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DECEMBER 18, 1998   4:10 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: The Interfaith Alliance

Amber Khan 202-639-6370 Ext. 106 or Pager 1-888-941-9614
 
Religious Leader Questions Moral Principles Guiding Elected Leaders; Rabid Partisanship and Incivility Erode Public Trust
 
WASHINGTON - December 18 - Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, Executive Director of The Interfaith Alliance released the following statement regarding the impeachment proceedings underway in the United States House of Representatives.

Today, as the United States continues its military campaign against Iraq under the direction of President William Jefferson Clinton, the Republican leadership along a strict party line vote initiated impeachment proceedings.

As people of faith and goodwill, we recognize and respect that members of Congress hold conflicting points of view on the president's actions, as both matters of faith and conscience. However, as the impeachment debate has unfolded, it is apparent that the leadership of the United States House of Representatives has opted to conduct the most serious business of the nation in a manner most akin to trench warfare. With each side firmly grounded in their trenches, the stench of partisanship and incivility fills the public discourse.

The cumulative effect of this unprecedented incivility and bitter partisanship is the erosion of faith and trust in our elected leaders to put integrity above party loyalty. At the end of the twentieth century, our national leaders have elevated partisanship above the pursuit of justice. Sacrificing the common good, morality and the principles that guide moral decision making have been abandoned. Indeed, the lessons of these actions will reverberate in the public conscience of future generations, within our nation and beyond

Is the pursuit of justice a partisan endeavor? Where is the moral conscience of the House leadership? Who will demonstrate an uncommon courage to preserve the dignity of the institutions of our democracy? On this disturbing and sad day, our prayerful request is for statespeople who elevate principle above partisanship and act accordingly.

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The Interfaith Alliance (TIA), is a non-partisan grassroots organization of Muslims, Jews, Christians and other people of faith dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in public life. With a membership of 80,000 and clergy-led Alliances across the country, TIA is encouraging people of faith and goodwill to be involved in civic life to promote civility, mutual respect and cooperation.

TIA Executive Director Rev. Welton Gaddy is a Baptist religious leader and author of several books, including Faith and Politics and Adultery and Grace: The Ultimate Scandal. In addition to his many leadership roles, Rev. Gaddy provides national commentary and analysis on matters of faith and politics.

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