This weekend, tune in to State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, to get an analysis of the latest White House scandals, to find out why the political right labeled one man an “anti-Christian extremist,” and to learn what some people of faith are doing in response to one ESPN commentator’s negative reaction to an NBA player’s coming out.
Worse than Watergate?
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the White House with scandals including the response to the Benghazi attack, the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records and the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. While these scandals are significant, some Republicans are hyperbolically referring to them as “worse than Watergate.” Are these scandals a sign of the so-called second term curse? Or are they proof that far-right critics of the president were right all along? Greg Lebel, assistant professor of Political Management at George Washington University and our go-to expert on presidential politics, joins Welton to weigh in on the importance of these scandals and what they could mean for the Obama administration. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT
Mikey Weinstein, the “Anti-Christian Extremist”
On Monday, 59 sitting members of the United States House of Representatives sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, demanding answers regarding Pentagon officials meeting with “anti-Christian extremist” Mikey Weinstein. The right-wing press accused Hagel and the Pentagon of turning all policy-making that affects matters of faith in the armed forces over to Weinstein personally. An Air Force Academy graduate, former Air Force JAG officer and registered Republican, Weinstein is the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization that seeks to ensure the separation of church and state in the United States military. Weinstein joins Welton on State of Belief this week to address the allegations against him and the changing relationship between religious freedom and the military.
NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly gay professional athlete of a major sport when he came out on the cover of last month’s Sports Illustrated. Despite the fact that most media coverage of Collins’ announcement has been overwhelmingly positive, ESPN commentator Chris Broussard personally condemned homosexuality in an on-air broadcast as “walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.” In response to Broussard’s comments and a weak apology, the Religious Institute and Auburn Theological Seminary’s Groundswell network created an online petition to urge ESPN to be more responsible in how it portrays people of faith when it comes to social hot-button issues. Reverend John Vaughn, executive vice president of the Auburn Theological Seminary, will be on the show this week to discuss the petition and how he hopes sports media will handle stories like this in the future.