All of us who believe America is built on true religious freedom know we’ve reached a dangerous and uncertain moment. As the Religious Right – aided and abetted by its allies in government – tries to impose a Christian nationalist vision of America, other courageous faith leaders are using their platform to show us the way forward. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, we’ll speak with a diverse group of faith voices dedicated to preserving our highest ideals.
Members of minority faiths have long struggled for the right to believe and practice free from fear and discrimination. But here on State of Belief, we know that our country’s religious diversity enriches our communities and our democracy, and we’ll always take up the opportunity to learn from unique voices. Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, executive director of the Religion & Society program at the Aspen Institute, will join Rabbi Jack Moline, filling in for State of Belief host Rev. Welton Gaddy, to discuss his brand-new new book, The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life.
While some faith voices distort the meaning of religious freedom to justify LGBTQ+ discrimination, other religious leaders have channeled their faith into efforts to uplift queer youth. These initiatives are especially important now, as legislators across the country try to turn back the clock and strip away the rights of LGBTQ+ youth. The Rev. Yadi Martinez-Reyna, a pastor in Dallas, will sit down with Jack to reflect on organizing a faith-affirming LGBTQ+ youth camp for the first time.
Last month’s Supreme Court ruling allowing taxpayer money to be funneled to religious schools isn’t the only new development harming our public schools. Over the past couple years, public schools have endured an explosion of politically-motivated book bans pushed by radical activists. Jack will welcome Carisa Lopez, senior political director at the Texas Freedom Network, to discuss how her organization is pushing back against these efforts to whitewash our nation’s history – notably with a public reading of banned books on Tuesday, July 26, in Austin.
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