State of Belief - July 4th - 2015

July 4, 2015

Independence for All – Marriage Equality and What It Means For Our Country

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy, celebrates the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. The Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop in the Episcopalian Church, and Rabbi Jack Moline, the Executive Director of Interfaith Alliance, will talk about their reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision and their predictions for the future. Also, Amy Kittelstrom, a professor at Sonoma State University, will share her thoughts on the relationship between religion and government. Finally, Welton addresses some extremist responses from different public figures in the wake of the Obergefell decision, proving that a battle has been won, but not the war.

Predicting the Impact of the Recent Obergefell Decision
Exactly two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in two cases that dramatically expanded marriage rights in America, and paved the way for the rapid advance of marriage equality. Now, in Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court has sealed the deal, declaring marriage to be a right that cannot be denied to same-sex couples across the nation. Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson, as the first openly gay man to be installed as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church, knows a little something about history-making moments in the struggle for LGBT equality. This week he’ll join Welton to talk about the long road to this moment, and how a contentious issue can instead be turned to help bring us together.

LGBT Acceptance and Understanding: Rabbi Jack Moline Discusses the Importance of Interfaith Partnerships
For Interfaith Alliance, a decision like the one in Obergefell v. Hodges is long overdue. Under Welton’s leadership, Interfaith Alliance worked with a diverse team of religious groups, coalitions, and parties to advance marriage equality. Rabbi Jack Moline, the organization’s current Executive Director, will speak about his experiences with other religious advocates leading up to this case and his reaction after the decision. Rabbi Moline will also share the role he believes this issue will play in the upcoming election as well as how Interfaith Alliance intends to continue to support LGBT rights – particularly as others try and coopt the language of religious liberty to undo this progress.

An Honest Look at America’s True Religious History
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, one particular brand of Christianity continues to try to co-opt our history, alienating many more moderate people of faith in the process. After 15 years of exhaustive research, Amy Kittelstrom, a professor of Modern U.S. History and Transnational Intellectual Culture at Sonoma State University, delves deeper into the complex relationship between religion and our origins using texts from nineteenth-century thinkers. Yes, religion played quite a role in our nation’s founding – but a very different one than is being promoted by today’s revisionists. Her book is titled The Religion of Democracy: Seven Liberals and the American Moral Tradition.

Finding a Comfortable Balance between Religion and Government is an Uphill Battle
In the week since the Obergefell decision was handed down, many people throughout the country have rejoiced, and even many of those who may feel their religion is at odds with this decision have greeted it with respect. However, there are people and organizations that do not stand with the LGBT community and have vocalized their (hyperbolic) concerns about the downfall of the United States. In this final segment, Welton responds to several conservative leaders who want you to think the sky is falling.

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