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 celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.