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The Jewish Presidential Q&A August 19, 2008

Posted by voolavex in Uncategorized.
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Again I was going to write part two of the previous post and move on to other things  but other things moved on me instead and I find myself asking questions about why Rick Warren felt he had the right or need to pit the two candidates against his God in this presidential election in public.  Life is imitating art too often for my taste – the current world situation has the qualities of a reality show writ large.  The political stage in this country is part of it and I have to remind myself – at least – that this is real life – not reality TV.
 
Suppose the head of the RCA – Rabbinical Council  of America –  invited the candidates to a religious inquisition at a very large synagogue?  Why not?  Jews vote from far left to far right.  What do you suppose the outcry from the general public would be “How dare they?  By what right?  It’s not their place?  Pushy Jews”.  I suspect the Jews who vote in this country realize that they have no business being in the business of Inquisition and quite frankly – in many ways – that’s exactly what Saddleback was about – a religious inquisition to see who is Godlier  (to their standards) and thus more fit to run our country.  Even the American RC Cardinals haven’t pulled this one – yet 
 
“The First Amendment ensures that “if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein,” as Justice Robert Jackson wrote in the 1943 case West Virginia v. Barnette.”  The 1st Amendment guarantees us the right to religion of any kind.  It does not allow religion of any kind to be used as an influence on politics if I read this decision correctly.  Why must our elected officials be asked to satisfy the needs of one group – no matter how influential they are?  (And for believers in the Almighty – keep in mind he did NOT ask any questions at Saddleback.) 
 
To put it another way – I do not consider myself a heathen  because I am not a Christian.  And I have no interest in being saved.  Jesus seemed to believe he was divine – read The Book of John – nonetheless my sins are not his to forgive – that rests with me and my God and is personal or shared within my faith with others.  Asking Jesus to be your personal savior seems like a blanket deal with far too much finger pointing involved.  If Jesus elected to die for the sins of others – he has not proven to me that it was at God’s behest.  Nor do I think it is at God’s behest that the leaders of this country have Christian bona fides.  I think it should be personal. 
 
I think Rick Warren and his ilk should concentrate on fixing what’s broken in their own lives and interfering less in the lives of other tax-payers who don’t have or want Jesus in theirs.   And I think this should revert to being a government of all the people with equal justice under the law.    Read history – anyone’s history and you will learn that religion – any religion obfuscates and makes worse almost any political situation it touches.  Politics make for strange bedfellows indeed. As Momma Gertrude used to say -“Lie down with dogs – get up with fleas”.  I reckon there were some itchy folks after Rick’s tent show.
http://www.rabbis.org/about_us.cfm 
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Comments»

1. Carine Fabius - August 19, 2008

Here, here!

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2. voolavex - August 21, 2008

I neglected to say that I thought both candidates should have politely declined Rick Warren’s invitation to be grilled. Since they are not running for clergy positions that would have been the most politic and polite way to decline. I do believe we have far more important problems facing our country and the world and McCain and Obama’s visit to Sunday School diverted them from much greater and pressing matters that everyone wants to hear. Perhaps the person in the White House was correct when he charcaterized our invasion of Islamic countries a “Crusade” – now who will save us from the Crusaders?

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3. evenshine - August 25, 2008

“I think Rick Warren and his ilk should concentrate on fixing what’s broken in their own lives and interfering less in the lives of other tax-payers who don’t have or want Jesus in theirs. And I think this should revert to being a government of all the people with equal justice under the law.”

Ok- so why do those of us who have real, “personal” (which seems to be the litmus test for you) issues with abortion be forced to spend our tax dollars on funding for Planned Parenthood? I think the door swings both ways- there are “crusaders” on both sides. I’m not a Rick Warren fan, either, but he does represent (albeit tangentially) a significant population of taxpaying citizens.

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