September 20 - Russia Rescues Assad While the US Spends $500 Million on 5 Rebels; Will the Pope Go Beyond Rhetoric and Implement Change?; Candidates Pander to the Religious Right

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the mass exodus of refugees from Syria’s capitol, Damascus, and deepening Russian involvement with boots on the ground in support of the beleaguered Assad regime.Rafif Jouejati, the English-language spokeswoman for the Local Coordination Committees in Syria joins us for an update on the changing military situation in Syria as Russia comes to the rescue of Assad with combat aircraft and Marines, while 75 U.S.-backed rebels crossed into Syria from Turkey to fight the jihadists, bolstering the 5 rebels still in the fight that the U.S. has managed to train so far at a cost of $500 million.

Part 2

Then we look into the Pope’s upcoming trip to Washington where he will be visiting President Obama and speaking to a joint session of Congress. Kenneth Briggs, who writes for the National Catholic Reporter and was the religion editor at the New York Times, joins us to discuss how the Republican-controlled Congress, that has climate-change deniers in leadership positions overseeing the environment, will react to the Pope’s address. We also explore the extent to which conservatives in the church’s hierarchy are chaffing at the changes underway while liberal clergy seem to be pushing the Pope to go beyond rhetoric and actually implement changes like allowing priests to marry.


Part 3

Then finally we speak with Elaine Pagels, a Professor of Religion at Princeton University and author of “Revelations: Vision, Prophecy, & Politics in the Book of Revelation”. She joins us to discuss the Republican presidential candidates’ pandering to the religious right at Iowa’s Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual dinner on Saturday, as well as the front runner Donald Trump’s remark on Meet the Press that America already had a Muslim president while the second placed Ben Carson on the same program said he was opposed to a Muslim becoming president of the United States.