Dec. 7, 2013 – the Harvard Humanist Hub

This weekend on State of Belief, learn about the ambitious plans for Harvard’s new Humanist center, “The Hub.” Also, listen in to get two takes on religion and healthcare, as the Supreme Court and ACLU tackle private companies’ rights to “religious conscience” and healthcare provision. Download Icon

Harvard and the Future of the Humanist Movement
Something very exciting is happening at Harvard University. The well-respected and relevant Humanist chaplaincy is moving into its new home and launching an unprecedented outreach effort that is sure to have an impact far outside of the ivy-covered walls of Cambridge. This week, Harvard’s Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein, joins Welton on State of Belief to talk about his work with fellow Harvard chaplains, and the opening of Harvard’s new Humanist center, “The Hub.”

Religiously Affiliated Hospitals and Patients’ Rights
Hospitals are tasked with protecting the health of their patients, however in the case of one Michigan woman, the policies of a religiously affiliated hospital may have put her health in jeopardy. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the woman, arguing that the Catholic hospital she visited violated her rights as a patient when determining her emergency medical care. On this week’s show Brooke Tucker, staff attorney at the ACLU of Michigan, will discuss this case and the greater issue of patient rights in religiously affiliated medical institutions.

Corporations’ Religious Convictions Impact on Employee Health Coverage
The contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act continues to cause controversy even after the shaky rollout of healthcare.gov. According to critics, the mandate raises questions about the religious freedom of employers. Specifically, can an employer who provides employee health coverage limit the coverage based on the employer’s religious convictions? Can an entire business have religious conviction? The Supreme Court just announced that they will try to answer these questions. Joining the show this week to discuss the right of corporations to a “religious conscience” is Jonathan Dudley, who has written about the fluid nature of some allegedly timeless – and politically helpful – religious beliefs. He is author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics, Yale graduate, and a medical doctor.