Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


What Huckabee & Romney Mean for Jews

With the Iowa caucuses just two short weeks away, the candidates are all scrambling against the clock to get their message out. And with Christmas as the backdrop, it seems that several of the candidates are trying to use the opportunity to outdo one another–to show the evangelical base in Iowa just what good Christians they are.
Mike Huckabee has most recently taken center stage after a surge in the polls. His quick wit and folksy manner have helped broaden his popularity beyond the evangelical community. But as the New York Times Magazine noted in a recent profile, this lulls many Americans into failing to realize just how conservative his religious views are. He was one of three Republican candidates at the time who acknowledged not believing in evolution at a debate in May and, according to the Times profile, “he considers liberalism to be a cancer on Christianity.” At the same time, Mitt Romney has been talking up (and distorting) his faith in order to make him more appealing to evangelical Christians who remain deeply suspicious of his Mormonism. (It was in that same Times profile that Huckabee implied that Mormons believe Jesus and the devil are brothers. He has since apologized.) At least John McCain has had the good grace to stop pandering to the evangelical base, as when he declared America a Christian nation.


What is troubling about these examples, besides their unseemliness, of course, is that they have turned faith into both a showpiece and a litmus test. In a thoughtful piece in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan calls it a real loss that the candidates’ religious affiliations and beliefs have become such a matter for public scrutiny–an interesting leap for a woman who served as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan. Any manner of question about religion has become fair game on the campaign trail, perhaps because there is a new sense that one’s private religious beliefs may have a serious impact on public policy. When John F. Kennedy went before the nation to speak about his Catholicism in 1960, he was reassuring the public that he wouldn’t take orders from the Pope and that he wouldn’t impose his religious views on others. Today, the candidates are falling all over each other to declare how their religious views will shape public policy–from abortion, to stem-cell research, to the teaching of evolution in our nation’s public schools. This is a significant, and for those of us who are not evangelical Christians, a worrying shift in the way America views its politicians and their jobs. In their efforts to become president of the United States, let us pray that these candidates don’t come to believe their job is to be president of the 37 percent of Americans who consider themselves evangelical Christians.



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yossel

posted December 24, 2007 at 1:23 pm


B”H
In case anyone may not be aware, basic Torah values would dictate that the Christian Right’s moral stands on public issues, are correct.
The only disagreement is, Jews don’t want to be converted. However, abortion and homosexuality, opposed by both Christian and Jewish law, are responsible for the collapse of great societies that came and went before our own.
Therefore, as a committed Jew, I welcome the views and policies of both these Christian candidates…Bill H.



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Dave

posted December 24, 2007 at 4:06 pm


1/ Huckabee is being supported by Rev. Hagee who is a lot more pro-Israel than a lot of people praised on this forum.
2/ Is evolution a Jewish creed? I forget.
3/ Who cares who was the brother of Jesus. None of my business. (I thought it was James but again this has nothing to do with Judaism.)
4/ When Joe Lieberman was running for veep he couldn’t stop talking about G-d. Why should it be any different for Xtians?
5/ The foetal stem cell issue is over except for people who actually want to abort fetuses.
Oh, and BTW. What about all those Democrats who also can’t shut up when the topic of religion comes up? What about them?



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Scott R.

posted December 24, 2007 at 4:59 pm


I would remind everyone that the more Xian a candidate – and a person is – the worse they are for the Jews. The religion is antithetical to Jewish values, it is border-line idolatry, and the more religious Xians have been in the past, the more they have abused us.



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Marian Neudel

posted December 24, 2007 at 6:30 pm


Abortion is not opposed by Jewish law. The fetus is not considered a human life until it emerges and takes a breath. Aborting it is permissible to save the mother’s life or health. Different rabbinical authorities differ on how loosely to interpret those words. But even the most orthodox authorities will grant that in some situations, abortion is not only permissible but required.



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David

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:36 am


Hello Bill H / yossel – I promise I won’t convert you. As a Christian, I thank you for supporting my beliefs, and I want you to know that I am supporting Migdal Ohr (Tower of Light), and Table to Table, because I believe that if I bless the Jews, then G-d will bless me, and if I curse the Jews, then G-d will curse me. Therefore I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and I yearn for the time when Messiah comes and fixes everything that’s bad in this world. I wish I were born Jewish, and a Levite, so that I could serve in the courts of the temple. David, 508 Division, Eaton, OH 45320 USA.



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Connie

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:54 am


“I would remind everyone that the more Xian a candidate – and a person is – the worse they are for the Jews.”
That’s not true at all. Some of my best friends (I am a conservative Roman Catholic) are conservative Jews. I don’t know where you egt that from at all.



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Connie

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:55 am


oops…get…sorry



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Connie

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:58 am


By the way, I support Fred Thompson.



