For a brief moment, Senior White House advisor Stephen Miller was the public face of Trump immigration policy, including the Muslim ban. Back in the shadows, now, the 33-year-old ultra-conservative continues to craft zero-tolerance and family separation programs, prompting his childhood rabbi to forcefully speak out against his policy positions. Where’s the line for morally-motivated faith leaders and political principles that directly impact some of the most vulnerable? This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll not only hear from that rabbi, but we’ll take a step back to look more broadly at how religion is being used to divide us instead of being the force for good it should be.

Dog whistles have turned into bullhorns. Since the 2016 election, racists, neo-Nazis, and other far-right extremists have become empowered to say things publicly that they used to only whisper to one another. With the midterm elections only weeks away, the rhetoric seems only be getting worse. Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, will join State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy this week to discuss the state of our democracy, how to resist the urge to hide our heads under a pillow until after Election Day and how to respond to the most egregious campaign rhetoric.

Atheism and faith are nearly always portrayed as at odds. Now, a new book is being promoted as “a rebuttal to Atheists.” The reality is, however, that author Scott A. Shay is proposing a new way to understand the role of religion in the public square and how people of faith and of no faith share many of the same commitments to morality and progress. Scott will join Welton this week to discuss that book, In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism.

The childhood rabbi of Stephen Miller, the senior advisor to the president best known as the key author of the Muslim ban and administration’s immigration policies, will join Welton this week to discuss his long-ago student and the boundaries religious leaders should consider when entering the political fray. Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels attracted attention last month after a Rosh Hashanah sermon in which he spoke directly to Miller from the bimah.

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