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Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy
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The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy is president of Interfaith Alliance, a national, non-partisan grassroots organization that celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Dr. Gaddy also serves as the Pastor for Preaching and Worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, Louisiana, and he is the author of over 20 books addressing religion in American life.

Every week, he hosts State of Belief on Air America Radio, where he explains and explores the role of religion in the life of the nation. Dr. Gaddy provides regular commentary to the national media on issues relating to religion and politics.

Dr. Gaddy is recognized as a leading advocate for protecting the boundaries between religion and government. He has been a forceful critic of the faith-based initiative and, has been at the forefront of efforts to pass comprehensive hate crimes legislation, end religious profiling and keep religion out of public classrooms.

While ministering to churches with a message of inclusion, Dr. Gaddy emerged as a leader among progressive and moderate Baptists. Among his many leadership roles, he is a past President of the Alliance of Baptists. He has been a member of the Commission of Christian Ethics of the Baptist
World Alliance for over two decades. His past leadership roles include serving as a member of the General Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Chair of the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Baptist World
Alliance and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100.

Prior to the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Gaddy served in many leadership roles in the SBC including membership on the convention’s Executive Committee from 1980-1984 and Director of Christian Citizenship Development of the Christian Life Commission
from 1973-1977.

Dr. Gaddy received his undergraduate degree from Union University in Tennessee and his doctoral degree and divinity training from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Personally, I appreciate Welton Gaddy’s courageous leadership of The Interfaith Alliance. He continues to... give people of faith a strong voice of reason in public discussions and media presentations on the issues of the day and the proper role of religion in the life of the nation.
– Walter Cronkite

Entries by Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

What War on Christmas?

(19) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 3:11 PM

Despite what Bill O'Reilly and Dr. Seuss would have you believe, nobody stole or declared war on Christmas this year -- neither a fairy-tale Grinch nor a puritan-like individual who cannot be happy because of complaints about the secularization of the season.

I love Christmas. As a pastor, interacting with...

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What Does God Have Against Eric Cantor?

(7) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 5:58 PM

Here is a small bit of unsolicited counsel for David Brat, who pulled off the most surprising primary election upset in recent history when he defeated the majority leader of the House of Representatives: be careful about claiming an endorsement from God. I say this as a person of faith...

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A Truly Conservative View of Religious Freedom

(28) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Religious freedom as we have known it stands in the balance this week as the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in the cases of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Woods v. Sebelius. We are once again entrusting nine justices in the high court with the responsibility...

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The Truth About Religious Freedom in the Military

(62) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 4:48 PM

Serving in the armed forces is one of the most honorable professions one can choose in our society. And putting one's life on the line in defense of freedom is a sacrifice the rest of us can never repay.

That's why it saddens us that these very freedoms are being...

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Bad Government, Bad Religion and Tony Perkins

(6) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 1:34 PM

Recently, someone shared with me a fundraising letter in which Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council claimed, "not only did Jesus tolerate weapons, he instructed His disciples to buy them!" Don't believe me? Follow the link and read it for yourself. He cites

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An Open Letter to Mike Huckabee

(20) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:21 AM

Dear Gov. Huckabee,

God is a great source of comfort in my life. My faith has helped me through extraordinarily difficult times. And I have been blessed that in my ministry I have seen the positive role that faith in God can play in the lives of others. Where...

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Sandy, Christie, Obama and Us: Effective Government and the Art of Politics

(5) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 1:53 PM

A change of wind direction can alter the urgency of winning a spitting contest, and at times even expose the lunacy of the competition. It can also, I hope, revitalize our faith in government. In the midst of a hotly contested election that has often victimized truth and transformed the...

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Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Politics and Provocation

(238) Comments | Posted October 7, 2012 | 9:09 AM

Do you want me to tell you who to vote for on November 6? Sorry. I'm not going to do it.

After 20 years of service in the same church, I share a level of mutual respect and trust with members of my congregation calling on my opinion as a...