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Anonymous

posted December 25, 2007 at 11:36 am


I think that it very stupid for religion to be a major policy of a political campaign. Religion should not be a major issue with all the different ideas and laws that each religion follows. A political campaign should only deal with the welfare of a country and its people and not the religious believes since everyone has different believes and religious values. Maybe it would better off if we followed the quote of James Madison ” This world would be better off with no religions”. I will never vote for anyone who puts his or hers religious beliefs ahead of the welfare of the country and must put his religion into all of his political policies. Also no one religion will try to have their beliefs rule a country’s political policies and moral standards.



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Pat Nowak

posted December 25, 2007 at 11:37 am


I wouldn’t focus so much on the candidates’ religious beliefs as I would on other things like character, track record, and problem solving abilities. I would rather have a person grounded in a religion but which religion doesn’t matter much provided it doesn’t profess that non-believers should be killed.
As a former Catholic and now a Jew, my political beliefs remain essentially the same. I see government at the county, state, and national levels as a giant utility, not unlike the phone or electricity providers. They charge fees (taxes) and provide services. Government employees are like the utility company employees in that some are much better than others. It seems to me that Romney would do a better job at providing value for the fees paid, while exhibiting more of a social conscience than the others, due in part to his religious upbringing.
Pat Nowak
Holland,MI



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Tom

posted December 25, 2007 at 11:57 am


It is OK, quite OK actually, to consider religious beliefs when choosing a candidate. Those who are uncomfortable with it are basically uncomfortable with religion, and why should that practice be given prominence?
It is too bad that he apologized about the Jesus coment, as that is a belief of Mormonism. He spoke accurately, and that he was encouraged to seeing the benefit of apologizing indicates the tyranny of intolerance.
He doesn’t hate Mormons or Catholics or Hindus (as far as I can tell).
Huckabee may not be my candidate, (I’ve not ruled him out) but I know I would not support a religious belief I think is kooky, such as James Jones, David Koresh, and others. I do find Hukabees cross waving to be off-putting.
At some point one has to define where silliness and acceptable-ness meet. There is no archaeological evidence to substantiate the Book of Mormon, and for me it’s just a silly belief.
At least, ex-Biblica, we have Josephus and the Wall.



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Allan Koven

posted December 25, 2007 at 11:59 am


Social conscience is not limited to Jews or Democrats. America is consumate in its social conscience and this applies to all its people.



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Susan

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:11 pm


Connie, the problem is not a candidates personal religious beliefs. The problem is how their beliefs affect their policies. I don’t care what any politician believes personally as long as he or she doesn’t impose their beliefs on me. Unfortunately, Evangelical and Conservative Christians are much more likely to try to impose thier views on everyone and also to try to convert Jews. They are more likely to believe that Jesus is the only way to reach God. Conservative Jews are deluding themwselves if they think otherwise.
Mike Huckabee has compared abortion to the Holocaust. This is an insult to the actual live Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
The Mormon Church posthmastly converted Jews who died in the Holocaust. When Jewish groups objected they said they would stop, but then they posthmastly converted Simon Wiesenthal.
Has anyone asked Huckabee or Romney about these issues? The mainstream press how so far ignored Huckabee’s comments on abortion and the Holocaust. Although it may become an issue in Florida.
How strange that the Holocaust seems to have become a campaign issue in 2007. To be fair, I’m a Democrat and I won’t vote for Obama as long as he is willing to me Ahmadinejad face to face as president of the USA. Antisemitism and Holocaust denial have permeated the Arab and Muslim world. An American president meeting Ahmadinejad would only give aid and comfort to Holocaust deniers and antisemites everywhere.



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laura mushkat

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:24 pm


As long as the candidate belongs to the party of my choice I would most likely vote for the chosen candidate. Thankfully, so far, the party I go along with has nobody who esposes any religon, particularly the Christian faith of all kinds, is more important then another one any more then most have up until the present head of our country. He is scary enough! This is not a nation of Christianity and we must fight to keep it that way since, even while acknowledging the number of them in our country and their influence is vast, we have many people who came here for religous freedom and tolerance. As much as the majority will tollerate we need to keep religon where it belongs and bring back the pre. GWB days.
Hugs-Laura



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Barry B

posted December 25, 2007 at 12:36 pm


Susan, the real question is, what can we expect from such-and-such candidate, and to what extent will his or her religious beliefs contribute to that?
I could not possibly vote for Mitt Romney, since I don’t know whether to expect what he did (as governor of Massachusetts) or what he’s saying now. They are two very things; I can’t say I’m crazy about either. If I can’t believe what he says, how can I vote for him? Romney’s religion does not matter to me, I would not vote for him if he were an Orthodox Jew or a Buddhist or a Quaker.
Huckabee. This is a different story altogether. He openly shares the core beliefs of the “creationist” forces that are distorting scientific education in America today. To me, he is intolerable because of his position on an important question of public policy, one in which his religious beliefs have clearly intruded.
IMHO — if Huckabee gets the nomination, it may be the end of the Republican party as we know it.
Obama. I’m for him. Meeting with Ahmadinejad face to face? Now you, Susan, are allowing religion to interfere with politics. Meeting a man face to face does not validate him, it allows you to look him in the eye and leave him no doubt where you stand. If we are talking about the head of state, of a foreign nation that has undisguisable aspirations for nuclear weapons, of a foreign nation that is by virtue of its location highly significant to our economy and our current entanglement in Iraq, this is someone that we (the United States) must talk to, however much we despise what he stands for. Remember that when Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at Columbia University, a few months ago, “face to face,” he was publicly and deservedly humiliated by the University’s President, who appeared and personally gave the introduction. I trust Obama not to tolerate intolerance.



