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tv   Viewpoint  NBC  April 5, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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good morning everyone. i'm jim handly. welcome to "viewpoint." on this easter sunday our focus is faith and how it influences our day today lives. our guests are familiar to many of you, monsignor charles pope, reverend dr. ronald braxton from ame church and pastor karen brown of luther place memorial place also in northwest d.c. happy easter to you all. welcome back to "viewpoint." the "today" show this week has spent every day talking about faith and the role religion plays in our lives today. let's start with that.
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how does place influence our day-to-day lives and how should it? >> i think that's one of the on going questions we have as faith leaders and the people we serve as member of our faith communities. i think oftentimes the temptation can be that church is a sunday thing and you just practice it when you're together in the sanctuary and then you're done after you leave. so i think it's been a challenge for a long time and it continues to be. i think one of the important things that we see today is that people are now talking about it in a way that i think gives a lot of people who i engage with also a chance to express publicly their views about their faith and the difference it does make in terms of the decisions they make about how they treat their co-workers and also about how they engage with the work
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itself. >> monsignor, do you find that younger people are less faithful than older people? >> it's interesting. i think numerically they go to church less, but those who do are very intense in a way i never was at their age. so in a way you sort of have, the ones that do come they're serious and tense. i have them in bible study and adoration and all kind of prayer events. >> what do you think is behind that? >> at some level i hate to put it this way, but when you weed out the strong growths remain. it comes from their family backgrounds, but really needed certainty and truth. they want an answer. we just live the questions forever. they're looking for answers. so as i say, i think there's a combination of things that come together. it's a remarkable thing.
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for me faith is a way of knowing. the way i know and the way i think, it transforms everything, my priorities, my decisions, how i see the world. faith is a prophetic description of reality. it tells you what's really going on from god's perspective. you have to stay rooted in the truth of his word and allow it to form the very way you think. that takes your whole life. >> dr. braxton? >> i was reading an article a few weeks ago in "the post," and it said that in today's society attendance to church is down but what is rising is prayer. >> interesting. >> particularly amongst the millennials. i think monsignor hit on the point, but i'm convinced that formal religion it's having its
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own crisis and problems. but there is this tendency to live and walk each day with some sort of faith when we capture the easter mess sooj that we can rise above our crosses and our tombs. we can live faithful, fruitful good lives. so every morning when the majority of people wake up somewhere along the way, a faith kicks in that i can make it today regardless to what i encounter. i think that's what the article was about. it wasn't a bashing of the religious institution, but it was more centered around our daily walk and how we take that which is beyond our touch and our reach and we bring that into
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our lives to encourage us to really put our -- get up and go out in the morning. >> i want to talk more about prayer on the other end of the break. we have a lot more to get to. stay with us on "viewpoint." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ wow something sounds sweet in here!!!! ♪ ♪ need a little honey in the bowl. yeah!!! badabopbopbopa!!! no? must be the honey!!!
