The vast majority of Americans reject religious extremism – but that doesn’t mean the anti-democratic Christian nationalist movement isn’t a dangerous force to be reckoned with. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is joined by Eric K. Ward, executive vice president at Race Forward and chair of the Board at the Proteus Fund. The two discuss the dangers of Christian nationalism and similar ideologies that threaten our democracy, and Americans’ continued support for a multiracial democracy that includes religious diversity.
In addition to his work with Race Forward and the Proteus Fund, Eric Ward has held prominent positions at the Western States Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Ford Foundation, and is an internationally-recognized expert on the relationship between authoritarian movements, hate-fueled violence, and preserving inclusive democracy. He was the recipient of the 2021 Civil Courage Prize – the first time in the award’s history that an American has won the prize, underlining the dangerous proliferation of hate crimes and political violence by authoritarian and extremist movements in the United States.
A fascinating leader who has also nurtured a role in punk music, performing as Bulldog Shadow, Eric has fascinating stories of courage and community-building – and a deep understanding of what it takes to come together across differing agendas and identities, something he compellingly argues is desperately needed in our nation today. Be sure to read Eric’s powerful article, “You’re My Inspiration”: How I Came to Understand Racism in America—and What We Can Do About It.