This week, our host Rev. Welton Gaddy participated in a series of panels about religious freedom sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, and so we’re focusing our show on some important local issues. On this episode of State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we’ll hear from Rev. Barry Lynn, who’s worked diligently on issues of Church-State separation for decades. We’ll talk to Dr. Pearson Cross, a professor and political analyst who brings deep insight to the 2016 campaign – through a Louisiana lens. And Zach Kopplin will share his stories about working for secular education.
“Religious Freedom” Laws Strike Again
North Carolina and Mississippi are two of the most recent states to have passed anti-gay legislation in the guise of protecting religious freedom. We look at whether these laws are driven by religion – or pervert religion to drive the conservative agenda. Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, argues the latter. Rev. Lynn is a long-time advocate for religious freedom. In fact, his most recent book is called, God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom of Conscience.
Looking at the Election from the South
During this election cycle, a lot of attention has focused on the evangelical vote – specifically in the South. Dr. Pearson Cross, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, joins us. He’ll sit down with Welton to talk about why Donald Trump is so popular in that part of the country and how southern politics are different from other areas.
Creationism in the Classroom
Zach Kopplin is an old friend of the show and has just participated in the Freedom for all Faiths forum. Zack is particularly concerned over the inclusion of religious teachings in the classroom. His activism stems from personal experiences of proselytizing and has led him to pursue investigative journalism – in part out of a frustration with important stories not getting covered in the press.