Skip to comments.The Bully Might Get Punched Back
Posted on 04/22/2006 11:43:32 PM PDT by freddymuldoon
The Bully Might Get Punched Back
© Rabbi Daniel Lapin
Two years have now elapsed since Mel Gibson released his movie The Passion and since various Jewish organizations launched their notorious attacks on religious conservatives. Since then, Mel has moved on to film a new movie, also in an unusual and unspoken foreign language. Apocalypto follows the adventures of a long-ago Mayan hero.
However the same Jewish organizations have not moved on. When their bizarre predictions of pogroms in Pittsburgh and massacres in Mississippi failed to materialize, they just continued with more of the same attacks. These organizations whose purpose is to undermine Biblical faith and promote secular liberalism in America have a dream.
Their dream is to overwhelm what they see as the big bad giant of American Christianity. There is only one thing wrong with this image. The giant has not been brought to his knees at all. He has just been awoken.
Here are three reasons why liberal Jewish attacks on the sleeping giant of American religious conservatism are ill-advised.
Reason one is that according to Judaism's ethical Torah-based guidance, ingratitude is immoral. Christianitys cultural influence in America is precisely the reason that we Jews have lived so much better lives here than in any other country.
No other country has a higher proportion of Bible-owning households. Neither does any other industrialized country have a higher proportion of its population proclaiming a belief in God or attending worship services more regularly. Needless to say, support for most Jewish concerns have been steadfast and wholehearted on the part of nearly 100 million Christians.
Most serious Christians do however stop short of embracing another Jewish concern, namely secular liberalism. This is because many rightfully challenge the popular but false equation--Judaism equals liberalism. Furthermore, many religious conservatives attribute society's decline to liberalism, and I think they are largely correct.
It is entirely because religious conservatives oppose liberalism that they have fallen victim to Jewish organizational anger. Self-appointed Jewish leaders are being dishonest when they claim that their aversion to Christian conservatism is because of First Amendment concerns. I think all Americans are entitled to their opinions and if Jewish liberals wish to oppose religious conservatives such as myself or my Christian friends, good luck to them. It is when they attack Christians as Jews rather than as liberals that I take issue.
The second reason that I consider Jewish broadsides against Christian conservatives to be a bad idea is that their arguments have little integrity. For instance, one constantly hears that Christian conservatives pose a threat to religious freedom for Jews. Let us be honest: do they really mean they want religious freedom? Or is it freedom from religion that they seek?
To Jews, religious freedom is not merely a pretty phrase. For two thousand years we have fled, frightened and penniless, from one temporary haven to the next. For the most part, we have not done so for financial reasons but for reasons of religious freedom. Religious freedom really does mean something specific to us.
Religious freedom means not being killed for being Jewish. It means being allowed to pray three times a day. It means being able to secure meat that was slaughtered according to Jewish dietary rules called Kosher and it means being able to circumcise our infant sons eight days after their birth.
Blessedly, here in the United States, none of these religious freedoms seem to be in jeopardy. However, let us honestly examine whether they are closer to being threatened by modern liberalism or by contemporary conservatism. Where has an American Jew been killed for nothing other than being a Jew, and a visibly religious Jew at that? Was it in some Bible-belt town? No, Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered by Lemrick Nelson Jr. in the one city that more than any other, has traveled furthest down the road advocated by Jewish liberalismNew York.
Does anybody seriously believe that part of Dr. James Dobson's agenda is the banning of shechita, ritual slaughtering? Or is it more likely to come about at the hands of the radical fringe of the animal-rights movement so embraced by the Democratic Party? It should be remembered that when Sweden banned shechita, it did so under pressure from its animal rights extremists on the left, not because of Lutheran pastors.
In America today there are numerous attacks against circumcision, including the formation of national organizations such as "NOCIRC." Without exception these antagonists of circumcision identify themselves as liberals, not as Christian conservatives. Not altogether surprisingly, some of these anti-circumcision groups are even Jewish. The point is however that it is dishonest to accuse Christian conservatives of threatening our freedom to circumcise our boys.
