Evangelicals agree with leading religious freedom advocate - religion and politics do not mix.
Today a group of evangelical leaders released their evangelical manifesto challenging the Religious Right’s stranglehold on the term and meaning of “evangelical” and questioning the role of religion in politics.
Below, please find a statement from Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, himself born into the evangelical Baptist tradition, who is the President of the Interfaith Alliance.
Statement of Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy On the ‘Evangelical Manifesto’
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 7, 2008) – Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy released the following statement on the ‘Evangelical Manifesto’ unveiled at a press conference in Washington today:
“The release of today’s ‘Evangelical Manifesto’ proves that not only do the leaders of the Religious Right not speak for all Americans, they don’t even speak for all evangelicals.
As someone raised in the evangelical tradition, I was pleased to see this ‘manifesto’ because it puts forward a broader definition of the term than we have seen over the last few decades. However, there are certainly items in the document that I take issue with, such as its narrow concept of religious diversity.
This manifesto should be read as a strong criticism of the Religious Right’s so-called leadership, who were clearly not involved in the drafting or signing of this document. I have often said that these leaders are more concerned with their own personal influence and power than advancing a constructive agenda protecting faith and freedom.
I appreciate the tone of this document, especially the call to remove religion from politics, though it does not and should not remove the right of people of faith to voice their concerns on issues of national importance. We will have to wait and see what, if any, impact this document has on the Religious Right.”
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 visit www.interfaithalliance.org.