Washington, April 28 – On this Sunday’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, Rev. Welton Gaddy continues to discuss the President’s Faith-Based Initiative and its negative impact on religion and politics in America.  He’s also joined by NPR correspondent and Priestess of Wicca Margot Adler to discuss paganism in America today.


In a news conference this week, The Interfaith Alliance and several national religious leaders called on President Bush to dismantle the Faith-Based Initiative. The leaders fear the Office has been used as a political football to gain favor with certain groups. The Rev. Timothy McDonald, Pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta and Chair of African American Ministers in Action joins Welton to warn people of the initiative’s real effects.


“It is hard to bark when there’s a bone in your mouth,” McDonald says. “This Administration has used the faith-based initiative to buy the black church.”


Welton stresses the initiative was a bad idea when it was conceived in 1999 and is even worse now.


“Put plainly,” Gaddy says, “it’s an ill-conceived, unconstitutional experiment that creates government sponsored religion and threatens the integrity of democracy and the sanctity of religion.”


Continuing State of Belief’s commitment to interfaith dialogue, Welton interviews Margot Adler, a Wiccan, about the current state of religious tolerance in this nation.


“We’re going through a really bad patch,” Adler says. “I think that people’s hearts aren’t very open. I think what people are learning very often in their churches, in their synagogues and in their various houses of worship, are not an appreciation for diversity and I think it’s going to be a very long struggle.”

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.