In 2013

This week, we get two faith and community leaders’ reactions to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, and hear about a new book which offers a fresh view on the historical realities and the context of the life of Jesus Christ. Download Icon

“Let’s Stand Our Ground”
The jury in George Zimmerman’s murder trial handed down a not-guilty verdict. The case has driven passionate conversations on race relations across the United States. The decision disappointed many and has prompted nationwide protests calling on the president and the Justice Department to take action in reviewing the case. Many faith leaders are leading these protests, including Rev. William Barber, who is the president of the North Carolina NAACP and a leading voice for justice as an organizer of the “Moral Mondays” movement in his state. Rev. Barber joins Welton this week to discuss his reaction to the ruling in the Zimmerman case and his thoughts on the future of race relations in America. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT

“It’s Not the Verdict, It’s Our Values”
As protests continue in many parts of the country in response to the Zimmerman verdict and we hear calls for Justice Department to act, we’re also seeing concerted efforts from many faith leaders to act on the racial disparities unmasked by this case – and the reactions of some Americans to it. On this week’s State of Belief, to talk about how the faith community is responding to the Trayvon Martin case is Pastor Mike McBride, who in the past has spoken movingly about his work in fighting gun violence in this country, especially in hard-hit minority communities. Pastor McBride is the director of the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign, which aims to address the root causes of violence in American cities. He’s also the author of a recent Huffington Post piece on Trayvon Martin and race on America:  “It’s Not the Verdict, It’s Our Values.”

The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Dr. Reza Aslan
is a scholar of religion who was raised Muslim, spent time as an evangelical Christian, and is today once more a follower of Islam. His experiences as both a Christian and a Muslim have given him a rare perspective on religion. He joins Welton on State of Belief this week to discuss his compelling new book, Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth and the lessons we can draw from the historical figure of Jesus, no matter our faith tradition. Dr. Aslan is an internationally acclaimed, best-selling writer, the founder of, an online journal for news about the Middle East and the world, and is a creative writing professor at the University of California, Riverside. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT

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