This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy brings you up to speed just in time for this week’s midterm elections. We’ll check in with Greg Lebel about some of the hottest issues and most exciting races of the season, and journalist Greg Palast shares a major scoop on voter ID and voter disenfranchisement. But American voters aren’t the only ones with big decisions ahead of them: we’ll also hear from Brandan Robertson about his work to build Evangelical support for civil marriage equality at the Southern Baptist Convention. And Welton will reflect on attending the signing of the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which celebrated its fifth birthday this week. Download Icon

Countdown to Election Day
Though the campaign may seem never-ending, Election Day 2014 is just days away – and what a long, strange trip it’s been. The last weeks of the campaign have seen Ebola and ISIS become center points of our political debate, Democratic have run as far from their party’s leader as possible, and Republicans have struggled to articulate an overarching message. To help us parse these developments Welton invites back a regular guest, Professor Greg Lebel, a veteran of electoral politics and now a professor of Political Management at George Washington University. Don’t miss Greg’s favorite moments of this campaign, his suggestions of what races to watch and his predictions of what might happen on Tuesday

Who Gets to Vote This Week?

While many of us look toward the election with excitement (or dread) as we guess about who will win and who will lose, for many others there is a far more basic question – will they be allowed to vote? Despite a trivial number of voting fraud cases, the last few years have seen a proliferation of voter ID laws making it more difficult to vote across the country. This week, investigative journalist and New York Times best-selling author Greg Palast discusses his recent report for Al Jazeera America diving into to this critical issue. Tune in to hear the dire political and racial implications for our democracy if this trend is allowed to continue. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT

Is the Southern Baptist Convention Ready for Civil Marriage Equality?The last few months have seen marriage equality spread across the country at an almost dizzying pace, but are traditionally conservative religious groups ready to accept it? That is the question being asked by Brandan Robertson, the founder of the Revangelical Movement and the spokesperson for Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Brandan has just returned from a Southern Baptist Convention conference in Nashville where he presented a petition to the SBC leadership signed by over 1,000 Evangelical Christians urging a change in their position on civil marriage equality. He’ll tell Welton how that meeting went and if he expects change from the Southern Baptists anytime soon.

Reflecting on the 5th Anniversary of the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Five years ago this past week, Welton was in the room with Judy Shepard and other advocates as President Obama signed the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Although this kind of legislation seems to always get politicized by those who find reasons to oppose it, we don’t see supporters hail such achievements in political campaigns. But that in no way lessens the importance of the steps we continue to take towards justice and liberty for all.

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