All of us here at State of Belief extend our sincere condolences to the families shattered by the latest in the seemingly endless series of mass shootings. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we will hear a special word from Welton about the horrific plague of gun violence in America. We’ll also discuss the growing number of white supremacists running for office in the United States.

Religious leaders of all stripes have spent a great deal of time fretting about the rise of the “nones” – a growing group of religiously unaffiliated individuals that includes both Atheists and the spiritual-but-not-religious crowd. A new Barna Group study, Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z, however, found a significant spike among Americans born between 1999 and 2015. Brooke Hempbell, senior vice president of research at Barna, will join State of Belief host Rev Welton C. Gaddy this week to share what they found and explain why they’re calling this the “first post-Christian generation.”

Last week, we talked about Illinois congressional candidate and neo-Nazi Arthur Jones. Sadly, he’s not the only overt white supremacist running for office this year. Pastor Dan Schultz will talk to Welton this week to break down this phenomenon. Pastor Schultz is the author of the recent Religion Dispatches article:  All of A Sudden, There’s Nazis Everywhere… And They Only Seem to Associate with One Party.

Illinois isn’t the only place running questionable candidates. Louisiana also has a particularly colorful history of fringe political candidates, with white supremacist figures, including David Duke, elected to office. Dr. Pearson Cross, professor of Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, will join Welton to take a look back at some of the most controversial fringe candidates for political office.

And finally, a Word from Welton about the critical need to galvanize public outrage around real action on gun violence at a time when we see three of the biggest ten mass shootings in US history having taken place in just the past five months.

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