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ADL Scolds Santorum for Issues of Church and State

The ADL scolds Republican contender Rick Santorum for advocating on behalf of a church role in governing.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/28/2012, 5:11 PM

Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum
Reuters

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) once again scolded Republican front-runner Rick Santorum for advocating on behalf of a church role in governing.

Santorum told ABC, on February 26, that a1960 speech given by then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy outlining church-state separations almost made him "throw up."

"To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up,” he said.

“What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?”

"The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country," he continued.

ADL national director Abraham Foxman and national chairman Robert Sugarman wrote a letter to Santorum, arguing that he misrepresented the speech.

Kennedy, who referred to organizations, not individuals in his speech, also said that the separation between church and state should be “absolute.”

The letter sent stated that, "The genius of the Founding Fathers was to find a way, with the establishment clause and the free exercise clause, to protect the new nation from the kind of religious persecution that had resulted from official state religions and religious wars in Europe."

The ADL first reprimanded Santorum in January when he told a caller on a talk show that, "we always need a Jesus guy" in the campaign, which the ADL said was "inappropriate and exclusionary," the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported.