In 2014

This weekend on State of Belief, Welton dives into the crisis in Ukraine. We’ll get an update on Russia’s mix of religion and politics from Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, and hear from our friend Valdas Dovydenas on the ground in Kiev. Then, back on the domestic front, Welton checks in with FCNL’s Jim Cason on proposals to cut military spending, and then chats with Bishop Minerva Carcano for the latest on her inspiring work for social justice. Download Icon

A Holy War in Ukraine? Caught Between Russia’s Toxic Mix of Religion and Politics
Welton welcomes back to the show the incredibly sharp Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite – Professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and frequent Huffington Post contributor – to discuss the latest developments in Russia and Ukraine. She’ll help put these recent events into the context of Russia’s religious and political forces, explaining how the standoff in the Crimea is an outgrowth of Putin’s nationalist zeal and religious absolutism. Dr. Thistlethwaite is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Her most recent book is titled #OccupytheBible: What Jesus Really Said (and Did) about Money and Power. Her HuffPo article on this issue is titled “Putin’s Holy Russia Goes to War.”

Eyes on the Ground: A Report from Kiev
Over the past weeks the American media have been full of contradicting reports on the nature of the uprising in Kiev, with some saying it’s a pro-EU fight for freedom that was brutally repressed by Russian sympathizers, and others claiming it was little more than a power grab by the far Right. Welton is joined this week by Valdas Dovydėnas, a Lithuanian native who has lived and worked in Kiev for the past nine years. Valdas shares his experience in Kiev in the past months and his take on both the uprising and the Russian response in Crimea.

The Pentagon and the Quaker Lobby: Jim Cason on the Military Budget
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down and the nation looks to a different kind of conflict in places like Syria and Ukraine, a debate is raging in Washington over the size and budget of America’s military. Jim Cason, the Executive Secretary for Strategic Advocacy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, (Washington’s oldest advocates for peace), explores the moral significance of the Pentagon’s budget and the role that religious communities can play in shrinking it.

The Fast That We Desire: Bishop Carcaño on Lent and Social Justice
We’re excited to bring back Bishop Minerva Carcaño, a Los Angeles leader who is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a United Methodist Bishop. She and Welton will examine issues ranging from immigration reform to LGBT rights, and discuss how the Lenten Season that began this week can help drive our action on these issues. Don’t miss this update from one of America’s most inspiring faith leaders.

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