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On Tuesday night, State of Belief Host and President of Interfaith Alliance Welton Gaddy appeared on the Rachel Maddow program on MSNBC. He talked about the opportunity the grieving families of Newtown, Ct. have to give voice to their pain by acting to help prevent such unthinkable tragedy in the future. Some have traveled to Washington to do just that, and Welton urged them to not let the mentality of inaction that plagues some political leaders to discourage them from their mission. Welton also addressed the crass politicization of the tragedy that some leaders have chosen to pursue, blaming the shootings on America “kicking God out of the classroom.” He’s also challenged that misguided thinking in an open letter to Mike Huckabee, as published in the Huffington Post:

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 you and I agree is on the fact that faith can play an important role in people’s lives. Where we disagree is in your assertion that to not believe in God is to put society on a path toward the kind of senseless murder we saw on Friday.

Such an assertion is simplistic at best and only serves to distract us from dealing with the realistic causes that comprise the roots of the tragic shootings plaguing our nation: access to the kind of weapons that can kill dozens in an instant, with no practical use outside a battlefield; a lack of adequate support for mental healthcare and a depersonalizing stigma for those who receive it; an apathetic attitude toward the plague of bullying in our schools. Faith leaders can and should be at the forefront of efforts to solve each and every one of these issues. But to imply that a belief in God is the sole path to the answers we need only serves to block us from involvement in the solutions in front of us… READ MORE

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