In 2014

This week on State of Belief, Welton checks in with three dynamic individuals seeking change in our religious communities. Tune in to hear about these advocates’ inspiring work fighting for inclusivity in the Evangelical community, the rights of atheists and secular Americans, and an end to exportation of American religious-fueled hate to countries in Africa and around the world. Plus, we’ll hear about a new book to help parents talk about Pride celebrations with their kids. Download Icon

God and the Gay Christian: The Coming Evangelical “Reformation”
As polls continue to show growing support for LGBT rights among young Evangelicals in America, many might worry about these younger Christians leaving the church. But some, including author and activist Matthew Vines, have bravely chosen to stay in their communities and work to make them more inclusive. Welton and Matthew will discuss Matthew’s new book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case In Support of Same-Sex Relationships — a book that we now know was almost suppressed by Evangelical pressure on the publishing company. Matthew also will discuss his work with The Reformation Project to nurture this important change in the Evangelical community.




American Culture Warriors in Africa: No Blessing in This Missionary Work
While Matthew Vines works to reshape the Evangelical community following its widespread losses in the so-called “culture wars,” others have set their sights on perpetuating a radical religious agenda abroad. The Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma joins Welton this week to talk about his new book, American Culture Warriors in Africa: A Guide to the Exporters of Homophobia and Sexism. An Anglican priest from Zambia, Rev. Kaoma knows firsthand the truly horrific effects that the Religious Right’s activism has had on LGBT people and women in countries around the world.

Atheism, Humanism and Freethought: The Case for Being Openly Secular
Many listeners will remember the inspiring words of Todd Stiefel, the founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation,who has joined Welton before to talk about the work his organization does to advocate for the rights of atheists, humanists and the secular. This week, Welton invites Todd back to share his latest project called “Openly Secular,” a coalition geared toward encouraging people to ‘come out’ publicly as non-religious. Todd’s recently been quoted in the press reacting to a new Pew poll showing continued voter mistrust for Atheist political candidates – and characteristically, he’s found a silver lining for this cloud.

This Day in June: Pride Month Through the Eyes of a Child
Finally, Welton sits down with Dr. Gayle E. Pitman whose children’s book, This Day in June, was recently published by Magination Press from the American Psychological Association. The book, which comes with a reading guide and a note to parents and caregivers, uses a Pride Parade scene to help teach kids about sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the history of and issues confronting the LGBT community. Welton and Dr. Pitman will talk about the importance of engaging young children on these issues and how Dr. Pitman responds to parents who are uncomfortable with these conversations.

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