This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with Ken Sofer of the Center for American Progress about Islamophobia and the structures working to disenfranchise Muslims in America. Welton will also sit down with filmmaker and activist Valarie Kaur, who delivered a sermon at the Pentagon during a commemoration of the Sikh faith. We’ll hear from Sarah Levin, legislative associate at the Secular Coalition of America, about the growing number of religion-influenced state laws. Lastly, Welton will share a few words to the unwise – politicians who he sees as making some irresponsible choices.
Battling Hate with Love
This past Sunday in Garland, Texas, two gunmen were killed after opening fire at an event hosted by an anti-Muslim group. The organizer of the event, leading professional Islamophobe Pamela Geller, once again insisted that the attackers were representative of the Muslim faith. Ken Sofer, Associate Director for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress will speak to Welton about how this rhetoric only makes us all less safe, and about the Islamophobia industry that Geller is a part of, as revealed in the report he co-authored titled Fear, Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America.
Commemorating the Sikh Faith at the Pentagon
The second ever commemoration of the Sikh faith recently took place at the Pentagon. Followers of the faith have been advocating for the ability of Sikhs to serve in the military while wearing religious garb, which made the commemoration even more significant. Valarie Kaur, interfaith activist and filmmaker, delivered the sermon at the commemoration, and she will join Welton to speak about activism in the Sikh community and beyond, and the importance of selfless service, or Seva, in Sikh life.
The Push for Secular Laws
Religion continues to be misused as a political tool by lawmakers, causing tension between many progressives and people of faith. A recent surge of Religious Freedom Restoration legislation blatantly brings religion into our constitutionally secular government. Joining Welton is Sarah Levin, Legislative Associate at the Secular Coalition for America, to discuss the Coalition’s recent initiatives to protect a government that represents all of the people.
A Word to the Unwise
Prominent leaders and officials should be scrutinized for their foolish words and actions – particularly when that foolishness concerns religion! Welton closes out our show by offering some unasked-for advice to Gov. Jindall (from his home state of Louisiana), Democratic Party leadership, and other politicians who are crossing the line of good judgement.