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Joe Lieberman: A Plug For Religious Accommodation

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We were sharply critical of 2000 Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman over a variety of issues. And we expect that we will have a lot to say about him in the coming months as he pursues the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. Hopefully, he will draw more positive comment from us this time around as he runs on his own and not as second banana.

In this connection, we are happy to note the positive note he struck last week for religious toleration when the celebrated debate amongst the various declared Democratic presidential contenders was convened at a time after the close of the Jewish Sabbath in order to accommodate his Sabbath observance.

Senator Lieberman’s request for that accommodation, even in the midst of seeking the highest elective office in the land, profoundly underscores the seriousness observant Jews attach to abstention from work on the Sabbath, and cannot but foster greater acceptance of the principle of religious observance accommodation on the job.

Mr. Lieberman, ABC News which televised the debate, the Democratic Party and the other aspirants are to be applauded for this salutary gesture. Further, as reported in The New Republic, the next day, in a political appearance at an evangelical church, Mr. Lieberman pointedly rejected the repeated importunings of the minister to participate in the religious fervor and expression taking place, even to the point of awkwardness. We applaud this instance of Lieberman’s integrity as well.

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