October 31, 2015 – A Balance Between Religious Liberty and Human Rights

On this episode of State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy takes a closer look at the role that religious liberty – and, too often, religious bigotry – plays in our country today. Marty Rouse of the Human Rights Campaign joins our show this week to discuss the role of HRC in its efforts to combat faith-based bigotry, focusing on an anti-equality campaign currently underway in Houston. Later, Linda K. Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance, will speak about her new book, focusing on a balanced approach to this fraught subject. Finally, we will be joined by Sally Steenland, director of Center for American Progress’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative. Sally will discuss CAP’s new report, which highlights the importance of religious liberty applying to the rights and freedoms of all Americans. Download Icon

Faith-Based Bigotry Arises in Houston to Protest Equal Rights Ordinance
As Houston prepares for a referendum this Tuesday on HERO, right-wing religious leaders have been furiously fighting against it. Business interests are among the voices supporting the ordinance, but its pro-LGBT components have drawn opposition from the right. The largest LGBT rights advocacy organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign, has devoted significant resources to combatting faith-based bigotry, in particular the anti-HERO campaign. Marty Rouse, National Field Director at HRC, joins us to discuss why the work in Houston is so important, and the outreach the organization is making to progressive people of faith. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW AND TRANSCRIPT

New Book Stresses Importance of Fighting Religious Intolerance through Teaching Religion
Linda K. Wertheimer
is a veteran journalist and award winning education writer. She recently published her book, Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance, in which she discusses the importance of teaching religion – amd doing so in a way that doesn’t seek to promote a particular faith or disparage another. Linda will provide us with insightful answers regarding the benefits of religious education in schools. Tune in to hear Linda’s expert perspective on the intersection of religious teachings and education!

New Center for American Progress Report Reponds to “Religious Liberty” Bigotry
Time and time again the religious right promotes blatant violations of constitutional principles and one-sided demands for the right to discriminate – usually against LGBT persons and women. The Center for American Progress recently released a report offering some hopeful strategies to move beyond these intolerant practices. The report, titled Restoring the Balance: A Progressive Vision of Religious Liberty Preserves the Rights and Freedoms of All Americans, addresses recent rhetoric surrounding “religious liberty” in the country, and provides some solutions for moving past such bigotry. Sally Steenland, directior of CAP’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, joins our show to discuss the new report, including some of the recommendations discussed in its pages.

Finally, Welton takes a few minutes to ponder the way our electoral process seems to be drifting further and further away from the long-established, Constitutionally-based commitment to keep religion out of campaign rhetoric. With unexpected faith-based language from front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson joining the predictable Christian pandering from the likes of Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, by the time this is all over, who’s going to be left to swear an oath to our actual Constitution?

Houston’s HERO; Faith Ed; Restoring the Balance by State Of Belief Radio on Mixcloud