Volozhin’s Got Talent!

You may also like...

36 Responses

  1. mycroft says:

    Tikvah a his pledged to the furtherance of conservative values. Do you believe that one could find  adherents to the yeshiva world of the caliber of those who attended the Tikvah event to a similar event furthering liberal values.?

    • Much harder after Obama, the new direction of the Democratic party, and Black Lives Matter

      • lacosta says:

        the more relevant question is in the coming era of the unbridled hegemony of the PC left,  and especially when the Fifth Vote will guarantee decades-long judicial leftist fiat,  how the haredi askanim  will be able to ensure atavistic practices like shechita, milah , gittin, etc will be allowed in the  novus ordo seculorum  [ and who will be the first rabbi jailed for refusing to perform gay marriages ?]

        i would like to see the plans for askonus over the next 40 years when the congress /state house will be mostly left-wing and PC—- O judaism in that crowd is fit for the re-education Gulag….

         

         

         

        • Steve brizel says:

          Look at it this way. Senior Democratic advisors do not view their candidates for either House or Senate seats as being strong enough to regain control of the House and Senate

      • Charles Hall says:

        I am more worried about the Republican Party. It has nominated a candidate who rejects a decades long consensus on promoting America’s engagement with the world, and who is willing to incite what is known as the “Alternative Right” which is full of all kinds of bigots and conspiracy theorists who are barely connected to reality. That candidate also embraces junk science (sorry, vaccines do NOT cause autism) and has the worst personal midot of any candidate ever (sorry, Ted Cruz’s father was NOT involved in the Kennedy assassination).  The Democratic Party, OTOH, rejected the alternative left of Bernie Sanders and nominated a centrist who has the full support of most of the party. (And the primary results were not close — she got millions more votes.) On foreign policy Hillary Clinton is the most hawkish presidential candidate the Democrats have nominated since Lyndon Johnson and on domestic policy she is an incrementalist.

         

        Regarding Black Lives Matter, I was one of the first people I know to have called them out publicly. The inspiration, according to its principal founder, is a woman who was convicted of murdering a police officer and is now living as a fugitive in Cuba, a fugitive now on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. The Movement for Black Lives platform not only includes a groundless charge of genocide against Israel but is in general a rehash of every nutty far left idea of the past generation. I wish there were more liberals willing to explicitly and publicly separate themselves from BLM the way many conservatives are separating themselves from Trump.

         

        I personally am an unapologetic liberal who finds that  Torah values are at least if not more consistent with liberal welfare state capitalism. I find inspiration in the history of the Religious Zionist movement, as they partnered with outright socialists for decades to make Medinat Yisrael a compassionate place with religious observance supported without religious coercion.  And I learn in the writings of Chazal and Rambam a mandate for Jews to institute a generous welfare state with strict regulation of business activities. These are liberal causes today, not conservative ones, at least in most of the world.

        Fortunately or unfortunately there aren’t a lot of liberal orthodox public intellectuals today, at least in the United States. I certainly do not consider myself to be one — I am just a scientist trying to do my research and teaching and spending too much time on the internet. 😉 (And I just got a really important grant proposal funded today!)

        • 1) Mazal tov to my fellow Board member of the Museum of Biblical Natural History! May the funding propel your research to a place where you can join the growing list of Orthodox Nobel laureates.
          2) The program made a very clear distinction between Republicans and conservatives. Tikvah is interested in teaching about the history and political philosophy of conservatives, not about partisan politics which are often shaped by factors far removed from consistent ideological thinking
          3) The program also dealt with the frequently-advanced criticism that conservatives have not done a good job convincing others that they have a heart for the poor and oppressed. It very much owned up to the Torah sources that make the case for the “liberal welfare state,” even while observing how little actual good has been accomplished when left to the US government to achieve

          • mycroft says:

            If one accepts that society is responsible for the poor and oppressed- it is then a question of the best means to accomplish that goal. It is an empirical question.

            Pas far as the implication that government is incapable of delivering positive change-compare the percentage of elderly poor 80 years ago from today. As far as medical care- in general US has a very low life expectancy  compared to other developed countries-with one major exception given a population reaches 65 US has a decent life expectancy. Of course, 65   Is the age of medicare.

            The real question is what percentage of ones income/assets does society believe should be used for the benefit of less fortunate. A proxy was tax rates which were higher in the 36 years  from 1945- 1981 than the 35 years from 1981 to the present. Note the rate of growth in our country was much greater from 1945-1981 than from 1981- present.

