State of Belief - August 15th - 2015

August 15, 2015

Race, Religion and Reproductive Rights on the 2016 Campaign Trail

As the 2016 elections heat up across the country, things are heating up on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, as well (and not just because it’s 104 degrees in Welton’s home town of Monroe, LA). This week we check in with several experts about the religious dimensions of the race for the White House. Noted Catholic historian and author Patricia Miller will join us to talk about the latest fights in access to contraception and women’s health. Veteran religion journalist Kim Lawton of PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly shares her observations from the 2016 campaign trail. And theologian Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite comes back to talk to us about the #BlackLivesMatter movement and what it means for America’s religious and political landscape.

Whatever Happened to Hobby Lobby?
As religious conservatives sound the alarm about Planned Parenthood, the quieter fight over the contraceptive coverage included in the Affordable Care Act continues. While last year’s Hobby Lobby decision blew the law – and, with it, our constitutional understanding of religious freedom – the onslaught has continued from a range of religiously affiliated colleges, hospitals and organizations. But the fate of these cases in court, at least so far, just might surprise you. This week Welton’s joined by Patricia Miller a historian and author deeply familiar with Catholic doctrine and history and women’s health and contraception who will fill us in on these latest developments.

Why Is This Election Different From All Other Elections?
It feels like the 2016 election really launched last week with the first Republican Primary debate, and already religion is playing a controversial role. From candidates seeking an audience with the Southern Baptist Convention to Fox News asking politicians whether God speaks to them directly, there’s no escaping religion on the campaign trail. Tune in to hear veteran religion reporter Kim Lawton, managing editor and correspondent for PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, discuss what she’s seen so far in this election, as well as the challenges and rewards of religion journalism more broadly.

White America: What is Your Stake in Black Lives Matter
Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
is a professor at Chicago Theological Seminary. She’s also one of our go-to guests when the trials our nation faces calls for a more sophisticated approach to theology. That approach is exactly what she offers in her latest piece at The Huffington Post, White America: What is Your Stake in Black Lives Matter? She’ll talk to Welton about the Black Lives Matter movement, and the vital connection between issues of race, gender – and the environment.

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