November 24, 2012

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All of us here at State of Belief wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! This weekend, we’ve put together a special edition of Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast. We’ve covered a lot this year – from our trip to the Democratic convention in North Carolina, to discussions about the use of religion in the election, to major milestones in LGBT rights to stories of interfaith cooperation. We are thankful for each of our guests this year and want to celebrate the holiday by sharing some of our favorite interviews.

We revisit a conversation with Karen Armstrong, a brilliant thinker and prolific writer who ably explores the ways she believes both some Atheists and Fundamentalists got off track in how they interpret and implement religious concepts.

You’ll also hear a brief excerpt of an interview with the Rev. Sarah Clarke, pastor of First Parish Church in Plymouth, MA, a Unitarian Universalist congregation which is also the first Pilgrim congregation.

Two radically different takes on contemporary trends in American Christianity come from Dr. Diana Butler Bass, author of “Religion After Christianity,” and New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who’s book is “Bad Religion.” After a public dialogue in print regarding their divergent viewpoints, they met for the first time in our studios and these excerpts underscore the importance of thinking people of different opinions taking the time to thoughtfully listen to each other.

And a replay of a conversation with Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former editor of Newsweek Magazine, on the conclusions reached in his book “American Gospel.”

We also want to say thank you! Thank you for listening and for supporting us this year. At the end of the year, Welton will take one show to focus on listener questions and comments. So between the football games and feasting this weekend, visit our Facebook page and share with us a question you’d like to have answered or a comment you’d like addressed. Better still, call our toll-free listener line, 800-856-0277.

This year, Interfaith Alliance celebrated 15 years of Welton Gaddy’s leadership by awarding him the Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award at the Alliance’s annual gala in New York City. The President’s Award for Defending Democracy and Freedom went to Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith in America, an organization that addresses religion-based bigotry, and co-founder of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Be sure to check out pictures and videos from the event!