April 16th, 2010

Jewish voters and Obama

Nobody’s suing for divorce yet. But the honeymoon between Jewish voters and Obama may be over, or at least that first high flush of romance is gone.

This survey indicates that 42% of Jewish voters would vote for Obama again while 46% would “consider” voting for someone else. Although that word “consider” is a bit hard to interpret—to me, it could just mean they’d entertain the thought, if only for a brief while—it still shows a certain amount of disillusion. In addition, 50% disapprove of the way he’s handling Israel while only 39% approve, and 52% disapprove of Obama’s plan to recognize a Palestinian state within two years regardless of whether Israel agrees and only 28% approved. And so on and so forth.

The survey was conducted on April 8 and 9, among 600 “likely Jewish voters”—although I assume that ought to actually read “Jewish likely voters,” since I would guess that they were likely voters, not likely Jews. Just the nitpicky grammarian in me.

60 Responses to “Jewish voters and Obama”

  1. Daniel Says:

    LOL about the grammar check. There are few people who can pick up on those errors, but I’m glad you can. Did I just make a comma splice?

  2. Perfected democrat Says:

    Right on par with Burack’s church of twenty years honoring, Louis Farrakhan; so screw Israel, loyalty to the DPPC (Democratic Party Progressive Cult) is their new religion, and Burack is their new prophet. Anything to blend in, apparently, pathetic JINO’s …..

  3. mizpants Says:

    This is the big cognitive dissonance boulder, blocking the way of a general avalanche. Now it’s beginning to rock.
    I remember a friend who told me a few years ago that he was seeking out all his Jewish acquaintances and reassuring them that Obama is on our side. Hah!

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    mizpants: I was sort of joking at the end there with my grammar point about “likely Jews” vs. “likely voters.” But I was also thinking that a poll like this suffers from the problem of how Jews identify themselves, as well as how they are identified by others.

    Many many Jews in this country are (as Perfected democrat points out—I’d never heard the phrase before) “JINOs”—that is, Jews in name only. Jewishness is complex in that it is both a religion, a nationality, and an ethnic group (the latter a very mixed and hazy one, since it encompasses both Ashkenazies and Sephardics and also converts from other backgrounds). Plus there is the way the world at large defines Jews—which for the Nazis was:

    Anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935, or joined thereafter; was married to a Jew or Jewess on September 15, 1935, or married one thereafter; was the offspring of a marriage or extramarital liaison with a Jew on or after September 15, 1935.

    Most people are not quite as precise as the Nazis were. But my point is that who is a Jew is not an easy question, and that there are many factors that go into that. In addition, in this country, a great many Jews are non-religious (secular) Jews who have little or no interest in Israel. Many of them actually dislike Israel and also feel that serves to prove their true bona fides as secular Jews with no “dual loyalties” (the old charge against Jews).

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    mizpants: from that same site:

    Those who were not classified as Jews but who had some Jewish blood were categorized as Mischlinge (hybrids) and were divided into two groups:

    Mischlinge of the first degree–those with two Jewish grandparents;
    Mischlinge of the second degree–those with one Jewish grandparent.

    The Mischlinge were officially excluded from membership in the Nazi Party and all Party organizations (e.g. SA, SS, etc.). Although they were drafted into the Germany Army, they could not attain the rank of officers. They were also barred from the civil service and from certain professions. (Individual Mischlinge were, however, granted exemptions under certain circumstances.) Nazi officials considered plans to sterilize Mischlinge, but this was never done. During World War II, first-degree Mischlinge, incarcerated in concentration camps, were deported to death camps.

  6. Richard Aubrey Says:

    All very well, as I’ve said before, but when it comes to voting, the key is to vote against whatever it is conservative Christians are supposed to favor.
    ’cause they’re the real danger.
    It would be interesting to ask the disaffected, Jewish or not, what about current events that bothers them wasn’t foretold during the campaign.
    Might take a bit of looking–the state-controlled media did a good job–but it was all there.
    Why did they ignore it?

  7. Michael Says:

    I’m glad we can laugh about these tragedies. I tease a good friend who is Conservative and Jewish that she is just smug about being the first to figure things out. (She was a “born again” Republican when I still toiled in Democrat bondage, and I’m a gentile!) I am absolutely joking. Believe me when I tell you that there is nothing smug about her.

    They do make farces about marital breakup. The French are especially good at this, for some reason. Of course, as Neo knows all to well, there is nothing funny about that, either.

