From the Deep South to Southern Europe, struggles for religious freedom are sending ripples across our communities. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy takes a look at three different conflicts facing religious communities. We’ll hear about Texas Freedom Network’s fight to keep Christian education out of public schools. We’ll check in with our friend Suhag Shukla at the Hindu American Foundation on the latest debate about adding a Hindu monument to the Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State House. And Catherine Orsborne, director of the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, will tell us about how anti-Muslim bigotry stops us from helping those refugees most in need.
What Did you Learn In School Today?
Across the country the Religious Right and their allies in Congress, state legislatures and local school boards, have waged a quiet campaign to bring religious teachings into public schools and to funnel public money to private schools. As they say, everything’s bigger in Texas, including the Religious Right’s agenda. Dan Quinn, communications director at the Texas Freedom Network, will join Welton this week to fill us in on the most recent struggles around religion in school and what the implications are for the rest of the country.
The Very Dire Consequences of Islamophobia
We all know that anti-Muslim bigotry takes a serious toll on our country. We see it in our political debates, in protests against mosques and community centers, and in policing and national security. But have you ever thought about how it changes our debate about refugees and immigration? This week Catherine Orsborn of Shoulder to Shoulder will discuss how anti-Muslim bigotry has stopped the U.S. and countries across Europe from adequately addressing the refugee crisis in Syria, Sudan and across the Middle East.
The Statues and Statutes of Religion Freedom
When we debate religious freedom in America, we usually debate the statues and laws that govern religious practice in our nation. But, increasingly often these days, we’re talking a lot about statues. The Arkansas State Legislature has just mandated a memorial to the Ten Commandments on the capitol grounds. So a group of Hindus petitioned the state to add a Hindu statue to the display, a request that has garnered surprisingly broad interfaith support. Tune in to hear from Suhag Shukla, co-founder and executive director of the Hindu-America Foundation, talk about why the work to make these public displays of religion more inclusive is so important.
Also, remembering civil rights hero, the late Julian Bond. Welton will talk with his longtime friend and fellow activist, the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown, president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP.
Here’s what’s coming up this weekend on State of Belief Radio –
Desperate presidential candidates say the most outrageous things. How does that damage not just politics, but our public discourse in general? We’ll look at new lows in campaign rhetoric with George Washington University’s Greg Lebel.
Also, the delicate balance between long-overdue rights for LGBT Americans and the religious convictions of some of their neighbors. Welton Gaddy will talk with The Atlantic Magazine’s Emma Green. She’s the author of a column headlined Gay Rights May Come at the Cost of Religious Freedom.
And some of the most important issues of our day are inherently political. How can faith leaders responsibly those issues without compromising their integrity? We’ll get insights from Rabbi Jill Jacobs, who recently addressed this important question in The Washington Post titled Should rabbis really be wading into the debate over the Iran deal?