Lieberman said it is a fair question to ask how his religious responsibilities would affect the execution of his presidential duties.
The senator is an Orthodox Jew who does not customarily work on the Jewish Sabbath. He observes strict religious rules that say what a Jew can and cannot do between sunset Friday and sunset Saturday.
“The fact is I observe the Sabbath Friday night to Saturday. It is important to me. I take it as a religious obligation to thank God for everything that I have all seven days of the week — thank God, the creator,” he said.
“But I have always been told when you have responsibilities that people depend upon you for their health and safety, that goes above the restrictions on what you can do on the Sabbath, so as an attorney general, as a United States senator, I have never hesitated to fulfill my public responsibility on a Friday night or a Saturday, whether it meant voting in the Senate or going to critical meetings at the White House or Congress.
“I always say, ‘When it comes to politics, I work 24/6. When it comes to fulfilling my government responsibility, I work 24/7.'”
In the 1960 campaign, John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, had to vow that he would keep church and state apart. He used a campaign speech before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association to make that point.
Lieberman, arguably the most prominent Jewish politician in the U.S. following his vice presidential candidacy, said that he might follow Kennedy’s example later during his campaign for the White House.
“At some point, I may. At some point, it may be fair to do that because I understand it is different to have somebody observing the Sabbath the way I do, but I would not run for president if I didn’t know that I would do everything to carry out the responsibilities of the office,” he said.
“When I put my left hand on the Bible and my right hand in the air and take the oath, that is an oath I take quite seriously.”
It is silly to assume that Sen. Lieberman’s faith would get in the way of politics. An Orthodox Jew that supports abortion on demand, obviously faith won’t interfere or impinge in any way. Now as for following Kennedy’s example, won’t his wife object?