March 24, 2020

Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team; Phone: 202-417-0171

Rabbi Jack Moline: Public Health Decisions Should Be Based in Science, Not Individual Faith

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, President Trump announced that his administration is looking to revoke social distancing guidelines on Easter Sunday, with the goal of having “packed churches all over our country.” In response, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, issued the below statement emphasizing the need to base public health guidelines in science, not individual faith:

The president’s insistence on an arbitrary deadline – symbolic as it may be – will only put further lives at risk. The suggestion that the danger of this pandemic will pass by Easter is not borne out by scientific evidence.

The necessary changes to economic, social, and religious practices are painful for many. But every human being – every parent, grandparent, neighbor, and friend – has value. Prioritizing financial gain over human life violates the principles of all religious traditions and carries echoes of some of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.

In the coming weeks, Americans should follow the guidance of scientists, especially epidemiologists, about the dangers of person-to-person contact. Some may believe that their personal faith inoculates them against serious illness. But, at the risk of exacerbating this crisis, they should not test that belief at the expense of the general public. Religious conviction does not justify harming others.

If you are interested in speaking further with Rabbi Moline, please contact Manisha Sunil at


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