ADL Reiterates Concern About Role Of Religion In The Presidential Campaign
New York, NY, December 6, 2007 … In response to today's speech by Governor Mitt Romney on his Mormon faith and his view of the role of religion in the United States, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reiterated its concern about the role of religion in the presidential campaign, and the fact that "it has become part of our political culture for candidates to be forced into asserting their religiosity."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Governor Romney has made an important contribution to our ongoing national dialogue regarding the appropriate role of religion in politics. We agree that there is no place in our society for bigotry, and that one's religion should never be a test for political office. We realize that Gov. Romney is fighting an unacceptable prejudice against him because of his faith, and understand his need to proclaim himself a Christian.
We are deeply concerned, however, that it has become part of our political culture for candidates to be forced into asserting their religiosity, with some even openly hawking their faith on the campaign trial. Some of the things that the candidates have said about their religious views make us deeply uncomfortable. There is this dance, this appeal based on religion, that candidates use to attract religious voters which we feel is contrary to the spirit of what this country is all about.
While we believe that candidates should feel comfortable explaining their religious convictions to voters, there is also a point at which an emphasis on religion in a political campaign becomes inappropriate, and even unsettling in a religiously diverse society such as ours.
In October, ADL sent letters to each of the Republican and Democratic candidates seeking their party's nomination for president, urging them to bear in mind that "anyone who legitimately aspires to the presidency of the United States must be prepared to set an example and be a leader for all Americans, of all faiths and no faiths."
A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, ADL neither supports nor opposes any candidate for political office. ADL has been a longstanding advocate for separation of church and state.
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.