March 24, 2020

Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team; Phone: 202-417-0171

Rabbi Jack Moline: Public Health Decisions Should Be Based in Science, Not Individual Faith

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, President Trump announced that his administration is looking to revoke social distancing guidelines on Easter Sunday, with the goal of having “packed churches all over our country.” In response, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, issued the below statement emphasizing the need to base public health guidelines in science, not individual faith:

The president’s insistence on an arbitrary deadline – symbolic as it may be – will only put further lives at risk. The suggestion that the danger of this pandemic will pass by Easter is not borne out by scientific evidence.

The necessary changes to economic, social, and religious practices are painful for many. But every human being – every parent, grandparent, neighbor, and friend – has value. Prioritizing financial gain over human life violates the principles of all religious traditions and carries echoes of some of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.

In the coming weeks, Americans should follow the guidance of scientists, especially epidemiologists, about the dangers of person-to-person contact. Some may believe that their personal faith inoculates them against serious illness. But, at the risk of exacerbating this crisis, they should not test that belief at the expense of the general public. Religious conviction does not justify harming others.

If you are interested in speaking further with Rabbi Moline, please contact Manisha Sunil at


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