In 2012

Find out if the neon lights are always bright on Broadway when religion takes the stage.  Get an insider’s look at the secret love lives of American Muslim Women and discover why one author thinks Rick Santorum may turn out to be a champion for the secular left. And one more thing – you don’t want to miss a special comment from our own Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy about religion on the campaign trail.

Religion on Broadway
We look a lot on State of Belief at the ways religion permeates our politics today, but we also look at how religion influences our culture. The Tony Award-winning musical Book of Mormon has been playing to packed houses since opening night a year ago. But that’s not the only religiously-themed production on Broadway. There are the revivals of Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, the play Leap of Faith, and new musical Sister Act. There are only a limited number of shows on Broadway at any given time, so the number of religiously-themed shows seems noteworthy. Joining us this week to give us a better perspective on religion on Broadway is Robert Viagas, theatre historian, founder of and has 16 books on the performing arts to his name, including The Backstage Guide to Broadway and The Alchemy of Theatre.

The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women
“Everyone has an opinion about Muslim women, even those – especially those – who have never met one. As Muslim women born and raised in America, we’re tired of hearing everyone . . . talk about Muslim women without ever stopping to listen to what we have to say about our lives,” wrote this week’s guest Nura Maznavi in a recent Huffington Post piece. Maznavi is the editor of a new book entitled Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women. She joins us this week to talk about her book and about the diverse lives of American Muslim Women.

Piatt: “Rick Santorum, Champion of the Secular Left”
Many of us have watched the Republican primary campaign unfold with growing concern about the prevalence of religious language in it. And we have worried about the potential permanent damage to the separation of Church and State, as enshrined in our Constitution.  However, author Christian Piatt, who we had a chance to talk to this week, argues that the overabundance of religious rhetoric may actually be good for our democracy in the long run. Be sure to listen in this week to find out why Piatt, editor of Banned Questions about the Bible and Banned Questions about Jesus, thinks Rick Santorum may turn out to be a champion of the secular left.

A New Religious Test
Our own Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy weighs in on what just may be a new low in a race that some days seems more like a campaign for Pastor-in-Chief than Commander-in-Chief. Not only was Rick Santorum introduced by a pastor telling Americans who don’t share his conservative Christian views to “get out,” Santorum himself questioned the seriousness of the faith of Americans who choose to support his opponents. You don’t want to miss what Rev. Gaddy has to say, so make sure you listen in this week.

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