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 Wakeup call for Jews

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Issachar
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Join date : 2007-10-07
Location : Bangalore, India

PostSubject: Wakeup call for Jews   Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:29 am

Wakeup call for Jews

We must all become aware of the growing bigoted religious influence in American politics

Were Ann Coulter’s recent remarks on a recent TV show about Jews anti-Semitic? Coulter said "We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. ... That's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws." No matter how she may explain this away as a Jew I find this statement offensive and disturbingly telling.

But you may ask and who is Ann Coulter to offend us? She is but a shallow political pundit who is not taken seriously by anyone? Right? No, wrong. She is a bestselling author who is quoted by people on the conservative Right as if she is the author of the Bible. Her words have influence and they reflect the thinking of many of her political and religious ilk.

What many Christians do not understand about Jews is that for the last two thousand years others have tried to “perfect” us against our will. In many instances this has been done by force and millions of us have been killed in this “perfecting” process. We Jews have suffered terribly from “pious” Christians who felt the need to make us “better Jews.” The long litany of expulsions, pogroms and inquisitions of Jews in Christian lands are the legacy of Christians trying to perfect Jews.

Christian love

The founder of Protestantism Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) is just one example of a person holding such an ideology. He wrote a book entitled, “On the Jews and their Lies” describing the Jews in extremely unforgiving terms and giving detailed recommendations for a pogrom against them and their permanent oppression and expulsion. Simultaneously, however, he also preached, “We want to treat them (the Jews) with Christian love and to pray for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord."

Clearly this is one side of the same coin that we Jews are sensitive to. Many Christians would like to see us Jews convert to Christianity. They see us as stubbornly refusing to except their savior as our god. Many also see this as an affront to their religion and to Jesus. Fortunately today in America there is a separation between church and state which does not allow the other belligerent side of Ann Coulter and Martin Luther’s ideology rear its ugly head against us.

We thankfully live in a country which allows us to protest when people like Ann Coulter say these types of demeaning and bigoted things in public. However, this must be a wakeup call for the Political Right in this country. Over the last eight years the evangelical Christians have become almost synonymous with Right-wing Conservative politics.

Power in the Republican Party

This is unhealthy for any democracy. History has clearly shown that when religious leaders gain political power there is always bloodshed. The Middle East today is a prime example of this phenomenon. One of America’s greatest successes is that freedom of worship is granted to all. This fact allows all people to compete on an equal playing field which then drives creativity and thus economic growth.

Unfortunately people like Ann Coulter and other Right-wing demagogues with religious agendas have considerable power in the Republican Party today and they therefore have influence over US elected officials. This does not bode well for the future of the United States.

Those who read my columns regularly know that I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, I am a realist. We must all start being realistic about the damaging effect of a growing bigoted religious influence in American politics and for obvious reasons we Jews must be the first to sound the alarm bells about this growing danger. I thank Ann Coulter for this wakeup call.

Rabbi Levi Brackman

Rabbi Levi Brackman (www.levibrackman.com) is executive director of Judaism in the Foothills (www.jitf.org). His upcoming book, about Jewish Business Success, is set to be published in late 2008.
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