    Anyway, Louise and I talk about all the old Jews and Democrats we knew in our youth, still going strong, still going wrong, but dear old souls, all the same. Her generation began to crack thirty years ago, but we live in Texas, which is a whole ‘nother place.

  8. Tatyana Says:

    n this country, a great many Jews are non-religious (secular) Jews who have little or no interest in Israel.

    ..and, there are great many non-religious (secular) Jews who are very much concerned and interested in Israel – exactly because being Jewish, finally, is a nationality, in addition to confessional and ethnic identification.

  9. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Honi Handler, the Rabbi’s daughter and my first love when I was in fifth grade, has been Orthodox and conservative her adult life. But she was deeply bothered by Palin and the Republicans in 2008 (according to Newsweek) and voted Obama despite severe reservations. Richard Aubrey hits upon an important point among Jewish voters – many of their votes are negative, against certain Christians (such as I, for example), who they fear as being overclose to right-wing fascists.

    This is a non-logical association, unworthy of an intelligent people. They belong to both the Jewish tribe and the liberal tribe, with great overlap and uncertain boundaries between those two. They perceive that many conservative Christians are not from their tribe, and the Jewish part of them is activated in fear, as tribes against the Jews have indeed been dangerous to them.

    But it is the liberal tribe that provides the visceral dislike of the others. Those progressives hate both the conservatism and (most of) the Christianity. It is they who turn to the Jews and say “You and him should fight.” That many Jews fall for this stems from their traditional, highly permeable boundary with liberalism. Many cannot discern much of a difference – it’s all sort of “our people” now, as mizpants notes. Those non-discerners have been very good at convincing more conservative Jews that their discomfort is based on Jewishness.

    If that seems a bit critical of Jewish thinking, it perhaps is, but I understand that the quick trigger of distrust is based on real historical events in other countries, and a tendency to trust one’s religious/ethnic tribe would be natural.

  10. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    In re the growing disillusionment of Jewish voters for Obama: from your mouth to God’s ears, Neo!

    In re that timeless question “who is a Jew”, I saw a moving editorial by Ed Koch just the other day. The whole thing was extremely well-written, but one piece I thought was especially worth preserving:

    “One is a Jew first by birth and then by religion. Those who leave their religion, remain Jews forever by virtue of their birth. If they don’t think so, let them ask their neighbors, who will remind them.”

    And that’s the problem with JINOs. Every so often, repeatedly throughout history, it’s been a matter of life and death to know who is Jewish… and at such times, you don’t get to decide if you are Jewish or not; the decision will be made for you. As Edmond Fleg wrote, in what is possibly the only universal definition: “A Jew is a man whom other men call a Jew.”

    I’m sure there are many American Jews who see their Jewishness as an insignificant part of their identities, at best. (So far as I know, we don’t have the problem of American Jews who are afraid to identify as Jewish — the way European Jews have started to be in recent years.) Nonetheless, as we are seeing, American Jews who are actively anti-Israel are a very small minority. Most liberal American Jews wouldn’t mind making the Israeli government sweat, but are not willing to gamble with the State of Israel’s existence. Iran is rapidly becoming an existential threat to Israel… and in our bones, we all know it.

    In short: in his ham-handed handling of Israel and Israelis — and his ignoring the Iranian threat — I believe Obama has pushed American Jews too far, and they are starting to wake up to that.

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  11. mizpants Says:

    Neo,
    Thanks for your responses. I myself belong in the “mischlinge of the first degree” category, with a Jewish father and a gentile mother. I’m married to a Jew, and my feelings about my identity are a little tortured, because I find myself envying my husband’s unexamined (and sometimes resentful) sense of tribal inclusion. He feels suffocated. I feel isolated.
    His parents were orthodox, and Republican. Mine were Democrats, as was the entire extended family.I get very exasperated at my elderly uncle who responds with a kind of Pavlovian snarl to the neocons who fear for Israel.
    I fear for Israel too. It seems all too conceivable that it will be destroyed, and soon. I think many tribally-identified Jews simply can’t imagine that, or can’t allow themselves to. I think there’s a defense mechanism at work that makes them displace the fear and project it onto harmless evangelical Christians who support them.

  12. Trimegistus Says:

    I hate to point this out, but it sounds as if some Jewish voters are motivated by what would be called racism or religious bigotry in Gentiles — if devout Christians are for it, they oppose it, never mind what “it” is.

