Politicians in Washington convened last week for the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event that has become the most public display of the inappropriate entanglement between government and religion in this country. While the event is purportedly an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come together, in reality, it allows the organizers to hide behind the veil of bipartisanship to conceal their true intent: advancing radical public policy grounded in religious conviction. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we will explore how the political influence of the Religious Right impacts all of us – and especially marginalized communities.

In 2019 “The Family,” a Netflix mini-series, made headlines with stunning revelations about how the group that bankrolls the National Prayer Breakfast has established power across the federal government. Jonathan Larsen, the managing editor at The Young Turks Investigates, will join Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief, to discuss how this conservative religious organization is chipping away at the separation between church and state.

From undermining public health efforts by spreading COVID-19 misinformation to fomenting extremism, the dangerous impact of the Religious Right on our politics has come to the forefront over the last couple of years. But as we know, Americans of faith across the country overwhelmingly reject these radical beliefs. The Rev. Nathan Empsall, executive director of Faithful America, will join Rev. Gaddy to talk about how his grassroots organization is galvanizing faith communities to confront Christian nationalism and channel their activism into social justice issues.

We at State of Belief have spoken out about the dangerous pseudoscience of conversion therapy for years. Religion is inevitably invoked to justify this quackery, but that’s far from the only area of mental health care that can drift into proselytising. Dr. Darrel Ray, executive director of Recovering From Religion, will speak with Welton about his work with the Secular Therapy Project, working to raise awareness of inappropriate encroachment of dogma on science.

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