So as we all know, Jerry Falwell (founder of the so-called Moral Majority) is dead, and this JTA article discusses the mixed feeling Jews had about the man.
Statements from Jewish leaders about his death were duly respectful of a man who loved Israel, but were qualified also by his embrace of values that alienated most American Jews.
This is something I will never never understand. How thinking Jewish people can in any way stand behind someone like this. How Israel, or any other single issue, can be important enough to trump our other concerns. Like not getting into bed with racist homophobic misogynists.
Here's a lovely quote from Mort Klein (leader of the Zionist Organization of America):
"Jews should have appreciated his virtually unconditional support more than we did," Klein said. "We should also have appreciated that his deep support for Israel came from strong belief in the Torah, in the Bible."
Okay… NO! the support of evangelical Christianity for Israel does NOT come from a strong belief in the Torah. It comes from a strong belief in the Christian Bible, which condemns us to Hell and views Israel as a necesary ingredient in the ultimate destruction of all us heathens. If the 5 books of Moses happen to be a re-translated part of the book, so what? That fact, and our shared interest in Israel does NOT make for a Judeo-Christian America. Does not make us friends.
I feel strongly that my (not so clean and happy) neighborhood should be a clean and happy place. The awful investor who owns the vacant house next to mine, and wants to flip it for profit, feels strongly that this neighborhood needs to "transition faster" too. But why we feel these things, and how we live our lives sets us apart. And no shared desire for a coffee shop around the corner will make us friends.
Jerry Falwell is dead. And while I don't rejoice in anyone's death, I can't mourn this man. He thought that the antichrist (ANTICHRIST) was a Jewish man. He thought AIDS was "the wrath of a just God".
He liked Israel. He stood for pretty much everything I hate. He died.