Donald Trump delivered his first official State of the Union address on January 30, claiming to have taken historic action to protect religious liberty. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s radio show and podcast, we will examine that claim with looks at an administration awash in theocratic culture warriors and the truth of its action, including the Muslim Ban.

Interpretation and spin inevitably blur facts in any State of the Union address, but especially one delivered by this president. Even fact-checking in the age of Trump has become fraught with recrimination and finger-pointing. Greg Lebel, retired assistant professor of political management at George Washington University and veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, will join host Rev. Welton Gaddy this week to break down the speech – and how what the president said belies what he did the day before and what has happened since the 80-minute speech ended.

As unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights in this country spew from a newly-energized political religious right, Dr. Jonathan Dudley will join Welton this week to explore the recent history of the religious right and how evangelical Christians abruptly changed their position on abortion to gain political power. Dr. Dudley was first on State of Belief in 2012 after the release of his book Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics – a still relevant look at how more than any other issue abortion has increased the number of single-issue voters.

Last week, to mark the anniversary of the Muslim Ban, a prophetic multifaith coalition gathered in Washington, DC to stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers in front of the White House. Other activists have dedicated themselves to a week full of actions highlighting the corrosive effect of the Trump travel ban and anti-Islam rhetoric on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In a compelling New York Times opinion piece Mustafa Umar, director of education and outreach at the Islamic Institute of Orange County, highlighted some of this damage and what he calls the gifts Islam bestows on its followers in responding to discrimination and oppression. He will be on State of Belief this week to share his thoughts and the insights that led to the piece, Islam Teaches Us That Life Is a Test. So Is This President.

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