Washington, April 20 – On this Sunday’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, Rev. Welton Gaddy talks with the author of American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips, and the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives is closely scrutinized.


Phillips’ book has been the center of attention for several weeks now as he claims the Republican Party is edging toward theocratic government.  Phillips, a former Republican strategist, warns that America has three features that in combination have brought down every world-dominating power: radically religious governance, an overdependence on diminishing resources (like oil), and a massive amount of debt.


“As the religious imprint on the Republican Party grew,” Phillips says, “there was an increase in the blurring of the lines between the church and the state.”  And he warns of President Bush’s “odd view of himself,” claiming that the President possesses an “egocentricity verging on messianic self-appointment.”  


James Towey, Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, resigned this week, but the news was barely reported. In his remarks he calls critics of the faith based initiative “secular extremists” – to which Welton takes offense. 


“The faith based initiative is the perfect example of what is wrong at the intersection of politics and religion today,” Welton says. “It takes religious organizations’ vast potential for good and exploits it for political payoffs. If the government will let religion alone, so much good can be done.”

Hollyn Hollman, General Counsel at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, joins Welton to offer a legal viewpoint on the office and Towey’s resignation.


“We’re going to see that a lot of harm has been done and the office has been counterproductive,” Hollman says. “Our concerns are legal and moral. There is a fundamental conflict in the faith based initiative this Administration has pushed.”

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.