Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

Boy Scouts work on canoes at camp Maple Dell outside Payson, Utah. The Mormo...
Scouting has been the official program for Mormon boys for more than 100 years, but that may change after a vote allowing openly gay leaders. A Brigham Young professor says a split would be wrenching.

The vote by the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on openly gay troop leaders last week was a blow to some religious conservative organizations that have long been connected to scouting, especially the Mormon Church, which has deep roots in the Boy Scouts.

The church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has used the Boy Scouts as its official program for young men for more than 100 years, according to Qin Monson, a political science professor at Brigham Young University.

"The church took the Boy Scout program and decided its values and mission aligned closely enough with that of the church's program for young men that they just wholesale adopted it," says Monson, who is Mormon, the father of a Boy Scout and a former Boy Scout himself. "Basically, if you are a young Mormon male, you join the Boy Scouts."

Monson just returned from two nights at scout camp with his son. He tells NPR's Rachel Martin that the secular and religious overlap in Mormon scouting. "In some senses, it's hard to tell the two apart," he says.


Interview Highlights

On what Mormons are saying about the BSA vote

It's clearly on the minds of the scouting community in Utah, which is very heavily LDS. My sense is that there's not disappointment with the church as much as maybe disappointment with the scout program, and just disappointment that the relationship might be in danger, because it's something that's valued and loved. I think that, for most Latter-day scout leaders in particular, they're loyal to scouting but their loyalty lies with the church and they'll ultimately go whatever direction the church asks them to go.

On why the church might split with the Boy Scouts

The BSA statement allows for leaders who are openly gay, and what that means in practice is, I don't think, exactly clear, but I think it could very well conflict with the church's own policy, which is you can identify as gay and be an active, faithful member of the Church Christ of Latter-day Saints. The problem is acting on that same-sex attraction, so there's a distinction made between actions and orientation.

On his son's reaction to the BSA vote

His reaction was interesting: It's not a concern to him. He's a pretty deep thinker, and a thoughtful kid, but his reaction was, "Well, I don't see why it matters, dad. Why is this such a big deal?"

That's the hard part about all of this, is that it impacts a group of young men who don't necessarily understand why.

On how he'll feel if the church severs ties with the Boy Scouts

Well, I'm torn with that too. Yeah, it will, it would make me sad, and mostly because my own history with the scouts is filled with great memories.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On this week's Alt Latino, we spend time with an album from Colombian singer Totó la Momposina. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Felix Contreras about Tambolero.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Will the NFL's first female coach be a "distraction" for the Arizona Cardinals or merely a distraction for the media? NPR's Rachel Martin talks sensationalism in sports with Slate's Mike Pesca.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.