Speaking of \"Being\"?

by Heidi Schlumpf

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I'm a big fan on the NPR show "Speaking of Faith with Kristi Tippett" (usually broadcast at 7 a.m. Sunday mornings). It's a thoughtful place for journalism and discussion about deep subjects.

Over the summer the show announced a name change to "Being." My first thought was "Blech."

I've since visited the show's website, where host Tippett explains the reasoning behind the name change (and her own trepidation) in a letter to listeners--and a sample of the hundreds of comments from angry and supportive fans.

The Transition from "Speaking of Faith" to "Being" from Being on Vimeo.

Tippett points out that many listeners had to get past the former name, and she explains that "Being" is "a more spacious container for what the program has become." She also says the new name "points at questions of 'religion, meaning, ethics and ideas' at the heart of human life — not confined to Sunday mornings or Friday evenings, not on the sidelines of real life, but at the essence of who we are and how we live, individually and collectively."

I understand the need to be inclusive of folks with belief that doesn't include a deity or even atheists and agnostics, but I'm sad to see yet another example of anything connected to organized religion being labeled as negative. It's a sad reflection on our culture--and on organized religion--that religion is seen as confined to Sunday mornings and faith has become a dirty word.

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