In 2020

It’s been quite a busy week at the intersection of religion, government and politics. President Trump kicked off last weekend by claiming that former Vice President Joe Biden – a lifelong Catholic – is “against God.” Jerry Falwell Jr., head of Liberty University and a superstar of the political Religious Right, was placed on an indefinite leave of absence by the college’s Board. And Biden finally announced his long-awaited choice for a running mate: Sen. Kamala Harris (a one-person Interfaith Alliance in her own right.) This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, will discuss the notable week behind us, and the work that our guests are doing to protect religious freedom for all.

Italy was one of the first countries to feel the brutal impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, the country is doing significantly better, and thousands are turning out next week to take part in trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Elisa DiBenedetto, co-managing director of the International Association of Religion Journalists, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to give an update on the state of the crisis and its impact on journalists’ work.

Interfaith Alliance has long worked to protect employees’ ability to make healthcare decisions that align with their values, not their employer’s. Welton will sit down with Nadiah Mohajir — executive director of HEART and recent author of Muslims Have a Right to Contraception. Why Can Evangelical Bosses Take That Away — to discuss the religious liberty angle on sectarian dominance of secular matters, the organization’s work ensuring Muslims have the resources, language, and choice to nurture sexual health and confront sexual violence.

A few years back, Pastor Brandan Robertson joined the show to talk about how pressure from the Christian far right caused a leading American religious publisher to drop his book Nomad: A Spirituality for Traveling Light. The book was published in the United Kingdom instead, an received an enthusiastic reception. This week, the book is finally beving published in the US for the first time, and Brandan will join Welton to talk about this turn of events – and how the experience informs his ministry to LGBTQI+ people of faith.

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