This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Reverend Welton Gaddy will speak with Ron Kampeas, Washington DC Bureau Chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress. We will also hear from Brandon Wallace, author of Straight Face, about his book and his experience growing up as a Gay Christian in the South. But first, Glenn Katon, Legal Director of Muslim Advocates will return to the show to discuss his impressions of the White House summit on countering violent extremism.

Because of technical difficulties, some podcast subscribers received a previous show a second time. Here’s the full downloadable Feb. 21st State of Belief. We apologize for the inconvenience!

White House Summit on Violent Extremism
This week, a diverse group of community and faith leaders – including Interfaith Alliance executive director Rabbi Jack Moline – and global activists convened at the White House for a three-day summit on efforts to counter violent extremism. Islam has been a point of inordinate focus in discussions surrounding violent extremism. Sow how’d the White House do? Glenn Katon, Legal Director of Muslim Advocates, attended the summit and will share his reactions on the initiatives discussed at the summit and President Obama’s address to those assembled.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Visit to Washington
When it was announced that Speaker of the House John Boehner invited the Israeli Prime Minister to address congress without consulting the White House, quite a controversy arose. The visit may have been coordinated for its optics, as it represents the extreme partisanship in the United States and Israel; however, there may be political implications of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3rd speech to the U.S Congress. Welton speaks to Ron Kampeas, Washington DC Bureau Chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about the tensions the address is causing and the religious component of his visit.

Growing Up Gay in the Deep South
In the wake of the refusal of some Alabama judges to grant marriage certificates to same-sex couples this past week, the narratives of many Southerners who identify as gay have been shared on a national level. Brandon Wallace, an author and educator, wrote Straight Face about his experience growing up in the Deep South as a Gay Christian. Brandon will join us in the studio to discuss his book and the role organized religion has played in his life.

A Circle of Protection in Norway
Welton comments on the ‘Circle of Protection’ grassroots initiative in Oslo, Norway. A 17-year-old Muslim activist organized a human chain to help the local synagogue’s members feel secure at last week’s Shabbat services. 1300 turned up to stand for mutual respect and safety.

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