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Religion and Religious Freedom at the 2012 DNC: Day 1

(12) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 4:23 PM

I have long criticized politicians who use religion as a political tool and religious leaders who preach partisan politics from the pulpit. But those abuses of religion are not synonymous with diverse faith groups organizing around a particular issue of concern and advocating for a particular action to be taken...

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Romney and Religion at the Republican Convention

(21) Comments | Posted September 3, 2012 | 6:53 PM

Last week's Republican National Convention provided an interesting window into the current role of religion in the Republican Party. From what I observed last week, almost every platform speaker talked about religion except the nominee himself. It's as if the convention's organizers were trying to send a message that the...

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The War On Religion Does Not Exist

(572) Comments | Posted March 23, 2012 | 6:40 PM

Apparently, attempts are underway to open a new front in the supposed "war on religion" in my home state of Louisiana as it takes center stage in the presidential primary season. Truth be told, from what I have seen lately, those claiming there is a war on religion are the...

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Protect the Boundaries Between Religion and Government

(13) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 1:00 PM

I don't get it; I simply don't get it. Presidential campaigns move as quickly as American voters shift their focus on the issue of the day; I know that. Understandably, the urgency of the immediate often allows a matter of sustained historic importance to get lost in the shuffle to...

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Newt Gingrich Stands Up For 'Our Religions'

(187) Comments | Posted February 1, 2012 | 5:15 PM

"Our religions," Newt Gingrich said, "I think we need to have a government that respects our religions. I'm tired of being lectured about respecting every other religion on the planet. I want them to respect our religions." These, unbelievably, are the words of a man seeking to occupy...

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Shame on for Pulling Advertisements from All-American Muslim

(41) Comments | Posted December 16, 2011 | 5:04 PM

This week, whether intentionally or not, followed the poor example set by home improvement retailer Lowe's, when it, too, decided to pull future advertising from the TLC program "All-American Muslim." Of course advertisers have the right to decide where they run their ads, but it is disappointing...

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The Dangerous Mix of Religion and Politics

(100) Comments | Posted December 8, 2011 | 11:21 AM

Governor Rick Perry has taken us to a new low in campaign advertising with his "Strong" ad. Under the guise of spirituality, Perry has taken the manipulation of religion for partisan political advantage to an incredible, almost unbelievable extreme. With a smile on his face, he trades on personal attacks...

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No One Is Exempt From the Responsibility to Combat Hate

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2011 | 1:30 PM

In 2008, Marcelo Lucero was killed by a group of teenagers simply for being an immigrant. A 13-year resident of Patchogue, N.Y., Lucero was originally from Ecuador. His tragic story, soon to be recounted in the PBS documentary "Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness" (airing Sept....

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Two Visions Of Faith: Competing For The Allegiance Of A Nation

(127) Comments | Posted August 26, 2011 | 11:01 AM

I am a cultural terrorist, at least that's what Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council implied in a recent interview with the American Family Association's daily radio podcast.

What have I done to deserve to be associated with a term normally reserved for people like Timothy...

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An Open Letter to Herman Cain

(106) Comments | Posted July 20, 2011 | 4:52 PM

Dear Mr. Cain:

Recently, during an interview with Fox News, you indicated that it would be permissible for a community to block the building of a mosque. The statement alarmed me, confused me and frightened me. I cannot imagine how you square your comments with any part of the United...

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The Time is Now to Stop Faith-Based Hiring Discrimination

(79) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 11:14 AM

Seventy years ago this week, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 marking the first time a president took steps to ensure equal employment opportunity in federal defense contracts -- affirming that an individual's race, color, religion or national origin should not deny that individual an equal employment opportunity...

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Islamophobia's Implications for the United States

(1070) Comments | Posted June 9, 2011 | 5:30 PM

Amid a surging fear of Muslims -- Islamophobia -- in our nation, it is time for all of us to improve our understanding of Islam and our relationships with Muslims -- if not because it is right to do this morally, then because it is in our best interests nationally.

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