Archive: Welton Gaddy
In today's political climate, it may not ensure an "electoral win" to defend the rights of the American Muslim community, but there is no question that it is the right thing to do.
By Welton Gaddy | March 8, 2011; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (1)
Freedom, as we understand it here in America, or as it emerges in Egypt, is a universal idea that belongs to all of us. Neither the religious nor secular world can claim exclusive ownership, but both have important roles to play in protecting it.
By Welton Gaddy | February 16, 2011; 01:01 PM ET | Comments (5)
The question that each and every one of us should ask about faith during an election season is: Does this candidate have a strong commitment to protecting religious freedom in this country? If the answer is yes, the faith or belief system of that candidate is not important.
By Welton Gaddy | February 9, 2011; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (335)
What will come next in Egypt is still in question, but the rise of an Islamic theocracy is hardly assured.
By Welton Gaddy | February 1, 2011; 11:10 AM ET | Comments (5)
It is my belief that in a civil society with a guarantee of religious freedom - our first freedom - nobody ought to suffer because of someone else's theology.
By Welton Gaddy | January 26, 2011; 11:24 AM ET | Comments (322)
More important than a candidate's personal religious beliefs is the question of whether candidates will protect our religious freedoms and respect the boundaries between religion and government, and how they will balance the principles of their faith with their pledge to defend the Constitution.
By Welton Gaddy | October 19, 2010; 03:29 PM ET | Comments (1)
Conclusions based on raw emotions rather than thoughtful research and careful science spew poison into our society and pour acid on the cause of justice.
By Welton Gaddy | October 12, 2010; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (9)
In electing a president, we are not electing a Pastor-in-Chief, a Rabbi-in-Chief or an Imam-in-Chief; rather, we are electing a Commander-in-Chief, a leader whose religion, or lack thereof, cannot be used as a qualifier for office or even a means of measuring his success.
By Welton Gaddy | September 3, 2010; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (8)
To oppose this project because Islam is involved and Muslims are sponsors of it is a violation of the religious freedom guaranteed and protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution - period.
By Welton Gaddy | August 17, 2010; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (2)
For years, public discourse has called for a great moderate Muslim voice to counter extremism. Now, when such a voice is seeking to be heard in meaningful and helpful ways, it faces severe backlash and strong opposition - indicating a continued fear and ignorance of the Muslim faith, even at its most peaceful.
By Welton Gaddy | July 22, 2010; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (32)
For too long, the nature of the day has been shaped by Shirley Dobson and other evangelical fundamentalists who believe only Christians' prayers get God's attention. Devotees of other religions in our land have been forewarned that the National Day of Prayer events are "Christian" meetings.
By Welton Gaddy | April 27, 2010; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (8)
Differences of opinion do not destroy a congregation; they may even strengthen it. However, a lack of communication between people with different opinions can be seriously destructive. Dishonesty can be damaging beyond measure.
By Welton Gaddy | March 16, 2010; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (1)
It's a fair deal for everybody that allows the government to fulfill its mission with independence and integrity and permits the religious organization to advance its teaching and pursue its social vision with independence and private funding.
By Welton Gaddy | March 9, 2010; 05:47 PM ET | Comments (8)
Recognizing the power of religion in the world is the better part of wisdom for anyone working on international concerns. Thinking that any government--especially ours--can and/or should use religion as a foreign affairs strategy is a prelude to disaster.
By Welton Gaddy | February 24, 2010; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (5)
I have experienced criticism for my beliefs as a Christian and sometimes mean-spirited forms of retaliation from critics, but never persecution. Persecution of Christians is not present in our beloved nation.
By Welton Gaddy | January 12, 2010; 09:33 AM ET | Comments (6)
New anchor Brit Hume should not be giving religious advice to Tiger Woods on national TV.
By Welton Gaddy | January 4, 2010; 02:27 PM ET | Comments (419)
By holding the signing ceremony at a house of worship, the Fenty Administration and All Souls Church sent the dangerous signal that one set of religious beliefs trump another and that marriage is strictly a religious act.
By Welton Gaddy | December 21, 2009; 11:06 AM ET | Comments (210)
Though religious people debate moral priorities and the source of their authority, such is not the responsibility constitutionally imposed on the U.S. Congress, regardless of the individual religious preferences of its members. Religious leaders cannot be allowed to use one particular interpretation of scripture-based morality to compel Congress to legislate sectarian morality.
By Welton Gaddy | November 17, 2009; 06:43 PM ET | Comments (3)
Without question, all of the men and women who give their lives to military service should be allowed to practice their faith or choose to practice no faith without fear of prejudice or retribution. There is no place in the military for proselytization among military personnel or by military personnel in relation to citizens at home or abroad.
