According to famed journalist Walter Cronkite, the Interfaith Alliance is “a diverse group of people of faith, goodwill and conscience who promote pluralism and religious freedom. The Interfaith Alliance is a non-partisan, grassroots organization with members from more than 75 diverse faith traditions.”
April 26, 2013
Mr. Michael L. Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
13170-B Central Avenue, Suite 255
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87123
Religious freedom is in trouble in our nation. As a patriot and as a Baptist pastor, that disturbs me considerably.
I grew up in a small Christian fundamentalist church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Integral to the historic Baptist tradition has been a strong commitment to separation of the institutions of religion and government. History documents the damage to religion that occurs when this basic principle is not observed.
Fortunately, for over 50 years I have had the privilege of serving in congregations and leading organizations that insisted on religious freedom. As president of Interfaith Alliance, every day I work on this issue with passion. From that work comes my conclusion that religious freedom is in trouble in our nation.
That is the backdrop against which I write to you now. From my perspective personally and as president of Interfaith Alliance I want to commend and endorse the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its goals as well as applaud and support the tenacious activism with which you work to preserve our great Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Well aware that religious freedom is often compromised or even sometimes ignored in the United States armed forces, I am grateful to know that you and the MRFF are vigorously supporting and working for religious freedom for every person in the military—most of whom are Christians but all of whom, people of all faiths and people who hold to no faith, should be free for religion or from religion. The MRFF clearly has distinguished itself as a major civil rights organization that tirelessly defends the first freedom in the Constitution and positively contributes to the national security arena of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
We at Interfaith Alliance know well the cost of speaking up and standing up for freedom for everybody in an environment in which many want freedom for themselves but not for those who differ with them. You individually and MRFF corporately have felt the hurts and bruises left by critics who fail to recognize that unless all are free none is free. We appreciate more than we can say your work among MRFF’s 33,000-plus service member clients and their families and offer our encouragement to you, Mikey, your family, the MRFF staff, board and advisory board members.
Your courageous work for freedom and justice for all who serve in the military does not go without attention and appreciation. You have given hope and help to many who thought they were alone. Know that we are in this work together for the good of our nation, the integrity of religion, and the benefit of our increasingly diverse society.
C. Welton Gaddy