This was just one of those weeks. From the next stages of impeachment to a horrific hate crime shooting in Jersey City, to a deeply controversial executive order by President Trump supposedly addressing anti-Semitism on college campuses, there was a lot to be concerned about. All with the holidays fast approaching. At the same time, in times like these, we strive to amplify voices that help us all better understand the state of our nation – and understand efforts to better it. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll hear from guests working for good in Washington, DC; Portland, Oregon; and even Bucharest, Romania.

Senator Sherrod Brown is a beloved elected official from Ohio, and has been since 2007. As hectic as things are in Congress today, Senator Brown has made the time to write a book, Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, and speak with us about it. The Senator will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss how he has maintained his connection with voters around his progressive values in a state where he is currently the only Democrat to hold statewide office.

Also on this week’s show, Welton will sit down with Dr. Chrissy Stroop, co-editor of the newly-published Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church, to discuss her work writing in the “exvangelical” movement. Chrissy’s book continues her work of challenging toxic religion and promoting the healing of the wounds it can inflict.

The relentless efforts of the US political religious right to export its culture wars to vulnerable nations around the world are well documented – but things went even farther recently in Romania, where a long-running and well-funded campaign to pass a referendum defining marriage as one man, one woman was so transparent in its western origins that it even included anti-gay idol Kim Davis of Kentucky, USA coming to campaign for faith-based bigotry. We’ll get a first-person account from MozaiQLGBT Executive Director Vlad Levente Viski in Bucharest.

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