Washington, March 30 – On this Sunday’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, host Rev. Welton Gaddy talks with photographer Jose Camilo Vergara about the churches of the urban poor; tells listeners how the so-called “War on Christians” has branded him America’s public enemy number one; and agrees – gasp! – with Bill O’Reilly!
Welton also explores U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent words — and gestures — with David Cole, law professor at Georgetown University and Legal Affairs correspondent for The Nation.
Reverend Debra Haffner, Director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, talks about how organized religion has contributed to sexual confusion in America — and the growing religious movement to affirm sexuality. And a New Jersey councilman ponders what one does when your religion and your town mandate different days of rest.
Jose Camilo Vergara’s latest collection, How the Other Half Worships, features over 300 photographs of churches, pastors and congregants in some of America’s poorest urban neighborhoods. Vergara tells Welton what he has learned about religion in America, and the ties that link human beings: “The religion I was seeing was a much more emotional religion. People were not afraid to come right up and say, ‘Thank God I have a driver’s license! Thank God my son got out of jail!”
Welton discusses his strong feelings “related to all this talk about Christian persecution. I feel my American values are under attack, not my Christian values… The faith I know has no fear of living in a secular society. It has no difficulty pledging allegiance to a government that treats all religions equally and also respects those who hold to no religion at all. I am wary of people who would sacrifice the very freedom that gives them the right to sound ludicrous complaints, who would compromise the essence of democracy, to bring the whole nation in line with their vision.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.