This week, Americans across the country got the opportunity to hear from Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence on their respective visions for the nation. While the debate more closely resembled those of an election year past, there were still alarming flashpoints at the intersection of religion and politics — including the Vice President’s assertion that President Trump’s Jewish grandchildren immunize him from charges of anti-Semitism. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll look into the impact of the Trump administration’s incendiary rhetoric.

We would be much better off if the inflammatory rhetoric used by far too many of our leaders — worst of all, the president — were simply words and nothing more. Unfortunately, words have consequences. Helio Fred Garcia, author of Words on Fire: The Power of Incendiary Language and How to Confront It, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss how such language is empowering extremists.

Faith leaders and activists are demanding California Governor Newsom and Homeland Security forces do more to protect those incarcerated and detained amid the pandemic, many of whom are at higher risk of contracting the virus. Rev. Gaddy will sit down with Rev. Deborah Lee, executive director of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, who is on the frontlines of this faith-inspired movement.

Each year, the political religious right hosts the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of political leaders, Christian supremacists, and enthusiasts for chipping away at our first freedom. Peter Montgomery of People for the American Way covered the event and will join Welton to discuss this year’s gathering, as well as the troubling Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court nomination.

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