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Betsy

posted December 25, 2007 at 1:12 pm


I’m appalled at the revisionist history that so many of the evangelicals apply in their blanket statements, including this nonsense that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation. I am not Jewish, but I read this source daily. I was raised Presbyterian, and am now a Quaker.
Like others who have commented, it is how a candidate’s beliefs would affect their policies that concerns me.
Recently I have been reading Thomas Jefferson’s writings. Evangelicals point to him as an example, referencing his statement that he considered himself a Christian. What they omit is that he defined a Christian as someone who followed the teachings of Jesus, but he most definitely did not accept the divinity of Jesus as the Christ. He saw us all as sons and daughters of God. He not only advocated freedom of religious choice and practice, he (like the Quakers) did not think ministry should be a paid occupation. He said that such a condition led to corruption and abuse of one’s position. An interesting thought.
One thing that REALLY bothers me about Huckabee is his refusal to produce the texts of his sermons. Now, if I were one of his followers or supporters, I would feel betrayed. As one of his opponents, I feel suspicious.
What evangelical Christians seem to forget is that (1) Jesus himself taught separation of church and state, insisting that the Kingdome of God is within each of us, and (2) he frowned upon public displays of prayer, that prayer should be done in private. (He also never mentioned abortion.)
The reason evolution v. creation per Genesis is so close to the hearts of evangelicals is that they see the Bible as all fact on one hand, and like some contracts, totally negated if any part thereof is not true. If they reject the creation story from Genesis, then it calls into question their belief in Jesus as the Messiah and the requirement for acceptance of Jesus as God in order to achieve “salvation,” e.g. going to heaven after worldly death. THAT is why they are so adamantly hanging onto creationism.
I believe it is vital to the survival of our nation that we return to the values of our founding regarding the separation of church and state. In terms of the revisionist history I mentioned above, it’s interesting how many Americans do not realize that during the 18th Century most “Christians” including some of the Baptist groups believed in universal salvation, e.g. EVERYBODY goes to heaven.
Hello? I live in Kentucky. I’m sure there are people who, regardless of how much primary source documentation I provided, would call me a satanist and a liar for making that statement. Unfortunately, it’s true.
peace & blessings,
bets



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Elin Richardson

posted December 25, 2007 at 1:57 pm


This year’s clutch of Republicans are the end result of all politicians, and the people who have supported them since the 70’s. Those of their managers who care only that their candidate gets elected. The Clintons are masters. They have and will say anything for a vote. Jimmy Carter at least did not proselytize. The current religious fervor seemed to have started with his candidacy.
I have been appalled that the rabbis in my hometown, Toledo,Ohio, have been Bushites. They see only as far as the Red Sea.
We are living in a time of religious fanaticism. Unfortunately, the Jews have contributed mightily. Consider the neo-cons. Every Jew everywhere should decry the birth of this current religiosity in this election cycle.



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Susan

posted December 25, 2007 at 2:20 pm


Rev. Hagee is pro-Israel for dubious reasons. He thinks that Israel is needed for the Second Coming to play itself out. He wants the Jews to accept Jesus. Since you can’t be Jesus and accept Jesus as your saviour, Israel would be a country with no Jews in it if Hagee had his way.
Barry, I think you’re wrong. First of all, this has nothing to do with religion. Judaism is a civilazation as well as a religion. Jews are a member of an ethnic group. The founders of the state of Israel were secular socialists. David Ben-Gurion was an avowed agnostic.
Holocaust denial and antisemitism has permeated the Arab and Muslim world. Secular dentists in Cairo believe the Holocaust never happened and that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery created by the Czar’s secret police force in the early 1900’s, are true. The Argentian government believes that the Iranian government and the Revoluionary Guard played a role in the bombing of a Jewish Community Center.
I think that the symbolism of an American president, especially a liberal Black American president would be enough to give aid to Holocaust deniers and antisemites everywhere, but especiall in the Muslim world. It wouldn’t matter what Obama said. The picture of them shaking hands would be more important than anything Obama could say.
Elin, neo-conservatism is a secular political philosophy. It has nothing to do with religion. The only reason why there are Jewish neo-conservative is that most Jews are liberal and neo-conservatives are former liberals. I disagree with them, but they are not religious fanatics. They are just fanatics.
Betsy, you’re right. Many of the founding fathers were Deists. They believed that God created the world and then stepped back. They weren’t really Christians.



