This weekend on State of Belief, hear about one young activist’s fight against teaching creationism in schools; to explore the positive role Christianity has played in the campaign for marriage equality; and to learn about America’s first interfaith high school. Don’t miss a special “Word from Welton” about what’s wrong and what’s at stake in the recent debates on “religious freedom.” Download Icon

Creationism in Schools: Anti-Science Forces’ False Fight for “Academic Freedom”
There’s a creationist assault on science education pouring into classrooms like Noah’s flood. In South Dakota, for example, there was a bill that would have made it illegal to stop teachers from teaching “intelligent design.” The assault on science continues across the country from Virginia to Oklahoma, from South Carolina to Louisiana. Welton talks this week to Louisiana activist Zack Kopplin, about the most dangerous state-level initiatives sneaking religion into science classrooms.

“How Christianity Gave Us Gay Marriage:” A Conversation with Damon Linker
There are many critics who see the progress of marriage equality across the country as a sign of secularism triumphing over religion. However, millions of Americans support equality not despite, but rather because of, their faith convictions. Writer Damon Linker goes a bit further, believing that Christianity’s historic tradition of promoting equality and fairness has led to a broader acceptance of LGBTQ people around the world. He joins Welton this week to discuss why he thinks the Christian teaching of equality for all directly contributes to this, as he wrote in a recent article for TheWeek.com, “How Christianity Gave Us Gay Marriage.”

The Peace and Justice Academy: America’s First Interfaith High School
Later this year, the Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, Calif., will begin its inaugural school year as the first fully-accredited, officially-interfaith high school in the country. The school’s co-executive directors Kimberly Medendorp and Randy Christopher join Welton this week to discuss the development and creation of the school, the responses they’ve been getting from the academic community and what they hope students will get out of joining this unique and exciting environment.

A Word from Welton: The Hypocrisy of Recent So-Called “Religious Freedom” Legislation
You likely heard about the recent law passed – and thankfully withdrawn – in the Kansas State Assembly, which would have enshrined in law protections for discrimination against coupled LGBT individuals in the name of “religious freedom.” Listen in this week as Welton talks about the perverse hypocrisy of ignoring the religiously motivated violence around the world, while attempting to corrupt the language of religious liberty to achieve political goals at home.

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