By Welton Gaddy | November 10, 2009; 05:35 PM ET | Comments (0)
All crimes are not equal. We see this not only in how our legal framework metes out punishments based on the crimes committed, but in how we as individuals are affected by some crimes more or less than others. The issue of hate crimes is far more than a law-and-order issue; it is also a moral and religious issue.
By Welton Gaddy | October 20, 2009; 02:52 PM ET | Comments (102)
Religion and civil rights should be best friends. Among religions' great values are an ability to bring people together and a capacity to function as the driving force behind many good works.
By Welton Gaddy | September 23, 2009; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (1)
If government officials and religious leaders distinguished the differences between legal marriage and religious marriage, they could greatly reduce the amount of conflict in public discussions on same-gender marriage.
By Welton Gaddy | July 28, 2009; 12:51 PM ET | Comments (135)
Frankly, I find it disturbing, as well as a bit sad, that so many people feel it necessary to congratulate the president for understanding and speaking about basic concepts of religious freedom and pluralism.
By Welton Gaddy | April 15, 2009; 03:09 PM ET | Comments (1)
Public policies in our government are to reflect not a particular religious or ideological perspective but what is best for the health and welfare of our nation's citizens based on the guidance, in this instance, of sound science.
By Welton Gaddy | March 10, 2009; 12:29 AM ET | Comments (3)
If sectarian organizations are using their own money, they have every right to employ only persons committed to their religion. However, if taxpayers are funding a program, that program should reflect our nation's historic commitment to civil rights.
By Welton Gaddy | February 12, 2009; 12:18 AM ET | Comments (8)
With appropriate devotion to religion, appreciation for inclusion, and insistence on compassion, our new president praises diversity, stresses equality for all people, expresses desire for friendship with all nations, and calls every individual to activist citizenship that is local, national, and global.
By Welton Gaddy | January 25, 2009; 12:43 AM ET | Comments (2)
Marriage--gay or heterosexual--should be a right available to every citizen, but never a legal act, ritual, or formal ceremony that any house of worship, denomination, or religious leader should be required to perform in contradiction to their beliefs.
By Welton Gaddy | December 15, 2008; 02:51 PM ET | Comments (8)
I am concerned about anyone who claims the ability to speak with certainty about the will of God. When that claim is coupled with partisan politics, my concern turns into fear.
By Welton Gaddy | September 15, 2008; 08:21 AM ET | Comments (55)
The leader we choose may have a faith of his own, but he must lead members of all faiths present in the nation - as well as those with no faith at all. Voters need to know how candidates are prepared to translate their beliefs into policy statements based on universal values.
By Welton Gaddy | August 29, 2008; 03:38 PM ET | Comments (28)
While I appreciate Pastor Rick Warren's civility, I believe questions like: 'What does it mean to trust in Christ?' have no place in a political forum."
By Welton Gaddy | August 21, 2008; 08:52 AM ET | Comments (10)
Too often the media has asked the wrong questions of the presidential candidates, probing them to list their biggest sin or name their favorite Bible verse. How will you speak about your beliefs without making them just another political tool?
By Welton Gaddy | August 16, 2008; 08:54 AM ET | Comments (5)
This Pew Forum study underscores the fact that America is the most religious pluralistic nation in the world. In fact, Interfaith Alliance is made up of people from over 75 different faith traditions, as well as many people who do not have a faith tradition.
By Welton Gaddy | July 7, 2008; 05:24 AM ET | Comments (26)
Welton Gaddy | As a minister, I have to question the benefit of placing a cross or any other religious symbol on a motor vehicle tag.
By Welton Gaddy | June 12, 2008; 08:47 AM ET | Comments (116)
The California Supreme Court ruling was a victory for religious freedom and the United States Constitution. The Interfaith Alliance, the organization I serve as president of, praised the California ruling because the court recognized – as I do -- that...
By Welton Gaddy | May 27, 2008; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (3)
He should not only reject their extremist beliefs he should reject their endorsements. No candidate should seek, celebrate, or even accept endorsements from religious leaders.
By Welton Gaddy | April 8, 2008; 05:38 AM ET | Comments (10)
With the near certainty that a woman or an African American will be one of the major party nominees for president, America has come a long way in dealing with both sexism and racism.
By Welton Gaddy | March 31, 2008; 07:42 AM ET | Comments (7)
What I did not hear in Senator Obama’s remarks, but still needs significant emphasis is a clear statement that religious leaders should avoid partisan entanglements within houses of worship.
By Welton Gaddy | March 20, 2008; 07:03 AM ET | Comments (11)
As for Jesus and the United States presidency, I think he would take a pass knowing that his broad-based advocacy work requires a change in people’s hearts as well as their politics.
By Welton Gaddy | March 7, 2008; 12:12 AM ET | Comments (23)
In a nation founded on the principles of freedom of belief, separation of religion and government, and no religious test for public office, the 2008 presidential campaign has been deeply infused with references to religion. The Interfaith Alliance has assembled,...