            Thus, we can see a constant theme from  1981- present of not being concerned with other than oneself. Not getting into Rep/ Democratic debated one can see the changes in both parties from the earlier period to the present.

        • Steve brizel says:

          Take a look at the  comments of the Sefer HaChinuch on the mitzvah of inheritance and its importance for every Jew and then ask yourself whether our current tax structure is compatible with a bureaucracy that all too often confuses the legal goal of tax avoidance with the illegal goal of tax evasion

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

    • Chochom b'mah nishtanah says:

      It seems as a rule that those who are serious Yeshiva students  find the liberal view to be antithetical to  the Torah they learn.

      This also seems to be borne out by the posters to Cross Currents.

       

       

  2. Eli Blum says:

    “Perhaps we had no reason to be shocked. Participants came to the program looking for the ways in which Torah spoke to contemporary issues. Joining the program with – and because of – that expectation, it should not be surprising that they would feel that Torah truths apply to all of humanity, not just Jews.”

    While some of the largest groups of Torah Jews, the Chassidim, as well as the Agudists (as articulated by Yehuda Wiessmandl at the recent convention, and probably shared by the aforementioned Rav Aaron Kotler Shlita), would take the pragmatic approach.

    “Our political agenda in America has two clear aims: to ensure that our Jewish practices and Jewish institutions are protected from state intrusion or state infringement, and to receive as much state funding for our institutions and our people as entitled under the law… we have no deeper interest in American policy or culture.”

     

  3. Tal Benschar says:

    “an obligation to share the Torah’s vision with non-Jewish Americans”  — where exactly is this obligation?  Please cite any source in Shas and poskim that says we have such an obligation. 

    • Y. Ben-David says:

      I suggest you go to an earlier source which seems to have been forgotten in certain Torah circles…the Torah/TANACH. There we see inveterate opposition to Avodah Zara of which we are seeing increasing manifestion in America, particularly its growing endorsement of Giluy Arayot which is associated with Avodah Zara. Of course, much thought must be given as to how a minority of Jews in the world can stand up to it, but to pretend that what is going on in the wider world is of no interest to religious Jewry is sticking one’s head into the sand. We see today a feeling among some Torah circles that the otherwise anti-religous “social justice” group is best for the religious community, thinking that those who support the agenda of the homosexuals and transgenders along with Black Lives Matter will be most generous with handouts to the religious Jewish community, but this is extremely short sighted.  Support for an anti-Torah position on homosexuality and for radicals of other ethnic groups will INEVITABLY turn into opposition to Jews and Judaism, including the virulent antisemitic/anti-Israel stand of BLM’s official platform. An objective view of trends in the US makes it clear that the general values of society are growing more and more hostile to the values of religious Jews and temporary purchase of Orthodox votes by way of goverment handouts does NOT mean that the future is increasingly bleak for Jewry of the US.

      • Y. Ben-David says:

        Sorry- the last sentence was supposed to read that “the temporary purchase of Orthodox votes by way of governmental handouts does NOT mean that future is NOT increasingly bleak for US Jewry”

  4. Steve brizel says:

    Very difficult to reconcile what passes today for liberal/progressive values with Torah values especially in areas of gender and statist anti individual views that view the optimal world as run by vegans who ride bicycles and who have no use for people who have and live by traditional religious and family values and who view safe space as more important than freedom of speech

  5. Steve Brizel says:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439481/religious-liberty-attacked-courts-religious-minorities-must-unite-protect-freedom?utm_content=buffer4564a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    very important and cogently written link on the threat to religious liberty and the need for religious groups threatened by inroads on religious liberty in the name of anti discrimination to unite ( i.e. file amicus briefs, etc)

  6. DF says:

    Bill Kristol has historically been wrong on more or less everything. He’s a good magazine-starter, though, I’ll give him that.

    Interesting question about the possibility of something comparable to Tikvah coming from liberal circles. I think its impossible, and I don’t think it has anything to do with Obama. The evolution of the Democrats into nothing more than identity politics started long before him, though he certainly exacerbated it. Even in my days at NIRC, a generation ago, we had exactly one liberal, a guy who came out of Edison, and he was something of a curiosity.  Guys were genuinely interested how someone in a yeshivah could actually identify with liberal democrats. [Today the guy is a college professor, which we all saw coming.]  The liberal worldview is predicated on groupthink, and not actually engaging with critics. That is why talk radio,  an interactive forum between host and caller, is dominated by conservatives. The yeshivah culture, though not without its own version of herd mentality, encourages questions and skepticism. Its not a good breeding ground for liberalism.

