RELIGION

Democracy & Religious Freedom: The Next Generation

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“You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.” With that powerful quote from former US Rep. Pat Schroeder, host Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush teed up an in-depth look at strategies for protecting the vote and religious freedom for all, as well as an introduction to a series of inclusive conversations around LGBTQI+ lives in Texas, The State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, this week.

Paul’s with Adam Friedman, Interfaith Alliance organizing and elections strategist, getting into opportunities for all Americans to actively participate in safeguarding the election, from volunteering at polling sites to engaging in educational initiatives against Christian nationalism. The conversation also delves into the importance of supporting LGBTQ inclusion, reproductive freedom, and combating censorship in education. Adam and Paul call on individuals of all faiths and beliefs to use their voices, offering hope and actionable steps through resources from Interfaith Alliance like an election year issue primer and a Speakers Bureau program. The episode is a rallying cry for unity and action in a time of significant challenges to democratic values.

“As a young person right now, there’s certainly fear; but I think it is really important to recognize this message of hope more broadly. We see the polarization; people feel the stakes of the moment. And, ultimately, it’s important to remember that people across the country feel the stakes, right? Even by acknowledging the statistic that folks are worried for our democracy asserts that while it’s divided by politics, people care about our democracy. People want to live in a country where they feel like their voice is heard. And by holding that, we can acknowledge our shared humanity and the common place in which we are coming from, even if we might disagree on the issues that divide us.”

-Adam Friedman, advocate and organizer, and a member of the Interfaith Alliance staff, serving as their organizing and elections strategist.

Paul also welcomes Aubin Peterson, co-founder of Another Story, about how faith has informed her LGBTQ advocacy.

“You know, someone’s got to speak up, and call it courage or stupidity, it is me. I wear the cloak proudly, whatever it is. But if not me, who is it going to be? And hopefully, you encourage others to do the same. But when I see the kids, around our church or in the community or at Baylor [University], I’m there for them.”

-Aubin Peterson, co-founder, with her husband Mark, of Another Story, a monthly gathering in the Dallas area that creates a space for dialogue on sexual orientation and gender identity, where traditional biblical perspectives on these issues can be questioned and discussed.

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