    As a result we’re treated to the grotesque spectacle of Jews siding with fanatic Muslims against Israel, simply because Christians support the Jewish state.

  13. Paul Snively Says:

    For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, I have not to cry for Israel. The best way I know of not to cry is to laugh instead. So:

    “If relativity is proved right the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist. If relativity is proved wrong the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German and the Germans will call me a Jew.” — Albert Einstein

    And I challenge any Jew who believes Evangelical Christians are not their best friends in the world to watch this without breaking into a smile.

  14. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I’ve said before, Koch is too smart and too well-informed to have been fooled by Obama.
    He was bought, before the election. Now he’s going, oh, dearie me, I was fooled.
    Crap.
    Believe it for about a nanosecond.
    He was bought.
    Now that it doesn’t matter, he can say what he wants.
    He wasn’t bought? Ed Koch so stupid as to BELIEVE Obama would be good for Israel? You say so.
    But that would mean he’s really, really stupid. Really stupid.
    Anybody see anything in Koch’s life that demonstrates he’s that stupid?
    Everything he’s complaining about was foretold prior to the election.
    Who wants to say somebody as experienced and bright as Koch MISSED IT?
    Not buying.

  15. Tatyana Says:

    Paul Snively: nope. Not a smile – few tears, rather.

    It is just a nice energetic melody for you, nothing else. For me – there are blood and tears there.

  16. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana,
    You don’t get to tell Paul Snively what he thinks.

  17. Tatyana Says:

    Yes, I do. And you don’t get to tell me what I have to think about Christians and their “love” for us.

  18. Paul Snively Says:

    Richard,

    Thanks, but there’s at least one important sense in which Tatyana is right: I’m not Jewish, although my wife is. So I may have intellectual knowledge of some reasons for the blood and tears, at best, but that’s all. I have no ancestors, no family, directly affected by any events that the Hava Nagila is associated with for Jewish people.

  19. Tatyana Says:

    To clarify: as a secular Jew (+atheist, libertarian, somewhat “neoconish”, right-wing, very much pro-Israel and anti-Islam) I would much, much prefer that American Christians separated their sentiment to Jews and Israel from their religious beliefs – and took us on our merit. Either as fellow Americans, towards American Jews, or as people of sovereign nation allied with USA.
    I don’t want any “special” attitude. Nor honey – and no vinegar.

  20. Paul Snively Says:

    Tatyana: I have to suggest that being “anti-Islam” and “I would much, much prefer that American Christians separated their sentiment to Jews and Israel from their religious beliefs” are conflicting goals. To paraphrase Leon Trotsky: “You might not be interested in religion. But religion is interested in you.”

  21. Bob from Virginia Says:

    To elaborate a bit on Tatyana’s observation… there are secular Jews whose Jewish identity is tied to political Zionism. The ones who who lived in Israel, and there are many, are IMHO very unlikely to have been fooled by the Obami mainly because Israel is not a place for unqualified leaders. It is hardly a coincidence that both Israelis and US combat veterans saw through Obama like a window.
    I suspect much of the Jewish community’s support for Obama is at least partially due to being fat, happy and superficial in a country so prosperous and safe that voters could choose their leaders on the basis of American Idol criteria. Now an appointment with the hangman, both Iranian or economic, is serving to concentrate the mind.
    As for the dislike of religious Christian support; too often this support comes along with the expectation of leading Jews to Christ. Support like that is rightfully rejected by diaspora Jews, who historical memory includes millennia of insecurity and persecution, usually in the name of Christ, but accepted by secular Zionist Jews who are more amused than threatened by it. I should also add that Zionist Jews, who have identified with Israel, are more secure in their Jewish identity in spite of a lack of religious identity, probably as their historical memory includes a record of successful violence.

  22. Tatyana Says:

    Paul: there is no conflict – because unlike religious people (Christian and Jews alike) I consider Islam an ideology rather than religion.
    As much as leftism or Nazism.

    It might dress itself in religious symbols, but the bottom line is an urge to put a jackboot on everybody (who doesn’t belong)’ neck.

  23. Tatyana Says:

    Bob: +1 on all counts.

  24. Curtis Says:

    Tatyana said “I would much, much prefer that American Christians separated their sentiment to Jews and Israel from their religious beliefs – and took us on our merit.”

    Whew. That’s kind of like saying, “I wish everyone were like me.”

