This weekend on State of Belief, Welton chats with guests about a new poll showing America’s fast-shifting views on LGBT rights, the importance of President Obama’s new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and the necessity of inter- and intra-religious dialogue in universities across the country. Finally, Welton has a reaction to Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of Arizona’s atrocious anti-gay law this week.
It’s All In the Numbers: America’s Changing Views on LGBT Rights
This week, Welton speaks with Dr. Robert P. Jones, the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, about the highly anticipated survey from PRRI on the evolution of American views on the LGBT community. We know anecdotally that America’s perspective has changed dramatically over the past ten years, but Dr. Jones can back this up with innovative data. Tune in as he and Welton dive into an exploration of America’s demographic shifts, the growing polarization within political and religious groups, as well as the future of public opinion on LGBT equality.
Am I My Brother’s Keeper? President Obama Says Yes
The PICO National Network works with church and community organizations across the country to address an impressive range of social justice issues – this week, Welton is joined by Pastor Mike McBride, the director of PICO’s Lifelines to Healing campaign to reduce gun violence and end mass incarceration. Welton and Pastor McBride will discuss the relevance of Lifelines’ efforts to President Obama’s recently announced “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which brings together local leaders, businesses and foundations to address the challenges facing our minority communities, particularly young men of color.
The Need for Religious Discourse in America’s Universities
Imam Abdullah Antepli is one of only a handful of full-time Muslim chaplains at US colleges and universities. This week, he reflects on his intra- and interfaith work on Duke’s campus, as well as the developments in his role as a Muslim chaplain over his ten-year tenure at academic institutions around the country. He and Welton will examine the essential nature of public and academic discourse on religious issues, and discuss the importance of initiatives such as Duke’s Islamicommentary project.
A Word from Welton: Arizona, “Religious Freedom” and the Right’s War Against Equality
Last week, Welton talked about the hypocrisy of state bills – like the one rightfully vetoed this week in Arizona – that permit bigotry and discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. This week, he warns us that though this bill was defeated, the fight against this particularly nasty strain in our culture wars isn’t over. Some well-funded national conservative legal firms have decided that subjecting the LGBT community to legally sanctioned discrimination is the most pressing matter in America today. With their kind of money, it could be just a matter of time until one of these outrageous laws is passed. It is up to each of us to take action against them.