In 2014

This weekend on State of Belief, hear about faith-based efforts to stop the bullying of LGBTQ students in schools – and the opposition that claims to stand for religious freedom. Also, settle into your seat and grab your bag of popcorn, because we’re talking about the Bible’s recent “boom” in Hollywood with Bishop Gene Robinson. Finally, we talk with one author about the scary – not to mention sad – parallels between the hysteria of the Salem witch trials and the modern world. Download Icon

Getting Congress – and Conservatives – to Stop LGBTQ Bullying in Schools
This past week, students across the country participated in the National Day of Silence, an annual event in which they take a 24-hour vow of silence to demonstrate the harmful effects of their LGBT classmates being bullied. Legislation stalled in Congress could help reduce that bullying. Joining Welton this week is Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet, a Jewish organization working to support the LGBTQ community. Keshet joined a coalition of organizations to send a letter a day to Capitol Hill urging support of The Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA, H.R. 1199/S. 403) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA, H.R. 1652/S. 1088). Idit talks with Welton about that campaign, the importance of the legislation and why conservatives no longer own the language of values – a change evident in how people of progressive faith are connecting their moral convictions and their political actions.

Hollywood, the Bible, and Bishop Gene Robinson
State of Belief is excited to welcome back the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop installed in the Episcopal Church, a leader in the movement for inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ people and a big movie buff, to talk about the recent boom in movies pulling their plots from Bible stories. Bishop Gene and Welton discuss the recent “Son of God,” as well as which bible story Bishop Gene would like to see made into a Hollywood film. And we’ll ask the bishop for his message for the Easter season.

The Similarities of 17th-Century Salem and the Modern World
One historian and author went to direct archival sources to write a personality-driven book about the Salem witch trials. Marilynne K. Roach joins State of Belief to discuss Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials, and to explain how the Salem story is a cautionary tale for today’s America. She notes the disturbing parallels between the Salem trials and modern day, including the accusations of Satanism and possession hurled at LGBTQ people by some modern religious leaders in the United States, as well as the many atrocities committed around the world in the name of those claiming to battle witchcraft and demonic possession.

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