Our thoughts are with all who are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which wreaked havoc from the Florida panhandle to Virginia this past week. After every such “Storm of the century,” it remains astounding that the political religious right continues to cling to its disbelief in climate change, underscoring their influence on politicians, public policy and our collective discourse. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll look at how religious rhetoric is used to harm people in our country – and the forces pushing against it.

“Every time some anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it, and it’s Jews behind it.” That was the message on flyers left on the Des Moines offices of Interfaith Alliance’s Iowa affiliate and the local Planned Parenthood – as well as on college campuses in California and New York. The flyers also featured anti-Semitic imagery. Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, will join State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy this week to discuss what happened – and how activists can find resilience and even inspiration from hate attacks both online and in real life.

Mitchell Gold, co-founder and CEO of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, is on a mission. He’s seeking to end discrimination and bullying of LGBTQ youth across the country. Having grown up under the weight of harassment for his own sexual orientation, Mitchell now travels the country, speaking on how we, as a country, can be more inclusive and healing and collectively oppose hate and the targeting of the LGBTQ community. Welton will speak with Mitchell about his crusade to make life better for LGBTQ youth and what we can do to end the torment of vulnerable communities as a part of Whosoever You Love, our series affirming the worth and full value of LGBTQ persons within and beyond religion. Whosoever You Love is supported by the Arcus Foundation, dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world. Learn more about Arcus and its partners at ArcusFoundation.org.

Was Trump’s rise an act of God? That’s the premise of a new film made by students and faculty at the evangelical Liberty University, entitled “The Trump Prophecy.” The film argues that the current president was anointed by God to enact his will – a will that apparently includes suppression of Muslims, Jews, Atheists, racial minorities, journalists, LGBTQ persons and so-called rebellious women. Welton will speak with religion writer for Vox.com, Tara Burton, about this new film and how it feeds into the modern beliefs of the Religious Right and many evangelical voters.

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