FRIDAY Presidential Politics and Religion Panel in NH at College Convention

Keeping the Faith? Prayer, Policy and Presidential Politics

Religious Leaders, Legal and Policy Experts HOST PANEL FRIDAY MORNING at College Convention 2008

 Friday morning, November 30, as Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates gather to present their views during College Convention 2008 in New Hampshire, religious leaders, legal and policy experts will host a First Freedom First* panel discussion to examine issues of Church-State separation and why using faith to appeal to voters in the Presidential campaign is a slippery slope.

When religious rhetoric rides the campaign trail, is America’s First Freedom in jeopardy? As Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates campaign on the basis of their faith and its influence on critical policy decisions, there is a troubling escalation of unconstitutional roles played today by religion in the political process.
Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, The Interfaith Alliance Foundation and Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, will convene a panel on these issues on Friday morning in Manchester, NH, and are also available for interview.

For example, Senator McCain recently stated that the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.” In a nationally-televised debate, Tim Russert asked candidates to cite their favorite Bible verse. At yet another venue, former Senator Edwards was asked by a CNN anchor to name the greatest sin he had committed. But what qualifies candidates for public office is not their religious identity, but rather their commitment to upholding the Constitution.

WHAT: Religious, legal and policy experts host panel discussion at College Convention 2008 to examine issues of Church-State separation and why using faith to appeal to voters in the Presidential campaign is a slippery slope.

WHEN: FRIDAY, November 30, 10:00 A.M.

WHERE: Salon A, Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH

WHO: Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, The Interfaith Alliance Foundation; Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church & State; Gregory G. Lebel, Director of the Semester In Washington program and Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Political Management at The George Washington University; Olivia Holmes, UUA minister, Keene, NH; Erik Kesting, Harvard Divinity School

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First Freedom First is a joint project of The Interfaith Alliance Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church & State

* Established in the First Amendment to our United States Constitution, religious liberty – the right of individuals to worship as they wish – is and has long-been a defining American value. Often referred to as the "first freedom," this constitutional-guarantee of religious liberty is the foundation for the separation of church and state.