The ADL Report
To the Editor:
Midge Decter [“The ADL vs. the ‘Religious Right,’” September 1994] argues that the Anti-Defamation League (which she refers to as “an established and highly respected organization dedicated to the protection and security of the American Jewish community”) in its recent report on the religious Right has indulged in religious bigotry and liberal broadsides against this movement. In fact, the report, The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance & Pluralism in America goes to some lengths in respectfully recognizing the rights of religious conservatives and the legitimacy of their public activism. A few examples make this clear.
* “Like anyone else, evangelical Christians have the right to organize, to run for office, to lobby, to boycott, to demonstrate, to attempt to implement their views. More than that, a healthy democracy encourages and depends on their doing so.”
* “[C]ritics err when they imply that the religious Right poses a concern because of its religiosity rather than its platform. The problems raised by the movement are secular.” The ADL study calls the religious Right’s grass-roots organizing a “remarkable democratic exercise.”
* “[T]hose who object to the religious Right movement too often engage [in] the intolerance and stereotyping they purport to decry. Anti-Christian bigotry may be exaggerated by Pat Robertson and others, but it is not merely a figment in the imagination of evangelicals.”
* “[M]uch of what this movement says it wants is right: most of us value strong families, better schools, a government that upholds its commitment to religious liberty. These aims have become increasingly vital at a time when our country’s ills appear intractable and when many Americans say they feel dissatisfied, frightened, and angry, part of a society that has lost its ‘guard rails.’”
About the Author