October 6, 2012

This weekend, tune in to Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast State of Belief to hear a recap of how religion was – or wasn’t – a factor in the first Presidential debate; find out why Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammad crossed the road; and learn about the rising tide of restrictions on religion worldwide.

Debating Religion
The next stage in the 2012 race for the White House started Wednesday with the first debate of the season. Both campaigns have been affected by religious rhetoric and there was a lot of speculation ahead of the debate about if and how religion would come up. Reviewing the first debate with Welton – particularly how religion was or wasn’t a factor – is Georgetown University Assistant Professor Jacques Berlinerblau, who is the author of How to Be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom.

Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammad Cross the Road?
When author Brian McLaren’s latest book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammad Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith Word, arrived at our offices, the bloody violence that began in Egypt and Libya on September 11th of this year hadn’t happened yet. But what McLaren writes in his book about interreligious action and cooperation could not be timelier. Listen in this week to find out more about the book and why Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammad crossed the road.

Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion
We’ve repeatedly talked on State of Belief bout the misapplication of the terms “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” to describe an ever-growing list of perceived threats, as defined by conservative Christian leaders, but how is religious freedom really doing? Author of a new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life entitled “Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion,” Dr. Brian Grim joins Welton this week to talk about the trends he found across the globe and the challenges to a number of common assumptions that arose.

This weekend is “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a troubling annual event in which pastors across the country step into the pulpit and advocate for a particular Presidential candidate deliberately violating IRS regulations. Tune back into last week’s segment with Welton and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Executive Director Barry Lynn to learn more.

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