September 15, 2012

This weekend, tune in to Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast State of Belief to learn about the less-discussed aspects of Mormonism in the presidential election; to find out what one coalition is doing to remind everyone we’re voting for commander-in-chief, not preacher-in-chief; and to get an updated look at the state of marriage equality. Finally, in light of recent tragic events overseas, we have a special word from Welton in response to the violence and religious intolerance.

Book of Mormon Candidate
While we always applaud the disentanglement of religion and politics, sometimes we do need to step back and look at the broader role religion plays in our public life. And the nomination of Mitt Romney is historic in terms of his religious background. How is he treating it in his campaign? And how is the Church of Latter-day Saints handling the spotlight? Joining Welton this week is Joanna Brooks, Religion Dispatches senior correspondent and author of Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith, to talk about some of these less-discussed aspects of Mormonism as they relate to Romney’s presidential bid.

Secular Americans and Political Rhetoric Steeped in Faith
There was a lot of rhetoric at and around both political conventions that was steeped in the language of faith. So what about the large number of Americans for who religious faith is not a factor? Or the much larger number of Americans with religious convictions, but who are sick of substantive issues being hijacked by religious rhetoric? Welton talks to Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition of America, to find out what the coalition is doing to remind both the campaigns and voters that this November we’re heading to the polls to elect the President of the United States – not the a preacher-in-chief. Click here for extended interview video and transcript.

The State of Marriage Equality
Last year, we had the pleasure of meeting Cathy Marino-Thomas, then head of Marriage Equality New York, in the midst of the final hours before the state’s legislature ultimately passed its marriage equality law. Since then, Maryland’s governor signed a similar law, and several other states have made progress on the issue. And this November, some voters will be called upon to cast a ballot potentially restricting the rights of their fellow Americans. Also since the last time we talked to Ms. Marino-Thomas, she moved up in the world to become the co-president of Marriage Equality USA. She’s on State of Belief this week to give us an update on marriage equality.  Click here for extended interview and transcript.

Word from Welton: Religion Never Trades in Violence and Hate
This week, we were rapt in shock as we learned of the violent riots in the Middle East and northern Africa, and of the deaths of four American diplomats. On Wednesday, Welton stood alongside Imam Mohamed Magid of the Islamic Society of North America, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, and other religious leaders to mourn the victims, condemn the violence and the hate that incited it. Listen in to some of what Welton had to say.

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