This weekend on State of Belief, hear about the impact on you of a Colorado convent’s fight against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate and find out what one prominent LGBTQ activist says you need to do  about Russia’s anti-gay legislation. Also, don’t miss part four of our Prophetic Vision for a New Year series, and hear Welton talk about the ways in which the guests of this series have bested Congress and the President. Download Icon

Nuns, Birth Control, and the Supreme Court
Last Friday, a group of nuns from Colorado won a SCOTUS stay temporarily exempting them from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Patricia Miller, who writes about reproductive rights and the Catholic Church for Religion Dispatches, joins Welton to talk about the Church’s battle for religious freedom – or, more accurately, the freedom to not sign a document declining to provide birth control – and the slippery slope that this court decision puts us on.

A Prophetic Vision for a New Year Part Four: Valarie Kaur
On this week’s installment of “A Prophetic Vision for a New Year,” State of Belief is excited to welcome back to the show interfaith activist Valarie Kaur, to talk about her work for the Sikh-American community, the multi-faith project for social justice Groundswell, and her love of telling stories through film. You won’t want to miss her discussion on how interreligious activism, modern technology, and a little human empathy can help change the world.

The Sochi Games and LGBTQI Rights
With the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi just around the corner, Welton and the Rev. Pat Bumgardner – senior pastor of the vibrant Metropolitan Community Church in New York and a tireless advocate for LGBTQI rights – discuss what Russia’s recent passage of anti-gay legislation means not only for the Olympic Games, but for the daily lives of Russia’s LGBTQI population. Speaking to us from the Creating Change Conference in Houston, Rev. Bumgardner, who is also Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute, updates us on their crucial work to combat acts of intolerance and discrimination around the world, as well as the victories – and battles still to go – in the struggle for marriage equality right here in the United States.

The Smallness of the State of the Union
In his response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Welton compares the “smallness” of the partisan language in the President’s speech and the three different Republican responses to the unifying visions of the four individuals featured in State of Belief’s “A Prophetic Vision for a New Year” series. Our guests came from four very different religious backgrounds – Baptist, Catholic, UCC, and Sikh – but as Welton observes, they did not have time for parochial bickering – they were too busy making the world a more just place for all.

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