Washington, DC – The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, a practicing Baptist minister and President of the Interfaith Alliance, issued the following statement:

“Clergy can and should speak out about issues of the day, but when they insert themselves into the political process, they must be prepared to have their statements from the pulpit scrutinized and their actions seriously questioned.  When candidates for public office seek to profit from the endorsement of clergy who become politically involved, they, too, must be held accountable for the clergy person’s words and actions.

Pastor Hagee’s decision to resign from the McCain campaign does not excuse his extremist, hate-mongering comments that should be of great concern to all Americans.

While I’m happy Sen. McCain is disassociating himself from Pastor Hagee this action should have come much sooner and not simply because of public outcry.

Any time that religious leaders and politicians attempt to use each other, both of them get hurt.”

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.