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Falwell, Farrakhan, and the ADL's Selective Outrage By: Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 22, 2005


The Anti-Defamation League ostensibly exists to oppose anti-Semitism. And it does – on occasion – when it isn’t too busy bashing evangelicals, fighting Christianity and creating double standards.

Despite its reputation, the ADL is not a Jewish organization. There’s nothing distinctly Jewish (i.e., grounded in Jewish law) about its operations. It’s really just another left-wing group, with a leftist agenda. Politically, it is virtually indistinguishable from the American Civil Liberties Union, People for the American Way, or Americans United for the (so-called) Separation of Church and State.

As a conservative Jewish activist told me recently of the ADL’s National Director and principal spokesman, "Abe Foxman has a problem with Christianity" – unfortunate in that he’s living in a country that’s over 80 percent Christian.

Foxman’s latest foray in political correctness was an attack on Rev. Jerry Falwell earlier this month, when the latter included an "I Vote Christian" sticker in a fundraising mailing.

Falwell’s sticker is "directly at odds with the American ideal, and should be rejected," Foxman lectured. "Understanding the danger of combining religion and politics, our founding fathers wisely created a political system based on individual merit and religious inclusiveness."

Abe has been reading Al Franken’s Introduction to U.S. History again. His is a fantasy version of the American saga soothing to the secular Left – wherein Washington, Adams, Hamilton et. al, appear as 18th century counterparts of the American Humanist Association – Howard Dean clones in powdered wigs and buckled shoes.

The Founding Fathers so wanted to establish a system based on religious inclusiveness – by which Foxman means militant secularism – that, in the Declaration of Independence, they made God the foundation of our system of government. ("That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men….")

It’s fascinating the way the Left’s distortion of the First Amendment establishment clause keeps morphing. To the Founders, it meant just what it says: No establishment of religion, no national church. If they wanted a total separation of government and religion, then why – as one of its first acts – did the first Congress to hire a chaplain, whose salary was paid out of its budget?

Of all the lies of the Left, separation of church and state (words, by the way, which appear nowhere in the Constitution) is the one it clings to most tenaciously.

Thanks to its dominance of the courts, starting in 1962, school prayer became an establishment of religion (which religion? whose religion?). Then crèches at Christmas, non-sectarian prayers at graduations, public-school postings of the Ten Commandments and Ten Commandments monuments in public settings all were deemed establishments of religion. (The 9th Circuit Appeals Court tried to do the same to "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.)

Now the ADL suggests that to base one’s vote on the Judeo-Christian principles on which the nation was founded is a betrayal of America. Did Jerry Falwell establish a national church with a bumper sticker?

The Reverend says he didn’t know he was being un-American. "What I was saying was for conservative Christians to vote their values, which are pro-life and pro-family," Falwell (who’s famous for his friendship for Israel) explained. Presumably, this could even lead Christians to vote for non-Christian candidates who share those values. After all, in the last presidential election, a majority of Catholics voted for a Protestant who was with them on the moral questions of the day, over a former altar boy who was not.

I wish Foxman would explain why it’s appropriate for socialists to base their votes on socialist principles, why isolationists can vote for isolationist principles, and why African-Americans can cast their ballots based on the perceived interests of their race, but it’s somehow wicked for Christians to vote their values.

As a Jew, if I knew no more about two candidates running for the same office then that one was a serious Christian and the other was not, I’d vote for the former. I guess this means that I too, vote Christian.

By de-legitimizing Bible-based politics, the Left hopes to win by default. Values from Sinai are the principal impediment to the advance of its worldview: situation ethics, treating human life as a disposable commodity, moral relativism and sex as a recreational drug.

Church-state separation is a convenient cover. Lacking the integrity to engage in a values debate (ours versus theirs), when the Bible’s code is posited as an alternative to their neo-pagan politics, they whimper about breaches of the sacred wall of separation, God being un-American and all that.

The ADL is one of the most persistent and energetic forums for pushing this gross distortion of our history and heritage.

  • In June, Foxman wrote to the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, to complain about Midshipmen being subjected to "organized prayers before they may eat lunch." This, the ADL pooh-bah contended, is unconstitutional. Government agencies, like the Academy, "must respect the rights of religious minorities," as well as those who are not religious," by refraining from such "coercion…including compulsory prayer services." Imagine the anguish of the poor non-religious Midshipman who’s unbearably burdened by being exposed to a prayer before lunch! (How will he stand up under torture at the enemy’s hands, if he quails at a prayer?) The secular Left believes it has an unqualified right not to be offended by encountering religious expression in a public setting.
  • In June, when the Supreme Court struck down all but the most meaningless Ten Commandments monuments, the ADL was delirious. The organization claims its position here "arises out of a profound respect for the diversity of religions in America today," rather than a profound hostility to the principles on which America was founded and with which it grew to greatness. Thus we have the surreal spectacle of a group started almost a century ago to fight anti-Semitism, devoting its time and resources to fighting public acknowledgement of the fact that this nation was established on the eternal values of the Jewish people.
  • In early August, Foxman threw a fit when Dr. James Dobson compared the underlying theory behind embryonic stem-cell research to Nazi medical experiments. "There is no legitimate comparison between stem-cell research, which seeks to find a cure for disease and to counter human suffering, and the perversion of science and morality represented by the Nazis," said he. In essence, Foxman is saying that since he likes stem-cell research (which results in the destruction of human life) and does not like Nazi medical experiments (which also resulted in the destruction of human life) the comparison is fatally flawed.. Whether actions may be compared to the horror of Nazism depends on whether or not Foxman and the ADL approve of same.
  • Last year, Foxman was one of the most visible and vocal critics of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ. The ADL National Director warned that the film (whose dialogue was in Latin and Aramaic) "can fuel, trigger, stimulate, rationalize (and) legitimize anti-Semitism." The movie was shown privately. The production wasn’t subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts (which prefers to fund photos of crucifixes suspended in vats of urine). No one was compelled to watch it. But Foxman was still agitated. Surely a cinematic celebration of Christianity is "directly at odds with the American ideal." By the way, did I miss the wave of Kishinev-like pogroms that Foxman implied would follow the film’s premiere?
  • When it comes to exposing anti-Semitism, the ADL is highly selective. While the right is a frequent target, the Left (including Islam) often gets a pass. Minister Louis Farrakhan, fuhrer of the Nation of Islam, is the most influential anti-Semite in America. He makes David Duke look like a member of Hadassah. In October, Farrakhan is having a reprise of his Million Moron March. In a May interview with the Amsterdam News, former President Bill Clinton endorsed the rally (describing it as a "very positive idea"). The ADL decided to simply ignore this aid and comfort to a notorious hate-monger by an ex-president. Its leadership would never countenance criticism of a man beloved of the Jewish establishment.

Forget about Clinton endorsing the hate-fest of a man who once called Judaism "a gutter religion." The ADL knows that "I vote Christian" stickers represent the real threat to the Jewish community in America. As my grandmother would say, they should have their heads examined.


Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.


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