This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy discusses challenges facing schools, including the protection of LGBT students and the political agenda behind some textbook standards. Listen in to hear Emile Lester analyze problematic school curricula and Ross Murray discuss #SpiritDay and GLAAD’s effort to end anti-gay bullying. But first, we speak with Eron Henry about Baptist World Alliance’s efforts to support communities ravaged by Ebola – and what you can do to help. Download Icon

Treating bodies and souls during the Ebola outbreak
While the U.S. media obsess about domestic cases of Ebola, the outbreak in West Africa continues to worsen. Welton discusses the role faith-based organizations can play in providing assistance with Eron Henry, associate director of communications at Baptist World Alliance. BWA member congregations include some in areas most affected by Ebola, including communities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In addition to sending food, health education materials and medical supplies, religious organizations can teach preventive practices to protect congregations from the spread of disease.

Texas textbooks — rewriting or revisionism?
It’s time to mess with Texas’ textbooks. As a state with one of the largest school-age populations, education standards in Texas can affect the availability of school materials nationwide. Welton speaks with Dr. Emile Lester from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund about the way ideological agendas are influencing educational standards. TFN has revealed changes in Texas’ proposed social studies textbooks, including information that weakens the separation of church and state, minimizes how violence was used to spread Christianity and gives biased portrayals of Muslims and Islam. And don’t even get us started about science! They’ll discuss what the newest version of textbooks, to be released in November, may or may not include.

Going purple for #SpiritDay
Welton welcomes back GLAAD Director of News Ross Murray to discuss #SpiritDay, an initiative to encourage students to stand up to bullying of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peers. GLAAD first organized the day in 2010 in response to some alarming statistics – eight out of 10 LGBT young people report being bullied. Welton and Ross discuss the progress that has been made in schools during the past four years. Students around the nation will wear purple on October 16 to show their support for #SpiritDay, and so can you. CLICK HERE FOR INTERVIEW VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT

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