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Dave

posted December 25, 2007 at 2:41 pm


1/ I don’t think you can generalise about the devout Xtians in America. Both Jimmy Carter and John Hagee are Southern Baptists but their stances are poles apart on matters concerning Jews. The late Jerry Falwell was awarded the Jabotinsky Medal.
2/ Abortion may (or may not) be tolerated under Jewish law, but it certainly reduces the number of Jews around. Why would any Jew want that?
3/ The Neo-cons are religious fanatics? Paul Wolfowitz’s girlfriend is a Muslim and I have never seen a neo-con with so much as a kippa on his head.
4/ The Mormons are posthumously ‘converting’ people? Unless you give creedence to their theology what difference does it make. Various easter religions believe in reincarnation so they believe that Wiesenthal could be an animal somewhere. Does that bother you?
5/ Huckabee doesn’t believe in evolution. Ultra-Orthodox Jews don’t believe dinosaurs existed. Big deal.
6/ I certainly hope that Senator Obama Barack Hussein Obama solves the many abandoned-by-daddy issues he seems to have.
And I would like to wish all the Xtians reading this board a Merry Xmas. And Merry Xmas too to their children unless they have Jewish mothers (Jewish fathers of course doesn’t affect anything)



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Al Eastman

posted December 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm


The title to this above blog is “What Huckabee and Romney mean for the Jews”. I read and re-read the blog and for the life of me, could not find any statement which may lead me to suspect positive or negative actions towards us from either candidate. I am forced to guess that whoever chose the title intended it to be inflammatory.
While the United States is not a “Christian” nation by law, it is a nation of Christians. 52% of its citizens consider themselves to be Protestants, 24% Catholic and 1% Jews (Pg 841 2007 NY Times World Almanac). For candidates to appeal to the religiosity of the majority makes sense, on a certain level.
I personally find Huckabee to be unacceptable along with most of the seekers from the other party. As for Romney, his faith does not bother me. It is the prior actions of the LDS hierarchy that I find repugnant. A friend suggested we Jews should posthumously convert Joseph Smith, all subsequent LDS leaders and their kith and kin. His rabbi wasn’t certain how to circumcise a man who has been dead for over 100 years or how to dunk them in the mikva. MY dark horse candiate is Alan Keyes (pun intended)!



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John

posted December 25, 2007 at 4:33 pm


I really don’t know that much about the Mormons, I too have heard the same stories Mr. Huckabee has heard about them. I am not really going to comment there, but it seems to me there is a radical fringe minority of leftists that are anti-Israel and anti-Zionist. This concerns me a whole lot. I think personally they would be good to have as President either one. I heard they are good supporters of the Jewish state. To be fair though Hillary also has said she would support Israel.
I really believe that no matter what G-d will watch and protect His people.



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Ted, Sr,

posted December 25, 2007 at 5:58 pm


No one reading this article need be concerned that the next conservative President will abandon or even consider lessening U.S. support for Israel. What we need from Israel is the loan of its Intelligence community. We have a cohort of CIA/FBI nincompoops in the image and likeness of J. Edgar Hoover who serve us not thoroughly nor well. I fear that Mrs. Clinton, Mr.Obama or Mr. Edwards would give away the store internationally and subject us to the revolting prospect of more and more threatening immigration.



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Scott R.

posted December 25, 2007 at 8:47 pm


“And Merry Xmas too to their children unless they have Jewish mothers (Jewish fathers of course doesn’t affect anything)”
Except raaising their children and providing for them.
Way to insult other people.



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Felice Debra Eliscu

posted December 25, 2007 at 9:28 pm


Certainly our founding fathers were not Jews.
I have no T.V. so I get to miss all of the Left wing conservative Cristbabble, but I can imagine. I also listen to Public radio and they report on the cadidates new Holiday comercials.
I wonder what it would be like to have a Rebbe as President?
I read about lawsuits from agnostic who want to remove the pledge of allegiance from the classroom because of the word G-d.
I have to laugh!
This is one nation under G-d.
Our money is printed with “In G-d we Trust”
What have they done? To invoke G-d? What a blessing!
What this Country is now it’s disgracefull enough to bring down the wrath of the Almighty One. So let it be written, so let it be done.



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Scott R.

posted December 25, 2007 at 10:04 pm


Felice,
This is not ancient Israel. This nation has no covenant with G-D. By these candidates constantly in voking G-D – that is what would attract his wrath.



