The U.S. remains a nation divided, and for many, dialogues with people who do not share our worldview feel more difficult than ever. For certain communities, how can you fathom a conversation with someone whose beliefs not only contradict yours, but may endanger you? And at the same time, without engagement, what hope is there for healing divides? This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will look into such “Holy Dialogues” with LGBTQI+ Christians, as well as the dominoes falling in the Southern Baptist Convention and a new American Mosque Survey.
The still-powerful Southern Baptist Convention has long been the driving force behind much of the weaponization of religion in political spaces. For that reason, there were valid fears that when the SBC held its annual meeting last week, things would only get worse. The Rev. Dr. Bill Leonard, founding dean and professor emeritus at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, as well as senior columnist at Baptist News Global, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss what happened – and what it might mean.
Key to creating a more just, inclusive and prosperous world is solidarity among people of different backgrounds and beliefs. And how does one create solidarity? Through constructive dialogue — which is what the Holy Dialogues series seeks to do among people with very different relationships to LGBTQI+ identity and religion. The Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, one of the hosts of the series, will join Welton to discuss the details of the Holy Dialogues project. A growing library of dialogues is available at http://www.holydialogues.org
Every year, State of Belief features the comprehensive findings of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding’s American Muslim Poll. But the research continues between those reports, including this year’s American Mosque Survey, which reflects a year marked by a pandemic, and a contentious national election. Rev. Gaddy will sit down with director of research Dr. Ihsan Bagby to discuss eye-opening findings from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding’s latest American Mosque Survey.
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