Protecting Faith & Freedom
Updated: Oct 25
From the organization name Interfaith Alliance, one might infer that its purpose is to promote multi-faith dialogue, but its mission specifically is to "celebrate religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism."
While Interfaith Alliance believes that "religious and cultural diversity is essential in building vibrant communities. they also stress that "no one has the right to impose their beliefs on others and that "religious and political extremists are a threat to individual liberty and democracy."
Listen to State of Belief host Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, who talks with Dr. David P. Gushee about his new book, Defending Democracy from its Christian Enemies. What Gushee sees as a threat to American democracy he calls 'white Christian nationalism" or 'authoritarian, reactionary Christianity." He sees "Christians claiming to act in the name of Jesus Christ and his supposed representative on earth, Donald Trump at the forefront of the January 6, 2021 storming of the nation's Capitol." Gushee makes a robust case for a renewed commitment to democracy on the part of Christians - "not by succumbing to secular liberalism, but by drawing on our own best traditions."
The ABC News series Democracy in Peril examines the distorted belief that "God is on their side in a divinely inspired fight against evil." ABC News writer Oren Oppenheim, in a November 7, 2022 article entitled "Christian nationalism' threatens democracy, some experts say" quotes Rev. Meriah Tigner, who speaks against 'religious nationalism' in terms of how it contradicts her faith and her identity as an American:
"Through compassionate conversations with people you disagree with, you may actually find middle ground about things, and maybe actually able to have enough humility in the conversation, to hear a new perspective and to change your beliefs,"
I believe that open, thoughtful, interspiritual, understanding is necessary both to preserve our democracy and to effectively address our global environmental challenges. The belief that "God is on our side" can often be very dangerous. I support the work of Interfaith Alliance. Do you?