May 18 2016
WASHINGTON – Today, Interfaith Alliance joined religious and civil rights organizations in welcoming the introduction of the Do No Harm Act in the House of Representatives by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D – MA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D – VA). The bill is a response to so-called religious freedom bills that have advanced in a number of states and would allow discrimination on the basis of religion. Following the introduction of this legislation, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:
“The religious freedom promised by the Constitution, the religious freedom envisioned by our Founders, is one where every person’s faith is protected and no one’s faith is used to subjugate or harm others. For years the Religious Right has tried to force legislation through Congress and state legislatures designed to turn religious freedom into a weapon used against religious minorities, people of color, women, children and the LGBT community. The Do No Harm act is a critical first step toward counteracting that misguided campaign.
“I am grateful to Rep. Kennedy and Rep. Scott for their continued leadership on this issue and look forward to working with them and members of Congress of both parties as we continue to find the proper balance in safeguarding the religious freedom of all.”
May 16 2016
During an interview earlier today, former presidential candidate Ben Carson referred to Walter Cronkite as a ‘left wing radical.’ Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, responded with the following statement:
“We were honored to have Mr. Cronkite serve as the honorary chair of Interfaith Alliance up until his death in 2009. He was a man of deep convictions and he passionately supported our goals because he believed that ‘nothing less was at stake’ in our work ‘than the future of democracy as we know it.’ He understood the need to protect the boundaries between religion and government, and to protect the religious freedom of all Americans regardless of faith or belief. Walter Cronkite was rightfully considered the most trusted man in America, that he and a concept so central to the American experience would be considered ‘radical’ says more about Dr. Carson and today’s politics than it does about Mr. Cronkite.”
May 16 2016
WASHINGTON – Today the Supreme Court unanimously decided to send Zubik v. Burwell – a case regarding religious nonprofits and the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act – back to the lower courts. Without ruling on the merits of the case, the Supreme Court instructed the federal government and the religious nonprofits in question to find a compromise. Interfaith Alliance joined a number of religious organizations in an amicus brief in support of the Obama Administration arguing that the religious freedom rights of these nonprofits were not jeopardized by the existing workaround to contraception mandate. In response to this decision, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:
“We are deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court abdicated its duty and left open the potential for further encroachment on the fundamental rights of employees of religious nonprofits. The issues in this case are clear: It cannot possibly be a violation of the religious freedom of an employer to enable his or her employees to make their own decisions about faith and health care. Despite this delay, we hope that the lower courts will not cave to the demands of those with a narrow, sectarian vision of the First Amendment, and instead will protect the autonomy and religious freedom of all Americans.”
“Today’s non-decision is emblematic of the dysfunction created by the Senate’s refusal to act swiftly to fill the vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s passing. All those passionate about religious freedom must recognize that our rights deserve the protection of a full bench.”
May 13 2016
WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Justice and Department of Education issued guidance to school districts across the country on protecting the rights of transgender students. This historic move comes just days after the Administration filed a lawsuit against North Carolina’s discriminatory House Bill 2 and a powerful statement of support for the transgender community from Attorney General Loretta Lynch. In response to these developments, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:
“The Administration’s actions to protect the rights of transgender students across the country embody the fundamental contours of the Constitution: every individual has the right to express their identity free from fear of bigotry or discrimination, and no one’s comfort deserves protection over another’s equality. No matter whether antipathy toward transgender Americans is motivated by ignorance or a particular – misguided, I believe - theological understanding of gender, neither has a place in our public schools.
“Our nation is once again at a crossroads. Will our moral compass guide us toward the voices of inclusion and human dignity or toward the forces of cruelty? Today’s administrative action represents a powerful step down the path toward equality.”