State of Belief - June 20th - 2015

June 20, 2015

 Religious Freedom, Torture and our Environment

This weekend on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Welton Gaddy is joined by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware; Rev. Ron Stief, the executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture; and Jack Jenkins, Senior Religion Reporter at ThinkProgress, to discuss new, important political, cultural, and scientific events affecting America’s religious community.

Chris Coons: Christian, Senator, and Defender of Religious Freedom
As election season nears, it is impossible to avoid the relentless, conservative pandering from the religious right. We are lucky to be joined by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, whose openness to people of all – and no – religious backgrounds provides a refreshing change to these officials and candidates who have the wrong idea about “religious liberty” in our country.

McCain-Feinstein: the End of American Torture?
Earlier this week, the Senate passed the McCain-Feinstein Amendment to Prevent Torture, which forbids the United States to subject people to the “enhanced interrogation techniques” that we saw used as a tactic in the aftermath of 9/11. Indeed, the amendment is one of many important turning points in America’s long, controversial history with torture, which culminated recently in the release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on CIA Interrogation Techniques. Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, returns to State of Belief to answer questions on the amendment, what it means for America’s stance on torture going forward, and the role of faith-based organizations in the fight against torture.

The Process and Potential of Pope Francis’ ‘Praised Be’
The Vatican finally published Pope Francis’ long-awaited environment-focused encyclical this past Thursday. Highlighting the importance of climate change, poverty and how one affects the other, Francis’ document has already been regarded as one of the most influential encyclicals ever released by a Pope. This week, Welton is joined by Jack Jenkins, Senior Religion Reporter at ThinkProgress.com, to discuss the possible effects of the encyclical, how the leak of the encyclical earlier in the week influenced world reaction, and how Catholics are responding to the Pope’s controversial and progressive stance.

As we join the nation in mourning the tragic loss of lives at the Emanuel AME church in Charlotte, SC, Welton shares his thoughts on this brutal violation of a sacred space.

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