Contraception In Wisconsin, Norwegian Churches In Wisconsin, Good Morning Mr. Mandela

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Nelson Mandela made a bold gesture toward reconciliation in South Africa when he chose a white Afrikaner as his right hand woman. Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett speak with her about the day in and day out of working with one of the world’s most iconic leaders. Then they explore the Norwegian tradition of stave churches in Wisconsin and get a legal expert’s perspective on the Walker administration’s decision to stop enforcing the state’s contraception coverage law.

Featured in this Show

  • Stave Church On Washington Island Was Built To Honor Scandinavian Heritage

    In the Middle Ages, it wasn’t uncommon to see “stave churches” made of wooden posts and pillars scattered throughout Scandinavia.

    Today, there aren’t many of the churches left, but there’s a growing interest in building new churches that resemble the style — a prominent example of which stands on Washington Island in Wisconsin’s Door County.

    It’s estimated that about 1,300 of these churches once existed throughout Norway and Sweden.

    “People are looking back with some nostalgia and looking at the beauty of the existing style of churches in Norway, and wanting to recreate that here,” said Richard Purinton, a Washington Island resident who helped build the church known as Stavkirke, which belongs to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran.

    Purinton said the church was the idea of a pastor there who wanted to honor Scandinavian heritage on Washington Island. While not all residents bought into the idea at the time, Purinton said the funds were raised, and by 1991, a foundation for the church was built.

    Purinton said the designers and builders tried to emulate the old stave church style as best as they could, using one church in particular from Borgun, Norway, as a model.

    “There were no detailed blueprints,” Purinton said.

    Construction of the wooden and stone church took three years to complete. Purinton said he’s proud of the way it turned out, especially its aesthetics.

    “There’s kind of a softness and elegance to it,” he said.

    Purinton gives tours of the island and enjoys observing people’s reactions to the structure. He said there’s often a sense of awe, and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

    During the summer months, there’s even a weekly service people can attend, and the church has been known to host the occasional wedding.

    “It’s open for visitation, meditation, and for people to appreciate it,” said Purinton.

  • Walker Administration Has No Basis To Stop Enforcing Contraception Law, Says Legal Expert

    Governor Scott Walker’s administration has stopped enforcing Wisconsin’s contraception coverage law. The move is in response to last month’s Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision allowing employers with religious objections to not pay for employees’ contraception. Legal expert Marci Hamilton says there is no legal basis to stop enforcing this state law because of change to federal law.

  • The Ancient Tradition Of Stave Churches In Wisconsin

    During the middle ages stave churches were quite common. A few of them remain today, mostly in Norway and Sweden. And there’s at least one modern example in Wisconsin. It’s Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Washington Island in Door County, and Washington Island resident Richard Purinton was involved in its construction.

  • Good Morning, Mr. Mandela

    Nelson Mandela’s former personal aide shares stories from more than ten years of working side-by-side with the iconic world leader, and explains why she credits him with teaching her life’s most valuable lessons.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Marci Hamilton Guest
  • Zelda La Grange Guest

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