State of Belief - July 24th 2015

July 25, 2015

Undoing Religious Liberty, The Right’s Subversion of America’s Oldest Institution

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Welton looks into the latest developments in religious freedom – and the Right’s attempt to subvert it – in America today. We’ll take a look behind the infamous Planned Parenthood videos and the Religious Right’s campaign against reproductive health services. We’ll hear from Tulsa Interfaith Alliance’s leader on Oklahoma’s recent refusal to remove a statue of the Ten Commandment from the State Capitol grounds. And, finally, Sally Steenland from the Center for American Progress will fill us in on the newest attempt to ban anti-gay discrimination and how an unexpected community has supported it.

Behind Those Planned Parenthood Videos
The recent undercover videos released showing Planned Parenthood representatives speaking frankly about the difficult topic of fetal tissue donations caused a furor on the Religious Right. Rev. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister at the historic Judson Memorial Church in New York City joins Welton to discuss what she sees as the hypocrisy in the Religious Right’s rhetoric and the truth behind the videos themselves. In a strongly-worded article in Religion Dispatches, Rev. Schaper did not hesitate to point out the sexism in the Right’s attacks, and question the merits of videos released by an organization formed solely to ruin Planned Parenthood and to put an end to the valuable services they offer to women, especially low-income women, in the United States.

“Thou shalt not touch the monument.”
The monument depicting the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma State Capitol has been ruled to be in violation of the state’s constitution by the state supreme court – but the governor has refused to remove it. Rev. Bob Lawrence, Executive Director of the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance joins Welton this week to discuss the separation of church and state and the ways in which the Right has fought to blur the lines between them. And what about the Satanic Temple’s role in the case?

Discrimination is Bad for Business, and Businesses Agree
A recent survey of small business owners revealed that, despite the best efforts of the anti-gay lobby to argue the contrary, small businesses do not wish to discriminate against LGBT individuals on claims of religious freedom – and they recognize that denying customers service for any reason is bad for business. Sally Steenland, Faith and Progressive Policy Director at the Center for American Progress, joins Welton to analyze the poll results and break down the different types of responses gathered: from bakers to photographers, and liberals to conservatives. Steenland and Welton will also discuss the Equality Bill, just introduced in Congress.

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