Saturday, April 16, 2005

Leah B.

I live in St. Louis, Missouri, and am affiliated with Aish Hatorah, an organization which should be familiar to Republicans since they sponsor HonestReporting.com on the Middle East. I have signed the messages to the President from Brit Tzedek v'Shalom. (I am not sure about putting myself behind continuing the appropriation to the Palestinian Authority.) There is a close relationship between our synagogue and the local outpost of Agudas Israel.

My father said very eloquently to the Southern Baptist Commission, "Religion is a sacred trust. Religious conflict harms the social fabric". To protect religion in our country, it is very important to maintain the separation of church and state. The best guarantors of religious values are strong and caring religious communities. Most of the moral issues which conservative Christians are worried about can be argued as moral issues and not as religious issues. Being on the opposite side of a moral issue such as abortion does not mean that one is against G-d. For example, Jewish law does not support "abortion on demand", but it has never outlawed abortion altogether. I agree that to say, "So-and-so is Catholic, so so-and-so should not get an appointment because so-and-so will rule against abortion" (for example) is bigotry and has no place in America. But the judges who are likely to be filibustered have highly conservative views in many more areas than a few socially conservative issues. Bush is trying to bias the courts in a conservative direction, which is just as objectionable as trying to pack the courts with liberal judges.

Micah asks us to "do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your G-d". Our country needs to pay more attention to providing health care and giving dignity to the poor and middle class. It needs to pay more attention to protecting our environment. The environment should be more of a central issue in our politics, because otherwise we have a politics of selfishness and vanity. Our president should be more careful about the accuracy of his public statements and the real consequences of his policies. In Iraq, we should not excuse our evil by saying, "Well, we are better than what they had before". We are still responsible for every torture victim and every civilian death caused by our fire. The poor economy there is also partly our fault. I do not know what our country can do to push the internal Israeli political situation. Appropriations to the Palestinians are useful because it gives us leverage to get the Palestinians to start acting like a partner to some of the more cynical Israelis.

2 Comments:
At 2:21 AM, Blogger blueenclave said...

Hi, I wrote this, and I feel dumb assuming that Republicans know HonestReporting.com. Republicans certainly know CAMERA, which has not referred to that website once that I know of. Individuals wanting more information about Aish Hatorah can visit aish.com.

 
At 3:11 AM, Blogger blueenclave said...

I also state proudly that the Siyum Hashas, a worldwide event happening every twelve years in which individuals celebrate having read the entire Talmud at a page a day, is an endeavor of Agudas Israel. This event has so caught on in the Orthodox community that in the New York area both Madison Square Garden and Continental Airlines Arena were full for it this year, and the satellite broadcast had excerpts from both locations.

 

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