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Barb

posted December 26, 2007 at 12:14 am


I think I have a different take on what we might have to look forward to if we continue to elect evangelical types. I am a former Xian now Noachide. One thing Xians believe is when their Christ type figure arrives all will believe even the non believers and the Jews. So if the Jews reject their god-man savior who Xians believe will arrive anytime, we could see a huge rise in anti-semitism and a perfect reason for another round-up of folks – as in Nazi Germany. Xian’s believe you must be born again in Christ to be saved and if you refuse…..well just look what happened in history – people being slaughtered because they refused to follow the pagan beliefs of whatever civilization is in power. I may have this all wrong but I continue to be suspicious of the rhetoric. If by chance some character comes on the scene who says and does all the right things and fits the Xian profile – who knows? Please tell me if I’m off base.



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Richard B. Cook

posted December 26, 2007 at 2:00 pm


A Jew wakes up looking forward to 613 opportunities to individually praise G*D. A Christian wakes up looking for forgyvnes for whats in his heart. Do we really want a president who can’t stand alone and face judgment.
We need a leader who has learned from experience and is now ready to be a wise leader. Flash and dazzle. aka media populalarity, is NOT the same as wisdom. Hillary and Barak have the flash and dazel but Joe has the real widom.



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Josiah Hoffman

posted December 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm


How can we claim to believe the Torah and hold its values, while pointing at the neighbors grass? The reality is that outside of electing a enemy of Israel of which would promote G-ds wrath, (Hilary and Barak are, Hilary who has active and warm ties with the worst of enemies of Israel and Barak who swore in on the Koran as a Senator)it is US (WE JEWS) in actuality determine what will be the heart of the king or ruler set over us! If every Jew here in the United States would follow the teachings of the Rabbis, and keep the commandments under the light of Chalacha, then HaShem would move the heart of the ruler over us.
However in the political sense we do need to be better educated as concerning who are the enemies of Israel, as most American Jews support liberals and others who are without question “enemies of Israel” regardless of what their family name may be! Mr. Huckabee seems to be the only person who is not into the “Crisis Management Supervision” swing, and seems to have some vision for the United States. It is very well written “A people who have no vision shall perish!” If the playboy is already messing up the health specailists campaign, so what will be if they arrive to the whitehouse? And we all know Muslims are forbidden to make any oath with Infidels! We as Jews need to observe the law and follow Chalacha, and make a valid choice between going completely socialist with Hilary, or becoming terrorist tolerant nation who’s government will watch its own die in the streets because”not all muslims are bad, or try to get someone in the whitehouse who has some principles and may even stand a chance to preserve our constitutional rights from being flushed down the toilet as they have been since the playboy was inthe whitehouse.



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Mark

posted December 26, 2007 at 5:50 pm


It seems like Rabbi Waxman is more interested in using Candidate Romney’s and Candidate Huckabee’s ill-advised invocation of G-d in their campaigns as another club with which to suppress support for them, now or later, among Jews. But the Rabbi’s reasons seem more tied to American liberal doctrines than to the words of the Torah. In the past the Jewish diaspora has often been blessed by G-d in that He often placed them within the realm of a benevolent non-Jewish regime. The true Xians who have been president in the past I would think would fall under that category, and certainly American Jews, and those around the world, have never been harmed by these administrations, and have often been blessed by them. Evangelical Xians are the best friends of the Jewish nation, and Jews should be the best friend of Evangelical Xians. Huckabee has hurt himself by trying too hard to appeal to his own kind, thus alienating the rest of us. And, liberals of all stripes, as Rabbi Waxman seems to be of the Jewish stripe, will take advantage of it to help defeat Huckabee should he win the conservative nomination. Just politics.



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Rocketjsquirell

posted December 26, 2007 at 6:23 pm


Only a fool would not be alarmed at the pandering to the so called “religious right” by the Republican candidates and the failure of the media to expose it as dangerous, anti-American, anti-democratic and that it exposes a basic lack of understanding of and commitment to the fundamentals of American democracy on the part of the candidates.



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Anonymous

posted December 27, 2007 at 12:24 am


Josiah, Barak Obama did not swear into Congress on a Koran. He’s a Christian. Keith Ellison from Minnesota is the Muslim. Get your facts straight.



