In 2021

We know that religious freedom and LGBTQ+ equality are complementary – not contradictory – freedoms. And yet, the religious right continues to distort the meaning of religious freedom to include the right to discriminate against those who identify or believe differently than they do. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we hear from faith leaders who are turning the tide and proving that religious freedom and equality are compatible.

One piece of news that is certainly worth celebrating is the election of the country’s first openly transgender bishop, the Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bishop-elect Rohrer will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to talk about their path in the Church and the opportunities for mercy and ministry provided by the attention this historical moment is garnering.

On the national stage, some American Catholic bishops are demanding President Joe Biden, along with other prominent Catholics like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, toe the Vatican line on reproductive rights – or be publicly denied the sacrament of the eucharist. Rome has weighed in to strongly condemn this political gambit. Welton will speak with Dr. Massimo Faggioli, author of Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States, about the president’s faith and the pressure he is under from a certain swath of Catholics.

Meanwhile, a growing movement in the Catholic Church in Germany is defying recent Vatican guidance on the blessing of same-sex relationships. Last Monday, over 100 parishes took part; and the pastor of two of them, Father Holger Almenroeder, will join us to explain the #liebegewinnt (love wins) movement in his country.

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