In 2018

Welcome to the movement to ensure all Americans of every faith tradition, or of none, are able to freely exercise Jeff Sessions’ beliefs. It’s a dangerous one. On this week’s State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we’ll take a look at the Attorney General’s latest attack on the First Amendment – what should really be called the “Religious Freedom Task Farce.” And we’ll hear the next instalment of Whosoever You Love, our semimonthly series affirming the worth and full value of LGBTQ persons within and beyond organized religion.

Attorney General Sessions is known for regularly siding with adherents of a particular brand of religion over the rest of us, making a de facto – and unconstitutional – hierarchy of belief. On Wednesday, Sessions announced the establishment of a Religious Freedom Task Force, adding, “A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. It must be confronted and defeated.” Critics have pointed out that the task force will clearly be used to promote Sessions’ personal brand of Christian nationalism, at the expense of other religious practices and personal value systems treasured by Americans. State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with Mark Dann, director of Governmental Affairs at the Secular Coalition for America.

The fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States has progressed at an incredible rate in less than twenty years – one of the fastest changes in public opinion ever. Sizeable majorities of Americans now support same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. Despite – or because of – this progress, the political religious right has been relentless in attacking LGBTQ persons, disgustingly trying to justify such actions using scripture. And now Transgender Americans find themselves in the crosshairs. In our second instalment of Whosoever You Love, Welton will speak with the Rev. Louis Mitchell, executive director of Transfaith.

If ever there was a time for people to stand up for our fundamental values and rights, that time is now, as the Religious Right systematically redefines religious freedom. But how can deeply concerned Americans push back, without slipping into the same trap of politicizing their own religious convictions? And what should we expect of our government officials when their personal beliefs come into conflict with public policy? This week, Welton will sit down with Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, who recently spoke at the Reimagining Interfaith Rally in Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House.

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