When The Wall Came Tumbling Down

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12 Responses

  1. Evan Steele says:

    The problem with pointing to the hypocricy of your opponent is that it exposes your own. How can I possibly take seriously a critique of the left for being more open to religion when the right has been cricitizing and calling for this for years? Talk about a sore winner! Of course, this is indicative of the extreme, all of nothing thinking of the right. One is blindingly pro-American foreign policy, or someone who hates America. One either supports the right wing in Israel or is an anti-semite. A rational position on the involvement of religion in public life recognizes that it has a place, but is cautious about its expression. If the left is being accused of not being rigid in its thinking on this issue, I stand accused with them. I further wonder about the sense of entitlement that demands that non-Jewish tax dollars go to educational institutions whose very ideological agenda is to separate from American culture. As a frum Jew, I completely support this ideology, but I find it rather unreasonable to expect others to pay for it. Finally, criticizing Reform rabbis for speaking out politically is indeed highly hypocritical, when Orthodox rabbis were highly vocal on the matter, and cared not to even give lip service to entertaining opposing views.

  2. LOberstein says:

    I am listening to “The Audacity of Hope” read by Barack. He is quite open about the importance of religion. I think that the Democrats realize that this is a religious nation and that it is false to characterize one party as the “Party of G-d” (at least not in the USA). There is room for sincere calls upon the One Above in our national discourse and there always has been.
    For a period of time, the Religious Right seemed to have a monopoly and the ultra liberal wing of the party falsly put the “wall of Seperation” up there alongside “a woman’s right to choose” as cardinal beliefs. Now, Obama is moving the party to the middle and appointing pragmatists.The socialist wing of the party is upset with him.
    Now is the time for all good men and women to stop the sniping and unite to save our country in a time of national crisis.

  3. One Christian's perspective says:

    “The ADL’s Abe Foxman did, to his credit, criticize the extreme religious makeover as “excessive . . . aggressive . . . and not where religion belongs,” and declared himself “very much disturbed that the Jewish community isn’t disturbed.” Yet even Foxman said he had “no problem” with the emergence late in the campaign of Rabbis for Obama, a group comprising over 600 non-Orthodox clergyfolk, which, according to Brandeis historian Jonathan Sarna, was unprecedented in American Jewish politics.”

    Interesting observation when one considers the reality that, for the most part, Orthodox Jews and Orthodox (in belief) Christians generally supported the Republican candidate by their vote.

  4. Chaim Fisher says:

    If our Orthodox leaders saw fit to criticize the Democrats when they ignored religion, then why don’t they see fit to praise the Democrats when they respect it?

  5. One Christian's perspective says:

    If our Orthodox leaders saw fit to criticize the Democrats when they ignored religion, then why don’t they see fit to praise the Democrats when they respect it? – Comment by Chaim Fisher

    Chaim, many of us have felt the sting of lack of respect from the Democratic Party . It’s far left liberal views do not reflect the Judeo-Christian values on which this nation was founded. More often than not, this Party has worked very hard at eliminating those values while seeking to make this nation secular in all aspects much like France. A place where G-d has no place or value is not going to be a pleasant place to reside.

  6. Larry says:

    “If our Orthodox leaders saw fit to criticize the Democrats when they ignored religion, then why don’t they see fit to praise the Democrats when they respect it?” (Comment by Chaim Fisher — December 11, 2008 @ 8:15 am).

    The answer is obvious: there are those who have been more than willing to reconstitute our religious beliefs and institutions as little more than agents of the Republican Party. And those who have done so, having just suffered a devastating electoral loss, are unable to contain their bitterness.

  7. Garnel Ironheart says:

    The left is full of hypocrisy. Or maybe not. The “religion” they allow in their state is essentially secular liberalism. Any religion that imposes no obligations on its followers, supports gay marriage and worships the hallowed commandment “Thou shalt be politically correct”, is acceptable to them. The same Reform rabbis who endorsed Barack would condemn any Orthodox rabbi who endorsed McCain without a second thought at the inconsistency.

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    “Judeo-Christian values on which this nation was founded”

    Judeo-Christian?

    None of the founding fathers of the United States was a Jew.

    One signer of the Declaration of Independence was Catholic, but the rest of the founders were a mix of practicing religious Protestants, people from Protestant backgrounds who were lax in there observance or belief (Washington seems rarely if ever to have taken communion, and Adams’ theology would not pass a purity test today), and out and out infidels (Paine, Franklin and Jefferson are examples — any of the three would have been burned at the stake in much of Europe).

    And if you read either Jefferson or Madison on separation of Church and State, you will understand that their stringent position is very similar to that taken by the ACLU today, and not by the Republican party. Late in life, Adams came to the same position.

    Government support for religious institutions may be a good idea, but it clearly was not something that the founders who wrote most eloquently on the matter supported. And many of the founders did not espouse anything resembling normative Christianity, much less Judaism.

  9. Robert Lebovits says:

    Evan Steele writes, “How can I possibly take seriously a critique of the left for being more open to religion when the right has been criticizing & calling for this for years?”
    I believe the author is suggesting that the current acceptance by the Reform establishment of greater religious expression in the public arena is hardly the result of a reasoned, thoughtful review of the subject. Rather, it is borne of political expedience & liberal cynicism that holds “The ends justify the means” – the ends being the election of Barack Obama. Thus if jumping on the religion bandwagon will ensure his success then principles are worth sacrificing for such a lofty goal. While this approach certainly reflects “flexible” thinking by liberals it is not in any way “cautious”. In fact, it is at least as extreme & narrow-minded as anything the right could aspire to.
    Watching the way in which literally every special interest group is bellying up to the bar to get a piece of the largesse Obama wants to bestow, by what measure is it “entitlement” for the Orthodox community to lobby for as much educational funding as it can get for its institutions? Are you as perturbed by the others folks looking after their parochial concerns at public expense?
    Finally, Reform clergy have been politically outspoken for decades & have not been criticized for doing so per se within the frum world. Only when they imply that they speak for the entire Jewish community & their positions are authentically Jewish are they challenged.

  10. Ori says:

    Larry: The answer is obvious: there are those who have been more than willing to reconstitute our religious beliefs and institutions as little more than agents of the Republican Party. And those who have done so, having just suffered a devastating electoral loss, are unable to contain their bitterness.

    Ori: 48% of the popular vote is a normal political loss, not a devastating one. The Democratic party wasn’t devastated when John Kerry got 48% in 2004 either.

    I suspect that what happened is that the Democratic Party realized it needed the religious vote. As a strategy, that obviously worked. Now the incoming administration will have to either alienate the religious voters, alienate the secular liberal voters, or find a way to satisfy both groups despite their mutually incompatible goals.

  11. Anon says:

    >The damage caused by the denial of government assistance to Jewish families and Jewish education has been real and lasting,

    Interesting

    1) Jewish have product/service
    2) product/service unsustainable
    3) Blame government

    What ever happened to the concept of taking responsibility for personal and communal decisions.

  12. Charlie Hall says:

    Two more thoughts on government support of religious education:

    (1) Whenever the question comes up for a vote in the United States, it always gets voted down, usually by huge margins. There is simply no public support for it. We might want to ask ourselves why.

    (2) This past summer I visited two European countries in which the government does provide support to religious schools, including Jewish schools, in return for the schools’ agreement to follow the government-mandated curriculum. In addition, the schools must also accept students from other religions. And in one of those, teaching about other religions is a *requirement* of the government-mandated curriculum — in order to graduate, Jewish students have to pass an exam on Christianity! We should not expect that government support for Jewish schools in the US, should it ever come, will have any fewer strings, and we should be prepared for them.

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