In 2015

This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy looks at the latest developments in the fight to protect real religious freedom in America. We’ll hear from longtime friend of the show John Denison about a fight bubbling up in Welton’s home state of Louisiana. Entrepreneur and activist Mitchell Gold will fill us in on a new religious freedom project from Interfaith Alliance. And James Croft of the Ethical Society of St. Louis talks about how America’s growing secular community fits in with the rest of society. Download Icon

Don’t Mess with Monroe: Religious Freedom Fight Comes to Louisiana
When Louisiana’s Republican legislature decided against voting on a problematic Religious Freedom bill, Governor Bobby Jindal enacted its provisions by executive order. Two hours later! Now, throughout all his time at State of Belief and Interfaith Alliance, Welton has maintained his home and his pulpit in Monroe, Louisiana. So you don’t get to stomp on religious freedom in Louisiana without comment. On this week’s show, Welton brings on a fellow Louisianan, activist John Denison of the Forum for Equality Foundation, to talk about Gov. Jindal’s recent attempts to undermine the First Amendment in Louisiana for his own political gain – and how that can serve as a warning for what might be coming to other states. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW AND TRANSCRIPT

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signs On To “Everyone Only”
On previous shows, Interfaith Alliance executive director Rabbi Jack Moline has talked about the Alliance’s new “Everyone Only” project to keep our communities free of discrimination. This week we’re joined by one of the business owners who’s helping spearhead this campaign – longtime Interfaith Alliance ally, and co-founder of the furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Mitchell Gold. Mitchell will talk to Welton about what inspired him to join the campaign, what reaction he’s received, and his tireless work defending LGBT Americans against destructive attacks cloaked in religious rhetoric. CLICK HERE FOR EXTENDED INTERVIEW AND TRANSCRIPT

Making Room in The Ethical Society in Our Changing Community
As we discussed last week, the Pew Research Center recently released a survey that shows a dramatic decrease in America’s Christian population and a rise in the religiously unaffiliated – as well as in the number of secular Americans. James Croft is about to become the Leader for Outreach at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, and he joins us for a look at America’s changing religious landscape from a Humanist perspective.

A Look Abroad for Inspiration
Finally Welton will share some thoughts about the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland. Given the deeply religious history of that country, the strong role of the Catholic Church, and the overwhelming support for marriage equality found in recent polls – this referendum will certainly be fascinating to watch. And, maybe, an inspiration to all of us on how to balance our religious convictions with the need to strive toward equality.

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