State of Belief - August 1st -2015

August 2, 2015

August 1, 2015 – Our Ugly Political Landscape, the Eternal Religious Freedom Debate, and Nuclear Scientist Clergy?

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Welton Gaddy offers a couple of particularly though-provoking segments. He’ll talk with an Atlantic writer about the tricky issues surrounding religious freedom and civil rights. We’ll also examine the state of affairs in this cycle of presidential politics – and whether rhetoric is “Trumping” policy in our discussions of the 2016 race. Finally, we’ll talk with a rabbi about whether or not she – and other religious leaders – has a role in talking with her congregation about controversial political issues such as the Iran deal.

Trust, Leadership and the Iran Deal

As debate continues in TV studios and on Capitol Hill alike on the groundbreaking nuclear deal between the United States and its partners and Iran, so much of our conversation has broken down into one key issue: trust. Yes, we have the often-heard questions over Iran’s trustworthiness and whether we can trust politicians to put the nation’s interests above their political motivations. However, faith leaders have also been wondering if and how to engage their constituencies on tough subjects like the Iran deal, worrying that any action will lead to a loss of trust among those looking for faith-driven guidance. Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, returns to State of Belief to discuss her recent article in the Washington Post, which talked about the need for faith leaders to rise above this fear and trust the need for their place within the conversation.

The Ugliness – Already! – of 2016

In the wake of another round of problematic sound bites from this year’s batch of presidential candidates, you don’t have to be a great cynic to get the feeling that these days, with election season comes political grandstanding, fear mongering and a general lack of civility. Greg Lebel, Assistant Professor of Political Management at George Washington University, joins Welton to talk about the state of campaign ugliness. He’ll also talk about the dynamics of the presidential race, the “Trump factor” and the role of Christian rhetoric in these early months – specifically, whether any candidates are going too far in their invocation of sponsorship from above.


Equality: A Zero-sum Game?

Listeners of the show will know that we at State of Belief are big believers in discussing the balance between equal rights and religious liberty, both abroad but especially in the United States. This week, we’ll hear fromEmma Green of The Atlantic, who has written a compelling piece, Gay Rights May Come at the Cost of Religious Freedom delving into some of the concerns around this very issue.

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