Perhaps during the election season, the old saying, "Its best not to talk politics and religion," went out the door along with civility.
A recent letter to the editor in the Arizona Jewish Post, a locally produced Jewish-community newspaper, got to the heart of that age-old wisdom when it questioned why Republican Bruce Ash posted a letter on a local blog questioning U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' faith.
Evidently, Ash posted the letter on Doug Martin's blog. Martin is president and general manager of Good News Radio Broadcasting, which owns and runs the Christian radio station KLOVE 88.1 FM. You can read Ash's Sept. 28 post here, and here's a snippet:
Specifically what is our religious/spiritual community doing to oppose the Democrat candidates who do not represent our values and views? At this time there does not seem to be much recognition of the change we can make in this election through the Christian communities coming together to support Mr Kelly and Ms McClung.
As a Jew I am disheartened that more of my fellow Jews do not support Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung. After all , Congresswoman Giffords, who claims to be a Jewess, has foolishly done much to de stabilize the security of Israel with her votes and alliances with others who want to force Israel to make treaties with enemies who do not even recognize the existence of the state. Mr. Grijalva, never a friend of Israel, has supported countless schemes of anti Israel and anti Jewish groups and has voted against most measures which would provide direct support for the people and State of Israel.
I have to admit increasingly, the religion of most modern Jews is not Judaism but it is liberalism and many have embraced these two House members liberal beliefs and policies. Many Jews have been blinded by their liberalism and give broad support to these two incumbents. The major exception is the Orthodox Jewish community which supports most conservatives. Christians and Conservative/Orthodox Jews support the Peace of Jerusalem. I urge all Christian and Conservative/Orthodox Jews to reject Gifford's and Grijalva's re election in 2010.
The Oct. 29 Jewish Post letter is signed by Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim (which, full disclosure, used to be my congregation), as well as, Barry Baker, Geoff Balon, Stanley Feldman, Nanci and Doug Levy. The letter says at the end that Ash doesn't represent the Jewish community, and owes the Jewish community an apology. You can read the entire letter here. A snippet:
Some of us are liberal. Some of us are conservative. Many of us are moderate. As Americans, we respect one another’s right to differ, to argue, to participate in the political process with the passion and intelligence that G-d has given us. This is part of our tradition as a people, and we are proud of it.
But we know, too, that there are limits. This week, a member of our community has gone too far.
Bruce Ash submitted a letter to a Christian blog, doug martin.goodnewscommunications.com, attacking our Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and questioning her Judaism and her support for Israel. His letter is full of insults and lies.
Mr. Ash does not agree with her on the issues and has every right to express his opinion, but to question her Judaism by writing that “she claims to be a Jewess” is wrong.
Anyone with an internet connection can see for themselves that Giffords’ record shows tremendous support for Israel. Mr. Ash’s claims otherwise are absurd. Her actions in support of Israel include opposition to the sale of munition technology to Saudi Arabia, condemnation of the Goldstone Report and co-sponsorship of the Iran Sanctions Act. Our Congresswoman was selected as a member of the Bi-partisan Iran Sanctions Implementation Work Group. She is a national board member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. The first of her bills to become the law of our land was the Stop Arming Iran Act. This is a strong record on Israel; it does not deserve to be attacked from within our community.
On other issues, Mr. Ash has got his facts wrong. Congresswoman Giffords did not vote for the government bailout of GM and Chrysler, as Mr. Ash falsely states. Nor did she support the federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona, which Mr. Ash also falsely claims.