Here’s what’s news on today’s edition of Interfaith Voices:
Forced Sterilization in America: Why Catholics Fought Back
Dozens of states forcibly sterilized about 70,000 people deemed “imbeciles” and “feeble-minded” in the 20th century. Among the first critics: Catholics.
It’s no secret that Catholic leaders today are heavily involved in public policy debates over issues like contraception and abortion. In the years before WWII, they opposed a different kind of reproductive control: eugenics. Many states had laws that allowed forcible sterilization of so-called “undesirables.” American Catholics led the fight against these measures and the prejudices behind them.
A New Generation of American Jains Comes of Age
Approximately 100,000 Jains live in America today. While many are natives of India, many more are their children. Now, members of the very first generation of Jains raised in America are entering universities and the workforce. And they’re figuring out how to practice their religion in a society where few people have ever met a Jain.
In Prison on the Day of Atonement
Out of the 3 million or so America’s in prison and jails, about 7,000 identify as Jews – though the actual number is likely much higher. Many of them keep kosher, pray daily and attend religious services. And the most popular prison service? Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Sharon M. Leon, author of An Image of God: The Catholic Struggle with Eugenics; Kayuri Shah, 18-year-old freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University; Shikhar Shah, 21-year-old graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago; Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel, Executive Director for the North East Region at the Aleph Institute.