New York (Oct. 25)
The American Jewish Congress has issued a strong condemnation of the evangelical right for using religion as an instrument of political coercion and has pledged to oppose the movement on many of its domestic policies and practices.
A resolution passed by the Governing Council of the national organization says it deplores the new right’s use of “fundamentalist piety” as the measure of political competence. It accused the movement’s adherents of attempting to intimidate when they cannot persuade “by using the size of their electronic congregations and by threatening political reprisal through the proliferation of ‘hit lists’.”
“We are mindful,” the resolution continued, “that leaders and spokesmen for the evangelical right defend and support the State of Israel. We acknowledge this support, but this consideration is irrelevant to our assessment of their domestic programs. The damage done by their efforts to curtail domestic freedom is not made less by their views on Israel. Their support for Israel will in no way cause us to mitigate or modify our opposition to the many policies and practices of the evangelical right with which we disagree.”
The AJCongress resolution said it is “encouraged” by the knowledge that there are many others, including the majority of evangelicals in this country, who are disturbed by the “electoral depredations” of the right and “with whom we can find common cause.”