NEW YORK (Jun. 6)
Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, national director of the American Jewish Committee’s inter-religious affairs department, urged American Jews today not to vote on “the basis of prejudice, mythologies and stereotypes.” Tanenbaum related his remarks to the question. “Is Jimmy Carter good for the Jews?” which, he claimed “is probably the liveliest and most anxious political issue that is being discussed today in the Jewish community.” Carter is a Southern Baptist.
In his weekly religious commentary on WINS radio here, Tanenbaum said that “troubled discussion” surrounds the evangelical Christianity practiced by the former Georgia Governor seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination. “Most northern Jews and Christians have no personal experience with evangelical Christians and base their perceptions on historical and literary images, which are overwhelmingly negative.” Tanenbaum said.
Noting that during the first 100 years of American history “in order to be regarded as a patriotic American you had to be an evangelical Christian.” Tanenbaum said the question is “whether President Jimmy Carter would help resurrect a mentality of second-class political status for non-evangelicals.” According to Tanenbaum. “What most northerners do not understand is that today there is a pluralism of the theologies as well as social visions among evangelicals as there is among Catholics and Jews.