In 2021

For Catholics who support LGBTQ+ equality, this week’s statement from the Vatican prohibiting church blessings for same-sex relationships felt like a big step backwards, especially after the new tone defined by Pope Francis’s earlier comments about LGBT people: “Who am I to judge?” At the same time, a powerful new book calls for white evangelical Americans to take a hard look at the racism and exclusion that has long existed within the tradition. This week, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, fills in again for host Rev. Welton Gaddy to explore how faith traditions are wrestling with their past, to determine how to move forward.

The dark legacy of racism has infected and continues to shape virtually every institution in American life, and religion is certainly no exception. Dr. Anthea Butler, a leading voice on the intersection of faith and racial justice, will join Jack to talk about her new book, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America. She will discuss how deeply enmeshed racism is in our religious communities, and why a reckoning is due.

Many people–and not just Catholics–were hurt and disappointed by a provocative new statement from the Vatican prohibiting any Church blessing for same-sex unions. Jack will sit down with Francis DeBernardo, the longtime executive director of New Ways Ministry, to discuss how this kind of teaching harms committed couples, and what it says about Pope Francis and the direction of the Catholic Church.

2021 marks 15 years since State of Belief aired its first broadcast. We’ll wrap up this week’s show with a 2006 interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges.

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