Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Reacts to Tragic Shooting in Chattanooga

WASHINGTON – Following yesterday’s shooting of four Marines near a military installation in Chattanooga, Tenn., Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

“Too frequently, it seems, we must give witness to our own fragility and vulnerability in the wake of mass violence. Once again a gunman has threatened to tear apart the very fabric of our society: the freedom and pluralism that make our nation great. And once again I must wonder if this tragic moment might bring us closer together, or if our reactions to this heinous act will only pull us further apart. But the fact that these feelings are all too familiar cannot lessen the unique experience of the people of Chattanooga or the tragedy they face today.      

“I stand today with the people of Chattanooga, shaken by the pain that has visited their community. They, like all Americans, deserve freedom from violence and freedom from fear, and we owe them a moment of reflection on how best to seek that healing and safety.

“I stand today with the men and women of the armed forces who have once again been asked to sacrifice far too much. We must recommit ourselves to the Constitution that these men and women serve to protect and defend.

“And I stand today with Muslims across America, too many of whom will be asked to provide reason for this senseless act. They no more hold collective responsibility for this heinous act than the Christian community holds for last month’s tragedy in Charleston. I join with Muslim communities across the country as they gather to commemorate Eid al-Fitr and the completion of the month of Ramadan. The reflection, humility and compassion that Islam begs of us in these holidays are exactly what America needs to see us through this moment of tragedy.“

Interfaith Alliance, Oklahoma Affiliates Call on Gov. Fallin to Remove Ten Commandments Statue

OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite a recent court order requiring Oklahoma to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the grounds of its capitol, Governor Mary Fallin has insisted on leaving the religious symbol in place. In response to the Governor’s refusal to comply with this order, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Bob Lawrence, executive director of Tulsa Interfaith Alliance, Dr. Carl Rubenstein, president of Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, released the following statement:

“The Oklahoma Supreme Court has spoken and confirmed what our organizations have always known – that the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol violates both the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment. When the Founders drafted the Constitution they sought to ensure that our nation’s laws would not be based on religious belief alone. The American commitment to religious freedom and pluralism demands that we respect the manifold backgrounds from which each American comes to the common cause of our democracy. Placing the Ten Commandments before the people’s house is to say that some religious texts are more central to our law than others, that some people of faith are more American than others. The challenge of America is recognizing that every religious text has something to offer our public policy, and none should be given primacy over others.

“We are pleased that Gov. Fallin takes such great inspiration from the teachings of respect and order found in the Ten Commandments, but that private motivation should not be imposed on the public square and all who enter our Capitol.”

New Contraception Rule Highlights the Need for Congressional Fix to Hobby Lobby

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services unveiled its final rule ensuring a woman’s right to access contraception, regardless of her employers' religious beliefs in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby. Following the publishing of this rule, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

“I am encouraged by the Obama administration’s continued work to protect the rights of women to make their own personal healthcare decisions, regardless of the religious beliefs of their employers. The constraints put in place by the Supreme Court in last year’s Hobby Lobby decision make this effort necessary. However, I believe that a more narrow definition of “closely held corporation” would have made for a better rule. Too much weight is given to the fanciful notion that a for-profit corporation is able to have a religious identity. The rights of too many women are dependent on the willingness of their employer to fill out a form.

“Once again we are reminded of the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation to rectify the dire mistake the Supreme Court made in Hobby Lobby. The religious beliefs of some should never dictate the rights of others, and the rights of bosses should never supplant the rights of their employees. Religious freedom is not defined by who holds the purse strings. I urge Congress to set us back on the correct Constitutional course.”

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.”