This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, journalist Sarah Posner fills in for host Welton Gaddy. Sarah discusses faith leaders’ involvement in the Ferguson October protests last weekend with Pastor Mike McBride, and reflects on the end of the Roman Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family with historian Patricia Miller. Anti-Muslim rhetoric has seen a resurgence in recent months, thanks to the advance of ISIS – and to cable news pundits – and Nabil Echchaibi shares his spot-on response with listeners this week. And Sarah’s got some sharp words for the city of Houston and its treatment of religious leaders following their opposition to a transgender-friendly ordinance. Download Icon

“Moral Monday” in Ferguson
Faith and secular leaders traveled to Ferguson last weekend to join the four days of civil disobedience and resistance called Ferguson October. During the “Moral Monday” protest, more than 50 participants were arrested for disturbing the peace. Sarah invites Pastor Mike McBride from PICO National Network’s Live Free Campaign, one of the leaders arrested, to the show to discuss the value of last weekend’s events and how it demonstrates the overly-aggressive policing in Ferguson and around the nation. Pastor Mike also reflects on how a person’s race changes the way he or she views law enforcement, and how communities can be brought together on this issue.

Synod on the family
The Vatican’s Synod on the Family, formally titled “Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization,” brought together bishops from around the world to discuss how to apply the Bible’s teachings to contemporary issues like homosexuality. Although initial translations from the Synod suggested an increasingly tolerant view of nontraditional relationships by the Church, the Vatican then released a clarification that suggested otherwise. Sarah speaks with author and historian Patricia Miller about what a Synod is, how often it happens and how the discussions at this Synod will affect Catholics.

He’s a Muslim, and he’s exhausted
University of Colorado – Boulder Professor Nabil Echchaibi discusses the way Islamaphobia affects American Muslims, especially as the threat of ISIS continues to grow. Religion Dispatches Magazine recently published his article titled As a Muslim, I’m Exhausted… about how the overly simple “good Muslim, bad Muslim” paradigm hurts the community and inhibits its members’ ability to be multidimensional human beings. Sarah talks with Nabil about his call to move beyond needing to begin every conversation as a Muslim with apologies and disclaimers.

Faith leaders: You’ve been served
Following the city’s approval of an ordinance to accommodate transgender people, conservatives and some Christian leaders in Houston started to organize an opposition movement. City lawyers proceeded to subpoena everything the pastors, priests and other faith leaders had preached about the issue and LGBT rights. Not only is this blatantly unconstitutional, it is also an incredibly poor move in today’s culture wars. Sarah has her say on this week’s State of Belief.

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