Washington, D.C. – On this weekend’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy explores atheism and secular humanism in America and attempts to bridge the divide between them and believers. In his Preaching to the Choir segment, Rev. Gaddy recounts his experience last week accepting the Humanist Religious Liberty Award from the American Humanist Association.
“Growing up in a Christian fundamentalist home in West Tennessee in the early 1940’s, virtually everybody I knew was a Christian,” says Rev. Gaddy. “I do remember being told about and one time seeing a person associated with humanism, a philosophy, a way of life which, in the narrowness of that social-religious context, was synonymous with atheism. This gentleman bore an unseen stigma in the community.”
Eliminating that stigma, Rev. Gaddy insists, is especially important today in a society full of religious and political arrogance. The Interfaith Alliance and State of Belief are proud to have many non-religious people as members and listeners. In fact, half or more of the listenership of State of Belief are nonbelievers. One of the reasons for this trend is that believers and non-believers often travel the same journey of discovery.
“I am amazed by how much we share in common and sorry for how long it took me to discover that reality. Struggle is our common lot in life,” says Rev. Gaddy. “We seem to have an inherent revulsion to simplicity, impatience with easy answers, and suspicion related to any claim that one solution promises to fit and solve all problems.”
Also on the show: Nica Lalli, author of Nothing… Something to Believe In; Lynn Garrett, Senior Religion Editor for Publisher’s Weekly, on the recent increase in prominent books on atheism; and Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, on the Take Back America Conference next week.
State of Belief is religion and radio, done differently. State of Belief explores the intersection of religion with politics, culture, media, and activism. Through interviews with newsmakers and celebrities, reports from the field, and his own commentary, Rev. Welton Gaddy shows how religion and freedom are compatible and how the religious right is wrong for America and bad for religion.
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.