This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy invites Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer to discuss why young Americans and Canadians are trying to join ISIS and the possible connection to the shooting in Ottowa this week. Religion News Service’s Kevin Eckstrom explains what actually happened at the Vatican Synod on the Family, and if secular news media were successful in conveying this information. Also, hear how one gay rights activist is deflating the culture war over marriage equality with kindness, and the work five ordinary people have done to fight extreme poverty and world hunger.
Attacks on the Canadian Parliament
Following the shooting of a soldier at Canada’s National War Memorial and an attempted attack on Parliament, investigators are searching to discover the extent of gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s connections to ISIS and how much religion was a motivating factor. Welton speaks with Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, author of the book “Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence,” about why some young people in North America might seek out ISIS’ radical message.
Majority still rules at the Vatican
The Vatican Synod on the Family sparked worldwide media frenzy – and confusion – the past several weeks. Religion News Service Editor-in-Chief Kevin Eckstrom offers some clarity on what actually happened. Though initial reports praised the Vatican’s openness for its seeming moves toward a greater openness regarding of divorce, homosexuality and family planning, no real change occurred. But while conservative bishops seem to have won a battle, more progressive forces – Pope Francis among them – may have moved closer to winning the war.
A film to end world hunger
“Every three seconds, someone dies from hunger and extreme poverty,” the trailer for Dan Karslake’s film Every Three Seconds reminds viewers. But rather than focus on the negative, Dan’s project celebrates the work five activists have done to improve the livelihoods of people around the world. Welton invites Dan to share their inspirational stories on the show, noting the way ordinary people’s actions have had an extraordinary effect. Listeners can organize their own movie screenings or purchase the film for home viewing.
Also, this week’s tragic shootings of military personnel in Canada. We’ll look at the ongoing misapprorpiation of religion for evil with Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, Professor of Sociology and Director of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and author of the book Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence.
And an inspiring new documentary from the award-winning filmmaker of For the Bible Tells Me So, Dan Karslake. Every Three Seconds gives five inspiring examples of how one ordinary person can literally change the world.
Here’s what’s coming up this weekend on State of Belief Radio –
The ravages of Ebola in Africa and beyond. With congregations inside the most affected areas, the Baptist World Alliance is working to bring aid and support to victims and their families. We’ll talk with the BWA’s Eron Henry.
Also, rewriting textbooks in Texas – an effort that’s likely to reverberate in classrooms throughout the nation – puts an inaccurate emphasis on the role of Christianity in American history and, predictably, attempts to inject controversy into science materials. Idealogical agenda. We’ll hear from Dr. Emile Lester of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.
Meanwhile, October 16th is Spirit Day – an organized effort to stand up to anti-gay bullying in our schools. Ross Murray of GLAAD will tell us why we should all go purple this Thursday.
Also, the anti-gay far-right brings its so-called “pro-family” agenda to the United Nations. Philosopher and writer Austin Dacey has a disturbing report about the “Declaration on the Rights of Children and Their Families.” Dr. Dacey is the author of a Religion Dispatches article on this initiative titled At the UN, Conservative Christian Agenda Cloaked in Human Rights Language.
Meanwhile, a young American Evangelical is helping train fellow Christians to teach acceptance of LGBT persons in their congregations, with a conference next month in Washington, DC. We’ll talk with Reformation Project founder Matthew Vines. Early registration for the Regional Training Conference on November 6-8 closes on October 7th.