Welton on Obama’s Speech and Religious Conventions; Michelle Goldberg on Christian Nationalism

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Washington, July 7  On this Sunday’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, Rev. Welton Gaddy speaks with author Michelle Goldberg about the rise of Christian dominionism in America; examines Barack Obama’s speech on how faith affects his life; examines the effect of recent religious conventions on the landscape of America; and explores how faith bloggers plan to make their mark. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) spoke last week on the value of his faith to his public and political life which set off a firestorm discussion regarding the role of religion in the Democratic Party. The speech drew many reactions as Welton says, “it was the most impressive statement on faith and politics in recent memory and a refreshing departure from the self-righteous certainty of so many politicians’ religious speech.” This summer, several religious denominations held annual meetings including the Unitarian Universalists, the Episcopal Church USA, the Presbyterian Church USA and the Southern Baptists. Important decisions came out of each one as Jennifer Kottler, Deputy Director of Protestants for the Common Good joins Welton to talk about their impact. Welton asks her about the Episcopal Church naming their first female presiding bishop. Kottler says, “I would like to think the church is stepping out in some ways but I think we’re seeing the church start to reflect the broader society especially in the role of women.” Michele Goldberg, author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Chrisian Nationalism, talks with Welton about Dominionism and how the Religious Right is building its own fairy tale world. Goldberg says, “it’s a whole library of lies. You’re talking about stacks and stacks of endless books and revisionist histories and revisionist science books; all of it describing this completely imaginary world.” Blogger Velveteen Rabbi, also known as Rachel Barenblat, explains the importance of not just the blogosphere, but of religiously progressive blogs and how they can impact lives, religions and even elections. Rachel is heading up a Progressive Faith Blog Conference with more than 30 bloggers next week to discuss the best way to spread their message.