Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

How embarrassing -- Jewish liberals are at it again

The headline makes it sound as if American Jews are at war with American Christians: "Jewish Leader Blasts 'Religious Right'." The story reveals, however, that this is not a religious war, but a culture war. The head of the most liberal arm of American Judaism (which is remarkably divorced from religion, a la the liberal Episcopalians) is making an attack against conservative norms:

[Rabbi Eric] Yoffie [president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism] did not mention evangelical Christians directly, using the term "religious right" instead. In a separate interview, he said the phrase encompassed conservative activists of all faiths, including within the Jewish community. He used particularly strong language to condemn conservative attitudes toward homosexuals. He said he understood that traditionalists have concluded gay marriage violates Scripture, but he said that did not justify denying legal protections to same-sex partners and their children. "We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations," Yoffie said. "Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry." The Union for Reform Judaism represents about 900 synagogues in North America with an estimated membership of 1.5 million people. Of the three major streams of U.S. Judaism — Orthodox and Conservative are the others — it is the only one that sanctions gay ordination and supports civil marriage for same-gender couples. Yoffie said liberals and conservatives share some concerns, such as the potential damage to children from violent or highly sexual TV shows and other popular media. But he said, overall, conservatives too narrowly define family values, making a "frozen embryo in a fertility clinic" more important than a child, and ignoring poverty and other social ills.
This is the Jewish equivalent of that "Jesus was a liberal" bumpersticker. It has nothing to do with religion or religious doctrine, and everything to do with spreading a political agenda.