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Zika Virus and the Catholic Church. Plus, a Kabbalistic Journey to India
February 18, 2016
The Zika outbreak in Latin America is raising questions about Catholic policy on contraception and abortion. We discuss with a journalist, a priest, and a pro-choice Catholic. Then, author Sigal Samuel shares how writing fiction led to a real-life exploration of her Indian family’s deep roots with Jewish mysticism.
Ueslei Marcelino | Reuters via RNS
Zika Virus: Balancing Public Health and Catholic Teachings February 18, 2016
The Zika virus is sweeping through Latin America and may be linked to an increase in babies born with microcephaly, a severe disability. The gravity of this epidemic has prompted health officials in five Latin American countries to urge women not to get pregnant for the time being. But how does one do that in a part of the world that’s predominantly Catholic? Where abortion is often banned, and birth control is frowned upon? We discuss how this mosquito-borne virus is reigniting discussion over Catholic views on contraception and abortion.

Read Pope Francis' statement on the Zika Virus, abortion, and contraception

Father Thomas Petri, Instructor of Moral Theology and Pastoral Studies at the Dominican House of Studies
Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Domestic Program Director of Catholics for Choice
Patricia Miller, Journalist and Author of Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church 
Basic Books
How Corporate America Invented Christian America February 18, 2016
Many Americans think the United States was founded as a 'Christian nation.'  But in fact, it wasn't until the mid-20th century that the United States began printing "In God We Trust" on its currency, and pledging allegiance to "one nation under God." Historian Kevin Kruse traces this conception of America to the 1930s, when a coalition of businesspeople and religious leaders formed to oppose the New Deal.

Kevin M. Kruse, History Professor at Princeton University and Author of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America
Harper Collins
From "The Mystics of Mile End" to Jewish India February 18, 2016
Author Sigal Samuel shares how writing her debut novel led to a real-life discovery: her Indian family’s deep roots with Jewish mysticism. Sigal traveled to India where she searched for her ancestors' legendary Beit Kabbalah (House of Kabbalah), visited a Jewish cemetery, and accidently joined a theosophical society.

Music from "Hodu: Jewish Rhythms from Baghdad to India" by Rahel Musleah

Sigal Samuel, Opinion Editor at The Forward and author of The Mystics of Mile End