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    On this week’s State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we’ll revisit some of our favorite interviews that still hold great relevance today.

    It was exactly 50 years ago that Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical titled, Humanae Vitae, Latin for “Of Human Life.” In the intervening decades, the understanding it promulgated has been adopted by conservative Protestant denominations, and come to define “morality” in the culture wars. So how did the Church come to have such an enormous influence on our national discourse? We will take a trip back to 2014 when State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy sat down with journalist Patricia Miller. At the time, her book Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church, had just been released.

    The Westboro Baptist Church is infamous in the United States for their intense homophobia and their protests at funerals of American soldiers with signs claiming God willed their deaths because of anger with modern society. There have been few defectors from the small, insular group. But what happened when the adult son of late founder Fred Phelps chose to leave and publicly refute and confront his own family’s message? Revisiting Welton’s 2014 conversation with Nate Phelps, we’ll hear Nate’s experience distancing himself from the group and how he ended up becoming an outspoken LGBTQ rights advocate.

    The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court this month caused increased attention to what happens when courts and faith collide. So, it’s fitting to listen again to Welton’s 2008 interview with Karl Giberson, author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. We’ll hear Welton and Karl discuss the case of a Tennessee high school teacher who was found guilty in 1925 for teaching evolution. The trial became known as the Scopes Monkey Trial and is a defining moment in American political and religious history – a moment that gives us insights for navigating current events.

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