     

  7. MK says:

    Too many people have argued that, notwithstanding the breathtaking numbers of adherents to the yeshiva system, the price paid has been a uniformity in dress and group-think imposed attitudes that stifle individuality and creativity. The Tikvah Program for Yeshiva Men proves that this is not the way it has to be.

    I think it’s ironic that the title of this excellent article is Volozhin’s Got Talent”.

    Anyone who reads “My Uncle The Netziv” will see that, it in fact, it was not that way in Volozhin!

      • dr. bill says:

        and the yet more complete treatment by prof. shaul stampfer’s book on yeshivot in 19th century Lita.

        • Choch b'mah nishtaneh says:

          This comment reminds of the old spoof news paper “Not the Jewish Press”.

           

          There was was an ad for Rabbi Shaul Yakovson, Mohel Mumcha who charged $100.

           

          The next page there was an ad for Reverend Steven Jacobson, Ritual Circumciser, fee $500.

          The next page had an ad for Dr. Sean Jackson, Petzelectmist, who charged $2,500.

          Apparentky you feel that the more removed from yiddishkeit, the better it is.

           

          • David Ohsie says:

            Or maybe R Schacter and Prof Stampfer had access to additional sources of information (such as Russian government archives after the fall of the Soviet Union) that the Mekor Baruch didn’t have.  A personal testimony by itself is a subjective and uncorroborated view that is an important primary source, but is incomplete and possibly unreliable on its own, as well as being subject to the biases that every human being has.  The “more removed from yiddishkeit” remark is essentially circular reasoning, besides being an unwarranted and random insult.  Whatever sheds additional light adds value to Jewish thought.

          • Choch b'mah nishtaneh says:

            Many times you read articles or books by so called researchers about the life of chareidim for instance. Sam Heilman comes to mind.   And there are supposedly professional researchers.  But someone who is actually a living, breathing chareidi sees in a moment that Sam Heilman really is off base and making all sorts of things up.

            The same is in this case, you cannot compare the understanding of someone whose knowledge comes from research to someone who is actually the embodiment of the topic.

            No matter how great you think the researcher is.  And Sam Heilman is a perfect example.  He is considered an expert on matters that he is completely clueless of.

          • dr. bill says:

            every author has a bias that often comes through and few books are error free.  however, good historians are trained to withhold bias, almost to a fault.  however, any attempt to intentionally mislead is uniformly attacked except in the world of hagiography and certain works of religious history.

             

  8. Yonah says:

    Regarding this question of whether a high caliber group could be drafted for a liberal program, I must ask: What exactly do you mean by liberal? There seems to be an understood definition and demographic and  psychopathological profile that is not at all clear to me, perhaps because I do not follow  Fox News narratives and other contemporary political noise.

     

    Is being concerned about global warming a “liberal” issue? Perhaps it seems that the implications of the issue imply state-centered, multilateral “cooperative” action; but there are more than one way to address the facts, and the threat, which are quite well established at this point.

     

    Is being concerned about gun violence a liberal issue? One can have strong beliefs in liberty and individual rights and still believe that barriers should be placed in the way of certain people to obtain weaponry, and especially high powered weaponry.  One can recognize the money motive behind the narrative that Democrats want to “take away our guns” and “abolish the second amendment”, and reject it as a shill, while still not rejecting conservative values– indeed while asserting them.

     

    What else?  Well, let’s go with the most difficult point, which people seem to harp on endlessly these days: “civil rights” for gays.  Granted that conservative values are against gay marriage.  Granted that conservative values stand in contrast to mainstream media / mass market values.  Why must the granting of this legal right be construed as an affront and threat to conservative values, when conservative values on marriage have little or nothing to do with what the government recognizes as legitimate?  Can’t these massive and undeniable shifts in culture be read as interesting (and perhaps troublesome) signs of the times, rather than rallying cries? Because the latter path construes conservatism as merely mobilized to be mitnaged in the public domain, whereas clearly it is far more interested in the articulation and exemplification of positive values in private domains, and the recognition by the government of the legitimacy of these private domains (of which religion could be said to be one, and various alternative lifestyles could be said to be others).  Our values are not dependent upon government intervention. The fact is that heterosexual marriage is in crisis today from far more than from homosexual marriage, and conservatives should have a lot to say about that, other than that the liberals are using the government to hijack marriage (a familiar trope from anti-Semitic epochs, regarding many issues).

     

    With all due respect and non-snarkiness, please shine a light on this?

