State of Belief - July 11th -2015

July 11, 2015

A Look Back at Our Best Discussions on Civil Rights and A Conversation on the Politics of Christian Fundamentalism

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy has the week off. So we’ll revisit a couple of memorable past interviews on the history of the Civil Rights movement and the call to engage LGBT activists in the fight for racial justice. We’ve also been eager to share a recently-recorded interview with the author of Superchurch: The Rhetoric and Politics of American Fundamentalism, Dr. Jonathan Edwards, which sheds light on the history of Christian Fundamentalism in the United States and its effects on our political system.

Realizing the Inextricable Link Between Racial Justice and LGBT Equality
Two years ago, following the Supreme Court’s striking down of DOMA and concurrent gutting of the Voting Rights Act, Welton spoke with two Unitarian Universalist leaders, Rev. Meg Riley and Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt. They discuss the value of black allies to the LGBT rights movement and vice versa, and the ways in which all social justice movements are inextricably intertwined. Rev. McNatt powerfully explains her concern for the fate of democracy and the interview is just as relevant today, following the Supreme Court’s decision bringing nationwide marriage equality at the same time the nation mourns nine victims of a race-motivated shooting in South Carolina, as it was when first recorded.

Congressman John Lewis Reflects on the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Significance of Barack Obama’s Presidency
Georgia Congressman John Lewis marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and continues to be a voice for Civil Rights, most recently around the removal of the Confederate Flag from South Carolina’s capitol and other government buildings. He joined Welton two and a half years ago to discuss the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. As a member of the first march from Selma to Montgomery, Lewis says, “I never, ever thought that I would live to see a day like we’re witnessing now.” He acknowledges the steep hill yet to be climbed before equality is achieved, but also celebrates the progress that has been made.

Fundamentalist Christians are Hugely Influential in Today’s American Politics: A Look at How They Got That Way
Dr. Jonathan Edwards
has extensively studied fundamentalist Christianity and the worldview that ties this community of Americans together. He joins Welton to define fundamentalism and explain its effect on both individuals and the country as a whole. In his book Superchurch: The Rhetoric and Politics of American Fundamentalism, Dr. Edwards strives to bridge the understanding gap between fundamentalists and everyone else, while speculating on the future of the relationship between the two groups.

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