I'm disturbed by our current political campaigns where politicians use religion to demean others and appeal to voters. This outrage is being addressed by a remarkable interfaith coalition that has created a statement of principles for candidates to follow. Their public plea is intended to spark debate among voters and in the media about pitting people against each through religious rhetoric. They propose candidates should agree to:
- Seek to serve the full range of constituents, whatever their religion;
- Conduct campaigns without appeals for support based on religion;
- Reject messages to voters that reflect religious prejudices, bias or stereotyping;
- Debate issues without encouraging division along religious lines.
The coalition includes the American Islamic Congress, American Jewish Committee, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Hindu American Foundation, National Council of Churches, the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Methodist Church, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith and the United Church of Christ.
I believe these principles honor decency, honesty and fair play. Whether any candidates actually will sign on remains to be seen.
This is Roy Lloyd.
[Originally presented as a commentary on 1010 WINS in New York, NY]