PLEDGE NOW
Richard Rodriguez On Modern Spiritual Identity

Mexican-American essayist and big thinker Richard Rodriguez joins us on identity, immigration and the human spirit.

Immigration reform protesters gather outside the fence for the lighting of the 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, an 88-foot Engelmann spruce, from the Colville National Forest, in northeast Washington State, during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP)

Immigration reform protesters gather outside the fence for the lighting of the 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, an 88-foot Engelmann spruce, from the Colville National Forest, in northeast Washington State, during an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP)

Richard Rodriguez has become a rare sort.  In the age of rampant blogs and social media, everybody has a voice.  But few are singular.  Rodriguez is singular.  The rare mind and eye that sees and communicates on its own deeply humane terms.  He’s gay, he’s Catholic, he’s Hispanic, he’s a serious man.  And he is wide open to the world, all of it.  Thinking deeply about faith, people, place.  Deserts and visions.  Men and women and their roles.  Women especially, and their challenge to patriarchy.  He’s been called the most empathetic essayist in America.  This hour On Point:  reading Richard Rodriguez.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Richard Rodriguez, essayist, journalist and author of “Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography.” Also author of “Brown: The Last Discovery of America,” “Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father” and “Hunger Of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez.”

Rudy Lopez, community activist and senior organizer with F.I.R.M., the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.

From Tom’s Reading List

PBS: Writer Richard Rodriguez introduces readers to ‘seasons of belief and doubt’ — “My religious tradition has always accepted doubt as part of the procedure of believing in God. And I think that becomes a kind of a protection against extremism. But religion is under assault right now from various places. There’s something called a new atheism in the air that is coming into the country. And it has a dogmatism to it that doesn’t quite understand that religion itself has within it disbelief, that there isn’t a religious life of, what shall I say, seasons of belief and doubt.”

New America Media: When Love Prevails – Latino Families at the Center of Immigrant and LGBT Rights — “The political act of coming out has also propelled support for comprehensive immigration reform. Dreamers and other immigrants have inspired a movement by coming out as undocumented. Their courage has inspired others to fight deportations of family, friends, and entire communities.”

Boston Globe: ‘Darling’ by Richard Rodriguez — “Despite its opening epiphany, this is not a political work — Rodriguez proposes no solutions (though he takes stern swipes at atheism, including that of fellow public intellectuals like the late Christopher Hitchens). Rather, he offers an efflorescence of subtle questions that may be more useful than the blunt ones that dominate today’s media and public conversation.”

Read An Excerpt From “Darling” By Richard Rodriguez

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 27, 2016
Riot police block off the Albuquerque Convention Center to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the convention center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Obama at Hiroshima. Turmoil at Trump rallies. Clinton’s emails, heating up. Sanders predicts a “messy” convention. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 27, 2016
In this Oct. 27, 2015, photo,  Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb. is seen amongst residential homes. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got top gardeners spilling the beans on how to grow everything.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 27, 2016
In this Oct. 27, 2015, photo,  Big Muddy Farms, an urban farm in northern Omaha, Neb. is seen amongst residential homes. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got top gardeners spilling the beans on how to grow everything.

 
May 27, 2016
Riot police block off the Albuquerque Convention Center to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the convention center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Obama at Hiroshima. Turmoil at Trump rallies. Clinton’s emails, heating up. Sanders predicts a “messy” convention. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment
 
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment