In 2020

As the weeks go on and on in this global pandemic, we’re beginning to see how the fallout of the COVID-19 virus is shaping our communities. From research showing that marginalized Americans are disproportionately coming down with the illness, to religion being used to push far-right propaganda during a crisis, we must stay alert to the impact this will have for months and years to come. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will hear from experts in polling, the military, and LGBTQ issues about said impact.

In a country as historically religious as the United States, what does it look like for millions of people to turn to faith or spirituality in a time of mass crisis? Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, will discuss this question with Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life Research Associate Claire Gecewicz. Pew released a recent report headlined, Few Americans say their house of worship is open, but a quarter say their faith has grown amid pandemic.

Since 2005, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been pushing back against religious intimidation of anyone not following a narrow version of fundamentalist Christianity in the U.S. military ranks. Founder and President Mikey Weinstein will join Welton to talk about this work over the past 15 years. 

Maybe there really was a need for Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse to ride into New York City to set up overflow medical facilities in tents on public land – despite Graham’s long history of virulent anti-gay rhetoric. But even in the face of a deadly pandemic, the emergency facility made sure to demand anyone hired signed statements declaring opposition to marriage equality, the existence of transgender identity, and more. Never mind that many heroic medical ware workers are themselves LGBTQI+; reports have surfaced of tax dollars being funnelled to this nakedly discriminatory effort. Welton is joined this week by Ross Murray of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) — and a Deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church — to unpack this unacceptable situation.

We’ll wrap up with a Word from Welton about the growing disconnect with truth and reality that’s spreading across our nation like a deadly virus.

In this time of social isolation, do you know someone who would benefit from hearing the thoughtful, inclusive conversations we offer? Please share State of Belief with them!

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