ADL to Santorum: Keep Religion Out of Race

The Anti-Defamation League called on Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum to avoid religious appeals to voters.

Santorum on Jan. 5 told listeners of a Boston radio show that “We always need a Jesus guy” in the campaign, in response to a caller who had commented that the economy was the main issue of the campaign. “We don’t need a Jesus candidate; we need an economic candidate,” the caller said.

“We need someone who believes in something more than themselves and not just the economy,” Santorum continued. “When we say, “God bless America,” do we mean it or do we just say it?”

“Senator Santorum’s remark comparing himself to a ‘Jesus candidate’ was inappropriate and exclusionary. It essentially says that those of other faiths or of no faith – whether Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, non-believers or others – do not belong,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director in a statement. “Religious appeals to voters are simply unacceptable and un-American. Voters should be encouraged to make their decisions based upon their assessment of the qualifications, integrity and political positions of candidates, not the intensity of their religious beliefs.”

The statement continued: “The League has long maintained that candidates should feel comfortable explaining their religious convictions to voters, but that there is a point at which an emphasis on religion in a political campaign becomes inappropriate and even unsettling.”

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

ADL to Santorum: Keep Religion Out of Race

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close