In 2021

Happy Independence Day Weekend! May the freedom our forebears bled and died to gain not be squandered by leaders and others who fail to understand that, in the immortal words of abolitionist Wendell Phillips, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will look into a collection of essays by leading voices from across and beyond the denominational spectrum, as well as the politicized faith-based resistance to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Today, the greatest threat to our national unity manifests itself within our union itself. Whether some of that is generated by external enemies matters not – in the end, tactics to stir disagreements require there to be disagreements in the first place. An invaluable new book, How to Heal Our Divides: A Practical Guide, offers guidance, advice, and inspiration needed at a time such as this. Editor Brian Allain will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss the powerful meditations and calls to action found in this book.

Instead of bringing the nation – and the world – together in ways that past global crises often did, the COVID-19 pandemic has served rather to alienate many people from one another and deepen divisions along tribal lines of political and religious divisions. Religiously driven objections to vaccinations – and even medical research – don’t influence only those who hold such beliefs; they bleed into the political culture, especially when one religious ideology dominates our secular culture. The Rev. Monty Self, Senior Staff Chaplain and Clinical Ethicist at Baptist Health Medical Center who writes for Good News Media, will join Welton for a conversation about the ways this is playing out across the nation.

And we’ll hear a Word from Welton about the state of the nation on this Independence Day – and the urgency that every American live into the immortal words of Francis Scott Key, “Oh Say, Can You See?”

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