In 2014

This weekend on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Welton sits down with an author who dives into the murky history of the Catholic Church’s opposition to legal abortion in the United States. Then two guests – our good friend Bishop Gene Robinson and a member of the Interfaith Alliance team – give their take on President Obama’s recent announcement of an executive order that would banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors. Finally, don’t miss part two of our unique glimpse into the Westboro Baptist Church as we finish our interview with Nate Phelps. Download Icon

Inside the World of Fred Phelps: Part Two of our Interview with a Former WBC Member
Last week, Welton sat down with Nate Phelps – son of the deceased Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps – to talk about his decision to leave his family and his highly controversial church. In the second part of our interview, Nate, who now works as an activist combating religious abuse , talks about the ways in which religion has been used to control people and justify the abusive treatment of others, especially children. Nate also talks about his relationships with family members still in the WBC, how it feels to see news coverage of his former church’s protests, and the Kickstarter campaign for his upcoming documentary, “Not My Father’s Son.”

A Brief History of the Scarlet “A” – Abortion – in the United States
State of Belief is excited to welcome back Patricia Miller, an author who has written extensively about the intersection of politics, sex and religion for Religion Dispatches and many other publications. This week, she’ll be with us to talk about her new book Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church , which is an ethical-theological-historical page-turner if there ever was one! Patti walks us through the history of the Catholic hierarchy’s all-too-often political determination of “timeless” doctrines on abortion and contraception. This history is essential knowledge for everyone affected by today’s culture wars, in which uncompromising rhetoric around reproductive issues are so heavily influenced by particular powerful organized religions like the Catholic Church.

Obama’s Executive Order and the Risk of “Religious Exemptions”
Next, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, the retired Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire and friend of State of Belief, sits down with Welton to discuss the Obama Administration’s decision on Monday to sign an executive order forbidding federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Bishop Gene talks about the possibility that anti-equality activists will once again call for “religious exemptions” to this non-discrimination policy. He and Welton will look at the implications of such a decision and hypothesize what the President might do.

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors… An Update on Interfaith Alliance’s Advocacy for LGBT Equality
Finally, Welton talks with Benny Witkovsky, a young member of the Interfaith Alliance team, who was at the White House on Monday when the president’s executive order was announced. Benny talks about what it was like to be in the room for that historic moment, why it took the President so long to act on this campaign promise, and the ways the Interfaith Alliance helped lobby for this essential policy for LGBT equality and religious freedom.

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