This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Reverend Welton Gaddy interviews three authors: Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, whose book on Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement is essential reading in light of the anniversary of the death Michael Brown; Rev. Barry Lynn, who’s memoir reflects on his quarter-century of work as an advocate for the separation of church and state; and Jon Meacham, who spoke to Welton in 2006 about the American Gospel. We will also hear from Interfaith Alliance’s own Rabbi Jack Moline about two recent, tragic incidents of violence in Israel. Download Icon

Ferguson: An Eyewitness Reflection on the One Year Anniversary
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and we look back at the tragic event, its aftermath, and the role of the Black Lives Matter movement in our ongoing national conversation about race and civil rights. This week, we welcome Dr. Leah Gunning Francis of the Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, whose book Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community tells the story of #BlackLivesMatter in the words and voices of Ferguson residents, leaders and activists. She also shares her own experience as a participant in the protests, as both a local faith leader and a mother, and her thoughts on the changes that need to be made in how Americans talk about justice and progress.

Reflections on Twenty-Five Years of Advocacy
This week Welton sits down with the Rev. Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, who has collaborated with Interfaith Alliance for years in our shared advocacy for the cornerstone of our constitutional democracy. Rev. Lynn returns to State of Belief to discuss his new memoir, God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism and Freedom of Conscience, and share some memories – and advice for the future – from his long history of activism.

Reflecting on a Decade of State of Belief: Jon Meacham, 2006
In preparation for State of Belief’s upcoming ten-year anniversary, we are re-airing some of our favorite segments from the past that highlight the best of what our guests have been able to bring our listeners. This week, we revisit our 2006 interview with author Jon Meacham, who since has written two additional books, won a Pulitzer Prize, and today holds the title of executive editor and executive vice president at Random House – all at only 46. Then, he had just published his book, American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation, and his insights are as relevant today as it was nearly a decade earlier.

Examining the Recent Extremist Violence in Israel
In the past couple of weeks, we have been saddened by several tragic stories of extremist violence in Israel, including a fatal stabbing during Jerusalem’s pride celebration and a deadly arson attack on a West Bank Palestinian home. In a guest commentary, Interfaith Alliance’s own Rabbi Jack Moline, Executive Director, shares his thoughts on these disturbing events, and what the faith communities in Israel can do to counteract such violent uprising.

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