    But perhaps the statement is an unspoken understanding that American Christians don’t accept secular Jews as meritorious. And after two millinnia of persecutions, the new “respect” for Jews is really just another restriction–though subtle it be.

    Still, it is hard to imagine the current evangelicals recommending life in prison for Sholom Rubashkin for his employment of illegal immigrants. That outrage seems to be a product of our progressive government and its justice department. If I were Sholom, I’d prefer the honey.

  25. Tatyana Says:

    Curtis: I can say the same about Christians – that they wish everyone were religious like them.

    Last I checked, religion is separated from state (and thus, from civic sphere of society) in this country. I wish it was separated as much in Israel.

    I have no idea who Sholom Rubashkin is – if this guy committed a crime and was judged in accordance with law, he deserved to be incarcerated, that’s all I can say.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    Tatyana: good point that a great many secular Jews are pro-Israel. But many of the ones I know are not.

  27. vanderleun Says:

    “Consider” may well mean, “Show me someone. Anyone.”

  28. Tatyana Says:

    Neo – Jews from my “circle” donate to Israeli Air Force, rather than religious Jewish charities.

  29. Curtis Says:

    Separation of religion and state as an idea has supplanted the original idea that the state was very much religious and wrote a consitution arising from the idea of covenant as expressed in Torah. These are facts. Our freedoms and limited government are religious ideas and will not survive elsewhere, as the current crop of progressive, athiestic, progressives now demonstrate.

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    Rchard Aubrey: Interesting point you make about Koch’s initial support of Obama. Koch was smart enough to be against Carter’s Israeli policies back in the 80s and against Kerry in the 2004 election. He’s proven in the past he’s not afraid to go against the usual liberal Democrat line if he thinks Israel is threatened by a politician. Why was Obama the exception? Perhaps Koch was fooled by him for some reason, but perhaps (as you indicate) he was never fooled.

  31. Perfected democrat Says:

    “Most liberal American Jews wouldn’t mind making the Israeli government sweat, but are not willing to gamble with the State of Israel’s existence.”

    Knowing what there was clearly available to know about Burack (from his “church” to his circle of intimate friends) both before, and especially since the election, it is apparent that Dem Party loyalists, Jews as well as others, have all been very casual about gambling with Israel’s security. People focus on what they want to; but the most dishonest aspect of the Dem Party agenda has been their whitewash of the long established historical international muslim campaign (jihad) for religious dominance thru intimidation, murder, demographics, and/or Al Taquia; especially it’s undeniable committed goal of the destruction of Israel, and which is more an affront to their false pride than anything. The so-called “Palestinians” are only the latest historical pretext for their imperial ambitions, it was never an issue in any credible way for well over a thousand years…

    The Democratic Party has ventured into borderline criminal territory with its domestic policies, but it’s now playing with deliberate complicity in another genocide of the Jewish people. As I told a PHD lecturer in a mutually hostile email exchange after a short religion class several months ago; after sitting thru his whitewashed presentation of Islam and following his carefully skewed presentation of Judaism, I’m not a twenty-two year old (I’m 62), to which he responded he certainly didn’t think I was, entirely skirting my point). B.O. is and always has been part moslem-radical left-wing operative, and part garden variety political opportunist; along with the JINO’s, the frustrated southern, eastern and west coast Dems (from Kerry to Clinton) in his administration, all of whom have aided and abetted this “rogue” administration. The world has never been as dangerous as it is now with the adolescent morons currently in control of the Democratic Party, and America.

  32. Paul Snively Says:

    Tatyana: It might dress itself in religious symbols, but the bottom line is an urge to put a jackboot on everybody (who doesn’t belong)’ neck.

    Hopefully unsurprisingly, we don’t disagree. I would only point out that you can accept the Christian support of Israel’s freedom and independence, religiously motivated though it most definitely is, for the same reasons.

  33. G6loq Says:

    Contemporary North American Jews are simply repeating and perpetuating actions and attitude prevalent during the WWII events … Read about Peter Bergson.
    Nothing learned, everything forgotten.

    That’s who they are and that’s what they do.
    Accept the facts and act accordingly: STAY AWAY FROM THE TARGETS!

  34. Tatyana Says:

    Paul: I didn’t say I don’t accept it- only that I prefer it was for reasons tied with reality-based world, not fairy tales.