     

    • Steve brizel says:

      WADR your query is replete with assumptions that todays liberal left assumes as givens such as climate change and gun violence and the the adoption of the LGBT agenda as mainstream at the expense of religious liberty

      I see no concerns expressed for the mental illness and dysfunctional family nor the dystopic view of society that those who view climate change change  the nanny state characterized by excessive regulation and its ideological twin of income inequality bring to discussions of politics and individual liberty and opportunity

  9. joel rich says:

    It depends on definitions- from Wikipedia: Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Whereas classical liberalism emphasises the role of liberty, social liberalism stresses the importance of equality.

    Remember it is the very liberty that classical liberalism championed that  allows us to practice our religion while we wait (and I fear greatly our comfortable wait here may be causing hashgacha to remind us what the jews of bavel, Europe etc. eventually were reminded of – don’t be a toshav at the expense of forgetting that you are a ger)

     

    KT

    • It became abundantly clear to the participants that it was the very quest for what you all liberty that undergirded much conservatism, i.e. the belief that much more of that liberty would be experienced without the intrusion of increasingly larger government

  10. dr. bill says:

    Volozhin evokes more urban legends than most institutions.  In the first half of the 20th century three of its famous alumni – Rav AY Kook ztl, Rav R. Bengis ztl and Rav IZ Meltzer ztl all lived in Israel representing three very different hashkafot.  I can think of only one institution where anything close to such diversity of opinion among RY exists today.  Hint: its first major RY was Volozhin’s youngest talmid, of whom Rav Chaim supposedly remarked – did he bring his crib?

  11. Yonah says:

    Regarding this question of whether a high caliber group could be drafted for a liberal program, I must ask: What exactly do you mean by liberal? There seems to be an understood definition and demographic and  psychopathological profile that is not at all clear to me, perhaps because I do not follow  Fox News narratives and other contemporary political noise.

    Is being concerned about global warming a “liberal” issue? Perhaps it seems that the implications of the issue imply state-centered, multilateral “cooperative” action; but there are more than one way to address the facts, and the threat, which are quite well established at this point.

    Is being concerned about gun violence a liberal issue? One can have strong beliefs in liberty and individual rights and still believe that barriers should be placed in the way of certain people to obtain weaponry, and especially high powered weaponry.  One can recognize the money motive behind the narrative that Democrats want to “take away our guns” and “abolish the second amendment”, and reject it as a shill, while still not rejecting conservative values– indeed while asserting them.

    What else?  Well, let’s go with the most difficult point, which people seem to harp on endlessly these days: “civil rights” for gays.  Granted that conservative values are against gay marriage.  Granted that conservative values stand in contrast to mainstream media / mass market values.  Why must the granting of this legal right be construed as an affront and threat to conservative values, when conservative values on marriage have little or nothing to do with what the government recognizes as legitimate?  Can’t these massive and undeniable shifts in culture be read as interesting (and perhaps troublesome) signs of the times, rather than rallying cries? Because the latter path construes conservatism as merely mobilized to be mitnaged in the public domain, whereas clearly it is far more interested in the articulation and exemplification of positive values in private domains, and the recognition by the government of the legitimacy of these private domains (of which religion could be said to be one, and various alternative lifestyles could be said to be others).  Our values are not dependent upon government intervention. The fact is that heterosexual marriage is in crisis today from far more than from homosexual marriage, and conservatives should have a lot to say about that, other than that the liberals are using the government to hijack marriage (a familiar trope from anti-Semitic epochs, regarding many issues).

    With all due respect and non-snarkiness, please shine a light on this?

    • Tikvah’s interest and stress was on something quite different. We were looking at global ways of thinking about structuring society, not so much as particular issues. The gay issue was the exception, because of the frightening impact on religious liberties that will result from the next announced steps of the LGBT people. The program highlighted the tension between different view of the roles of individuals and governments. Conservatism (old and new) was considered for its championing of a restricted and focused central government, a market economy, cultural excellence, a strong disdain for utopianism and social engineering, acceptance of forms of particularim rather than post-national universalism, belief in the value of older wisdom and a definite moral order, and confidence in the value of the nuclear family. But to really understand what sort of thinking we were looking at, the best source is probably Yuval Levin’s The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and the Birth of Right and Left.