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welcome back on this easter sunday. we're talking about faith and the role of religion in our daily lives. reverend brown, we mentioned prayer. what is the goal of prayer? >> prayer is the way we get the chance to communicate with god and to spend time, and someone called it ones wasting time with jesus. there's a variety of ways of practice. i think it gives people sustenance. it can give insight and it also
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i think can give you that on going sense of mystery that there's something going on that includes you and is way big gather than you. >> you mentioned on going. monsignor, i ask you, for those of white house are not clergy how often should we be praying? is it a continuous conversation we have one on one? what would you advise people they want to pray more or don't find the time or would like to get back into it. >> first of all, we find time for everything else. i would certainly recommend, carve out a good ten minutes if you're a morning person or an evening person the main rule is show up. paul says pray always. we means by that, the normal christian life is to be in living conscious contact with god at any moment of the day, to be a mystic who sees god everywhere and in everyone and
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the glory of creation that. is the fruit of spending that time. i have an hour and a half in prayer every morning, studying scripture, getting with god, thinking through and being still and for a moment not talking. that's rare for me. but it's a moment to listen. but it is a transformative -- it takes so much time. you have to grow into it over the years. >> and some discipline. >> monsignor mentioned showing up and he didn't mean it in this respect, but do you have to show up at church to be religious or faithful? >> yes and no. >> okay. >> yes, at some point -- and i was just reading another article from one of my pastors, at some point we must move beyond our silo s silos and our segregated
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isolated places to touch the bigger world, to feel their sorry, their pain, their joy and to experience their living. that's critical. on the other hand there are moments when you must retreat, you must reflect and you must take that personal moment to touch the great mystery. >> interesting. >> to feel the power and the love of the great mystery that is far bigger than you, and to constantly -- when i hear the monsignor say the ten minutes the 30 minutes the one hour. paul tells us to pray without ceasing, so to understand that at every moment you can touch that which is bigger than you,
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and particular moments you can spend that time just sharing and being fed in a private way. >> it's interesting, because you explained it perfectly when you said yes and no that there is a personal connection. a lot of people are raised as religion is a personal thing for me or i've grown into it. i don't really talk about it, it's my own private time. your church is very active in the community i know reverend brau. that is important for your members to be out and engaging in the community. is that right? >> i think what we would also say is engagement and whether through social justice or service is also a spiritual practice. so when things like serving meals or engaging in advocacy for people who may be vulnerable to situations that are going on
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publicly, when you then take the time to discern where is god in this, how is god calling me to serve my neighbor then it really is part of your entire, sort of this way you have of living your faith and daily live. so it takes a variety of forms. the reflection part is important. you don't just do do do do do. it comes from this on going well that we are invited to fill up as both my colleagues have talked about so well. >> i think jesus helps us as a great model. there were moments and times when he was a part of the crowd and he was just working and serving the crowd. then there were moments when he knew he had to steal away from even the disciples to reflect and to pray and the communicate with that that was greater. >> great place to take a braekt there with all of those thoughts. we appreciate it. we'll be right back to talk more
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about it on this easter sunday. stay with us.
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welcome back to "viewpoint" on this easter sunday. i mentioned off the top that the "today" show has been focusing on faith and the role of religion in our lives. they did a survey and found 70% of respondents indicated it's more important to be spiritual than religious. we hear that a lot more these days the word spirituality versus traditional religion. >> i think what those who use this expression mean is organized religion is less important to them than when they be in touch with god. the problem i have with terminology is everyone is spiritual because we all have souls. likewise, religion has gotten a bad name. religion is a beautiful beautiful word means to hold close. in latin torques be held close
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by god, and we hold god and we hold him close. there's this magnificent embrace of love. people just take it as an institutional word. it's a beautiful, beautiful word and god embraces us in the community as both my colleagues were saying earlier. we have to pray alone but we have to pray together. my only other final concern is i'm spiritual but not religious is there is a problem in our culture of the designer god the god that i design. our job is to open and -- be open an listen for the truth as got reveals himself. for me that's going to always be in the christian tradition, in the scripture but i don't just take one from column a and two from column b. i have to ultimately make a decision about jesus as he's revealed himself. i think that's the danger of this idea i'm spiritual.
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religion can't be a make it up as you go thing. it is revealed and given. that's where my personal issue would come with that expression. >> interesting. good perspective on that. the "today" show also in their surveyor found that being close to god is far and away ranked the most important life priority by 26% of respondents. nothing else came close. 14% i think was developing strong relationships with friends and family. so i thought that was interesting, too, on the flip side there. in the news this past week we've seen some blowback on a couple of laws one being in indiana another that was going to be signed and may get some revision work in arkansas. it has to do with these freedom of religion laws of which there are many around the country and there's a federal law, too. in those two states it's a bit broader. opponents there was significant backlash. your thoughts on the laws?
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>> i think as i've been sort of watching this unfold and thinking about the history of our country, i think if we look over time we are an evolving democracy with laws that have changed along the way. so because of that we can look at all manner of things that could not have happened, including myself vote, including sisters and brothers who are african-american vote at certain points along the continuum. i think we have to be alert always as to how we are in people of this nation and as we come to i think an ongoing rich understanding of who we are and the differences that we bring in this fantastic country, how do we honor that people have access to the markets, our markets as they are and to also be able to live with dignity and respect.
