Washington, D.C. – Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline issued the following statement in response to an email sent by a Democratic National Committee staff member calling into question the faith of Senator Bernie Sanders and suggesting it be used as a line of attack. Interfaith Alliance is a non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom and the boundaries between religion and government. As part of its work, the organization seeks to stop candidates for public office from using religion as a political weapon.

“Reports that a senior staff member for the Democratic National Committee suggested using Bernie Sanders’ faith as a line of attack are deeply troubling. Senator Sanders has spoken frequently about his Jewish faith, and it is not for anyone – and certainly not the DNC – to question the authenticity of his religious belief. The email also wrongly suggests that being an atheist is somehow a disqualifier for public office. A candidate’s faith, or lack of faith, should not be either a qualification or a disqualification for public office – not only because it’s the right thing, but because that is what Article VI of the Constitution requires of us. What should matter is the candidate’s ability to protect the religious freedom of all Americans regardless of their faith or belief. It is fitting that those accountable for these emails take responsibility.”

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.