      • lacosta says:

        like ‘the army’ in israel [used as a battering ram for generations by those against hareili society ], the gay issue is the potential handle to the pan to bash all judgemental non-leftist forms of religion.  it is a small jump from censuring jewish clergy who wont sacramentalize same-sex unions to banning religious procedures in which the victims don’t consent: eight day old males , farm animals with necks outstretched etc

        • dr. bill says:

          the gay issue is not one i would put front and center.  it is one where the ultra-orthodox position is becoming increasingly difficult to defend.  i worry more about the slide to the right that has already happened with rabbis denying that a just God would create “incurable” homosexuals and advocating disgraced “therapies” than a slide to the left outlawing circumcision and shechita.

          it is best to let professionals and rabbis deal with individuals and curtail unnecessary public positioning on either side of the issue.

          and comparing army service in israel in any way to the gay issue is neither logical nor helpful

  12. David Ohsie says:

    “The gay issue was the exception, because of the frightening impact on religious liberties that will result from the next announced steps of the LGBT people.”

    I find this reasoning very instructive because it reveals the difficulties of those who try to square their support for religious toleration with their own religious imperatives and are unable to do so.   The true source of opposition to homosexual marriage is (an interpretation of) the Chumash/Bible.  However, basing government policy regarding individual rights on one or more religions’ view of the Bible (or God’s command in general) is contrary the to value placed on religious liberty and limited government: the people trying to marry obviously have a different religious view than yours.  Since there are no other convincing religion-neutral arguments at hand, there are two choices: Admit an exception or engage in pretzel-like contortions.

    To be more direct, it makes absolutely no sense to say that you oppose gay rights because you think can identify some supporters of gay rights who would curtail religious liberties.   Instead, one must support those rights consistent with religious liberty and fight against curtailment of religious liberties supported by those same people.   The opposite position is quite troubling.  It would imply that the rights of Jews to religious liberty could be curtailed because many of the most committed Jews oppose (and actively opposed) female suffrage and actually support the “right kind” of theocracy over democracy.  Or that blacks should lose their civil rights because some supporters of those rights (e.g. the Nation of Islam) have noxious views that would undermine the liberty of others.

    I’m also at a loss to understand the “frightening impact”.  Are they proposing a repeal of the free exercise clause?  This sounds like a bogeyman to me.  Any attempt to regulate religious ceremonies preformed by Rabbis or other Clergy is going to be struck down.  Selective fright reveals bias.

    One last thing that I can derive from this statement is that there really is no good “religion-neutral” arguments against gay marriage.  That the opposition to gay marriage in the courts could not come up with anything substantial was quite convincing, but when a group as distinguished as the one you describe can’t do it either, then I think that the position must be completely bankrupt.

    Let’s just admit that what we have here is Chok and the US government should not be implementing Chok, if consistency to the apparent principles of the conference are to be maintained.  Let Mashiach take care of the rest.

    • I look forward to the comments of David Ohsie, even though he is one of our most consistent critics. I usually have to agree with him, at least in part. I usually find something to learn from him.

      Not this time. I fully and unequivocally reject both parts of his argument. Time does not permit a full treatment of the issue; I have no intention of getting trapped in a debate on the matter. So I will be brief and offer pointers, rather than full development.

      1) The source of our opposition to gay marriage is not a chok, and it is not simply religious fealty. Our confidence in HKBH inspires us to look for the dividends to society that following His dictates brings. And find them we do. Those that we find are secular in nature, having nothing to do with religion. We find them in the boost to civilization that conventional marriage, i.e. between male and female, brings – chiefly in providing an environment that best nurtures the developing child. The bond between man and woman who together can create a new human being – and only that bond – can provide the commitment of two people to each other that has significant staying power. By now, enough of the data is in to be able to make the case on more than religious faith. We know of the correlation between having two parents (of opposite gender) with the performance of children. We know of statistically demonstrated relative instability of gay marriage. We know of the lack of commitment to monogamy among gay couples. You can read good articulations of the arguments in the works of Robert George, Ryan Anderson, and on the webpages of The Public Discourse. And the notion that the rest of society loses nothing by granting the same right to love and happiness to gays as other people enjoy is given the lie by this piece, although somewhat dated. The fall-out from the redefinition of marriage is not the innocent granting of societal recognition of love between two human beings, but a change for the worse of the very definition of marital commitment. Another pillar of accomplishment of many civilizations for many centuries is in danger of toppling. This is no “chok” of a religious preference.

      If there is a chok involved, it is the one that was imposed by the Supreme Court, effectively banning common-sense arguments if they derived in any way from religious sensitivities.

      It should embarrass us that the emunah of religious Catholics like Robert George and his group at Princeton seems hardier than ours. They argue that we should not assume that the ways of G-d are completely mystifying until we have exhausted our search. They’ve committed themselves to the search, and come up with lots of “religion-neutral” arguments. The Court did not undo those arguments, so much as summarily dismiss them because they were sourced (true!) in religious conviction.

