State of Belief - September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

Labor Day and Looking Back

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy sits down with several special guests to talk about the role of faith in political and public life. We’ll hear from Interfaith Alliance Executive Director Rabbi Jack Moline about the potential dangers of mixing government and religion for political benefit. On a warmer note, a Rabbi and former President Carter staffer shares how 39’s faith helped – and continues to help – him through troubles and tough times. Finally, in the spirit of the holiday (and time off work!) we’ll hear two excerpts from Labor Day broadcasts of years past, and spend some time reflecting on how the world has changed – or not– in the years since those segments first aired.

The Religiosity of Politics and the Politicization of Religion
At the end of September, Pope Francis will travel to the United States, a trip that features a stop in Washington, D.C. where he will address a joint meeting of Congress. And the conference put on by ACT for America, the notoriously anti-Muslim organization, will feature the participation of at least 14 members of the House of Representatives. This week, Rabbi Jack Moline, Executive Director of the Interfaith Alliance, joins us on the program to talk about the bad things that can happen when religion and politics are used in the service of one another.

The (Podcast) Ghosts of Labor Days Past
As this weekend marks both Labor Day and another week counting down to State of Belief’s tenth anniversary, we’ll look back at what we were talking about on Labor Days past. First, we’ll revisit September 2007, when Welton spoke to Mary Kay Henry of the Service Employees International Union about the urgency of expanding workers’ access to health care. There was a presidential candidate running on a promise of universal health care that year: Barack Obama. Then, we’ll listen to a piece of a September 2009 conversation between Welton and Prof. Bethany Moreton, author of the book To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise, on the confluence of Evangelical Christianity and free market capitalism.

The Passion and Faith of President Carter
The world was shocked last month when President Jimmy Carter stepped up to the microphone and calmly explained his cancer diagnosis. In the years since he left office, President Carter has worked tirelessly for change in the world, and his dedication to justice and peace has made him seem ageless. Welton is joined this week by Rabbi Gordon Tucker, who served as a White House Fellow during the Carter Administration, where he was able to see firsthand the forces the president called upon during times of trouble. Rabbi Tucker offers listeners a powerful, intimate look into President Carter, and on what we can learn about life and its challenges from the way he brings faith into play in his own life.

Intersection Awards: September 2015
This week, we’re excited to announce another edition of the Intersection Awards, where the Interfaith Alliance risks life and limb at the intersection of religion, government and politics to flash a green, yellow or red light at some of the latest near-misses and collisions at this always-busy, always-dangerous crossroads. This week? The new “hero” of the anti-gay movement, Kim Davis, the lack of international action to help the thousands of refugees worldwide, and the notorious “Alliance Defending Freedom,” a giant nonprofit legal outfit that looks to inject itself to seemingly every mean-spirited culture war on offer.

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