ADL to South Carolina Pastor Mark Burns: Retract Offensive Comments on Bernie Sanders’ Faith

New York, NY, March 15, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged a pastor to retract and apologize for disparaging remarks he made about presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ faith at a North Carolina Donald Trump rally.

Mark Burns, a South Carolina televangelist and a prominent supporter of Mr. Trump, told audience members at a rally that “… Bernie gotta get saved, he gotta meet Jesus. … I don’t know, he’s got to have a coming to Jesus meeting.”

“We urge Pastor Burns to retract and apologize for his hurtful comments,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “They convey the offensive, erroneous, and exclusionary message that Jews and other religious minorities are unfit to be President, and they are disrespectful remarks to Jews beyond just an election.

“Every American can aspire to be President regardless of their faith or background,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “There is no religious litmus test to hold the Presidency or any other elected office. That right is guaranteed by the Constitution, which strictly prohibits religious tests for public office.”

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, ADL takes no position on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for office.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.