(Washington, DC) – In response to the Missouri State Legislature’s Resolution (HCR 13) endorsing Christianity as the state’s official religion, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance released the following statement:
“This Resolution is not about religion. It’s about politics. In grade school, we are taught that in matters of faith, government must not take sides. This seems to have been lost on the sponsors of this Resolution. Surely those who have read their history know that government’s endorsement of religion is a death knell to religious liberty. They are doing no service to Christianity or to the inter-religious community of this nation.
“When reading the Missouri State Legislature Resolution endorsing Christianity as the state’s official religion, it’s hard to suppress the images and feelings I once knew growing up in the segregated South. The Civil Rights movement began because this country had sent a message to those who were different, that they didn’t belong. Decades earlier, our country did the same thing in denying women the right to vote. Today, Missouri legislators are denying equal rights and opportunities to their own residents whose religious beliefs and practices are different from those of the majority. No citizen’s rights or opportunities should ever depend on their, or anyone else’s, religious beliefs or practices, period.
“When will we finally heed history’s lessons that denying Americans their basic rights, because they are considered different is un-American? Missouri is the ‘Show Me’ state and for the sake of present and future generations, I urge the residents of this great state to show the rest of the country they will not tolerate such blatant prejudice on the part of those they chose to represent them. Tell the Christian Right, ‘You’re not going to steal our government; you do not speak for me.’ At the end of the day, if there is not freedom from the imposition of religion, there is no religious freedom.”
LINK TO RESOLUTION
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.