The government shutdown is dragging on as hundreds of thousands of federal employees are past the first payday of the year without pay. Meanwhile, talks to reopen the government have stalled as the president toys with the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the border wall he wants without congressional approval. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll discuss Trump’s Oval Office address and what’s really going on at the border. We’ll also learn about a movement of “exvangelicals,” and the latest on the Women’s March ahead of its anniversary march on January 19.

President Trump this week used the time-honored tradition of an Oval Office address in an attempt to secure public support for border wall funding. The speech was a major departure from past addresses from the Oval Office on national emergencies such as Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and 9/11. This week, State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. As the leader of the denomination’s Immigration Task Force, Bishop Carcaño will share her invaluable insights about the on-the-ground situation at the United States-Mexico border, and her analysis of the separation between morality, empathy and the Religious Right.

Even as public attention to white evangelicals’ continued support of the president grows, so too does attention to a growing number of former evangelicals leaving the church and turning their backs on what they view as a politicized conservative Christian nationalist movement. Self-professed “exvangelicals” are leading a campaign called #emptythepews, which is encouraging a rejection of politicized, toxic religion. A leader of the movement is Dr. Christopher Stroop, a writer and scholar of religion, politics and the American Christian Right. Chris will join Welton this week to discuss the movement and what it means to be an “exvangelical.”

The 2017 Women’s March made an incredible statement the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Five million people around the world came out in protest of the values espoused by Trump on the campaign trail. Since then, the Women’s March and its organizers have come under criticism on a variety of issues, with some past leaders, partners and participants refusing to take part in the anniversary march later this month. Welton will speak to New York Times journalist Farah Stockman on her recent analysis of the Women’s March, its issues and whether it can move forward inclusively.

We’ll also get a Word from Welton on the Oval Office Address the president delivered on Tuesday.

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