September 13, 2014 – The Nuns on the Bus Ride Again!

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy has a jam-packed show full of the most exciting stories on religion and politics out there today. As we commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, we’ll hear from Rev. Myrna Bethke of Septermber 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Welton will sit down with the American Humanist Association’s Roy Speckhardt to address religious freedom in the military, and with attorney John Pomeranz to discuss the legal issues around religious community engagement in the upcoming elections. Finally, we’ll give Sister Simone Campbell of the Network Lobby a proper State of Belief send-off as she begins the third “Nuns on the Bus” tour. Download Icon

9/11Families and the Search for Peaceful Tomorrows
This past week marked the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that transformed the landscape of American religious and political life. Too often the memory of this tragedy has been used to fuel fear and hate, but one group of families who lost loved ones that day are working tirelessly to change that. This week Welton is joined by the Rev. Myrna Bethke, a United Methodist pastor, and a member of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. The group is buying ads in New York City public transit, challenging islamophobia and spreading a message of hope, not hate.

When The Oath of Duty is Only for Some
Interfaith Alliance has worked for years on issues around who is and is not allowed to serve openly in the US Armed Forces. So naturally we were alarmed to learn that recently a US Air Force service-member was denied re-enlistment because, as an Atheist, he would not swear an oath to God – a new requirement. Welton will sit down with the executive director of the American Humanist Association, Roy Speckhardt, which has pledged to help change this Air Force policy.

An Attorney’s Eye on Religion in the Elections
As midterm election campaigns pick up speed this fall, Interfaith Alliance has updated its election guides to help candidates and houses of worship navigate the tricky relationship between religion and electoral politics. Whenever we have a question on this subject there’s no better person to turn to than attorney John Pomerantz, who helps us put our guides together. This weekJohn and Welton will discuss the lines of politics and religion, and how voters can get involved when they see lines being crossed. Listen to some words of wisdom from a nationally recognized election law attorney in preparation for this upcoming November 4!

The Nuns are Getting Back on the Bus
NETWORK Lobby
recently announced that the third Nuns on a Bus tour will head out from Des Moines, Iowa on September 17th. The tour will make stops in ten different states, and ends on October 20th in Denver. Welton invited the Executive Director of NETWORK and the original “Nun on the Bus” Sister Simone Campbell back onto the show to share her thoughts on voter input and the theme for this year’s tour: “We the People.” Tune in to hear why she chose to focus this year on voter engagement, and why she knew the bus was the best way to do it. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW AND TRANSCRIPT