In 2021

Discussions surrounding the barbaric practice of conversion therapy continue as progressive faith leaders and activists work to end this dangerous psuedoscience. Leveraging survivor testimony is undoubtedly a key part of this strategy. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio program and podcast, we will discuss Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story, a powerful new book by Julie Rogers, the intersections between LGBTQIA+ advocacy and religious minorities, and religious freedom for the non-religious.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum has been leading Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City since its founding in 1992. Recognized as the largest LGBTQI+ synagogue in the world, CBST offers education and leadership on many essential issues facing today’s world. It’s no surprise that Rabbi Kleinbaum has been doing the same for decades – and has just been selected by President Joe Biden to rejoin the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. She’ll join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss her critical work at the intersection of several communities often targeted on religious grounds.

The Netflix film Pray Away has galvanized public attention on the still-widespread pseudoscience of conversion therapy. Among the stories featured in the documentary is that of Julie Rodgers, a survivor of the discredited practice and now the author of a powerful new memoir titled Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story. Welton will sit down with Julie to discuss her new book and what people of faith can do to help protect those at risk for this abuse.

While the political religious right continues to hone its skills at subverting religious freedom for all to advance its narrow agenda, more inclusive and pluralistic communities are working to highlight the true meaning of “religious freedom for all,” which includes freedom for non-believers. Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, will join Welton to discuss our upcoming event Freedom of (Non-)Belief: Secular Leadership & Religious Freedom, featuring Congressman Jamie Raskin.

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