2012 Values Voter Summit Organizer Called for Jews to be Converted to Christianity
The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today expressed disappointment that Republican vice presidential candidate Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Majority Leader Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) chose to address the 2012 Values Voter Summit. NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris said:
American Jews will feel a sense of profound disappointment that two of the most important Republicans in the country have chosen to address - and thus court and legitimize - some of America’s most extreme and deeply disturbing social conservatives at today’s Values Voter Summit. The Southern Poverty Law Center urged public officials to refrain from attending because of the organizers’ infamous history of gay bashing, anti-Muslim and intolerant statements, including disgustingly and directly linking homosexuality to the Holocaust. But equally concerning is the history of hate-filled toxic rhetoric that flows from many of its participants year after year. This is above and beyond one of the summit’s organizers’ calls for Jews to be converted to Christianity.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) should theoretically be working to expand the Romney campaign’s appeal to mainstream voters, and rumor has it the Republican Party is attempting to attract Jewish voters as well, though it has a strange way of showing it. Instead, he is serving as the campaign’s bridge to far-right extremists—a crowd that he blends all too well with. Furthermore, the appearance by Cantor—the only Jewish Republican in Congress—is sending yet another message that gay bashing, intolerance and abusive Holocaust rhetoric are accepted by the House GOP caucus. The unfortunate alliance between the Values Voter Summit and today’s GOP is just one more element sure to remind the vast majority of American Jews—who strongly support marriage equality—why they firmly support the Democratic Party.”
If the content of the Values Voter Summit is not enough to repel most Jews—the timing of the conference typically is. The 2009, 2010, and 2011 conferences directly coincided with the Jewish High Holidays. This year’s conference does not.
The venom coming out of this year’s conference—and the images of party leaders like Ryan and Cantor mixed in with the summit—will help remind most Jews why they will continue to support the Democratic Party this November.
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