Monday, November 28, 2005

Why is the ADL going after evangelical Christians?

David Brog:

More troubling than Mr. Foxman's misdiagnosis of the threats facing American Jews is his mischaracterization of Christian goals. Just because Christian activists are motivated by their Christian faith does not mean that they are seeking to "Christianize" America. As every schoolchild knows, Christian churches have been the driving force behind some of the most important social movements in America, from the abolition of slavery to the civil-rights movement. What is relevant, of course, is not a policy's source or motivation but its merits.

And there is indeed merit to the agenda pursued by Christian conservatives. Evangelical Christians are rock-solid supporters of Israel--a fact that the Jewish community has belatedly begun to acknowledge and appreciate. What remains unacknowledged, and certainly not appreciated, is the fact that socially conservative Christians have become the leading proponents of Judeo-Christian values--and, therefore, traditional Jewish values--in America.

When Christians recognize that human beings are influenced by the surrounding culture, and therefore seek to persuade the entertainment industry to stop degrading that culture, they are taking a stand for Jewish values. When Christians fight genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and raise funds for victims of natural disasters around the globe, they are acting out Jewish values. And yes, when Christians stand up for the sanctity of human life and oppose euthanasia or abortion as birth control, they are protecting the most fundamental of Jewish values. Jews are of course free to differ on all of the above issues, but they should not wrap themselves in the flag of Judaism when they do so.

In one of the most poignant moments in the Hebrew Bible, King David's son Absalom is killed while leading a failed rebellion against his father. When David weeps for his son, David's top lieutenant, Joab, argues that the king is disgracing all those who have just risked their lives to defend him, admonishing: "You love your enemies and hate your friends." American Jews have much to learn from this story. In some ways we are Absalom, rebelling against the conservative beliefs of our religious forebears. And in other ways we are David, mourning the loss of a beloved but destructive family member--liberalism--while ignoring the true friends that surround us and preserve us. Either way, we need to follow Joab's advice and dry our eyes.

Who? Whom?

2 Comments:

At 4:05 PM, Blogger jlh said...

I posted something on this issue on my blog:

http://bedlamnation.blogspot.com/2005/12/admirable-candor-from-jewish-world.html#links

 
At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Howard said...

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