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 is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.