Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Celebrates Supreme Court Ruling for Marriage Equality, Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Interfaith Alliance celebrates today’s Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishing marriage equality. The organization has long argued that bans on same-sex marriage violate both the constitution’s promise of equality and of religious freedom. Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, hailed the decision clearing the way for marriage equality nationwide.

“Today the Supreme Court has said unequivocally what people of faith across the country have known for years: that there is no legitimate, secular reason to deny the right to marry to same-sex couples. This is a victory for marriage; this is a victory for families and children; this is a victory for the love that is preached by the prophets and spiritual leaders of every faith tradition. Today’s decision is, without question, one of the most important civil rights decisions in a generation.”

“The long struggle for marriage equality has proven to us what we risk when our laws are governed by religious doctrine alone. We have denigrated loving couples, we have jeopardized the rights of parents and children, and we have threatened to roll back our Constitution’s assurance of religious freedom. Today’s decision is a first step toward atoning for those wrongs. There is no doubt that some voices – religious and secular – will seek to take back the gains we made today. They have already pushed faulty religious freedom legislation, opposed non-discrimination measures and sought to make life harder for loving families. We will not rest until each of these measures is defeated and full equality is the law of the land.”

Interfaith Alliance Offers Condolences Following the Tragic Shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC

WASHINGTON – Interfaith Alliance executive director Rabbi Jack Moline offered condolences on behalf of the board of directors and staff of the organization following the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Emanuel AME Church, the families of the victims and the people of Charleston.  The senseless loss of lives must not be forgotten. In honoring the lives of those murdered, we recommit ourselves to replacing hate with love, violence with peace, and weapons with embraces.

The apparent racism in this crime is especially reprehensible. And sadly, it has become too common of a necessity for us to put out a statement of condolence for another of the thousands of tragic gun deaths in America. Please take a moment to reflect on this tragedy and to consider what you might do to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Rabbi Moline Responds to Pastor Jeffress' Comparing Treatment of Christians in America to Nazism

Earlier this week Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX, appeared on Fox News and compared the situation of Christians in America today to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Rabbi Jack Moline responded to Pastor Jeffress' assertions in an open letter to the religious leader.


Dr. Robert Jeffress
First Baptist Church Dallas
1707 San Jacinto
Dallas, TX 75201

June 12, 2015

Pastor Jeffress,

Religious persecution is a significant problem around the world. Many people live in fear for their lives because of their faith, Christians included. You and I and everyone should do more to remedy the situation.

However, your recent comments on Fox News comparing your experience as a conservative Christian to Jews living in Nazi Germany show disrespect to the victims of the Holocaust, and do a disservice to the critically important cause of ending real religious persecution. The honest disagreements that people of faith in this country have about public policy issues are hardly the beginning of a path towards genocide.

Let’s understand the full import of what you are saying.  If Christians (as you define them) are the Jews of pre-Holocaust Europe, then the rest of us are the Nazis and their sympathizers. It serves your rhetorical purpose to demonize those with whom you disagree, but it shows that you lack a true understanding of what the term “Nazi” means or the history that led to their crimes. And in the practice of hyperbole, you reduce the progress and expansiveness of American values of inclusiveness and equal rights to a plot to steal the rightful dominance of people who are most like you.

You have a reputation for complaining that other faith traditions are evil, false and cultic. That is your right and, as strongly as I disagree with you, I will defend your right to be wrong. Ironically, the provisions of the Constitution, which extend that right to you, have been dismissed by you in the name of religious exclusivity. You owe the American people an apology. We are a nation that celebrates diverse beliefs and views and we are undeserving of the allegation you have made.

Someone once told me, “The first person to use ‘Nazi’ always loses the argument.”  You have proven her point.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Jack Moline
Executive Director
Interfaith Alliance

Interfaith Alliance Condemns Passage of North Carolina Bill Allowing Discrimination By State Employees

WASHINGTON – Today the North Carolina State Legislature overrode Governor Pat McRory’s wise veto of SB 2. This law will allow state officials to refuse to perform legal same-sex marriages if it contradicts the official’s personal religious beliefs. In response to the passage of this bill, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, said this:

“North Carolina’s state motto is Esse Quam Videri, ‘To Be Rather Than To Seem.’ Unfortunately in the case of SB 2, the state legislature got it backward – they want to seem like they are for religious freedom, but they’re not really. Religious freedom means that officers of the government serve all equally, regardless of their personal religious ideology. Religious freedom ensures that secular law, not religious doctrine, dictates government services. It is disturbing and disheartening to see so many members of a state legislative body misunderstand our most important freedom.”