Who: Keli Goff, Cornell Belcher, Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, Sister Simone Campbell, Stephen Mansfield, Imam Sohaib Sultan, Ron Christie
What: Panel discussion addressing the question “Does the religion of the president matter?”
Where: Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, 44 Charlton St. at Varick St.
When: Tuesday, March 29, $15, 7:00
Why: According to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The separation of church and state has been hotly debated for more than two centuries, perhaps never more so than in the current day, as the Bible rivals the Constitution for many politicians and the general populace. On March 29 at 7:00, journalist and writer Keli Goff will host the second edition of her ten-part monthly series, “Political Party,” examining the topic “Religion and the Presidency.” Her guests at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space will be Abyssinian Baptist Church pastor Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts, A Nun on the Bus: How All of Us Can Create Hope, Change, and Community author Sister Simone Campbell, The Faith of George W. Bush and The Faith of Barack Obama author Stephen Mansfield, Princeton University Muslim chaplain and The Koran for Dummies author Imam Sohaib Sultan, former special assistant to President George W. Bush and Black in the White House: Life Inside George W. Bush’s West Wing author Ron Christie, and, by phone, political strategist Cornell Belcher. Among the future programs for the series — which declares, “This is not another partisan shoutfest or predictable pundit roundtable. These are conversations that will be clever, passionate, and political, yet civil. Thoughtful contrarianism is encouraged. Talking points are not.” — are “What’s a Women’s Issue?” on April 26 with Vanessa De Luca and Penny Vance and “The Multiracial Vote” on July 18 with Soledad O’Brien and Amy Holmes.