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Press ReleaseReligious Freedom/Church-State
RULE
ADL to Presidential Candidates:
Keep Emphasis on Religion Out of Campaign

New York, NY, December 20, 1999 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), concerned about a growing emphasis on religion in the presidential race, today called on all candidates seeking the Democratic and Republican nominations to bear in mind that "appealing to voters along religious lines is contrary to the American ideal."

"Candidates should feel comfortable explaining their religious convictions to voters," said Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "At the same time, however, we believe there is 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."

Those remarks were part of a letter sent to each of the eight candidates seeking the Democratic and Republican party nominations for president: Bill Bradley, Al Gore, Gary Bauer, George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Orrin G. Hatch, Alan Keyes and John McCain

"Public profession of religious beliefs should not become an elemental part of our political campaigns," said Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Foxman. "We feel very strongly, and we hope you would agree, that appealing to voters along religious lines is contrary to the American ideal. Voters should be encouraged to make their decisions based upon their assessment of the qualifications and political positions of the candidates, not their religiosity. Furthermore, voters should not be made to feel inferior, or left out of the process, because they are in a religious minority."

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.



 
 
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1999 Anti-Defamation League