In 2021

The first clause in the Bill of Rights explicitly calls for a separation of Church and State – but from leaders on the right, in particular, there has been little effort to uphold this core value. From reproductive rights to equality for the LGBTQIA+ community, the religious values of influential conservatives have played a vital role in the policymaking process. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will hear from reporters covering the intersection of faith and politics on the most important stories of the week.

President Biden is currently at odds with the American Catholic Hierarchy for his refusal to allow the church to influence his stance on public policy on reproductive rights. Last week, a meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops hosted a vote that moved the body closer to urging that Catholic elected leaders like President Joe Biden be denied the Sacrament of the Eucharist. And this in the face of direct Vatican criticism of the action. Father Thomas J. Reese, Jesuit priest, senior analyst at Religion News Service, and author of Inside the Vatican, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss what happened at the meeting.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Fulton v. Philadelphia, which unanimously permitted Catholic Social Services to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ parents based on sectarian religious beliefs – while receiving taxpayer funds – is a major blow to true religious freedom which guarantees all  not only the freedom to practice religion, but freedom from religious discrimination. Dahlia Lithwick, a leading legal commentator, journalist at Slate and host of the Amicus podcast, will join Welton to discuss the ruling and whether this is a watershed SCOTUS moment.

Last week, the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference gathered conservative voters and organizers from across the country to rally around their cause of overturning the Democratic majority in Congress – as well as to broaden the appeal of the political religious right to a more diverse base, and of course prove that Biden was never elected president, because God. Mya Jaradat, religion reporter for Deseret News, will join Welton to offer insights on last week’s conference.

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