Anti-Defamation League

September 5, 2000

Last week my phone started ringing. Reporters ranging from CNN to the Moody Broadcasting Network wanted to know what I thought of the statement by the Anti-Defamation League about Joseph Lieberman.

Their statement was simple. "Candidates should feel comfortable explaining their religious convictions to voters." But they added, "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."

I guess I should have expected this. After weeks of openly talking about his Jewish faith, Joseph Lieberman was making it hard for various groups like the ADL and the ACLU and others to criticize Christians who talk about their faith in the public square. Nevertheless, I was surprised at their statement.

Two weeks ago, I talked about how he asked his audience to remember the word from Chronicles which is to "give thanks to God and declare His name and make His acts known to the people." And he offered this prayer: "Dear Lord, maker of all miracles, I thank you for bringing me to this extraordinary moment in my life."

Since then, he has continued to talk about the relationship between his faith. And as one commentator put it, he finally said "praise the Lord" one too many times for the Anti-Defamation League.

As you would expect, a Lieberman spokesperson offered a gracious response. "Joe Lieberman is someone who has always respected the role faith plays in the lives of millions of Americans. He is someone who always expresses his support of tolerance and separation of church and state, and he believes the ADL does a lot of good work and in this particular instance, respectfully disagrees."

I'm grateful he disagrees. Religious discussion deserves a rightful place in the public arena.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.