Any delusions that the New Year might start quietly are clearly over as State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, comes back with an action-packed show. Our host, Rev. Welton Gaddy, will sit down with Rev. Michael McBride of the Live Free campaign and Igor Volsky of the Center for American Progress to discuss President Obama’s landmark action on gun violence this week. We’ll hear from Rabbi Jay Michaelson about the anger from the Religious Right reflecting both fear – and potential electoral fallout. And an old friend of the show, Jon Sinton of Progressive Voices, joins us to reminisce about the first days of State of Belief on Air America Radio – andshare his vision of the future of progressive media.

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What President Obama’s Gun Violence Executive Orders Mean For Communities of Faith
Rev. Michael McBride
, the leader of the PICO National Network’s Live Free campaign, has been a frequent guest on the show and an inspiration to many of our listeners. Over the years we’ve watched as his impressive work to address the violence confronting communities of color has been echoed by our nation’s leaders and given a much broader audience – such as just this week when President Obama announced a series of executive actions to address gun violence in America. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Pastor Mike about how these reforms will touch the lives of communities of color – and communities of faith across America.

#ThoughtsAndPrayers and How Social Media can Expose Political Influence
It’s a phrase we’re all too familiar with: after every tragedy, politicians and public figures take to social media and offer their “thoughts and prayers” for the victims. In the immediate aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings, Igor Volsky, director of video at the Center For American Progress, took to Twitter to pair those lawmakers’ sentiments with how much cash each had received from the gun lobby. Powerful stuff. Igor’s kept it up during the current debate, and he joins us to explain the campaign, and to urge engaged listeners to do the same, whether on gun violence or on other issues they care deeply about.

Progressive Voices on the Airwaves
In too much of the country the only faith voices – if not the only voices of any kind – that you’ll hear on the radio are from the most conservative among us. State of Belief itself was born out of the urge to present another side of faith and politics to listeners across America. This week, ten years after the launch of our show, Welton sits down with Jon Sinton of Progressive Voices to reminisce – and to discuss the current state of progressive media, including Jon’s latest project, the online Progressive Voices Network (which features State of Belief twice every weekend.)

The Anger Behind The Religious Right and the So-Called War on Christians
There may not be a war on Christmas or persecution of Christians in America, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t angry about their perception that there is. Jay Michaelson – a rabbi, activist and prolific writer – explores how the changing demographics and religious practices of Americans has laid the basis of the Religious Right’s fear and anger in a recent Daily Beast column. He and Welton will chat about how this anger informs the latest fights around religious freedom – and the politics of the upcoming election.

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