Some divisions create balance and fairness; others can tear a society apart. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll look at American divisions in the form of interfaith action at the Mexican border, the demarcation between Church and State, and the fine line between analysis and hyperbole.
For those who heard his sectarian speech at Notre Dame Law School, it is no surprise that many Americans are gravely concerned about Attorney General William Barr. Indeed, over the past several months, he has increasingly dismissed the line of separation of Church and State – for Christians, anyway. The progressive Christian activist group Faithful America has gone farther and filed an official complaint with the Justice Department, and State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy will explore that action with Rev. Nathan Empsall, the group’s director of campaigns.
While Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and many others are raising moral objections to our nation’s treatment of immigrants and refugees, others are couraging, bringing actual multifaith religious practice to the border is another degree of powerful. One faith leader who has been serving Communion at, and through, the Mexico border is the Rev. John Fanestil. This ministry has now been joined by Muslim and Jewish leaders, and Welton will get a first person briefing about the initiative, and the spiritual impact it has been having in a fraught corner of our nation.
In today’s polarized America, it often seems impossible to understand those who believe differently than we do. But is it at all helpful to view them as “brainwashed” and members of a “cult”? One expert on emerging religions and cults emphatically says “no,” in a thought-provoking essay recently published online. The scholar behind The Cult of Trump? What ‘Cult Rhetoric’ Actually Reveals, Dr. Benjamin Zeller, joins Welton to explain.