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Tucker

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:06 pm


In the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican debate, one video question asked: “How you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you. Do you believe every word of this book? And I mean specifically, this book that I am holding in my hand [titled “Holy Bible”]. Do you believe this book?”
Giuliani described his understanding of the Bible as being “interpretive,” “allegorical,” and in a “modern context.” He said, “I think it’s the greatest book ever written. I read it frequently…but I don’t believe every single thing in the literal sense…there are some things that I think were put there as allegorical.”
Romney said, “I believe the Bible is the Word of God, absolutely. I try to live by it as well as I can, but I miss in a lot of ways…I believe in the Bible.” Every word? the moderator pressed. “I might,” Romney hedged, “interpret the Word differently than you interpret the Word.”
Giuliani’s and Romney’s answers appeared halting and bewildered compared to the third responder, Huckabee, whose charisma appeared to impress even the other candidates. Huckabee’s on-the-spot sermonette:
It’s the word of revelation to us from God himself. And the fact is, when people ask, do we believe all of it, you either believe it or you don’t believe it. But in the greater sense I think what the question tried to make us feel like was that, well, if you believe the part that says, “Go and pluck out your eye…” Well, none of us believe that we ought to go pluck out our eye. That obviously is allegorical. But the Bible has some messages that nobody really can confuse and are really not left up to interpretation: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Inasmuch as you’ve done it to the least of these brethren, you’ve done it unto me.” Until we get those simple, real easy things right, I’m not sure we ought to spend a whole lot of time fighting over the other parts that are a little bit complicated. And as the only person here probably on this stage with a theology degree, there are parts of it I don’t fully comprehend and understand, but I’m not supposed to, because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite God, and no finite person is ever going to understand it. If they do, their God is too small.
This sounded good to me, too, the first time I played the video clip. It seems a Jewish approach to the Bible, at least in the tradition in which I was raised, in which the Bible is something to be studied endlessly and to be obeyed through traditional and partially codified rabbinical interpretations, not something to be understood and “believed” as propositional knowledge.
But, upon analysis, there is too much left unsaid for me to feel comfortable with this answer from a political candidate. Huckabee said we should obey the “easy” parts of the Bible and not fight with each other over the “complicated” parts. Well, what are the “easy” parts? Are they all sweetness and light, like the examples he gave? Or, in committing himself to the “easy” Biblical commandments, is he also committing himself to upholding some strict, unpopular social mores? And when he asks us not to argue over the “complicated” parts, who will get to choose the provisional course of action, and who will be told to take a back seat and stop arguing with the people in power? That’s the question we really need to ask of religious candidates: not whether they believe every word of the Bible, but how their interpretations of the Bible will affect how they encourage and manage public debate and how they make decisions. Nor does it matter whether they think their approach to Bible interpretation is literal or allegorical in general, but whether it is literal or allegorical on specific issues of importance and how that would affect their behavior in the executive branch of government.
As talented as he may be at giving sermons and lectures on theology and the Bible, it’s not what I want to hear from a presidential candidate. It only obscures my understanding of his platform on the actual political issues over which he would have authority or influence as president.



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Donny

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:28 pm


Liberalism was a cancer on the Israelites at the base of Mount Sinai. The typical “doubts” and questioning as soon as Moses tarried too long. God removed the tumor from His people. It (liberalism) hasn’t gotten any safer for the New Testament believers either. Best thing to do is to identify the tumor and deal with it.



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Donny

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:29 pm


And Mormons do believe that Satan is the brother of Jesus.



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Scott R.

posted December 27, 2007 at 6:44 pm


Wow. I never found liberalism in my bible.
Look at the gentiles telling us what our bible means.
How demented.



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Donny

posted December 27, 2007 at 10:56 pm


Scott, before the “children of Abraham” did what they did while Moses was communing with God up on Ararat, the Sodomites did the very same things. Now, go to San Francisco and Boston and see the same “liberalism” in action. God’s truth is easy to see with Israelite, Jewish or goyim eyes. Read the first few chapters of Isaiah, to see hwo often the Israelites actually got anything about “their” Bible right and get back to me. Really, you think you need to be a member of the tribe to understand right and wrong? Dementia is well documented “in the Bible,” and it hardly applies to only gentiles. Read Ezekiel too, and see.



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ruvain

posted December 30, 2007 at 2:53 pm


The site indicates 36 comments, but I count only 5. Looks like someone is doing a lot of censoring. For a long time, I’ve wondered why so few people post. Perhaps they post and then are taken down. And then consider that Donny, who’s clearly not Jewish, posts 3 of the 5 comments. Something’s not kosher.



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Beliefnet_Tiger

posted December 31, 2007 at 12:32 am


Dear ruvain,
Please hit the red “Read All Comments” just below to view all the posts.
Thank you,
Beliefnet_Tiger
Community Monitor
Beliefnet.com



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ruvain

posted January 1, 2008 at 12:53 pm


As Rosanna Danna said, “Never mind.”
Thanks Ruvain



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Felice Debra Eliscu

posted January 2, 2008 at 9:05 am


“Felice,
This is not ancient Israel. This nation has no covenant with G-D. By these candidates constantly in voking G-D – that is what would attract his wrath.”
Posted by: Scott R. | December 25, 2007 10:04 PM
Scott,
Thank you for pointing this out. It is of course what I meant to say.
“What a blessing for us who do have a covenant with G-D.” I am sure wherever we may roam (or be displaced)our covenant is with us.
I am insulted by the actions of this government (especially the Bush administration) who have taken it upon themselves to invalidate our very Constitution. To live in poverty in this country is to have no justice. I am tierd of watching the rich and powerful live above the law. I myself have to answer to a higher law. No-one died for my sins.
I watched as Bush stold the Election the first time around. His second campaign he thumped that Bible hard, but I still suspect he did not win on his own merrit. So, I say it is time for some Divine Intervention. Maybe, my fellow Jews in America are too well off to be affected by what really goes on in America. If it were not for Divine Intervention, I would have never survived this long. This I need no book for. I Thank G-D every day. I tend to agree with Josiah Hoffman, we need to follow “our” laws. Once again we are faced with choosing a candidate from “a sad list.”