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>> interesting. i think that as we are an evolving nation, i think we have to also understand that church and our religious viewpoint, if i might, has to evolve as well. i go back to monsignor, that i believe that this whole i'd rather be spiritual than to be religious, they're both the same same. but only the church i think can really interpret correctly how we should live our lives amongst each other. that's my firm belief. jesus says to peter "upon this rock i build my church," and we are the ambassadors.
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and those who follow christ are the ambassadors to say not just to our people but to the whole country and the world that there is a better way, that we must search for that way. that every man every woman is treated fairly and with equal justice. >> monsignor, before we head to another break, your thoughts on this, too. >> it's kind of two classic rights coming into conflict the right to religious liberty and according to one's faith. as all the other has been said here, there are also other civil rights that are very critical and precious. i'm not a lawyer, so i don't know all the aspects of the law. my understanding is that people are given a blanket right to refuse people but rather if there is a conflict, it should go to the courts to be adjudicated rather than
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legislated. at certain level we'll have to wait and see. again, i'm not a lawyer, but these are two very precious liberties we have to preserve. >> the bottom line question is how do you square diversity with some people viewing this as conflicting with my traditional religion, what they believe or how they were raised. i guess that's the question of our time today. as you mentioned, we're in an evolutionary period right now. >> we are evolving, and the church is evolving. >> got to take another quick break. we'll be right back to wrap things up on this easter sunday.
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welcome back on this easter sunday. we're talking about religion, the role it plays in our lives today and faith. i'm ooer curious, monsignor, from the pulpit, do you talk as though we're talking today? how do you engage people and i guess shake some traditional
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values or guide them, if you will? >> it's very important for us in a very diverse congregation that typical catholic parishes are, politically, ethnically diverse, but to center the teaching out of god's word and out of the catechism and focus it on the issues today so we don't stray too far into that third political rail piece where people start shutting down and stop listening. >> reverend brau, i took that word from you because you mentioned during the break guidance and you feel that's part of your role. >> i do. i think there's so much happening so fast in life and also the public issues that rise. i think what we can offer from our pulpit is also inviting people together to listen that sense of community and historic guidance. there's a lineage of people who have come before us and who have dealt with very, very difficult
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things. i think one of the wonders of being ruth ran too, is we also have this flexibility to look beyond the christian ban. for the season of lent, talking agent catholics that have gone before us we need courage today, a sense of how to move when things are murky and also to how to find courage and to sometimes make difficult decisions when we're faced by things in our daily live. >> dr. braxton we've got just about a minute left. but when we talk about encouraging or guiding people, does that help keep organized religion morrell vent than younger lives who have been turned off by religion? >> not just young people. if pastor brau thinks she had a rich tradition. i came out of a strong rich tradition, the black church, preaching, that moment when you have everyone right there with you and trying to give them
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encouragement, guidance, challenging them every day to pick up the pieces wherever they are, to live and to move to address issues to work hard for yourself and your xhurnity that's my background. >> amen. >> okay. we've got a few seconds left. monsignor, your challenge to people who hey be home and thinking about not going to church today what would you say to them? >> go. the plord wants you to go. he said keep holy the sabbath and not to neglect and meet together regularly as it's a habit of some. >> amen. give it a try. today is a great day. >> thank you all for sharing your insights and once again inspiring us. great to have you on "viewpoint" once again. thank you for coming in. coming up next, "news 4 today." we'll see you again on "reporter's notebook." have a great easter sunday.
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right now celebrations around the world as people mark the resurrection of jesus christ. >> from the vatican to our very own national mall. we'll take you live to easter services happening this morning. >> you're going to want to grab a jacket before walking out the door. temperatures starting off a bit chilly, but chuck says there will be relief from the cold. good morning and welcome to "news 4 today." happy easter. i'm adam tuss. >> i'm molette green. good morning on this easter sunday, april 5th. >> that's right. thousands are gathertion on the national mall for sunrise service beginning at 6:30 this


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