How much of today’s political rhetoric is impacted by a racial subtext? Does this subtext contribute to the effort to deny President Obama the legacy of another Supreme Court nominee? What will it take to truly engage voters around legitimate issues? And what’s the role for faith leaders in addressing these issues? Rev. Derrick Harkins will join our host Rev. Welton Gaddy to discuss how a new network of African American Clergy is taking this issue head on. Also on this week’s show are Dr. Bart Ehrman on his new book Jesus Before the Gospels, and Prof. Joanna Brooks on her book Saving Alex – co-written with a young Mormon who faced condemnation and attempts at a “cure” for her sexuality. Download Icon

Racism on the Campaign Trail
The political campaign has helped expose long-hidden racist impulses among some members of the electorate. a coalition of African American Clergy, including our guest Rev. Derrick Harkins is speaking out forcefully on issues of race and voter engagement. Harkins currently serves as a Senior Vice President at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and is a past director of faith outreach for the Democratic National Committee and advisor to President Obama.

Being Mormon and Gay
Joanna Brooks is the co-author of the new book Saving Alex, which tells the engrossing first-person story of Alex Cooper and the nightmare she faced after telling her Mormon parents she was gay at the age of 15. Brooks is an award-winning scholar and author. She is a Professor of English and Associate Vice President of Faculty Affairs at San Diego State University.

The Gospels Influence on Our Secular Culture
Bart Ehrman, author of Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed and Invented Their Stories of the Savior joins us to discuss the way the science of memory can help us understand how scripture came to be. Our secular culture continues to be profoundly impacted by biblical influences – including fundamentalist biblical influences – and this controversial book raises some important questions. Dr. Ehrman is a best-selling author, scholar and a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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