As we approach the 2020 election, more and more people are discussing the role of faith – and the danger of religious nationalism – in electoral politics. However, many scholars have been tracking these forces for decades, and quite a few have shared their thoughts on this very show. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, will look back at past interviews with authors who have covered extensively the role of religion in our Democracy.
While much of our work at State of Belief is to uplift those doing critical work at the intersection of religion and politics, not every guest holds views you might agree with. In 2006, Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, sat down with conservative icon Pat Buchanan to discuss – and challenge – his views on the role of religion in government – particularly on the issue of immigration. We’ll balance this out with an excerpt from a talk Welton delivered at the Chautauqua Institution, titled “Good Citizenship: Healer of the Body Politic.”
Now a columnist for The New York Times, Michelle Goldeberg appeared on State of Belief in 2006 following the publication of her first book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. We will revisit her conversation with Welton discussing the alarm she was trying to sound almost 15 years ago.
Just this week, President Trump alleged that former Vice President Joe Biden was unfit to be president for being “against the Bible, and against God.” An unprovable falsehood, the claim is also an egregious constitutional violation, as Article 6, Section 3 is quite specific that there is no religious test for office. We will revisit Welton’s conversation with Isaac Kramnick and Laurence Moore to discuss their book The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State.
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