on behalf of elizabeth ekdale , we wish you a happy new year. mike has a story for the religious news of 2015. it comes from pope francis and his third encyclical and first sermon to the world. in the world's -- the words of the beautiful canticle st. francis a sissy, the world is like assist -- a cc -- assisi.
the name of the encyclical is praise be to you my lord. he says sister earth is hurt by the use and abuse that we have inflicted upon her. it is a call to renew the earth and make it a religious calling. it was the first big deal encyclical from pope francis. ron, how about you.>> i was going to say another story. but when you start with pope francis, let me add a quote from dr. martin luther king junior when he said that religion that is not concerned only for the souls of people, but all four -- also for the political, social and economic issues. i think some of the stories with the political and social issues of the time. pope francis came to america.
he first came to cuba and then he came to america to address washington in the congress. he was also in new york and in philadelphia. i mention him because in the speech to the joint session of congress, he mentioned for persons that have influenced us. our values and so forth. thomas merton and dorothy day who started the catholic social workers. dr. martin luther king for his emphasis on human rights and he mentioned abraham lincoln. i was impressed that he had such knowledge of our country and he did his homework, like a good judge would does. so for his encyclical in terms of the environment, his emphasis on the social rights through these individuals who have impacted our world. i thought that was insightful of him.>> moderator: french is the first jesuit post --
france's is the first jesuit -- francis is the first jesuit hope. >> in issues that face our country and the world. he used that platform to address the congress about issues that interface the world around us. i thought that was impressive. >> moderator: what is another story? >> the story i was going to start with was the supreme court decision this past summer 5-4 to legalize same-sex marriage. that causes ripples through. as california and other states have said yes and other states said no, that has been resolved with the supreme court saying yes. that gave the right for all who supported the lgbt community for years. you might say that he gave the
legal right and an issue of justice for a lot of people. so, that does not end the story because we know that a lot of denominations and congregations are still debating. presbyterians are further along than methodists and episcopalians are split in half over it. lutherans made steps in that direction. ucc is the only one that is for it here. in the 1800s, they were the first to ordain african- americans, women and gay and lesbians. it was not an issue for them. we still struggle with it. of course more conservative nominee -- denominations have rejected it altogether. it seems to have opened the door for a lot of people and a lot of joy came from it.>> that is on my list as well. following that was kim davis who was a clerk in kentucky who had to register the marriages.
she said, no, i will not do that because it violates my freedom of religion and conscience that marriage is just between a man and a woman. this went immediately to the supreme court. it went there quickly because a judge locally said that as well and good, but you're going to jail until we sort this out. the supreme court in one sentence said no, you have to enforce the law. the law trumps your religious liberty.>> know they have reached a compromise so an associate signs the thing. but this goes back to a larger story from a year ago with the supreme court and hobby lobby. they said, no, we don't want to pay medical insurance for employees when it comes to birth control. the supreme court voted 5-4, no, you must -- you don't have
to pay that. even though you are a privately owned company, you are legal corporation. you do not have to pay that if it violates your religious freedoms and laws. it is an amazing thing. after hobby lobby, congress passed something that said, no, you can do that. then it led to the big turmoil going on. what are the boundaries of your religious rights and what can the state say, no mate -- no, you may hold that privately, but in the public sphere, you will uphold the law whether you object or not. there is going to be a lot of activity in church and state. when we come back, ron swisher will continue to share his top stories in the religious faith in 2015. stay with us. we will be right back.
>> moderator: top religious news stories of 2015. we have reverend. ron swisher who is sharing with us this time instead of hosting. share your views. >> a few years ago, nelson mandela was a huge story because of his 29 years in prison and then he came out. i think the huge story this year was the person who killed those people in the church in south carolina, charleston, south carolina. of course there was the horror that shocked us all. they were in the church having a bible story -- bible study and then the person comes in and killed eight they people as well as the pastor. then the forgiveness. we forgive you.
it is so hard for a lot of us. it seems they take seriously their faith. father, forgive them, they know not what they do. but he knew what he was doing. that requires a larger ability to forgive. i think that really has been a mark in our life this year. can we forgive? i think integrity magazine said comic how long do you forgive? -- said, how long do you forgive? it seemed like overnight it was miraculous for them to do it. how do we feel about that. it seems like critical -- like forgiveness is a critical aspect.>> moderator: the disciples said, lord, how many times must i forgive? as many as seven. under judaic law, you have to
forgive seven times. and jesus said, 70w7 and the man went away disheartened. what was the reason given for this guys shooting? -- guy's shooting?>> even really say. it was racial, but it was also created -- it created a backlash on the flag which is the amazing thing. they would lose the flag.>> moderator: right, the confederate flag. >> it was definitely racial, as you said, but we saw through literature and all of that his motives. >> moderator: that is double forgiveness because you are being targeted because of phrase. do you have another story?>>
another thing is the black lives matter movement. that has been supported by a lot of congregations and denominations and religious communities from the unitarians to mainline denominations to the evangelical groups. they have seen it important that life among black and african-americans count. that doesn't mean other lives don't matter, but because we have been targeted so much in terms of the lack of employment, but the violence that we have experienced. also for many of us, the police misconduct. we see so many accidents. there is an accident here and an accident there. then the prosecutor says it is justified. that is difficult when a 12- year-old boy is killed, or someone is choked by six police officers. all of this, right down the
line. the black lives matters have to address that in terms of violence. we don't condemn all police officers, but the misconduct of those should be addressed and confronted. there is always this code of silence among police officers. we have a difficult time. some will speak out against that and it is a real concern.>> moderator: another one from 2015. >> i would say the refugees from all over. the ones that have gone from syria and i think it is amazing that germany has opened their doors. we know that merkel, the
chancellor is the time magazine person of the year. that is one of the reason. the opening of the doors in the economy of the -- of germany. in world war i and world war ii, they were seen as the enemy and now they are opening the doors to all of these refugees. we are ones that put up walls up and we have concern. i understood some of that, but the idea that we are a country of immigrants in which we have always opened doors. i think those who do come from those countries are under great scrutiny, more than any other. i think the refugees is a huge issue. >> moderator: and the former enoree -- enemy teaches us about compassion. we are going to take a break and we will have more religious stories from 2015 when we come back. stay with us.
