As our country passed a grim milestone of 500,000 COVID-related deaths this week, our politics are still wracked with division. But with good news about the development of vaccines and a new sense of stability in Washington, there’s also a chance that perhaps our country has turned a corner. This week on State of Belief we’ll talk about the big challenges we’re facing, and the progress we’re seeing in the process of healing and recovery. State of Belief Host Rev. Welton Gaddy is away this week, and Interfaith Alliance President Rabbi Jack Moline is filling in.

At a time when some are using religious differences to inflame divisions in our country, it’s more important than ever to have honest and respectful conversations about our diverse religious landscape. Asma Uddin will join Jack to discuss her new book The Politics of Vulnerability: How to Heal Muslim-Christian Relations in a Post-Christian America (due out March 23rd from Pegasus Books), and how faith can be harnessed and distorted to sow discord–or used as a source of common values that can promote healing, community and mutual respect.

Jack will also sit down with Dr. Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, to discuss how the language of “religious freedom,” so brutally distorted by the political religious right, can be countered by genuinely inclusive and respectful workplace environments that honor the deep spiritual commitments of workers from all backgrounds.

Finally, political management expert Greg Lebel will join Jack to discuss a most unexpected development in Washington: the apparent return of normalcy. We’ll talk about what’s changed – and what hasn’t – as the Biden-Harris administration wraps up its first month in office. And we’ll consider some of the big challenges that exist in building a democracy that reflects our most important shared principles.

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