In 2021

For the first time in over 200 years, the US Capitol was stormed by an insurrectionist mob. This time, at the behest of a president and with little or no opposition – the culmination of four years of white supremacy and Christian nationalism that have stood as a hallmark of the administration. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, will look into the impact of religion – in particular, dogmatic, political religion – on our culture and our government.

In order to create more just laws and policies, it is crucial that our elected officials reflect the communities they serve. Elizabeth Sciupac, senior researcher at Pew Research Center, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss the religious makeup of the 117th Congress and ways it differs from America as a whole.

Often excluded from conversations of faith in public life are secular Americans, despite making up a significant percentage of the population. And as threats of Christian nationalism continue to grow, it is imperative that we understand the religious landscape in all of its forms and complexities. Welton will sit down with Alison Gill — vice president for legal and policy issues at American Atheists — to discuss the organization’s new study on religious equality in the states, as well as the largest survey ever of Atheists in America.

Though we are in a dark time as a nation, there are still bright spots in our collective struggle for equality. This session, for instance, Congress will welcome its first-ever woman chaplain. But for some, it remains a question of whether a secular institution like Congress should even have a chaplain. Brian Kaylor, editor and president of Word & Way, will join Welton to discuss the constitutionality of this title and role, which he wrote about in Roll Call under the headline, The democratic sin of congressional chaplains.

And we’ll hear some Words from Welton on the situation facing America today, how we got here, and what we should consider if we are trying to imagine a way forward.

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