In 2012

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about what political and religious leaders are doing wrong as they infuse religion into the 2012 campaign. But tune in this weekend to Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast State of Belief to hear about some of the people of faith who are starting to object to this politicization of their faith tradition.

“A Generation in Transition”
The 2012 general election is just getting started, and already the questions have begun: will the youth vote turn out in 2012? Who is the 2012 youth vote? What do they believe? This week we’re joined by Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute, fresh off the release of a new national survey of 18-to-24-year-old Americans conducted with Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs: A Generation in Transition: Religion, Values and Politics among College-age Millennials. You don’t want to miss his insights into the striking views and opinions college-age Millennials hold about organized religion – particularly modern-day Christianity. Several of those views are perhaps a sign that the of some denominations’ relentless focus on social issues are turning off a large percentage of the next generation of believers. Click here for the extended interview and transcript.

God, Politics and the First Amendment
“Despite or perhaps even because of, the prohibition of an officially established church in the United States, religion has always been a factor in American politics,” writes Dr. Dennis J. Goldford, who joins us this week, at the beginning of his new book: The Constitution of Religious Freedom: God, Politics, and the First Amendment. Goldford, a politics professor at Drake University in Iowa, talks to Welton about the different impacts of personal expressions of faith and organized religion on our politics as well as today’s de facto religious test that inevitably creeps into and influences our elections.

Bishop Backlash
There’s been a flurry of American Catholic bishops who, perhaps emboldened by the media attention to their claims of violations of religious liberty, seem to be getting ever-louder in injecting themselves into partisan politics. But, at the same time, it seems a growing number of Catholics in the pews who think the bishops are going too far. Entire congregations are beginning to push back against being treated as pawns in a political chess match. Peter Montgomery, Religion Dispatches Associate Editor and Senior Fellow at People for the American Way, joins us this week to talk about the bishop backlash and how some clergy and lay people are starting to say: “enough is enough” to this politicization of their faith tradition. Click here for the extended interview, video, and transcript.

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