WASHINGTON – During an interview today Chris Matthews asked Donald Trump whether he believed women should be punished for having an abortion, Mr. Trump responded by challenging Mr. Matthews about whether he agreed with his own faiths teachings on the issue. While Interfaith Alliance is neither a pro-choice nor pro-life organization, the organization monitors the use and abuse of religion in government and on the campaign trail. Following this troubling interaction, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:

“While answering an important question about whether his position on abortion would include penalties for the women who seek them, Donald Trump, chose to make his answer about the interviewer’s faith, asking Chris Mathews if he was aware of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion. All those who cherish religious freedom should be concerned when a candidate for President frames public policy positons around religion rather than the law.

“Chris Matthews’ response powerfully demonstrated what the Constitution asks from all Americans: to consider the secular good for people of all religions while holding true to your understanding of your own faith. And understanding that being true to your faith does not require imposing those beliefs on others by codifying them in to law. Any candidate for public office, much less the highest office in the land, should demonstrate an understanding of the First Amendment’s promise of freedom of religion.”

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.