>> moderator: we are here with reverend. ron swisher who is sharing the top stories from 2015 with a religious theme. what else?>> i think we have seen the loss of about 100,000 people who leave conventional churches and religion every year for the last 10 years. so, the fastest growing number are those who check none or done. none or done and they don't want to come back. what you do when you lose that and millions of people? what does that say in terms of religious commitment?>> it shows in california that about 50% of people attend worship and 50% don't. you have to wonder, in that poll, how many of that 50% are
buddhists or muslims or hindus and how many are christians. you are right, the few studies also show that particularly people 18-40 are very much higher. who is losing people? it is mainline protestants. >> we are sidelined i think. >> we are sidelined. where that goes, i don't know. that does bring up a story that i was going to talk about called the benedict option. ron dryer who is a writer and conservative editor for the dallas morning news went to the templeton foundation. he's -- he said there is something by alastair mcintyre. he said that people that are conservative christian are simply withdrawing. they say the society is in
decline. it is not who we are anymore. he is taking the benedict option to say, you do what you want, but we are going to go after the model of the benedictine fathers. we are going to retreat and pray into ourselves. so, withdrawing from society is an interesting concept. we will see how that goes. what else?>> well, i think we have to go back to gun violence because we have not resulted. what are we going to do about gun violence? i have friends who are hunters and friends who have guns. i have clergy colleagues who have guns. they understand it is not a violation of the second amendment which is what everybody raises when you talk about registration. but, we have to do something. since sandy hook, the killings have been going on and mass
killings. connected with that is the anti- muslim. many of the killings have not been by muslims from sandy hook to the theater and going all the way back to timothy mc day in oklahoma. -- timothy mcveigh -- mcvea and oklahoma. somebody just shot up planned parenthood last year. that is a real concern. we are 5% of the worlds population and we own 40% of the world's guns. what about our next-door neighbor up in canada? 100 homicides per year and we
have 101 city. it just goes on and on. the death by children because of guns is just -- >> guns left in the drawer around the house.>> parents who don't want to lock them up. it is amazing what is happening there.>> moderator: that is a big concern. what else? >> i think one of the big stories with star wars. i think star wars -- of course $1 billion in one week and it is still going on. it is probably topping avatar. it is the attitude of wanting to connect to something larger than we are. i preached on christmas eve, some time ago, about the --
about in the beginning was the word and the word was with god and the word dwelt among us. what we all long for. i think that is what the star wars and the star trek in the chronicles of narnia and all of them do so well. what is it, lord of the rings? we have something in us that wants to go beyond us. it was hans christian anderson that said that all of us, every person, life is a fairy tale written by god's finger.>> moderator: that is good.>> i think that is what they have tapped into with the star wars and all of the creators of that. so, as they are leaving the church, they haven't left the spiritual longings and the desire to go beyond. >> moderator: the transcendence. yes, the star wars saga of touching the force, it seems to
two assistants can bring me the stories quickly before we run out of time. okay, thank you gentlemen. they are children we just found somewhere in the studio here.>> moderator: here are my stories. praise to you oh my lord from the pope. lifting his first encyclical to friends -- to st. francis of assisi. then another big one was nuns on the bus. women who got into a scrape with the vatican were put under eat it. that was all taken away. our local nuns on the bus win big. the kentucky clerk from hobby lobby. this goes to the supreme court tussle over religion and what rights you have. it has led to the newest ruling
which said that gay/lesbian marriage will be recognized everywhere. number four is who goes to church, especially in california. it turns out that those who do not go to church are mainline protestants and some roman catholics. those who do go to church are conservative christians. so the diversity in america, who goes to church anyway in california? attendance is still lower in many states. then we talked about the war in syria. gail and i were at the isle of pot most when the boat -- and what -- potmos when the boat came. there were 4 million people living syria in the ongoing war
there, not to mention iraq and afghanistan. it is good to read up on other religions because christianity is about to become a minority religion in this country and in the world. it will no longer be a majority christian nation. -- a new study says that it will be a plurality. then in the gt you, we put that up -- gtu, we put that up because it has religious studies. this is a good new study -- story. religions of the world coming together despite what it may look like on the outside. then we have ron swisher and elizabeth ekdale is ongoing
moderators of mosiac for 2016. >> moderator: and then there is a story of a hospital the nine care because a -- denying care because a woman wanted a tuba like deck to me -- a tubal tubal ectomy -- tubal ligation and they refuse to because the church -- the hospital said they were roman catholic.>> religion tells us how to do a prayer, study, worship and service. spirituality tells us why we do it. for god, christ and the spirit. i don't think you can have one without the other.>> moderator: there we have it. that is the end. reverend. ron swisher will be hosting in 2016 with elizabeth ekdale . i am hugh burroghs.
the goods today. we begin with woman that turner life around. a u-s-f mba aduate.....climbi >> moderator: hi again everybody. welcome to bay sunday. i am frank mallicoat. today we have a great show with a woman who turned her life around. she lost everything and had a little life evaluation and decided to live the life that she wanted to live as an artist. homeless four years ago, she is now the best-selling author of seven books. her latest is called perl, a guide to living an authentic life. let's welcome callie gilbert.