State of Belief - June 6th -2015

June 7, 2015

America’s Changing Religious Landscape, the Helms Amendment & SCOTUS

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy will discuss recent important events confronting America’s religious communities. He’ll speak with a Princeton University History Professor whose new book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America, details the forging of an alliance between the Christian Right and corporate America. Later, we’ll talk to Rev. Harry Knox about his latest work to mobilize religious leaders to reform the Helms Amendment. And finally, Welton will share his own thoughts on the Supreme Court’s recent latest ruling on religious freedom and why it’s different (and better) than Hobby Lobby.

Where America’s Religiosity Began, and How it’s Changing Now
A recent poll from Pew confirms the growing number of Americans that now consider themselves to be religiously-unaffiliated. While many register surprise with America’s declining religiosity, few understand where that religiosity really began. Joining Welton this week will be Dr. Kevin Kruse, author of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. Welton and Kevin, a Professor of History at Princeton University and member of the Executive Committee of the Center for the Study of Religion, will discuss the “consecration” of President Eisenhower, the big business motivations behind rebranding America as a “Christian Nation,” and how their campaign’s success continues to affect our culture and politics to this day.

The Helms Amendment and Religious Ideology in U.S. Foreign Policy
Next, Rev. Harry Knox, President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice will join Welton in the studio to talk about the widely misused Helms Amendment. Created in the wake of the Roe v. Wade decision, this law blocks U.S. funds from supporting pregnancy termination as a form of family planning. Because it’s been applied way beyond its original scope, as Rev. Knox and the religious leaders he’s mobilizing point out, this stops the U.S. from helping ISIS’s and Boko Haram’s victims of rape and abuse. Tune in to hear what these religious and secular leaders are doing to change this policy.

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch: How Religious Freedom Complementing Civil Rights in a Way Hobby Lobby II Did Not
On Monday, the Supreme Court released their decision in the religious freedom case, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch. Many had feared a repeat of last year’s disastrous decision in Hobby Lobby, but the ruling – which defended the right of a Muslim woman to wear a hijab on the job – was remarkably positive. Welton ends our show this week by sharing his thoughts on what the Court got right about religious freedom this year, and what they missed last time around.

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