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

New York, NY, August 28, 2000 Ö Concerned about his recent statements on the campaign trail, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman to refrain from overt expressions of religious values and beliefs, stating 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."

The ADL letter made reference to Senator Liebermanís remarks yesterday to the congregation of Detroitís Fellowship Chapel. "Language such as this risks alienating the American people," said Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Foxman. "We feel very strongly, and we hope you would agree, that appealing along religious lines, or belief in God, is contrary to the American ideal. The First Amendment requires that government neither support one religion over another nor the religious over the non-religious."

Last December, ADL sent a similar letter to each of the eight candidates seeking the Democratic and Republican party nominations for president after various candidates made statements emphasizing their religious beliefs and values.

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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