ADL Honors Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham With First Amendment Freedoms Prize
New York, NY, November 5, 2007 … In recognition of his achievements in journalism and his contributions to the ideals embodied in the First Amendment, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has honored Newsweek editor and author Jon E. Meacham with the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize.
The award, which recognizes those who have made significant and lasting contributions to the protection and advancement of the First Amendment, was presented November 1 to Mr. Meacham during the League's annual meeting in New York City.
In presenting the award, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, spoke of the powerful impact of cover stories Mr. Meacham has written for Newsweek exploring issues of faith in America, and his 2006 book, American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation.
"At a time when ADL and America were engaged in an intense conversation about the role of religion in politics, it was Jon who contributed immensely by setting the record straight about the intent of our Founding Fathers," Mr. Foxman said. "Jon Meacham, himself a man of faith, has made and continues to make an important contribution to the public's understanding of America as a nation of faith, but not governed by faith."
In accepting the award, Mr. Meacham praised ADL's commitment to its mission of fighting prejudice and bigotry and of protecting separation of church and state.
"I do believe in the tradition of which I am part," he said, referring to his Episcopalian faith. "I also firmly believe that faith coerced is not faith -- it is tyranny. And I would much rather live in a nation of people who behave in a Judeo-Christian way, than who pretend as though we live in a Judeo-Christian, or Christian nation," Mr. Meacham said.
The ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize is endowed by Dwayne O. Andreas, President of the Andreas Foundation, as a tribute to his close friend, the late Hubert H. Humphrey, Mayor of Minneapolis and Vice President of the United States. The award is presented to institutions or individuals who, like Hubert Humphrey, have made significant and lasting contributions to the preservation and advancement of the ideals embodied in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Past recipients of the prize include syndicated Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria, Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, The Wall Street Journal, William Safire, This Week With David Brinkley, George Will, A.M. Rosenthal, The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, CNN, political cartoonist Ranan Lurie, Bernard Shaw, Bob Schieffer, Meet The Press, Bernard Lewis, Floyd Abrams, C-SPAN and, posthumously, slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.