Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Statement on Recent Comments Made by Nevada U.S. Senate Candidate Sharron Angle

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today after reviewing comments made by Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle to David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Sharron Angle’s recent comments on her race against Sen. Harry Reid being ‘a calling,’ and that she considers herself a ‘faith-based politician’ should be deeply troubling to anyone who cherishes religious freedom. If elected to represent the people of Nevada in the United States Senate, Ms. Angle will do so as a representative of the people of her state, not of her church. My guess is that God will be just fine without playing a role in either candidate’s campaign.

Candidates for public office are free to talk about how their faith informs their thinking, but should not imply that policy position will be based on scripture rather than the Constitution. It has been my experience that when candidates intentionally insert faith into politics, the purpose is rarely to protect religion; rather it is done to enhance a political position.
 

Interfaith Alliance Statement on CLS v. Martinez Decision

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Interfaith Alliance filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case along with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is rightfully narrow in scope and context and thankfully does not recommend providing public, university funding to support the Christian Legal Society’s religious activities.  However, the decision falls short in not recognizing the right of student organizations such as CLS to ensure that its leadership positions are held by coreligionists who share the organization’s beliefs and vision, while still being able to actively participate in the public forum created by Hastings.

It would be a shame if this decision resulted in less diversity of opinion by undercutting Hastings’ purpose of creating a student organization forum-- to expose students to a broad range of interests and viewpoints. 
 

Interfaith Alliance Statement on Recent Comments by S.C. Sen. Jake Knotts

For Immediate Release

June 4, 2010

 

 

Interfaith Alliance Statement on Recent Comments by S.C. Sen. Jake Knotts

 

 

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today condemning a statement by South Carolina Sen. Jake Knotts in which he referred to Lexington Rep. Nikki Haley, an Indian-American gubernatorial candidate, and President Barack Obama as “ragheads.”

 

Sen. Jake Knotts demonstrated the poorest of judgment when he questioned Rep. Nikki Haley’s religion and called her, along with President Barack Obama, a “raghead.”  Such comments are deplorable, insensitive and have no place in the American political lexicon.  Unfortunately, his recent halfhearted apology only reaffirms his lack of understanding regarding the nature of his comments.  He should issue an immediate and clearer apology to Rep. Haley and all citizens of South Carolina.

 

In our country, there is no “religious test” for assuming any public office at any level.  The fact that Rep. Nikki Haley is Indian-American is not a relevant criteria in judging her ability to serve as governor of South Carolina.  Calling her religion into question, as Sen. Knotts continued to do in his apology, is wrong enough – using the language he did is repulsive and demonstrates his own lack of knowledge about how to conduct himself as a public servant.

 

Voters of course have the right to know what role a candidate’s faith will play in creating public policy and whether or not a candidate will respect the boundaries between religion and government.  But the Constitution clearly prohibits using a candidate’s religious convictions as a qualification for – or disqualification from – public office. 

 

I urge candidates in all electoral campaigns to maintain civility and leave religious criteria out of the discussion as they debate the issues that affect and impact voters.

 

 

 

 

 

Interfaith Alliance Statement on the Texas State Board of Education Vote Approving New Social Studies Standards

Washington, DC –Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement criticizing today’s vote by the Texas State Board of Education approving new set of social studies standards with a clear ideological bent.

I am gravely disappointed, but not surprised, by today’s vote of the Texas State Board of Education. Once you assume the prerogative to change history, it is an easy leap to claiming the authority to change the Constitution in order to reshape the future according to a biased ideological vision.

I hope people will not misunderstand this as an act favorable to religion. This ill-advised action makes it imperative that citizens express their outrage over this decision and their desire for textbook publishers to be true to the mission of quality education and the facts of history.