Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy On the endorsement of Hillary Clinton by Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III

Washington, D.C. – The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance issued the following statement in reaction to the news that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has received the endorsement of Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Senior Pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church, in New York City. Rev. Gaddy has raised concerns in the past about candidates using clergy and houses of worship as political props.

The news of Rev. Butts’ endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton for president raises great concern about the sanctity of religion and the integrity of government in this country. Senator Clinton and her fellow presidential candidates need to stop using houses of worship as backdrops for political events. And Rev. Butts and other clergy need to stop enabling the candidates to use religion as a political tool.

As religious leaders, we must have the moral authority to speak out on important issues facing our communities. Clergy should not abuse that authority by using their pulpit to push their chosen candidates. It is unwise, and likely dishonest to give the impression that a candidate has the backing of any particular religious community. What is ethical is just as important as what is legal.

The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in the life of the nation and challenging those who manipulate religion to promote a narrow, divisive agenda. With more than 185,000 members drawn from more than 75 faith traditions and 47 local activist groups throughout America, TIA promotes compassion, civility and mutual respect for human dignity in our increasingly diverse society. For more information on The Interfaith Alliance visit