Press Release

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.