11/17/2005

The Jewish Week - ADL Breaks With Pack On Church-State

Finally some action against fundies by the Jewish community ! Didn't those guys learn with Hitler ? First the fascist fanatics come for a weak minority no one cares about, but people like the Busheviks rarely stop there... -- law

ADL Breaks With Pack On Church-State
Foxman signals shift in tactics with attack on Evangelical power in U.S.
James D. Besser/Washington - Washington Correspondent

Warning that the Evangelical right has made alarming gains in social and political influence, a leading Jewish church-state watchdog is calling for a tougher and more unified Jewish response.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, speaking to the group’s national leadership here last week, signaled a sharp shift in ADL policy by directly attacking several prominent religious right groups and challenging their motives, which he said include nothing less than “Christianizing America.”

Among the groups he cited were the powerful Focus on the Family ministry and the Family Research Council.

Foxman said as these groups seek to use the government to further their missionizing goal, Democrats and Republicans alike are “pandering” to the religious conservatives.

The ADL leader also called for a national Jewish summit to respond to the growing challenge.

Foxman may face stiff resistance, however, from colleagues in other organizations who believe a more confrontational strategy would be a big mistake for American Jews and for Israel.

In an interview this week, Foxman said the shift in ADL’s approach on the Evangelicals was necessitated by their growing political and social clout.

“What we’re seeing is a pervasive, intensive assault on the traditional balance between religion and state in this country,” he said. “They’re trying to bring Christianity to all aspects of American life. They’re not just talking just about God and religious values but about Jesus and about Christian values.”

At the same time, Foxman said, Evangelicals are becoming much more adept at “using elements of the government to achieve their goals.”

On a policy level, he said, that includes the vast expansion of funding for religious institutions through various faith-based programs in the government.

But even more threatening, Foxman said, is how the views of many of the most strident Evangelical leaders have started to pervade American society, which he said will be revealed in a forthcoming ADL poll.

Although only portions of the survey were available this week, Foxman said some of the results are alarming.

According to the survey, 70 percent of weekly churchgoers and 76 percent of self-described Evangelicals agreed that “Christianity is under attack” in this country — a conclusion that is hard to square with their growing influence in Congress, the White House and the courts, he said.

Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week

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