The midterms are over, and the race for 2020 will soon begin in earnest. In terms of protecting religious freedom, Tuesday’s results offered a mixed bag. Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, lost her re-election bid. Alabama voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that will allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed on public property. And a number of important races are currently the subject of conflict and contention. Surprise, surprise. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll examine some of the results from Tuesday’s vote and explore what they mean for the days, weeks and months ahead.
American politics has never been truly devoid of racism. This most-recent election is no different. Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis urged Florida voters not to “monkey this up” when referring to his black opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Indicted California Rep. Duncan Hunter accused his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar – who is half Mexican, half Palestinian – of “working to infiltrate Congress,” and referred to him as a “national security threat.” Then there was an ad released by the president himself that was considered so racist even Fox News rejected it. This week on State of Belief, host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, civil rights activist and president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP, about racism in politics – and how we can push back against it.
As we headed into the weekend, some of Tuesday’s races were still too close to call following an election with record turnout across the country. Political management expert and the veteran of several presidential campaigns Greg Lebel will join Welton this week to dig into the significance of the election results and what seemed to influence voters this year. The two will discuss what was most influential in getting people to the polls, what it means that the line to vote was so long in some places across the country and the structural problems that result in more votes for one party but more congressional seats for the other.
Religion and politics seem more intertwined than ever. Tuesday’s exit polls show that white Evangelicals were almost as reliably Republican voters as they had been Trump voters. At the same time, the Nuns on the Bus headed for Mar-a-Lago, and progressive clergy are challenging the administration with Scripture. There’s no better observer of these trends than Jack Jenkins, national reporter for Religion News Service, and he’ll join Welton this week to discuss the current state of religion and politics.
Finally, we’ll hear a word from Welton about the recent spate of headline-grabbing violence and the latest controversies from the White House.