November 28, 2015 – Reflection and Gratitude

For people across the country, this week is a time of reflection and gratitude. Well it’s a week of thanksgiving for us here at State of Belief as well as Rev. Gaddy takes a moment in the sun in Pensicola, Florida to reflect on our nearly ten years together. This show wouldn’t be possible without your generous support of both State of Belief and our parent organization Interfaith Alliance. As we look back this week on the some of our fondest memories, interviews with those accomplished individuals who Interfaith Alliance honored with our Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award, we hope that you’ll recognize the important work we’ve done together. While you listen to the thoughts of awardees including Rachel Maddow, Mitchell Gold, Jon Meacham and the late Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to help us sustain our efforts to protect faith and freedom. Download Icon

Religious Leaders at the Forefront of Cooperation and Change
One of the most important aspects of the U.S.’s promise of religious freedom is the ability for faiths to grow, change, and work together freely. It is one of the reasons that a diversity of religions has flourished here in a way paralleled by almost no place else. Several of our Cronkite winners have been religious leaders who push the envelope within their own religious traditions and help build bridges between different faiths at the same time. Tune in to here stories from Rabbi Irwin Kula of CLAL: the Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership and Asra Nomani, an outspoken Muslim feminist and interfaith activist. The work of these innovative and brave leaders continues to be an inspiration as we look back on their stories.

Making LGBT Equality A Religious Freedom Cause
Over the years it has become obvious to us at Interfaith Alliance that securing equality for LGBT Americans, protecting their rights from religious bigotry, was vital to religious freedom in America. Mitch Gold is the head of the furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and a longtime activist for pursuing LGBT equality in the face of conservative religious naysyaers. Mitchell was a 2012 Cronkite Award winner and an early participant in Interfaith Alliance’s Everyone Only campaign following anti-gay legislation in Indiana last year.

Walter Cronkite’s Legacy in Journalism
While for us Walter Cronkite is remembered as a champion of religious freedom, most Americans know him as the “most trusted man in America” and a paragon of television news. And, of course, a thoughtful, respectful media is paramount to protecting religious freedom in this country. Many of our Cronkite Award winners – including Rachel Maddow, Sally Quinn, and John Meacham – have been journalists who seek to further Walter Cronkite’s profound legacy. Don’t miss this chance to hear from these top-notch journalists why religious freedom and the work of Interfaith Alliance matters to them.

Some Dear Friends
There are also those Cronkite Award winners who are remembered, no less for their activism and impact in defending our Constitiution, but because they grew to be dear friends of Welton’s and important allies for Interfaith Alliance. Few personal stories are as inspiring as Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, a woman ordained at age 50 who would become General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and one of Interfaith Alliance’s key founders. And the late Rev. Dr. Jane Holmes Dixon, the former Episcopal Bishop of Washington, who was a fighter for the inherent worth and dignity of every person throughout her entire life. These individuals gave so much to Interfaith Alliance over the years and now we need you to help build on the foundation they laid.