In 2014

This week on State of Belief, Welton and his guests discuss two new developments – and one very old one – in the world of religion, culture and politics. Tune in to hear the latest on the reaction to the NFL’s drafting of the first openly gay pro-football player and on one leader’s efforts to make the Evangelical Christian community welcoming to LGBT individuals. We’ll also hear from a religion expert on the very old concept of a “Black Mass” and the unfolding scandal around a modern reenactment at Harvard. Download Icon

Michael Sam Becomes a Ram: Dissecting the Reaction to the NFL’s First Gay Player
With cheers from many, and jeers from some, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in the NFL when the St. Louis Rams drafted him last week. Welton will sit down with Ross Murray, the director of news at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), to discuss the implications of this milestone. They’ll explore the progress that this event embodies, and the unfinished work it highlights. Don’t miss this play-by-play conversation on every aspect of this historic moment.

The Black Mass that Wasn’t: Professor Laycock on the Hullabaloo at Harvard
One of the stranger controversies in religion and politics took place last week at Harvard University, and concerned a campus organization’s plan to reenact a medieval ritual known as the Black Mass. While words like “Satanic” and “demonic” were bandied about, most Bostonians quickly rallied to denounce the event. This week, Joseph Laycock, assistant professor of Religious Studies at Texas State University, joins Welton to delve into what the controversy can teach us about religious tolerance, as well as the origins of the mainly mythical “Black Mass.”

The Rev. Ken Wilson’s A Letter to My Congregation
Welton will welcome the Rev. Ken Wilson, founding pastor of the Vineyard Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, about his recent book A Letter to My Congregation: An Evangelical Pastor’s Path to Embracing People Who are Gay, Lesbian and Transgender in the Company of Jesus. Welton will ask Rev. Wilson about the varying ways that Evangelical communities have approached LGBT individuals and the “third way” that he proposes. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a dynamic thinker at the forefront of religious and political change.

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