  35. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana,
    I say again, you have no right to tell anybody what they can and cannot think about something. You can claim, and perhaps be correct, that they have not the experiences you have that lead you to your feelings. But they have their feelings, however they’ve come to them.
    My father, for example, was a Liberator. His division colors are in the National Holocaust Center in DC, and a hell of a price they reflect.
    You cannot invalidate his views of the subject. You have no right whatsoever.

  36. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana
    Oh, yeah. I said nothing about what you’re supposed to think of Christians.
    I will say that hostility makes Christians’ support of Israel more difficult, but that’s not my problem.

    Now, in 1973, it is said that Gen. Haig got a bunch of IDF officers to fly to Ft. Benning, get a quick and dirty lesson on the TOW, and fly back with a potload of them. Just in time for what was said to be greatest tank killing since Kursk.
    Would you view that differently if you thought Haig was acting out of realpolitik, simple decency, or evangelical interest in Israel?

  37. betsybounds Says:

    I recall reading, back in ~1948 and somewhat thereafter, that there was some disagreement amongst new Israelis as to the definition of “Jew,” the matter being important because Israel was to be a specifically “Jewish” state. The Orthodox had a restrictive idea, but others did not share it. In any case, they were seeking to define prospective citizenship in the new state. I remember thinking then, as I think now, that Jews would be wise, and conservative of their own, to adopt the Nazi definition.

  38. Promethea Says:

    I started to write something, but then I thought, “It’s complicated.”

    The questions about Jews and what they think will never end. I just wish they would stop reading the New York Times and start reading blogs.

    That’s how I escaped the clutches of cliche thinking about Christians and Christianity.

    Let’s face it: most Jews today live in a bubble and are prisoners of groupthink.

  39. Antimedia Says:

    To me it’s utterly stunning that 39% of American Jews approve of the way Obama is handling American-Israeli affairs. Talk about self-loathing……

  40. jon baker Says:

    Tatyana said : “Last I checked, religion is separated from state (and thus, from civic sphere of society) in this country. I wish it was separated as much in Israel. ”

    U.S. Constitution, last paragraph: “Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

    I wonder who that “Lord” would be?

    U.S. Declaration of Independence: “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

    In this country you are free to believe or not believe whatever you want. Article VI and the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution give you that right.

    But quit your atheist lying about this country’s background. You sound a lot like the left in this regard.

    Your family escaped from some east bloc hellhole? Yet you dishonor this country by joining the left in denying its heritage.

  41. jon baker Says:

    Actually I should say “Article VI and the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution that right.

  42. jon baker Says:

    “…Codify that right.” I meant to say…

  43. Sergey Says:

    Be careful what you wish, Tatyana. If Christians decided one day to take secular American Jews for their merits, their opinion on them will became much worse, not better. To see some arrogant bastard like Rahm Emmanuel is enough to awake anti-Semite even in Jew like me. What makes my attitude to Christianity, rather sour in general, a bit brighter, is understanding that this faith encourage its followers to judge people not for their merits alone, but for God’s grace associated with them. If everybody were judged by their merits only, a half of us would be found unworthy to exist. And as history shows, many atheists, coming to power, quite soon arrive to this unescapable conclusion and begin to exterminate “unworthy”. With all caveats about religious fanatics, world without Christianity will be much, much more dangerous for everybody, and for Jews especially.

  44. Tatyana Says:

    Baker: I might have said, just like you: “stop lying about existence of some fictitious deity and stop smearing ALL atheists with leftist charge.” But I wont – because it would be stupid and infantile, and I am an adult.

    Luckily, you and R. Aubrey are not in charge of Department of State…To think of it, luckily, people like you (and Curtic, and Aubrey, etc) are not in charge of anything important – or this country would be subverted into a clerics-runl prison on steroids – and that was not an intent of the Founding Fathers.

  45. Perfected democrat Says:

    Adherents.com and earlyamericanhistory.net are two of many websites which briefly illustrate the significance of religion, and Christianity in particular, as vital influences in the shaping of the American revolution, as well as evolution. America, and from my point of view, Christianity as well, are both continuously evolving works in progress, ie. the transition out of a slavery culture into more “enlightened” times. The Judeo-Christian foundation, though arguably imperfect, has been, along with the printing press (and perhaps its extension of the digital revolution later?) perhaps the major influence in human ethics. At the end of the day, the measure of it all is in the nature of “mutual respect”, or the lack thereof…. Megalomania would seem to be the problem in human affairs; the Judeo-Christian ethical foundation an important moderator, over time, of that pernicious influence.

