State of Belief Offers an Interfaith Look at the Holiday Season

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Washington, D.C. – “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, is planning two special episodes to close out 2006 in an interfaith celebration of the winter holiday season.  Also, Rev. Welton Gaddy addresses the recent schism within the Episcopal Church over gay rights.


What traditions do Jewish families observe on December 25th?  What is the American Christmas experience like for Muslim immigrants?  How do Buddhists view the Christmas season?  And how do interfaith families deal with the holiday?  Welton poses these questions and others to: Air America Producers Brendan McDonald and Dan Pashman; comedian Marc Maron; Arien Bahawdry, a Muslim immigrant; Dmitri Bakhroushin, a member of the Buddhist Council of New York; and Reverend Jane Holmes Dixon, former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.


Also, last Sunday, nine Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted to break away from the Episcopal Church of the U.S.  The parishes are all opposed to the recent consecration of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire, as well as the blessing of same sex-unions.  The parishes have announced their affiliation with the Episcopal Church of Nigeria.


Diana Butler Bass, a church historian and author of Christianity for the Rest of Us, tells Rev. Gaddy this conflict is inevitable.  “Much of the new life in the Episcopal Church is coming out of our more liberal congregations,” she says. “The conservative churches have been sidelined by churches that are more open.”  In fact, Butler Bass indicates, “I have an incredible amount of evidence that the vitality of the Church is growing from the center to the left in the Mainline.”


Also on the December 31 show: Rabbi Irwin, author of the book Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life; Dr. Obrey Hendricks, author of the book The Politics of Jesus.