      2) Are they proposing to repeal the free exercise clause? It certainly appears that way! It won’t happen in one fell swoop, but its storm clouds are already on the horizon. It won’t be repealed so much as emasculated, and rendered meaningless. Last week a bill in the California legislature was modified before it was adopted. The original bill would have withheld California funding to students attending schools that claimed a right to implement a morality code that excluded gay marriage. In effect, it wanted to pare down the free exercise clause and restrict its full power only to religious seminaries – but not to church-sponsored colleges and universities! The fact that the bill was modified was a pyrrhic victory. It was its abandonment by the left – which argued that the bill did not go far enough – that did it in, not people yelling First Amendment. The weakened bill will still have the effect of besmirching church schools (and Orthodox Jews) as primitives who obstruct the will of the amoral state. It will be a short distance between that and finding that such schools run counter to government interest, allowing the withholding of funds and tax-exemptions. That is what happened to Bob Jones U. (which found religious objection to interracial marriage). The point was raised during the Supreme Court deliberations about Obergefell; the Solicitor General could not deny that parallels could be found. In time, those parallels will become accepted and commonplace – unless the community of believers works to reverse current attitudes.

      We’ll allow the recent words of the chairman of the US Commission on Civil Liberties, Martin Castro, to speak. On page 29 of the very long report (306 pages), “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties” he states:

      The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance. Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others. However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. In our nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws. We now see “religious liberty” arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse (just like the concept of “state rights”) in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans. This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America.

      If that does not sound to you like the beginning of a full-court press against religious-conscience objection to gay marriage and behavior, we are watching different games.

      • David Ohsie says:

        “I look forward to the comments of David Ohsie, even though he is one of our most consistent critics.”

        Rabbi Adlerstein, you succeeded in making me feel guilty during Elul :).  B’li neder, going forward, I’ll throw in some “yes, absolutely right” comments when they seem appropriate :).  Nevertheless a few brief responses.

        1) Thank you for the references.  I’ll follow up to see if you are right and I’ve missed some compelling arguments.

        “The bond between man and woman who together can create a new human being – and only that bond – can provide the commitment of two people to each other that has significant staying power.”

        2) I’m not sure that this is factually true; moreover, we don’t have such a principle.   There are plenty of people who can’t have children (or who can’t have them anymore) who get and stay married and for whom we recommend and celebrate marriage.   Finally, this has got to be highly individualistic.

        “We know of the lack of commitment to monogamy among gay couples.”

        3) (I’m not sure if this is true, but let’s grant it).   This reminds one of the proverbial orphan defendant who asks for mercy from the court after killing his parents. We both agree on the salubrious effects of marriage and you specifically are emphasizing the effect on the broader society    If that is really a serious argument, then the purported phenomena that you cite could easily be a result of the witholding marriage from gays for most of human history.

        4) I agree with you, in principle, that the state legislatures were the right way to make this change, and not the USSC.  Although, I also understand the impatience of the other side, whose liberties were being curtailed.

        5) I will admit that I don’t know what the legal future holds and you may be correct.  But the Bob Jones U case had to do with a) federal tax exemption, not their right to continue their policy b) naked racial discrimination of the sort that the 90% American people simply cannot tolerate and which they were eventually shamed into repealing.   If we are really concerned about that, then associating religion with anti-gay marriage stance for people outside of the religion is the exact opposite of what we want to be doing, from a practical perspective.

        Moreover, if you are going to equate funding with religious liberties, then the anti-gay marriage stance is also an impingement on religious liberty.  Gay couple married under the auspices of their religion don’t get state benefits, while those with Orthodox Jewish marriages do.

        Finally,  I don’t see how the need to protect our religious rights can be bootstrapped into a justification for opposing the rights of others, so the first set of arguments has to be accepted first before we get to the slippery slope legal argument.

  13. Steve brizel says:

    Mycroft-we live in a land of equal opportunity. there is no proof that increased spending on education food stamps and affirmation aand diversity has reduced inner city crime or helped the family structure of the poor in maintaining and preserving the family or enhancing the appreciation and gratitude of this generation for the uniqueness and exceptionalism of the US.a generation that views itself as victims rather than as proud citizens and descendants of the Founding Fathers and Lincoln as well as TR FDR and those presidents who valued the importance of freedom is truly an ignorant and poor generation

Pin It on Pinterest