Faith Leaders United is a diverse network of faith leaders from across the United States dedicated to safeguarding religious freedom for all people, while also ensuring that religion is not used to harm others.
We believe that religion should lift up, protect and serve others. As faith leaders, we have all seen firsthand the pain and division that is caused when some seek to use religion to discriminate or impose their particular religious beliefs on others.
Faith Leaders United is comprised of faith leaders working to create a national climate where religion is never used as an excuse to deny the advances in LGBTQ rights, women’s equality and access to comprehensive reproductive health.
I hope you will join us in this crucial effort.
~Bill Mefford, Americans United Faith Organizer
If you are a faith leader and are passionate about working for religious freedom for all people, while ensuring religion is not being used to harm or discriminate against others, then we would love to have you join our Faith Leaders United network, which unites people from all religious backgrounds from all over the country.
Check out what some faith leaders are doing to protect religious freedom
It's Time For A Cease-fire In The 'War On Christmas'
David Gushee, distinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University and president of the American Academy of Religion, joined AU President and CEO Rachel Laser, who is Jewish, in penning this op-ed about why it's harmful to religious minorities and the non-religious when Christians assume everyone celebrates Christmas.
Challenging A.G. Jeff Sessions On Religious Freedom
In October 2018, two faith leaders bravely stood up at the start of a speech by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions on "The Future of Religious Liberty.” The Rev. Will Green, a United Methodist minister, and the Rev. Darrell Hamilton, a Baptist minister, both from Massachusetts, challenged Sessions' record on religious freedom. Rev. Hamilton explained his position in this op-ed in the Baptist Global News: "I disrupted a speech by Jeff Sessions on religious liberty. My Baptist faith compelled me."
Faith Leaders Stand Up For The Johnson Amendment
The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that protects the integrity of nonprofits, including houses of worship, by ensuring they don't endorse or oppose political candidates. Amid the rhetoric from President Donald Trump and a handful of Religious Right leaders who seek to boost their own political power by undermining the Johnson Amendment, Americans United's Faith Leaders United helped to organize more than 4,600 faith leaders across the country who have spoken out in favor of the current law. Here are just a few of the faith leaders who wrote opinion columns in support of the Johnson Amendment:
Margaret Magee, OSF, president and board chair of the Franciscan Action Network, and the. Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness, in The Hill: "Stop Congress from injecting partisan campaign politics into America’s houses of worship"
The Rev. D. Anthony Everett, Wesley United Methodist Church, Lexington, Ky., in the Lexington Herald-Leader: "Pastors don’t want to endorse candidates"
Rabbi Steven Denker, Temple Emanu El, Orange Village, Ohio, in the Cleveland Jewish News: "A primer on the Johnson Amendment"
Pastor Garrett Vickrey, Woodland Baptist Church, San Antonio, in the San Antonio Express-News: "Don’t turn my church into a PAC"
The Rev. Stephen Copley, United Methodist pastor and chair of Faith Voices Arkansas, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: "Keep it separate: Pulpit no place for partisanship"
The Rev. George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church and Rabbi David Stern of Temple Emanu-El, both in Dallas, in The Dallas Morning News: "A repeal of the Johnson Amendment would sadly bring politics into houses of worship"
Faith Leaders Spoke Out Against Kavanaugh
Leaders from diverse faith communities spoke out about the threat to church-state separation posed by President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh. They urged the Senate to reject Cavanaugh's nomination. Here are some of their concerns:
The Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, in the Houston Chronicle: “Kavanaugh threatens religious liberty in Texas"
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, United Methodist Church in California, in The Sacramento Bee: “Will a Justice Kavanaugh threaten our religious freedom?”
The Rev. Brian Kaylor, a Baptist minister in Missouri, in the St. Louis Dispatch: “Kavanaugh works to dismantle wall between church, state”
Rabbi Erica Asch and Zen Buddhist priest Peter Wohl in Maine, in the Kennebec Journal: “Kavanaugh nomination puts true religious freedom at risk”
The Rev. David L. Helfer, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County, Rhode Island, in the Providence Journal: “Kavanaugh wrong about religious freedom”
Ways to get involved
Join Faith Leaders United!
Faith Leaders United is committed to engaging people of faith and religious leaders who are concerned about the role of religion in our political and public lives. Please join us and let’s build a movement to ensure that religion is not used to harm or discriminate!
Tennessee Faith Leaders Support Public Education:
Faith Leaders United helped to start a network of pastors in Tennessee to support public education and ensure that private school voucher schemes do not take away necessary funding. The effort was detailed in the Knox Tennessee Today.