York Town Square

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The late Ernest Lefever, native York countian, came under national spotlight’s glare in D.C.





Another case in which all roads seem to lead to York… .
Native son and York High grad Ernest Lefever died at the age of 89 recently, and his local obituary noted his leadership of internationally known The Ethics and Public Policy Center.
His accomplishments were such that he earned a New York Times obituary, which stated in part:

“Dr. Lefever used the institute, 20 books he wrote or edited and many speeches to accentuate the links he saw between Judeo-Christian morality and national and foreign policy. He championed fierce anti-Communism, tough treatment of criminals and the political rise of evangelical Christians.”
The obituary also told about a moment in which Ernest Lefever particularly gained the national limelight:
When President Reagan appointed Lefever as assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs in 1981, this action became the center of a national debate concerning human rights issues and American foreign policy. With confirmation, the appointment would have made Lefever Reagan’s lead person on human rights efforts.
In confirmation hearings, Lefever was portrayed as a hardliner against the promotion of human rights in other countries, contra to the policies laid down by the Carter administration.
Eventually, enough Republicans joined Democrats to vote against Lefever’s nomination, and Lefever withdrew his name for consideration.
The fight was significant because the Reagan administration sustained its first loss on a confirmation vote.
According to The Times, Lefever later said: “I’m tired and I’m sad. But I got a drubbing that few other public servants ever got at this low level and largely without justification.”
The man in the middle of this storm died in a quiet spot, far from the media glare – Cross Keys Village, The Brethren Home Community in New Oxford.
To read the New York Times obituary, click here.