Broadcasting from our own Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy’s hometown of Monroe, Louisiana, tune in this weekend to Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast State of Belief to take a look back at the ballot box in Louisiana, find out what shocking alert we received from a listener and learn about the Sacramento Mosque hosting a church for Easter. Also, you won’t want to miss Rev. Gaddy’s special commentary on the state of religion and the presidential race.

A Look Back at the Ballot Box in Louisiana
Last weekend, Louisianans took their turn at the ballot box, overwhelmingly choosing Rick Santorum – the candidate who has been most shamelessly pushing the hot buttons of religion in the service of his electoral ambitions. Santorum racked up 41,556 more votes than Mitt Romney, giving him one of his largest margins of victory yet this cycle.  Dr. G. Pearson Cross, a much sought-after commentator on Louisiana politics, joins us this week to provide historical perspective and to help break-down the results. When not commenting on Louisiana politics for people like us, Dr. Cross spends his time playing jazz piano, enjoying southern cooking and molding new sought-after commentators as assistant professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

A Note from a Listener
We recently received an email from a listener alerting us to a blatant conflation of religion and politics – an initiative to organize 40 days of mass prayer to defeat Barack Obama in November! Here at State of Belief, we’re still not convinced that God takes sides in presidential elections. Dr. Norine Hemping of Naples, FL, joins us this week to share what motivated her to send us the alert.

“Easter at the Mosque”
Next week is Easter Sunday, the day for celebrating the mystery of the resurrection for Christians around the world – a day of celebrating the triumph of life, of hope and of good over the many challenges faced. That’s why it’s so profoundly symbolic that on that day members of Sacramento’s Spiritual Life Center church will gather at the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM). Joining us this week on State of Belief to talk about the deep meaning of the celebration and its origins are both Reverend Michael Moran, senior minister of worship at the Spiritual Life Center, and Dr. Metwalli Amer, co-founder of SALAM.

Community, Connection and Conversation
This past week, our own Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and talked about the exclusionary rhetoric escalating within the Rick Santorum campaign and the divisive language his supporters are using. On this week’s State of Belief, Rev. Gaddy reflects on his conversation with Maddow, the overwhelming positive response he’s gotten and what it all means for the future of both religion and politics.

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