Happy New Year! Our promise to you as we start 2018 is that for any stories we know are likely to generate outrage, we’ll work hard to provide action steps for you to respond to the issue at hand. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we will do just that, starting with steps we can take to stem the tide of climate change and how we can help increase inclusion of LGBTQ individuals in communities of faith.

At the beginning of the year, it’s helpful to conduct honest self-examination before setting goals for the year ahead. One longtime progressive Christian leader did just that in a new piece for Religion Dispatches entitled “The Year in Religion: A Ray of Hope Amid the Usual Fecklessness.” The Rev. Peter Laarman, author of the piece and former executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting in Los Angeles, will join host Rev. Welton Gaddy this week for a frank conversation about the state of the progressive religious community.

It seems like it’s now conventional wisdom that people of faith reject climate science. However, like so many other generalizations, that’s far from the truth. A leading faith voice working hard to reverse the effects of climate change is Young Evangelicals for Climate Change. National Organizer and Spokesperson Kyle Meyaard-Schaap will speak with Welton this week to talk about the work of Young Evangelicals for Climate Change and how listeners can support them.

Investigative journalist and award-winning filmmaker Greg Palast will be on State of Belief to talk about the state of voting before people head to the polls this year. He’s taken a meticulous look at voter suppression in the country – efforts that have almost exclusively disenfranchised voters who are most likely to vote for Democrats. He will share what he found with Welton and provide a look ahead to this year’s midterm elections.

Anti-gay bigotry has grown into a major industry and export in our country. The oft-repeated justification for discriminatory choices is that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. The reality is, however, the word “homosexuality” didn’t appear in English in the Bible until about 70 years ago. Kathy Baldock, researcher and self-identified evangelical Christian, will join Welton to take a look at this minor – but profoundly impactful – truth about the Bible, and her ministry of reconciliation at CanyonwalkerConnections.com

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