In 2014

On This week’s State of Belief, special guest host Greg Lebel, Assistant Professor of Political Management at the George Washington University, sits in for Welton. We will discuss the Pew Research Center’s new survey on Americans’ feelings towards different faith groups, one organization’s courageous efforts to combat the toxic “ex-gay” therapy industry, and the role the United States is and should be playing in the international conflicts so present in our news. Download Icon

Breaking News: Members of Faith Groups Like Themselves Best
It probably won’t come as a shock to most of our listeners, but a new survey by the Pew Research Center, How Americans Feel About Religious Groups, confirms that religious groups tend to be rated most favorably by their own members. However, the survey does have plenty of surprises. For example, racial and political demographics significantly influence which religions one feels warmly toward. And it would appear that when it comes to religious traditions, it’s unfamiliarity that seems to breed contempt. We’ll talk with Besheer Mohammed, research associate at the Pew Religion & Public Life Project.

#BornPerfect and the Campaign Against the “Ex-Gay” Therapy Industry
Despite many blows to its legitimacy, the snake-oil industry of “ex-gay” therapy has continued to promote itself as a valid way to – in its own words – “walk out of the homosexual lifestyle.” To combat this damaging idea, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has launched the “#BornPerfect” campaign. This week, NCLR’s executive director, Kate Kendell, sits down with Greg to talk about the campaign, why it matters so much, and to explain how listeners can get involved in this important movement.

Interview the Host: The Politicization of America’s Role in Global Affairs
Finally, Greg will take a break from hosting the show to be interviewed by Ray Kirstein, State of Belief’s producer, about the events around the world that are dominating headlines here in the United States. Greg talks about America’s role in the violence in Israel and Gaza, the tragedy in Ukraine, and other global conflicts and whether domestic politics are getting in the way of effective action. He also examines the impact these worldwide issues might have on the November elections, and ends with his thoughts on potential Perry-Cruz and Warren-Clinton showdowns for the White House.

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