In 2014

This weekend on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, hear about the new life of progressive activism led by one of the sons of Fred Phelps – the recently deceased leader of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Also, we see what new surveys can tell us about changing public opinion on important social topics, and what the agenda of the radical Texas GOP may bring to the national political scene. Finally, it wouldn’t be right if Welton didn’t mention something about Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat this week – and he’s got a lot to say about David Brat’s claims of divine providence. Download Icon

From Fearful Follower to Pro-LGBT Leader: Nate Phelps Talks Westboro Baptist Church
Despite the transition following the passing of its leader, Fred Phelps, Sr., the Westboro Baptist Church has continued to demonstrate that its propensity for offensive and hateful protests at funerals and other culturally sensitive events will continue. Today, Welton will look at the future of this notorious organization with Nate Phelps, Phelps’ son and subject of the Kickstarter-funded documentary, “Not My Father’s Son: One Man’s Journey From Hate to Hope.” Nate will talk about the years of struggle he had with his faith and his family, and his transition from a Westboro member to a public speaker on issues of child abuse and LGBT rights.

Surveying Public Opinion: America’s Views on Immigration and Religious Liberty
State of Belief is excited to welcome back the founding CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, Dr. Robert P. Jones. In the past couple of weeks, PRRI has released two major studies of American beliefs and attitudes toward immigration and religious liberty in the United States. Find out what opponents of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and fans of allowing businesses to discriminate on “religious” grounds have in common (hint: it’s not majority status!)

The Texas State GOP: Ex-Gay is A-OK!
Peter Montgomery
, a Senior Fellow at People for the American Way and associate editor at Religion Dispatches, returns to the program to speak to Welton about the radically anti-gay platform approved at the Texas GOP’s annual convention endorsing discredited “ex-gay therapy.” Is the state party pandering to the Religious Right? Been taken over by the Religious Right? And how broadly will the Texas agenda pervade the national platform come November?

Brat v. Cantor: Why Victorious Claims of Divine Providence are Just Wrong
Welton asks, “What does God have against Eric Cantor?” In the wake of Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat in his Republican primary this week, the victorious David Brat was quick to cite God as the cause of the “miracle of his unexpected election.” If a Higher Power chose Brat, then that would mean Cantor was rejected by the same deity. Shouldn’t voters, issues and preferences get at least some of the credit?


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