Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today following criticism of Dr. Ingrid Mattson’s participation in Wednesday’s National Prayer Service honoring the Inauguration of Barack Obama as President:

“Ingrid Mattson has been a long time friend of Interfaith Alliance and the cause of religious freedom. Under her leadership, ISNA entered into a substantive and meaningful dialogue with the Jewish Community that is unlike anything I have seen before. Exactly one year ago, I was proud to moderate a discussion at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with various prominent faith leaders including Ingrid. She proved to be a vigilant advocate for her community, but one that clearly understands that the best way to pursue that mission is through reaching out to others and changing the paradigm that we have been all to willing to accept in the past.  Rumor and innuendo directed at her are nothing but a distraction from achieving the real change that so many of us are fighting for.  I hope our new president listens carefully to what Ingrid has to say on Wednesday.  He, and I believe all of us, will be better for it.”

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.