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The Spiritual Challenge Of Newtown46:52
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In the sacred season, spiritual leaders from Connecticut take on the challenge of Newtown.

An image of 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Benjamin Andrew Wheeler is displayed at the entrance to Trinity Episcopal Church as mourners file in for his wake, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. (AP)
An image of 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Benjamin Andrew Wheeler is displayed at the entrance to Trinity Episcopal Church as mourners file in for his wake, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. (AP)

Bells ringing today in Newtown, Connecticut.  Not Christmas bells, for the season, but bells of mourning for beloved dead children, beloved dead teachers.

The mass shooting in Newtown came as millions of families across the country were lighting menorahs, lighting Advent candles, gathering for Christmas.  It brought the opposite of hope and joy.  It brought sorrow.  Despair.  In a sacred season.

This hour, On Point:  a conversation on the challenge to our spirits of this sorrow in our midst.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Miroslav Volf, professor at the Yale Divinity School and founding director, Yale Center for Faith & Culture.

Rev. Josh Pawelek, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society: East, in Manchester, Conn.

From Tom's Reading List

Huffington Post "Looking at a tragedy like this from an Orthodox perspective we only have one answer, this was evil, there is no other way to describe it. The world is trying real hard to remove God, and when God is removed the evil one takes His place. When the good is removed that space gets filled with the opposite of good, and that is evil. In a place where innocence should be present, on Friday, we saw the face of evil. We will never know the reasons why this happened and anything at this point is just speculation."

University of Chicago Divinity School "Four daily newspapers greet the Martys at breakfast. The morning after the school killings at Newtown, Connecticut, twenty-four pages of these informed us, while zillions of twitters and tweets and television and radio programs also addressed the tragedy. Readers don't need Sightings to spot traces of religion-in-public life this time, since coverage of it comes in blinding flashes when certain issues come up. So, just three reflections:"

Dallas Morning News "Here we are, only days past Hanukkah, a week until Christmas, and the spot on the yearly religious calendar when many of us proclaim peace on earth and good will to man. Yet here we are watching from afar as 20 young students and six adults from their Connecticut school."

Video

This program aired on December 21, 2012.

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