Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Upcoming events

VOICE (Voices for Inquiry, Community, and Equity) will be presenting HURRICANE KATRINA: THE GEOGRAPHY OF RACE on Friday and Saturday. This is a free event and will be at Frazier Hall located over on Bellarmine University's campus. Friday will have a light breakfast and lunch. Lunch will be provided on Saturday.

The DSCC has a new ad up dealing with Senator Conrad Burns.

Salon has a great ppiece by Michelle Goldberg. I have to applaud both Abraham Foxman and Rabbi Eric Yoffe.
This month, that started to change. Two major Jewish figures -- Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, and Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism -- have taken on the religious right and, by extension, the Republican Party. By doing so, they have enraged some evangelicals and opened a fissure in the larger Jewish community. Some leaders are worried about provoking a conservative backlash and ushering in a new era of anti-Semitism. Others rejoice that someone has finally articulated what so many ordinary American Jews have been thinking. Either way, the culture wars have suddenly taken on an overtly sectarian cast.

On Nov. 3, Abraham Foxman gave a speech to an ADL meeting, calling attacks on church-state separation the "key domestic challenge to the American Jewish community and to our democratic values." "[T]oday we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized, and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before," he said. "Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To Christianize America. To save us!" Among the major players in this campaign, Foxman listed Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council.

Foxman lamented the divisions in the Jewish community over the issue, noting that there is much less unity than there was 15 years ago. Nor could Jews count on their old allies in the civil rights struggles -- African-Americans and Latinos -- for help. Those bonds have withered; those groups no longer tend to see church-state separation as a vital condition for minority rights. With the America that Jews have prospered in threatening to disappear, Foxman called for a meeting of Jewish leadership to plan a coordinated strategy.[...]

As Foxman said in his speech, "Make no mistake: We are facing an emerging Christian right leadership that intends to 'Christianize' all aspects of American life, from the halls of government to the libraries, to the movies, to recording studios, to the playing fields and local rooms of professional collegiate and amateur sport, from the military to SpongeBob SquarePants."

Given this onslaught, Jews can't simply cede their place in America in exchange for support for Israel. Speaking of those who caution him not to disturb the Jewish-evangelical alliance, Foxman says, "If we cannot disagree, what kind of a friendship is it?"
I am proud to be a Jew and pro-Israel and I am not afraid to say that. I believe Israel has the right to exist and the right to defend herself from violence. I also believe that the Christian right has gone overboard as of late. I don't attack other people for their religious beliefs. I don't attack their holidays, though it is nice to hear some Chanukah music on the radio during this time of year. I believe in the idea of Tikkun Olam, the repairing of the world. Social action is what leads many Jews to a career in politics or political activism. This is where people like Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, author of the upcoming book The Compassionate Community, come in. Jews need to be united.

Matt Wyatt has decided to run for the 10th district of the State Senate instead of the Office of the Treasurer.

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