On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and the Interfaith Alliance released a “statement of principles” on religion in political campaigns that calls on candidates vying for office to feel comfortable explaining their religious conviction to voters but also warn that “there is a point when an emphasis on religion becomes inappropriate and even unsettling in a religiously diverse society such as ours.”
The call has been endorsed by 14 major Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh organizations, and asks candidates to:
- Attempt to fulfill the promise of America by seeking to serve and be responsive to the full range of constituents, irrespective of their religion.
- Conduct their campaigns without appeals, overt or implicit, for support based upon religion.
- Reject appeals or messages to voters that reflect religious prejudice, bias, or stereotyping.
- Engage in vigorous debate on important and disputed issues, without deliberately encouraging division in the electorate along religious lines, or between voters who characterize themselves as religious and voters who do not.
I wish that this wasn’t so impressive to me. I wish that this was considered normal, that all religious groups were offended by presidential candidates attempting to manipulate people using religion.