Our host Welton Gaddy is out sick this week, so this weekend on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we revisit several important interviews that still have great relevance today.

In Memoriam: The Right Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon (2011)
Early in the morning hours of Christmas, an important and influential Episcopal voice for interfaith inclusion and cooperation was stilled. The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, only the second woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, passed away in her sleep, leaving a legacy which Welton described in a written remembrance as “never being out of touch with the poorest and weakest of people in her communion, or people related to no communion at all.” In the fall of 2011, Bishop Jane received the Interfaith Alliance’s Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award. This week, we revisit a conversation about her life and ministry between Welton and Bishop Jane, originally broadcast here on the occasion of that award.

Hunger and Budget Cuts in America: former Congressman and Ambassador Tony Hall (2011)
The so-called fiscal cliff crisis may have been averted this week (for now), but intense debates around the federal budget and “entitlements” will be back with a vengeance any day now, as the debt ceiling faces an intensely politicized vote. Welton spoke with former Ohio Congressman and Ambassador Tony Hall back in 2011 about the impact of federal budget cuts on Americans living in poverty, and the real-life consequences when the poor become a political football. Ambassador Hall now serves as executive director of the Coalition to End Hunger and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times for his work in the fight against poverty.

Gun Culture: Dr. Julie Ingersoll (2010)
Mass shootings in this country garner nonstop news coverage, demands that “something be done,” and then, usually, an eventual return to business as usual. However, the pre-Christmas massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, seems to have sparked more coverage, more national grief and more people saying “enough is enough.” But it’s far from a sure thing that the demands for change will overcome the entrenched and well-funded status quo. For a look at some of what guns mean to many Americans, and why the subject is so volatile for some of us, we’ll revisit a conversation Welton had in the summer of 2010 with Dr. Julie Ingersoll, after she co-wrote an article with Sarah Posner for Religion Dispatches Magazine entitled “Gun Ownership: An Obligation to God.” Dr. Ingersoll is an associate professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Florida.

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