In 2020

The ongoing demonstrations calling for an end to systemic racism have also led to a debate, once again, over the fate of Confederate monuments in communities around the country. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump said that activists’ efforts to take down the statues “wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values.” Some disagree. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will dissect the ongoing work to address and counter racism in this country.

This week also saw rulings in the final cases of this Supreme Court term. Earlier, the decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will have massive ripple effects on the separation of church and state in the education realm and beyond. Dr. Steven K. Green, a lawyer, historian, author and professor at Willamette University, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to unpack the ruling and how it upends decades of carefully-balanced lawmaking.

Concerning developments have surfaced as researchers and journalists look closer at the distribution of desperately-needed COVID-19 relief fund. According to reports, millions in PPP loans – taxpayer dollars earmarked for struggling small businesses – were funnelled to wealthy megachurches favored by the Trump administration. Welton will speak with Andrew Seidel of the Freedom from Religion Foundation to explore why this is such an important issue to draw a line in the sand about.

Neither the president nor the people claiming to “protect” shrines to the Confederacy are as close to this lineage as Lucien K. Truscott IV is. Yet his New York Times op-ed column was headlined, I’m a Direct Descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Take Down His Memorial. Lucien will join Welton to discuss his perspective as the great-great-great-great-grandson of Jefferson himself, and talk about the relationships he’s forged with his cousins – the descendants of Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

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