State of Belief: Where Religion and Democracy Meet

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In the coming days, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case on the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) – a federal law that guarantees all people treatment for emergency medical conditions. However, anti-abortion extremists are trying to exclude pregnant people from EMTALA’s long-standing protections. This has the potential to not only drastically impact access to life-saving reproductive care, but also religious freedom. The same goes for the recent SCOTUS oral arguments on access to mifepristone, the leading medical pregnancy termination drug. And of course, we’re fast approaching the 2nd anniversary of the Dobbs decision, reversing Roe v. Wade.

Infringing on people’s rights to make personal decisions based on their own moral beliefs is one way that religious extremists are seeking to chip away at our democracy and impose their Christian nationalist agenda. One way to push back is to stand together for the values most Americans actually hold. This week on The State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush speaks with Skye Perryman of Democracy Forward to unpack the EMTALA and mifepristone cases and their impact on democracy. Paul also speaks with the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis of Middle Church about the upcoming Freedom Rising Conference, which will convene community leaders, organizers, and educators to determine how the interfaith movement can work together to save democracy in this pivotal moment.

“These are attacks on our democracy, plain and simple. They’re attacks on everything about the way of our life in America, about the ability to hold our freedoms, about the ability to raise our families, about the ability to be in communities with people. And so I think we need to see that for what it is. And one thing that people can do is just to make sure that they are engaged in their local communities, that they are registered to vote, that they are encouraging people to vote.”

– Skye Perryman, president and CEO of Democracy Forward. An attorney, activist, and organizer, she is also a member of the board of Interfaith Alliance.

“Whether our political party is Democrat or Republican or Independent, we know that our democracy is eroding, and if we want to stop the failure of democracy and the destruction of Mother Earth, we remember that God is for the healing of all the people and for the protection of the planet. And we, we are co-creators with God. We are co-stewards with God. We have a responsibility to load in at this time so that love can win in November. And that’s what we’re organizing for.”

– The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, longtime senior pastor at Middle Church in New York City. Author of the book Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Frocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World. Jacqui is an activist, preacher, writer, and teacher. She also hosts the Love, Period podcast.

Every week, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush hosts lively, funny and poignant conversations with inspiring religious and civic leaders; as well as artists and activists from across the country. Listeners get a potent mix of spiritual wisdom, political strategy, and hopeful commentary from national and local leaders who are rising up to meet this urgent moment in America. With the tagline: “Where Religion and Democracy Meet,” State of Belief is a celebration of our nation’s diversities and an invitation to join together to, in the words of the great James Baldwin, “Achieve our country.”

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