A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jamie’s Bookshelf: Politics, family and religion, the latest non-fiction titles for your summer reading list

• “All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Tour of Appalachia” by Matthew Algeo (Chicago Review Press, $28.99) is a remarkable story about RFK’s two-day tour of eastern Kentucky in early 1968. At the time, U.S. Senator Kennedy was a former Attorney General who was considering a presidential run. The 264-page hardcover provides a new portrait of RFK, a politician of uncommon courage...

Many of America’s faithful say it is time to return to church, but some governors continue to disagree

By Lindsey Van Ness Pew Charitable Trusts Gathering to pray feels more important than ever for many Americans of faith, as COVID-19 cases top 2 million in the United States and communities roil with anger about police brutality and systemic racism. Yet many governors and city leaders still prohibit large religious gatherings, angering some clergy — even those who backed pandemic-related restrictions...

Constance Alexander: As social distancing drags on, book club thrives in the company of busy women

Sex, religion, race, money, men, marriage, kids, murder, politics, abuse, abandonment, addiction, romance, and real-life are just some of the topics my book group tackles each month. If the reading selection does not address those issues, no problem. Fueled by words, wine, an array of sweet snacks and some chocolate, we manage to discuss the book at hand, while also touching on current events at home,...

Senate Bill 90 would let health professionals refuse treatment that violates their conscience

A bill to allow health-care professionals to refuse to provide treatment that violates their conscience is nearing a floor vote in the state Senate. Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, would also exempt providers from liability for exercising their rights and allow individuals to sue if they have been injured through disciplinary action, such as being fired or demoted...

Lauren and Rob Hudson: Letters for families — find common ground in conversations about liberty

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write at a time when some people describe America as being more deeply divided than ever. Through this series of letters, we intend to demonstrate that most Americans have substantial common ground, including shared approaches and values in many parts of life. We begin with basics. Consider the final phrase of the Pledge...

Lauren and Rob Hudson: Exceptionalism through respect for faith, a positive message for youth

Columns for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa Every thoughtful person knows religion raises some of life’s biggest questions. Should a person believe in a higher, godly power? If so, is that godly power good, bad, or maybe even a little of both? What type of religion, if any, should a person practice? The purpose of this column is not to say which religious faith,...

Pew Trusts: What are Americans thankful for now? See what survey says makes life meaningful

What makes life meaningful? Answering such a big question might be challenging for many people. Even among researchers, there is little consensus about the best way to measure what brings human beings satisfaction and fulfillment. Traditional survey questions – with a prespecified set of response options – may not capture important sources of meaning. To tackle this topic, Pew Research Center conducted...

Lewis Donohew: It seems as if religion may promote both the development of civilization and conflict

Why do so many people seem to assume it is their duty to enforce what they interpret as the shalts and shalt nots of their religion? In the interpretation of ancient scrolls by scholars of various religions leanings, certain acts are said to be “against God’s law.” But how many of these “wrongdoings” are supposed to be punished by ordinary people? Isn’t there supposed to be a “judgment...

Lewis Donohew: First Amendment does not give clerks the right to refuse to give licenses

Following the recent Supreme Court ruling permitting same-sex marriage, the controversy that arose in some of our Kentucky counties involving the First Amendment has raised an emotion-laden question. The clerks state their religious beliefs won’t let them issue marriage licenses to these couples and claim having to do this would violate their religious freedom. Would it?   This caused me to...