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Yossel

posted January 2, 2008 at 11:36 am


B”H
I think we need to look at the facts as they stand TODAY. Muslims today practice virulent anti-Semitism, most Christians do not. Muslims advocate removal of Jews from the planet, Christians do not, at least today.
True, Christians do believe that their savior will return and convert everyone, but as long as they don’t believe that they have to kill everyone who doesn’t accept him (this was done in former times obviously) then Jews are temporarily safe. Candidates who advocate dealing with Muslims as legitimate interests, are far more dangerous than right-wing Christians.
Keep in mind that wherever Jews live, except for the Holy Land, we are only GUESTS in a non-Jewish country. We’re in EXILE, not permanent citizens of those lands. We depend on the host country to provide beneficial living conditions for Jews who reside there, although it is G-d who determines our fate in each of these host countries. Our homeland is ISRAEL! And only ISRAEL.
In case anyone wonders, this Is a Christian country. December 25 is a legal holiday. So is January 1st (the day of reckoning his leadership in the Christian faith, Anno Domini).
If we keep this mind, then we can understand that we need MOSHAICH to redeem us from exile and return us to Israel with secure borders and no more hatred between mankind.
What’s probably more sad than anything, is that the government of Israel considers the Jewish presence there as a galut-type presence, they have no pride that Israel as OUR country, not the Arabs’
If they did, then they wouldn’t give away an inch of land to those that wish to destroy us, G-d forbid…yossel



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ruvain

posted January 2, 2008 at 11:37 am


A candidate who has Faith strikes me as a very poor choice to be President. Faith means that one believes and acts upon ideas for which there is no proof. Such fools might lead us into a war in the Mid East and not bother to bring enough troops and supplies to win thinking that G-d will have us greeted with flowers and praise. Of course, Halliburton did not rely on Santa to bring its bag of goodies. Halliburton make certain that the funds necessary to support the troops were diverted into its coffers without any competitive bidding.
I do not care whether it is Huckabee, Torquemada or Hitler, people who act from Faith have proven to be very dangerous. That is why the Founding Fathers excised religion (all religions) from the government. They had seen the evils which Christianity had visited upon Europe. Now we have one canddiate, McCain, expresses discomfort with non-Christians holding public office.
Candidates who believe that their Faith has any relevance in the political realm are anti-Constitutionalists, but ironically they say that they will appoint strict constructionists to the courts. That raises the question whether they’re fools or liars. A strict constructionist would kick religion out of government.
Wasn’t it Jesus who allegedly said to beware of religious phonies who make public displays of their piety? Apparently that part of the “New Testament” does not apply to Republicans.



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Tzvi

posted January 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm


Yossel,
you write:
>Keep in mind that wherever Jews live, except for the Holy Land, we >are only GUESTS in a non-Jewish country. We’re in EXILE, not >permanent citizens of those lands. We depend on the host country to >provide beneficial living conditions for Jews who reside there, >although it is G-d who determines our fate in each of these host >countries. Our homeland is ISRAEL! And only ISRAEL.
>In case anyone wonders, this Is a Christian country. December 25 is a >legal holiday. So is January 1st (the day of reckoning his leadership >in the Christian faith, Anno Domini).
I am going to get pummeled but I have to disagree with you. I do not see myself as “in exile”. Most jews in this the Modern(or is it Post Modern) age have stopped seeing ourselfves as Fallen, or “cast out”, or lesser because we don’t live in the Holy land. My mom is a Right wing Zionist, and when I was a child she used to exhort that if they ever re-started the Draft in the USA, she was going to send me to Israel. Flast forward a few years, and its Desert Storm, and I’m 17 y/o, and they are shooting the Missles to Tel Aviv. I saw that on TV and looked at her and said simply:”You want to send me where”. I announced in no uncertain terms that I’d rather be sent to Buenos Aires in Argentina, or somewhere like that, before Israel. Other than being jewish, I honestly do not have any real “relationship” with the land of Eretz Yisroel. I have more of a relationship with the lower East Side in manhattan, or Flushing, Queens, or Baltimore Maryland.
December 25 may be a legal holiday, but in my area(in baltimore) schools close for the jewish Holidays also. and the use of Anno domini, only refers to the Naming system for the years. Technically this is(pick one) 2008AD/CE, 5776, The year of the OX, or whatever. Most Jews will say CE for “Common Era” in place of AD(got me in trouble in High School for putting CE in places).



