Three months ago here on the blog, I wrote about the laudable new effort called "Beyond Belief" that was providing some much-needed journalistic coverage of religion via a special project at KCPT-TV, the Kansas City PBS station.
That good work has continued in various ways, including broadcast of a half-hour TV special last week that I missed because I was in Los Angeles for the annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
But when I returned, Steve Mencher, who has been heading up the Beyond Belief project, had sent me this link to that show. I've now had a chance to watch it. And if you, like me, missed it when it was broadcast, I hope you'll take a look at it, too. It also will be rebroadcast at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, at 10:30 p.m. on Monday, July 18, and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 31.
It's well worth your time. The piece focuses on three religion stories. One has to do with changes at Central United Methodist Church in Kansas City, another with the trip to Civil Rights Movement sites taken together by students from both Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and University Academy and a third with the bilingual community worshiping together at Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Kansas.
Terrific stuff. I won't give you a paraphrase here of the stories, but will just encourage you to have a look.
What the film makes clear is that a lot of intriguing faith-related activities are happening in Kansas City. And it's not all just standard Sunday morning worship in Christian churches. This community has made an effort to be welcoming to people of all faiths and none. Partly as a result, there are religious happenings in well over a dozen faith traditions going on here daily. Beyond that, I'm part of a group attempting to create here an Interfaith Religious Literacy Center. Stay tuned for that.
Religion is warp and woof with the culture even in a time when fewer and fewer Americans are identifying as religiously affiliated.
So now that The Kansas City Star no longer devotes much space to coverage of religion, I invite you to check out the work the Beyond Belief folks are doing, both on TV and in KCPT's digital magazine, Flatland.
Yes, of course I'd love for you to drop in here on my blog every day. But even I can't cover everything. So diversify your sources and add Beyond Belief.
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BE CAREFUL, KIDS, THEY MIGHT EVOLVE
And speaking of being beyond belief, a fake Noah's Ark exhibit is about to open in Kentucky, and among the animals it will contain are dinosaurs. No, really. Dinosaurs. Which kind? Theologicalsaurus Wrecks?