This weekend, tune in to State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, to learn about the importance of President Obama’s inclusive inaugural address; to take a look back at the language of religion at the inauguration; to find out why one influential writer thinks the American non-religious community needs to stop standing on the sidelines; and to hear a special word from Welton as he reflects on his experiences at this week’s festivities.
Historic Inclusion at the Inaugural
This past week, President Barack Obama included the first ever reference to “our gay brothers and sisters” in an Inaugural Address. Joining Welton this week on State of Belief is the Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson to talk about the importance of the President’s inclusive address. In addition to serving as Moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (the largest LGBT organization in the world committed to serving the spiritual needs of LGBT individuals since 1968), Elder Wilson also participated in the Inaugural Prayer Service at Washington National Cathedral.
Religion at the Inauguration
Benedictions, invocations, sermons…the language of faith is central and seemingly inseparable from the peaceful transfer of power every four years in this country. But beyond how Americans of no faith are disaffected by this, the religious language is forced to reflect the political message of those being celebrated (just ask Pastor Louie Giglio). Looking at the challenges posed by religious language in secular ceremonies on the national stage is Religion Dispatches Magazine senior editor Sarah Posner, who has also written insightfully about the controversy around Pastor Louie Giglio.
“The Blessings of Atheism”
In the face of national tragedy, our leaders always proclaim that religious faith alone can help us get through the heartache. But how do you get through a tragedy if you have no religious faith? Nearly every public address by an American leader ends with “God bless America.” But what if those words mean nothing to you? Prominent Atheist writer and thinker Susan Jacoby joins Welton this week on State of Belief to discuss what the non-religious community has to offer in our national dialogue on vital issues – and why the community must stop standing on the sidelines. In addition to serving as the program director of the New York branch of the Center for Inquiry, she’s the author of a recent compelling New York Times column entitled “The Blessings of Atheism” and of the forthcoming book: The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought.
A Word from Welton: Rev. Gaddy Goes the Inaugural
As a part of this week’s show we hear several perspectives on the religious elements of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Welton had the opportunity to attend some of the festivities, and shares his experiences and thoughts about what he saw and heard.