This weekend, tune in to Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast State of Belief to learn about the rise of the “nones;” to reflect on the legacy of the “Good Pope” and Vatican II; and to hear a discussion about the role religion at Thursday’s vice presidential debate.

“Nones” on the Rise
This week, you may have seen the headlines declaring the decline of Protestantism and the rise of “nones” – or religiously unaffiliated Americans. A new study released recently from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, “‘Nones’ on the Rise,” finds that more Americans than ever do not profess allegiance to any particular religious tradition. Considering the level of religious rhetoric that’s permeated our political discourse this year, these findings are particularly significant in the midst of the final days of the 2012 elections. Welton speaks this week with Dr. Cary Funk, senior researcher at the Pew Forum, about this trend and what it means for our politics – and for the separation of religion and government. Click here for extended interview video and transcript.

The Good Pope: The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church
Fifty years ago, one man led the charge to evaluate the Catholic Church’s role in the world – but he wasn’t a revolutionary bent on dissent and schism. He was the Pope. Known by many as the “Good Pope,” John XXIII – and the Vatican Council he convened in 1962 – dramatically changed the Church. Now, a new book provides a sweeping historical overview of Vatican II, of the Pope who convened it, and its impact over the past half century. Its author, Greg Tobin, joins us this week to talk about Vatican II and his book, The Good Pope: The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church.

Religion at the Vice Presidential Debate
On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Congressman Paul Ryan made history as for the first time, two Roman Catholic candidates faced off in a vice presidential debate. Toward the end of the night, the candidates were asked about the issue of religion. So, this week, Greg Label, assistant professor of political management at George Washington University and veteran of several presidential campaigns, joins Welton to talk about what we heard, despite the limited frame of abortion rights, and about how faith informs VP Biden’s and Rep. Ryan’s politics.

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