The assault on prayer and upon tax relief for those who prefer to send their children to Jewish schools is already well under way. Needless to say, this is from liberals not conservatives. Why, therefore, are we attacking conservatives who are in favor of precisely those measures that would assist Jewish continuity? As I said, not only is it immoral, it is also a very bad idea.
Finally, my third reason for discouraging Jewish organizations from attacking religious conservatives is that these attacks increase anti-Jewish sentiment in those parts of America located between the Hudson River and Beverly Hills. Oh yes, I know that we Jews have learned to effectively silence our critics by bludgeoning them with the charge of anti-Semitism. The trouble is that sometimes in life we need friends not merely neighbors who seethe quietly. History reminds us that the latter are all to apt to smugly watch us being administered the medicine that they were unable to deliver themselves. Additionally, I feel that we will eventually over-use the charge of anti-Semitism; perhaps even to the point of rendering it quite impotent.
Most Christian political positions cannot be contested on the basis of traditional Jewish values. Which means that smart Jews should ask what Jewish interest is being served by our self-appointed spokesmen conducting these assaults on our Christian friends and neighbors?
Another question worth asking is whether the war that is being waged by less than two percent of America's population against some fifty percent of Americans is likely to improve or diminish the quality of life for American Jews? One day the bully might get punched back.
Absolutely brilliant. Dead, spot-on. The man is a walking, living, breathing source of wisdom.
Excellent. Deserves distribution far and wide. Too bad it isn't set up to be e-mailable.
Can't you just copy the text and email it?
Some Christians have known who the Jewish people are, and behaved appropriately toward them, for as long as this country's been a country. Evaluate (Christian behavior) and tell it straight.
And if they continue to bring up anti-semitism, I will remind them of what Dan Brown, a liberal, Jesus hating Jew wrote in his book The DaVinci Code. After what he wrote about my LORD and Savior, I don't EVER want to here any Jew talking about anti-semitism ever again except about the holocaust.
This sage happens to live in the Seattle area where I too reside. May I just say that, being in the ideological minority here, I feel blessed to have this gem of a man to read and listen to.
This Rabbi seems to have a very decent perspective on the behavior of certain liberal Jewish organizations. It always amazes me that these organizations attack conservative Christians, when these Christians are some of the most loyal supporters of Israel in the U.S.A.
Talk on, Rabbi, we Christians got "your back"!
I live in Seattle too in Seward Park right across the water from where he lives on Mercer Island. I went to his Judaism classes for a couple of years on Friday mornings. He has a very clear vision of what Torah is and how it can be applied correctly by both Jew and even non-Jews. Great man.
GREAT post! Thank you.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a terrific thinker and writer.
(( ping ))
I highly recommend that you check this out.
Wow, was the DaVinci Code non-fiction? I thought it was just a thriller. It amazes (and amuses) me, all the Christians with their undies in a bunch over the book and the movie that's not even out yet.
ALL liberals, Jews certainly included, are political liberals first and foremost and whatever is useful to attack nonliberals will be used. The ancient Jewish status as persecuted minority is just the most effective base they have. The AntisSemitism charge is used to "shame" Christians and cause the less politically aware to shun Christians and conservatives in general.
Do you know what the very FIRST word that is in that book?
The word is "F A C T:"
And of course YOU screamed about liberal jewish rabbis that lambasted "The Passion of the Christ" months before the film was shown, and weeks after it was it was in theatres. They even admitted they hadn't even see the movie yet, but they continued for WEEKS to lambast the movie and Mel Gibson, and dinigrated Christians by saying this will even cause a drastic increase in anti-semitism, among Christians which never came to pass.
I did? It's pretty rare that I scream about anything, especially people being idiots.
Obviously you missed the point. NO YOU DIDN"T. That's the point. It's only when it's OTHER THAN Christians that you speak out, but if it's something DENIGRATING CHRISTIANS or CHRISTIANITY, then there's not a peep of protest in contrast to your remarks about the offense of CHRISTIANS on the DaVinci code. Did you make ANY comments when Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ was being lambasted? I highly doubt it.
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