  46. Perfected democrat Says:

    Message for the Democrats and other like minded, the bottom line in the mideast is this, everything else is irrelevant or an outright lie…

  47. Promethea Says:

    Perfected democrat . . .

    Excellent link. We know that the State Department and the President will never be serious about peace and 2 states until they address the issue of “no Jews” in “Palestine.”

    That’s why I stopped worrying about any peace process and peace settlement. There IS NO peace process and there won’t be any settlement.

    End of story.

  48. Promethea Says:

    By settlement, I mean peace settlement.

    The Israelis should not concede one more inch of land. Not one more centimeter.

    And if the “Palestinians” continue to send rockets and terrorists, the Israelis should take more land.

  49. Tatyana Says:

    Promethea: amen. If only they could stop listening to their own leftists!

  50. Promethea Says:

    Tatyana . . .

    We wish. There are too many leftists in Israel, and they act like fools.

  51. jon baker Says:

    Tatyana said “Luckily, you and R. Aubrey are not in charge of Department of State…To think of it, luckily, people like you (and Curtic, and Aubrey, etc) are not in charge of anything important – or this country would be subverted into a clerics-runl prison on steroids – and that was not an intent of the Founding Fathers”

    Thats funny- I quoted the founding documents,-written by the founding fathers- and yet you do not address those documents. Instead you make some claim that myself and others who take the founders seriuosly somehow want to set up some kind of theocracy. That could not be further than the truth.

    Your anger is with the founders for daring to not follow the French Revolutionary model of total secularization.

    We see where that went.

  52. jon baker Says:

    Tatyana-have you ever looked at the actual Founding documents, or are you just going by what somebody told you?

  53. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana.
    I have favored Israel since I was old enough to know about it.
    Three years ago, approximately, I found that some Christians think favoring Israel is their Christian duty.
    Now what do I do?
    As I said, this hostility makes it difficult.

  54. Tatyana Says:

    R. Aubrey:”hostility” did not appear out of thin air, and it’s not the Jews who are to blame for it.

    If my explanations above don’t seem clear to you, read Bob from Virginia -and make your conclusions.

    J.Baker: what, you want to turn this into a Battle of Quotations? How Bible-study-worthy of you.

  55. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana,
    I am tempted, sometimes, to be juvenile.
    As in, “Okay. You’re on your own. No more of my skin in the game.”
    It would relieve me of some obligations I don’t really want.
    Fortunately, I’m an adult. Not fortunately for me, I mean.
    However, now that I find that some Christians are said–not that I’ve heard if from them and I don’t trust what anybody says about Christians–to want to lead Jews to Christ, what do I do, who never thought about the issue?
    I am reminded of the insistence that pro-life positions are grounded in religion and are thus disallowed in public discourse due to the separation of church and state.
    What if an atheist became pro-life? This is not OT, but an example of a nonsensical argument.

  56. Tatyana Says:

    Richard: atheist might (and indeed many are) to be against abortions (if that’s what you mean; why otherwise direct people suddenly speak in wink-wink hints on this issue, is beyond me). But he would not oppose it on religious ground – but out of moral, medical, etc reasons* .

    Someone who supports Israel because his Christian tenets instruct him, however, does.

    If it doesn’t apply to you, if you are pro-Israel for reasons other than your religion – thank you, that attitude is exactly what I would have preferred, as I said several times already.

    *To nib possible tangent in the bud: no, I don’t consider morality to be direct consequence of religious revelations; yes, this is irrelevant to the issue we are discussing.

  57. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana.
    So you would judge Haig’s help during the Yom Kippur War as good, bad, or indifferent, depending on his motivations?
    Thing is, whatever the motivation, the result was hundreds upon hundreds of destroyed Egyptian and Syrian tanks.
    There’s a point where reality intrudes. Like then.
    What do you do about reality?

  58. Tatyana Says:

    I forge alliances – and prioritize.

  59. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Tatyana,
    So, your bold words notwithstanding, you’d have no problem if the guy showing up with a dozen gross of Javelin reloads said he brought them because Jesus told him to, to preserve Israel for conversion.

  60. Sergey Says:

    Those who believe that they can have morality without religion, are delusional. It simply can not be passed to the next generation without religious authority behind it. There is not and never was a culture atheistic for several generations: it would desintegrate much faster. (Or repent and ressurrect.)

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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