The American tradition of how to decide who to vote for has rapidly become something between online dating and a professional wrestling match, but what if there was a better way? We explore one approach this week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, with the organizer of a new initiative called Meditate the Vote. Our host, Rev. Welton Gaddy, will also sit down with an expert from the Center for American Progress to talk about some sneaky anti-LGBT legislation snuck into a major defense bill. And we’ll check in with Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative about their new report on Islamophobia and the election.

What’s Hiding in That Must-Pass Defense Bill This Time?
It’s a trick as old as democracy, sneaking an almost entirely unrelated provision into a massive, important piece of legislation. Sometimes it helps us, sometimes it doesn’t – and this year it really it hurts. Sarah McBride, Campaigns and Communications Manager for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, joins us to discuss a provision that would undo years of work to bar discrimination by federal contractors recently forced into the National Defense Authorization Act in the name of “religious freedom.”

When Islamophobia Turns Violent: the 2016 Presidential Elections
“When Islamophobia Turns Violent.” Just let that phrase sink in for a moment. This is the 2016 election; this is the world we’re living in. The new report from Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative bearing that title details the shocking impact that current political rhetoric has had on the lives of Muslims – and those perceived to be Muslim – across the country. Welton will speak with Engy Abdelkader, assistant director of the Bridge Initiative, about their frightening findings.

Meditate The Vote!
More than perhaps ever before our campaign season has devolved into a rambunctious back and forth of shouting, insults, and even violence. But some have a different idea, an idea too radical not too be taken seriously. Sister Jenna is one of the initiators of Meditate the Vote — a call for a more reflective approach to this year’s election. Tune in to learn more about this election season’s most innovative use of religion on the campaign trail.

On Politics, Parties and Patriotism
Welton will wrap up the show with a few thoughts about some ways he feels this year’s election cycle is different from all of the previous ones – and the price that we are all in danger of paying for the prioritization of politics and party over patriotism that he sees playing out in our electoral rhetoric.

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