Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Statement on Bible Verses in Bush Era Intelligence Reports

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, issued the following statement in response to reports that intelligence reports produced by the Defense Department during the Bush Administration included covers adorned with biblical passages.

I find the Defense Department's use of biblical quotes in intelligence reports during the Bush Administration offensive morally and sacrilegious spiritually. Arguing that the scripture-quoting covers were rarely seen by the president misses the point completely. The real harm in this ludicrous decision is not the Bible passages' impact on the president if he saw them but the lack of constitutional sensitivity, and the bold manipulation of religion in the mind of a senior military official and the subsequent religiofication of military conflict planted in the minds of those charged with defending national security. How shameful that military leaders promoted the perception that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were religious wars!

Unfortunately this just-disclosed development from the Bush Administration is not an isolated incident. Rather, it is the latest example of the military using religion as another of its strategies in the execution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just this month we were shocked by clear evidence of proselytizing by military personnel in Afghanistan. To use Sacred Scriptures laced with a message of peace to build support for fomenting war approaches the status of conscionable behavior!

No longer will words suffice to define the character of our military. The Pentagon's action and the ruthless imposition of religion by some of its personnel requires demonstrable correction. Commander-in-Chief Obama must direct the Secretary of Defense to institute policies that ensure our nation continues its historic constitutional mission that includes protecting freedom and not promoting religion.

Interfaith Alliance Praises President’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation

Interfaith Alliance Praises President’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the proclamation issued this afternoon by President Obama for the National Day of Prayer:

President Obama did the right thing today by issuing a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer that is inclusive of all Americans. We must cherish the freedom in this country to pray or not to pray.

The reality is that we don’t need our elected leaders to instruct us in the ways of religion just as we don’t need our religious leaders to tell us for whom to vote. However, if we are going to have such a day, I am glad to see that this president understands that it should be inclusive.

Interfaith Alliance, along with Jews on First, sent a letter to the president in April calling for him to support an inclusive day of prayer and reject the exclusionist version supported by Shirley Dobson’s so-called National Day of Prayer Task Force.

 

Interfaith Alliance Praises legalization of Same-Gender Marriage in Maine

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the legalization of same-gender marriage in Maine
Maine's decision to legalize same-gender marriage continues a growing momentum in support for this issue. Like the Governor of Maine, John E. Baldacci, more and more people are coming to recognize that government support for same-gender marriage is "a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law." Expanding civil rights and respecting individual freedom for all persons pulsate at the heart of American democracy.

Given our nation's constitutional commitment to religious freedom, nothing in today's action will deprive anyone of the right to practice the teachings of their respective religious institutions. But the state of Maine will treat all citizens fairly. Members of the GLBT community in Maine no longer will be denied access to the right to marry based on a civil prohibition shaped by some people's religious convictions.

Interfaith Alliance Criticizes Shirley Dobson For Her Stance on the National Day of Prayer

Washington D.C. - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to comments by Shirley Dobson, head of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, criticizing President Obama for not participating in their National Day of Prayer event. Interfaith Alliance sent a letter to President Obama on April 21, 2009 calling for an Inclusive Day of Prayer.

It is a shame that the National Day of Prayer Task Force seems to think it owns the National Day of Prayer. Once again, the Task Force is misrepresenting the purpose of this national observance. Because President Obama is choosing to observe the day apart from any association with Shirley Dobson's organization, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has chosen to malign him and disregard the fact that his position is no different than Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him. Clarity would be most helpful here. President Obama is not the Pastor-in-Chief of the nation and Shirley Dobson's Task Force is not the spiritual judge of the president's personal or official actions.

Mrs. Dobson has every right to call for a National Day of Prayer exclusive to Christians who share her particular doctrinal beliefs, but she has no right to demand or even to expect that the White House will embrace a national event that is not inclusive of all Americans. A presidential proclamation on prayer and meditation should be distinctly different from a call to prayer issued by a narrowly-focused, sectarian organization.

Interfaith Alliance Statement on the Vermont Legislature Overriding the Governor’s Veto on Gay Marriage

Interfaith Alliance Statement on the Vermont Legislature
Overriding the Governor's Veto on Gay Marriage

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement following the Vermont legislature's vote to overturn the Governor's veto of legislation legalizing gay marriage.

The Vermont legislature did the right thing by overriding the governor's veto of legislation legalizing gay marriage. Today's action taken together with last week's Iowa Supreme Court decision will forever make April 2009 a milestone on the road to equal rights for all citizens. Vermont has recognized and respected the important boundaries between the legal requirements for the civil institution of marriage and the theological requirements for the religious institution of marriage, and should be congratulated for it.