The ascendance of the Religious Right from the 1970s until now completely changed the political course of the United States, forever realigning American politics around religion and firmly entrenching different faith traditions into political camps. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll discuss the Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Trump’s ban on transgender servicemembers, the criminalization of charity and good works, and how we can solve political issues by recognizing the sameness of all people.
A year and a half ago, Donald Trump signed an executive order banning transgender Americans from serving in the United States military. The backlash was widespread and federal courts quickly placed multiple injunctions on the order. This past Tuesday, however, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision allowed the ban to go into effect while cases still in lower courts move forward. This week, State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak to Rabbi Jay Michaelson, legal affairs columnist at the Daily Beast, on next steps after the SCOTUS ruling, its effect on the military and how it will impact other administration policies.
Human nature pushes us to self-select our various tribes and label ourselves in order to fit in. The consequence of this is that it builds divisions between people and creates differences where there were none. Breaking out of these self-imposed tribes requires a holistic view of people and their humanity. In his new book, Co-Human Harmony: Using Our Shared Humanity to Bridge Divides, the Rev. Gudjon Bergmann seeks to provide a step-by-step guide to create unity and build oneness between seemingly disparate groups. Welton will sit down with the Rev. Bergmann to discuss his book, his experience as an interfaith activist and his prescriptions for creating connections between people. A section of the book comprises essays from a diverse array of promiment faith leaders, including Interfaith Alliance President Rabbi Jack Moline.
This past week, four women were convicted for leaving food and water in the Arizonan desert for migrants crossing the southern border. In the past, border patrol agents have been documented destroying these caches and pouring out water reserves into the sand. This criminalization of aiding refugees and migrants is just another notch in the humanitarian crisis the Trump administration has created for immigrants coming to the United States. Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, has written compellingly on social media this week about what she sees as the biblical call to care for the stranger in juxtaposition with the conviction of activists trying to save human lives. Rabbi Jacobs will join Welton this week to talk about this latest injustice.