State of Belief - Oct 3rd - 2015

October 3, 2015

Electoral Politics in IOWA!

On this episode of State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy takes a closer look at electoral politics through the lens of the upcoming caucuses in Iowa, focusing on how local organizations are attempting to prepare for them. Donna Red Wing, executive director of OneIowa, the state’s leading LGBT organization, joins us to address her advocacy work in Iowa in the context of the caucuses, as well as her recent meeting with President Obama. Later, Rabbi and author Jay Michaelson will speak about his brand new book The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path, and will offer some advice regarding living a better life. And, finally, we’ll take a look back in our archives and listen to part of Welton’s 2007 interview with the late Senator Edward Kennedy, followed by a conversation with Judy Shephard, mother of Matthew Shephard, who appeared on the show just weeks before the passage of the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a historic piece of legislation that Senator Kennedy advocated for before his death.

Iowa Caucuses Enter the National Spotlight
The Iowa Caucuses are just months away, and are the first real- life test for presidential candidates as they prepare for the general election later in 2016. Traditionally, Iowa gets a significant amount of national media attention around the time of the caucus, accompanied by visits from the candidates themselves. OneIowa, the state’s leading LGBT organization, takes advantage of this spotlight every year to promote its advocacy work. Executive director Donna Red Wing has been closely following these electoral politics as the Iowa caucuses near, and recently met with President Obama. Donna joins our show to discuss the importance of her work in Iowa, and the nature of Iowa voters.

Rabbi Jay Michaelson’s new book offers a fresh perspective on spirituality and happiness
The work of Rabbi Jay Michaelson has been discussed a number of times on State of Belief. Fortunately for us, Jay has been willing to unveil a number of books from his diverse body of work on our show, and has an exciting new perspective to share in his latest work The Gate of Tears: Sadness and the Spiritual Path, which has been called, “A Stunning antidote to the plethora of ‘get happy’ guides.” Today on the show Jay will discuss his new book, and will offer his thoughts on the relationship between happiness and spirituality in our everyday lives. Tune in to hear Jay’s enlightening perspective on these topics!

A Look Back: An Interview with Senator Ted Kennedy
As we get closer to the 10th anniversary of State of Belief, we are revisiting some of our favorite interviews. This week, we rewind to a powerful interview with the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.  In the beginning of October 2007, the Senator appeared on this program as part of his long-term advocacy for a federal hate crimes law. It was less than a year later that Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor.

Senator Kennedy was a tireless fighter for a federal Hate Crimes Act. The final time that he was able to sponsor this legislation in 2009, he lived to see its passage in the Senate – but passed away before President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law on October 25, 2009. Just weeks before that historic moment, Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard was on State of Belief, and you’ll hear part of that October 3, 2009 conversation.

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