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Michael Kelly

posted January 3, 2008 at 12:34 pm


Yossel, asserting that the United States is a Christian nation because Christmas, as proof, is a national legal holiday is succinctly incorrect. TITLE 5 > PART III > Subpart E > CHAPTER 61 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 6103 of the United States Code designates Christmas as a Federal holiday for employees of the Federal government. Check it for yourself by googling “Cornell University US Code”. Nowhere in this law does it imply that Christmas is a national holiday, nor does it define Christmas as a holiday celebrating Jesus’ birth. Christmas is a national holiday only in the sense that each of the 50 states have passed laws also, and this is where it might get tricky, as I do not know whether every state followed the Federal example and did not define Christmas as a day for celebrating Jesus’ birth, some may have gone that far. Frankly, IMHO, I think that the vast majority of Americans think of Santa Claus during the Christmas season many times more often that they might think of Jesus. As an example, all across the US public schools are redesignating ‘Christmas’ for ‘Winter’ holidays. If you will check your history a little closer you may discover that the United States’ Founders were predominately Deists and their biographies, the Federalist papers, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution prove it. Deists, while devoutly believing in Gd, were exceedingly wary of all organized religions, e.g. Thomas Paine and his book ‘Common Sense’. Lastly, I am sorryful to read that you believe that because you are Jewish that you are an exile when living in any country outside of Israel, particularly the United States. I hope you meant that because you do not agree with the present politics and policies of the United States as seemingly dictated the evangelical (conservative) right. If I were Jewish and living in Israel, or very fond of it as my homeland, I wouldn’t like them either, because it seems to me that the US has for too long, gone too far in holding Israel back from defending its right to exist as well as exist in peace. I believe that because of too many ‘Camp David’ type peace agreements are the root cause for the ‘terrorist’ situation and war in Iraq, et al, that the US and Israel, as well as the whole world, faces today. After 1967, if the US had steered clear of meddling in Israel’s national security interests, Israel would have continued winning one conflict after another and another until it had secured its borders and defeated its evil enemies and driven them from the land (and into the sea?) as opposed to the intent of the reverse.



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Tzvi

posted January 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm


On the subject of AD/CE based dating, that was based on a X-tian Monk who was trying to figure out what year it was. hence XXXX AD simply means that its supposedly XXXX years AFTER the Birth of jesus. Unfortunately said monk got his dates mixed up, and he was off by like 20 years.



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d

posted January 6, 2008 at 2:45 pm


The majority of Jews feel Israel is their one and only homeland. This is taught from a young age . To have another loyalty such as America would not be jewish. Judism is not just a religion but a race. The jew is geneticly different as is the asians or blacks. Though other races may practice judism you are not truly jewish unless your blood mother is jewish. Thus your only mother land is Israel. A politician like Joe Leiberman could never be successful in the US because most people are learning these truths. Thus the lack of media attention to anti-war and foriegn policy positions held by politicians like Ron Paul. The fact that John Macaine will bomb Iran ASAP will get him the jewish vote but not for the good of America.
Could anyone disagree that the two countries Israel and AMERICA have conflicting interests.



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PK

posted January 6, 2008 at 7:15 pm


Yossel wrote quote:
“Keep in mind that wherever Jews live, except for the Holy Land, we are only GUESTS in a non-Jewish country. We’re in EXILE, not permanent citizens of those lands. We depend on the host country to provide beneficial living conditions for Jews who reside there, although it is G-d who determines our fate in each of these host countries. Our homeland is ISRAEL! And only ISRAEL.”
____________________________________
I don’t think that Jews born in America are GUESTS. Jewish Americans have the same rights & expectations as other Americans. America is not a host, doling out charity to us. We’re not EXILES here & are to be treated as full Americans.
The candidates for office on the Republican side are emphasizing the Christian religion too much & dividing the America. I’m Jewish & find the references to the U.S. being a Christian country offensive.
At least the Democrats are talking more of national issues & putting religion on the back burner.
People of various religions came to America from Europe originally to escape persecution by founding new communities.
Christopher Columbus who is credited with discovering America was reported to be Jewish. Maybe this was fate.



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adam block

posted January 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm


The Constitution of the USA makes a distinction between church and state. Church and State are supposed to be separated. I think that it is irresponsible for any political entity to exploit religious communities by using holidays, or religious reference to pander for votes. I believe that in essence it is UN-American to make religion a pillar in any election platform. In the Constitution Church and State are to be separate, and any religious reference can be seen as divisive. I am not saying that we should not talk about our religions, and I do understand that tensions between Religion, Science and Legislation are very real and relevant. But if all the candidates said something like “My family and I believe in God, and our loyalty is to the USA and our constitution. Beyond that the religion of another family is their business so long as they honor the Constitution and respect the rights of others in their pursuit of liberty and happiness,”- if the American people heard politicians saying this then I think some of the divisive talk would be silenced and we might be able to get something done in this country. On the other hand, if the people of this country are more loyal to the exclusive nature of their religions then they do honor the Constitution, then the age old war of ideas and exclusive influence is silently eroding the country. If we are not all Americans then we are the same as any ideologues criticized in the media.



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