Thank God We’re Not A Christian Nation

A critical election year is already in full swing, and faith communities have an important role to play to help protect democracy. Yet some communities are suffering extreme polarization in the face of the Israel-Hamas conflict, while others struggle with the ongoing threat of Christian nationalist propaganda. This week on The State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush speaks with Duke University Professor Imam Abdullah Antepli and scholar and author Warren Throckmorton about interfaith relations and the revisionist history that influences Christian nationalist propaganda.

“We have to step back and ask: what made our American universities great in the first place? What made American universities better than most other higher education institutions around the globe? Where freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and this broad spectrum of ideas civilly and constructively engage – and clash. But again, not in a violent or toxic way. We have to sort of strengthen those foundational pillars and ideals.” – Imam Abdullah Antepli, Associate Professor of the Practice of Interfaith Relations at the Duke University Divinity School and the Sanford School of Public Policy. Abdullah is a globally acknowledged scholar and leader of cross-religious and cross-cultural dialogue in American higher education and the not-for-profit world.

“We have a diverse nation. And there wasn’t nearly as much diversity at the time of the founding, but there was some. And you have to look at what the Founders did together when they crafted the Constitution. You have all these Founders from states with establishments and established religions, but what did they do? They didn’t establish a religion. They didn’t have a religious test. I mean, they did everything differently than what they had in their state. So what they did together and came together to do is what we should follow as our example, not what they did in their states.” – Warren Throckmorton, co-author, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact-Checking Claims About Our Third President and host of the new podcast “Telling Jefferson Lies.” 

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