Dec. 14, 2013 – Remembering Nelson Mandela

This weekend on State of Belief, hear the lengths to which some faith leaders are going a year after the tragedy in Newtown to prevent gun violence; learn about a growing grassroots movement giving progressive people of faith a place to find support and community; and explore the legacy – and faith – of Nelson Mandela. Download Icon

Traveling Overseas to Prevent Gun Violence in America
This Saturday, December 14, marks the anniversary of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. For many of us, the sadness has only been deepened since that tragic day by the utter failure of our representatives on Capitol Hill to take any meaningful gun safety action, despite the almost unprecedented level of public support. Faith leaders nationwide have taken leading roles in this movement, which has now gone far beyond our borders. Rabbi Joel Mosbacher of Temple Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mawah, New Jersey, joins Welton on State of Belief this week from Brescia, Italy, where he and other faith leaders from diverse religious backgrounds have traveled to raise awareness about the impact gun manufacturers based in Europe are having on the bloodshed in America’s streets – and our schools.

“The Christian Left”
All too often, members of the mainstream media are guilty of perpetrating the simplistic and inaccurate “religious Right vs. godless Left” model of our society. However, a growing number of communities, both physical and virtual, are challenging this narrative on a grassroots level. Likeminded progressive people of faith are finding original ways to gather around shared values. A particularly active example is “The Christian Left,” represented by a website and busy Facebook page. On this week’s show, Welton talks to Charles Toy, co-founder of the vibrant online community TheChristianLeft.org and Facebook page.

Remembering Nelson Mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s name and his image are iconic for generations of people across the world. It’s hard to deny that there was a deeply spiritual side to the man who spent 27 years in an Apartheid-era prison and taught the world about the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell joins Welton this week on State of Belief to reflect on the Mandela she knew, and the role his faith played in his life. Described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a woman of courage and compassion,” the Rev. Dr. Campbell is a former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches as well as a former executive director of the U.S. office of the World Council of Churches.