Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Question

So the same people who are telling us that Obama is a Muslim and controlled by Islamic law are saying that he's a serious Protestant, controlled by his minister. Come on kids, decide on a story line.

Funny we have never heard about any previous candidate's minister. Billy Graham was spiritual adviser to Ike, Nixon, Johnson, the Bushes and Clinton but nobody pointed out that he was an anti-semite (although his anti-semitism is well documented in the Nixon tapes). And rightly so.

But with Obama, for some reason, it's different.

What a crock.

And yet I am a member of this congregation and will remain one. Why? As I said, I like the rabbi (the regular one, not the annual visitor) despite disagreeing strongly with many of his views. More important, this is the congregation that my kids grew up in. This is where their Bar Mitzvahs took place. The people there (not the war criminals though) are kind of like family. It's home. Probably how Obama feels about his church.

In 2000, when Joe Lieberman ran, do you recall articles about the political views of his rabbi? I don't know who his rabbi is (that tells you something) but Orthodox rabbis are invariably very conservative on the same issues on which Democrats are very liberal. They also tend to feel strongly that Jews and non-Jews should not marry each other or even date each other. Some Orthodox rabbis will tell you that dietary laws prevent Jews and non-Jews from even having a meal together except in a kosher locale.

So what. That's religion. Lieberman's politics (not his moderately liberal politics then or his conservative politics now) has nothing to do with his rabbi. Lieberman is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-feminist, all the things Orthodox rabbis tend not to be. There is a good chance Joe's rabbi is against the Iraq war (75% of Jews are) but Joe sure isn't. But, as I said, Joe's rabbi, whoever he is, was never an issue. Obama's is. Why is that?

-M.J. Rosenberg

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