Inner Compass is a television interview show that explores how people make their decisions about ethical, religious, and social justice issues. Guests include authors, activists, religious leaders, and engaging thinkers from around the world. The show airs on approximately 60 public television stations across the U.S.
As we watch Muslim countries consider new forms of government, many in America hope that democracy will win out. But some Muslim countries have used the voting process to establish Sharia law, which includes strict regulations pertaining to punishment, sexuality, religious obligations, hygiene, and personal finances. Jim Skillen, former president of the Center for Public Justice in Washington, DC, discusses current thinking on whether Sharia law can be combined with democracy. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
As the world’s markets become more intermingled, we see new kinds of foods on our grocery shelves and hear new accents in our business calls. But we also lose domestic jobs as they are moved to other countries, where workers now get their first taste of middle class living. Is it possible to grow economies and improve living conditions for one population without hurting another? John Tiemstra of the Calvin College economics department describes the moral choices that shape globalized trade. Karen Saupe hosts.
North American attitudes toward nature have shifted over time, almost as much as our natural landscape has. Donald Worster of the University of Kansas helped develop the intriguing new field of environmental history to track the intense relationship we’ve had with nature. He describes the patterns he’s seen and how America’s history has been shaped by its natural resources. Karen Saupe hosts.
Are teens posting risqué photos on the internet because they are starved for attention, or because they are convinced they’re HOT? Should EVERYONE on the team get a trophy? Jean Twenge of the San Diego State University psychology department, and author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, warns that our culture of extreme encouragement may have gone too far. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Thousands of children in Uganda don’t go to school because their parents can’t afford books, a uniform, or sometimes, just a pencil. The orphans there have even less of a chance. When Twesigye Jackson Kaguri was confronted with this picture, he and his wife decided to use their savings to establish a free school for orphans. Hear his adventures, also described in his book, The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
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As a young adult visiting her aunt’s farm, Temple Grandin found herself able to intuit what the livestock feared as they experienced the regular stresses of farm life. Was it because of her autism? Now this Colorado State University professor is widely known both for her animal welfare research and for her many books on autism. She tells how she has dedicated her life to helping animals and people understand each other. Karen Saupe hosts.
Package: HBO's Temple Grandin
Finding a job may not seem the highest priority for most gang members, but Father Greg Boyle learned otherwise when he befriended gang members in his parish and started the largest gang intervention program in the U.S. His book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion describes his personal experience working with Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles for over twenty years, and he shares what those experiences have taught him. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Handling the pressure from society’s expectations is challenging enough; add more demands because of your race, gender, immigrant parents, and religion, and it can be nearly impossible to find your own voice.Nikki Toyama-Szeto is co-editor of More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith. She describes the struggle and joys of finding one’s own calling and voice. Karen Saupe hosts.
A factory still using production systems from the 1950s would not make sense in today's technological world. Unfortunately, some K-12 schools still use decades-old educational techniques and policies. School turnaround specialist Sajan George describes progressive technologies and approaches currently under consideration to turn around troubled school districts. Karen Saupe hosts.
The more power people have, the more choices they have to use or abuse it. Although some believe the most spiritual path is to renounce power in favor of a life of service, Andy Crouch, contributing editor for Christianity Today and author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, suggests creative strategies for using power to help others flourish. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Package: Where Faith & Culture Meet: Six Sessions on How You Can Engage Your Culture (Intersect/Culture)
Theary Seng was imprisoned as a child during the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge takeover of Cambodia. She barely escaped death; her parents did not. After making it to the U.S. and becoming a lawyer, she has moved back to help rebuild a country still recovering. She describes the experiences and motivations related in her book Daughter of the Killing Fields. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
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After Krista Tippett graduated from seminary, she noticed a hole in the media. There was finally plenty of religion coverage, but the simplicity of the reports drove her to launch a public radio interview show, “Speaking of Faith” (now titled “On Being”). Tippett explains how she helps her guests reveal the complexities of their beliefs and values. Karen Saupe hosts.
Special needs children are labeled for the extra care they require. Observers may wonder how their families would cope with all those responsibilities. Faye Knol, whose son who was born 14 weeks premature and lived into early adulthood with severe disabilities, offers the rest of the picture. The title of her memoir Receiving David: The Gift of a Son Who Taught Us How to Live and Love, says it all. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
For too many students, the hurdles to getting a college diploma are nearly insurmountable. Brandy Johnson, Michigan director of College Access Network, describes the national program designed to support, inform, and encourage students so they have a better chance at career choices and salaries they’d like. Karen Saupe hosts.
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When artists create, how much consideration should they give to their audience? And, when viewers approach artwork, is it more important to respond to the piece first or to read the printed artist’s statement? Sheila Wyne, a visual artist from Anchorage, Alaska whose work has been installed permanently in public spaces and in several museum collections, describes how to engage with a piece of art, and how a visually literate community fosters the evolution of art. Karen Saupe hosts.
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What is your tendency when you see conflict coming—run and hide? Tackle it head-on? Bob Hall, founder of Learning to Live with Conflict, Inc., looks beyond winning and losing to suggest ways the very presence of conflict can help us learn and grow together. Karen Saupe hosts.
When a child has been abandoned by his or her parents, it leaves a wound that is hard to heal. Those nearby may feel there is nothing they can do for so deep a need. Rob Mitchell, author of Castaway Kid: One Man’s Search for Hope and Home, describes how several people made a difference during his childhood in an orphanage. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
When Katrina Browne was 28 years old and in seminary, she learned that her ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. And, they were not from the South; they had lived in Rhode Island. Katrina wrote to 200 family members, inviting them to explore their family's past. The result: an award-winning documentary, Traces of the Trade, made with co-producer Juanita Brown, who helped plan a journey to Africa for the group and facilitate painful conversations about their discoveries. Karen Saupe hosts.
Package: Traces of the Trade
According to several surveys, more than ninety percent of Americans in their early 20s are having sex before marriage. Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin sociology department, and co-author of the book Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying, explains the choices and values of emerging adults today. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
You may long for the latest gadget or fashion, more because of the image it projects than for any other reason. Where do those images come from? Calvin College philosophy professor Jamie Smith, author of Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, says our idea of "the good life" reveals a lot about us. Karen Saupe hosts.
Now and then through the decades there's a swell of complaints that America has strayed from its Christian roots. But others question whether the U.S. was ever designed to be a Christian nation. Notre Dame historians Mark Noll and George Marsden, authors of many works on early American history and on evangelical Christianity, consider current interpretations of the founding fathers. Skot Welch is guest host.
“You’ll never have the discipline to accomplish that goal.” “Why do you even open your mouth?” Too many people trudge through life battling mental accusations that trap them in destructive cycles. Anneshia Freeman, an addiction counselor with Arbor Circle in Grand Rapids, describes how she helps people identify what may be blocking them from a more positive lifestyle. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can often work around broken systems in developing countries. But what if they focused more on helping to fix the broken systems? Calvin sociology department's Kurt Ver Beek, co-founder of the Association for a More Just Society, describes his team's inclusive approach to justice in Honduras. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.