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August 29, 2000
8:35 AM   Subscribe

I haven't seen a real election-related post in a couple of days, although we were talking about religion. Thus...

The ADL asks Joe Lieberman to shut up already. Funny how nobody's mentioned that to Dick. I guess the rules are different for war profiteers.
posted by dcehr (11 comments total)

 
Maybe this should have been separate threads. Whoops! Well, we've got "war" or "religion" -- two great tastes that taste great together. Pick the most interesting one to discuss, I guess.

Now that I think on it (stupid hindsight!) the Cheney-as-war-profiteer is a bit of a non sequitur, at least when it comes to the religion stuff. It is, however, another thing besides "Gabbin' about God" that the two have in common; Lieberman represents Connecticut, where GE has a whole mess of submarine building facilities, so I'm sure he's one of the darlings of the defense industry.

I figure if Lieberman does keep yammering about big "G" God, he runs the risk of fouling his/their image, and alienating core voters; Dems tend to go for more of a namby-pamby loosey-goosey i'm-ok-you're-ok unitarian sort of religion thing, don't they?
posted by dcehr at 8:44 AM on August 29, 2000


What's frustrating about this is that Lieberman appears to be genuinely religious (it's not some sort of
election scam), so let the guy be himself and let him try to get elected based on those merits instead of telling people what they want to hear. Just another example of the ADL making a lame attempt at protecting the feelings of people of different
race/religion/etc and all they wind up doing is fostering hypersensitivity to people's differences.
posted by Popstar at 9:00 AM on August 29, 2000


Just another example of the ADL making a lame attempt at protecting the feelings of people of different race/religion/etc and all they wind up doing is fostering hypersensitivity to people's differences.

Wow, I actually agree with the right wing on something :)

Fact is, religious lunatics like Pat Robertson (or Lieberman) have a right to run for president, and a right to express their lunatic views in public. That's the end of the story as far as I'm concerned.

The ADL is essentially a fascistic organization, seeking to suppress the speech of people with "inappropriate" points of view (according to their definition, which includes any criticism of Israeli government policies). It should be renamed the "Defamation League" (as others have suggested).

I mean, when was the last time the ADL has done anything useful? Speaking as an atheist, the ACLU has done far more to protect my right to free expression, and they generally don't chasten people for making "inappropriate" remarks.
posted by johnb at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2000


What amazed me about the article is Bush's incredible quote about how we are a divinely commissioned nation to serve as a model for the world. Uh, how self-centered is that? It's certainly evocative of the old Puritan ideal of being a "city on a hill" -- but not very conducive to world relations, I would think.

I seem to recall the Pope making very similar comments about religion in the '84 race, when Mondale and Reagan were beating their bibles, and I haven't seen the vitriol reserved here for the ADL for him. I've been to the Vatican, and let me tell you, if you didn't realize that Christianity is crap before you get there you'll know it after -- the most crass, shameless display of corporate religion I've ever seen from the gift shops in every other room to the post office hawking postcards and overpriced stamps. I'm surprised there wasn't an indulgence vending machine.

Oh, and BTW, about the Democrats=Unitarians comment, people tend to forget that the last 8 years have been an all Southern Baptist administration.

posted by norm at 1:20 PM on August 29, 2000


...about the Democrats=Unitarians comment, people tend to forget that the last 8 years have been an all Southern Baptist administration.

Probably true. However, I was generalizing and -- as is often the case when I'm generalizing -- I don't care.

No, seriously. I know when it was photo-op time the Clintons typically showed up a Baptist church, but to characterize them as actual Baptists is a bit of a stretch. Sundays, Christmas and Easter do not a religious man make.
posted by dcehr at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2000


I think the ADL are just following an old Jewish tradition of being embarrassed at being seen as "Jewish" in public. Partly it's a self-effacing mensch thing, and partly it's an adaptation to being a religious minority that's often targeted.

Bill Clinton is most definitely a churchgoing Baptist. Where do you think he learned his speaking skills? Sometimes -- I particularly remember his election celebration -- he's pure preacher. (Gore tries, and has the same influences, but just doesn't have the same mojo.) Anyway, he may not go to church much lately.
posted by dhartung at 3:30 PM on August 29, 2000


Clinton has repeatedly said that it is too dangerous for him to regularly attend church, and that the precautions necessary for his attendance are too disturbing of the solemnity (?!?!) of the setting. Therefore, he has not attended church on a regular basis while President.

As for the ADL, I think their best tack is to sit down, shut up and listen for a change. When someone else starts griping about Leiberman's pro-religious talk then they may have room to complain, but this pre-emptive "Let's leave out G-d" bit is malarkey and they (should) know it.
posted by Dreama at 10:22 PM on August 29, 2000


the precautions necessary for his attendance are too disturbing of the solemnity (?!?!) of the setting

Why the "?!?!"? Surely church service can be a solemn occasion, depending on your church. Catholic and Catholic-like services are especially solemn.

I seem to remember that back when Clinton was the governor of Arkansas, he and Hillary attended different churches. Surely, if it was purely for show, they would have made it easier on themselves and gone to the same church.
posted by daveadams at 7:26 AM on August 30, 2000


Speaking as an atheist, the ACLU has done far more to protect my right to free expression

Why do you expect the Anti-Defamation League to protect your right to free expression? The group's mission is to fight bigotry and anti-Semitism.
posted by rcade at 8:39 AM on August 30, 2000


Why do you expect the Anti-Defamation League to protect your right to free expression?

I don't.

The group's mission is to fight bigotry and anti-Semitism.

That's PR, not reality.
posted by johnb at 7:06 PM on August 30, 2000


Just to clarify: it would be more accurate to say the mission of the ADL is to promote bigotry and racism. It is probably the world's largest organized hate group.

From the Antifa Info-Bulletin:

"What do ACT-UP, the African National Congress, Anti-Racist Action, the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, Casa El Salvador, CISPES, the Council of Arab-American Organizations, Global Exchange, ILWU Local 6, the Jewish Committee on the Middle East, the NAACP, the S.F. Bay Guardian and the Spartacist League all have in common?

Like hundreds of other radical and progressive groups, labor unions, alternative news services, and an estimated 100,000 Bay Area residents, they were targets of illegal covert spy operations carried out by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

In Necessary Illusions, Noam Chomsky writes:

"The leading official monitor of anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, interprets anti-Semitism as unwillingness to conform to its requirements with regard to support for Israeli authorities. These conceptions were clearly expounded by ADL National Director Nathan Perlmutter, who wrote that while old-fashioned anti-Semitism has declined, there is a new and more dangerous variety on the part of "peacemakers of Vietnam vintage, transmuters of swords into plowshares, championing the terrorist P.L.O.," and those who condemn U.S. policies in Vietnam and Central America while "sniping at American defense budgets." He fears that "nowadays war is getting a bad name and peace too favorable a press" with the rise of this "real anti-Semitism." The logic is straightforward: Anti-Semitism is opposition to the interests of Israel (as the ADL sees them); and these interests are threatened by "the liberals," the churches, and others who do not adhere to the ADL political line."

More Resources
posted by johnb at 8:05 PM on August 30, 2000


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