This weekend on State of Belief Radio, a look at the Supreme Court’s hearing of a major public prayer case, the premise and promise of progressive religion in the world today, and a Catholic survey that promises to get your answers directly to Pope Francis. Download Icon

Public prayer finds its way to the Supreme Court
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in what could be an important case in the area of Church-State separation, ignited by a challenge to one New York town’s relentlessly sectarian opening prayer at public meetings. The case is Town of Greece v. Galloway, with the Alliance Defending Freedom representing the suburban upstate community in an appeal to a lower court ruling. The plaintiffs are represented by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Interfaith Alliance Deputy Director for Public Policy Arielle Gingold was in the courtroom, and gives us her insights on why this case is important to those concerned with religious freedoms.

The state of the progressive faith-based movement
This past summer, Auburn Theological Seminary spearheaded a summit of progressive faith leaders in Tennessee – and sparked an intense analysis of what’s next for the religious progressive movement. Welton talks with the Rev. Dr. Katherine Henderson, president of the seminary, based in New York City, a profoundly influential center for faith-based leadership, activism and innovative ministry. Henderson will discuss this growing field, the importance of theological education in social justice, and the challenges faced by the movement. We’ll also learn what she’d tell those who challenge progressive faith-based movements.

The Catholic Church and member engagement
This week, Religion News Service reported on one very practical response to Pope Francis’ call for a deeper engagement with the members of the Church he leads. The organization “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” has posted an online narrative survey soliciting responses on key issues for the Catholic Church, with the promise that responses will be forwarded both to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and to the Vatican itself. In the very first few days, the response has been substantial. Christopher Hale, a Senior Fellow at CACG, will join us with some of the responses so far.

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