By Welton Gaddy | February 28, 2008; 04:15 PM ET | Comments (34)
I find Obama’s electoral “faith clubs” as disturbing as his Sunday sermons in which he asks Christian congregations to pray for his ability to bring in “the kingdom.” I am appalled at McCain who declares that the Constitution established the United States as a “Christian nation.”
By Welton Gaddy | February 22, 2008; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (7)
The architects of the American experience chose to create a nation based on secular law as the only way to ensure that no religion ever could impose its laws on those with different beliefs, whether religious or not.
By Welton Gaddy | February 14, 2008; 07:13 AM ET | Comments (7)
I have witnessed more abuses of religion in this primary season than in any other election in recent memory.
By Welton Gaddy | February 8, 2008; 05:08 AM ET | Comments (22)
Every segment of a religious organization is impacted directly by the styles, personalities, priorities, and beliefs of the organization’s leaders.
By Welton Gaddy | January 30, 2008; 06:39 AM ET | Comments (18)
In my capacity as president of The Interfaith Alliance, I have written Gov. Huckabee two letters recently asking that he reexamine his understanding of the Constitution and the responsibilities of the presidency.
By Welton Gaddy | January 29, 2008; 07:54 AM ET | Comments (11)
Never have I experienced or heard about the Jewish community using the Holocaust to impose a giant guilt-trip on anybody.
By Welton Gaddy | January 7, 2008; 01:52 PM ET | Comments (36)
The issue is not practicing political correctness but exhibiting religious integrity as responsible citizens in the nation that was founded and developed with appreciation for assuring religious liberty....
By Welton Gaddy | December 21, 2007; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (0)
I’m concerned with how much of Romney's speech was designed as red-meat for conservative Christian voters.
By Welton Gaddy | December 11, 2007; 06:12 AM ET | Comments (5)
To withhold grace and forgiveness from people guilty of adultery constitutes a wrong equal in its severity to that of adulterer.
By Welton Gaddy | November 30, 2007; 12:32 PM ET | Comments (28)
It’s a tragic commentary on our times that questions about the efficacy of torture are even asked.
By Welton Gaddy | November 13, 2007; 08:13 AM ET | Comments (21)
Surely, this is an issue on which all people of faith and goodwill can come together in order to find a solution that will save lives and reaffirm the dignity of all our children.
By Welton Gaddy | October 31, 2007; 03:11 PM ET | Comments (13)
Science and research should not be influenced by any set of religious beliefs.
By Welton Gaddy | October 25, 2007; 07:42 AM ET | Comments (6)
Rather than trying to ignore or blur those differences, we must respect and honor the differences, using them to build a better community and nation.
By Welton Gaddy | October 22, 2007; 06:32 AM ET | Comments (5)
Senator McCain’s comments on his litmus test of religion as a qualification to be president of the United States are simply outrageous.
By Welton Gaddy | October 3, 2007; 07:10 AM ET | Comments (99)
Acting in the name of religion, extremists assure a broad-based rejection of religion.
By Welton Gaddy | September 14, 2007; 09:27 AM ET | Comments (47)
Inviting Chaplain Zed to deliver his beautiful prayer to the Senate was not only good for Hindus; it was good for our nation.
By Welton Gaddy | August 2, 2007; 10:23 AM ET | Comments (225)
Few questions were raised that lay outside the realm of popular hot-button issues.
By Welton Gaddy | June 8, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (8)
Even as we grieve with the families and friends of loved ones whose lives needlessly have been cut short at Virginia Tech, we long for and, indeed, pray for a mood in our nation that makes hate unacceptable and violence an intolerable offense.
By Welton Gaddy | April 18, 2007; 09:18 AM ET | Comments (114)
As a child in the Protestant tradition, I was told that Catholics were papists (a term I did not know) and non-Christians (a term I did know that frightened me).
By Welton Gaddy | March 14, 2007; 08:59 AM ET | Comments (19)
My mind has changed about gay unions and gay clergy.
By Welton Gaddy | March 2, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (66)
When politicians cloak themselves in inappropriate religious language, differences of opinion are rejected as expressions of evil.
By Welton Gaddy | January 26, 2007; 08:45 AM ET | Comments (44)
Chasm exists between Scripture's teachings on women and how many Christians act toward them.
By Welton Gaddy | January 21, 2007; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (11)
Religion is related to reality, and therefore provokes questions
By Welton Gaddy | January 8, 2007; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (210)
Thanksgiving Day is not a religious holiday, it is a quintessential American institution. It’s a fine mix of revisionist history, outright myths, civic ideals, and religious trappings. But Thanksgiving Day is a good day....
By Welton Gaddy | November 22, 2006; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (7)