This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy looks at some disturbing recent events confronting religious communities across America. He’ll check back in with Vyckie Garrison, the blogger behind “No Longer Quivering,” to hear her take on the Josh Duggar scandal. We’ll talk to an activist who had a shocking encounter with Pamela Geller and her attempts to insult and incite Muslims. And Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, will join Welton to add his thoughts to our ongoing conversation on the changing religious landscape in America.
Encountering (or Avoiding) Pamela Geller
Following the fatal outcome of her “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest in Texas, Pamela Gellar announced that she’d be placing her newest anti-Islam cartoon on Washington, DC public transit. And while the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority has stopped the ads, the debate about them continues. Religion Dispatch’s Senior Correspondent Haroon Moghul will join Welton to discuss his own encounter with Geller and ways in which we can respond constructively to provocative and hateful work such as hers.
Cultural vs. Spiritual Affiliation with Religion
Executive Director of Interfaith Alliance, Rabbi Jack Moline, will join us to discuss declining levels of reported religiosity in the United States. He and Welton will focus on the distinction between spiritual and cultural affinities toward religion and how the decrease in spiritual religiosity may increase the significance of cultural ties to religion in our lives.
The Duggar scandal and the risks of insular, fundamentalist communities
When Josh Duggar, star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, admitted to molesting his younger sisters as a child, questions were raised about the role fundamentalist Christianity played in enabling his actions. The authoritarian family structure of certain fundamentalist groups, known as the “quiverfull” model, poses – many argue – special risks to women and children. On this week’s show, Welton will speak with activist Vyckie Garrison, former member of a quiverfull family and blogger of “No Longer Quivering,” for a serious look at the increased risk of abuse and victim-blaming in these isolated communities.
Attacks on Christianity at Home
Several recent events, including the shooting of an LGBT-inclusive pastor in Connecticut and the vandalizing of a progressive church in California, have raised questions on the consequences of Christian extremism in the United States. Welton finishes our show by sharing his thoughts on how the Christian right continues to scare-monger and assault members of progressive Christian communities, and these assaults are as much an affront to Christianity as violence against Christian abroad.