Happy New Year! As we try to start anew with a clean slate and the potential that 2022 brings, State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio program and podcast, will take one more look back at the year just ended.
Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, talks with Religion Dispatches National Reporter Jack Jenkins about the top news stories of 2021 – as well as the themes that Jack expects will help drive religion journalism in the months ahead.
We also revisit some of our favorite conversations from our program in this past year. Sister Luisa Derouen, a Dominican Sister of Peace, discussed what she’s learned from ministering to the transgender community nationally for over 22 years. She talked about the ways that faith communities have too often failed to recognize the pain they’ve caused members of the LGBTQI+ community, and how people can move closer to God by recognizing the lived experiences of those who have been forced to the margins of our society.
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum has been leading Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City since its founding in 1992. Recognized as the largest LGBTQI+ synagogue in the world, CBST offers education and leadership on many essential issues facing today’s world. It’s no surprise that Rabbi Kleinbaum has been doing the same for decades – and has just been selected by President Joe Biden to rejoin the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. She joined Welton to discuss her critical work at the intersection of several communities often targeted on religious grounds.
Though the struggle for racial justice has always been a critical part of our country’s movement toward a more perfect nation, last year brought a national reckoning with the systemic racism that permeates so many of our systems. Dr. E. Ethelbert Miller, a literary activist and poet, was with us for an honest discussion on race, religion, and privilege in the United States… as well as the role religion has played in these dynamics.