Saturday, November 19, 2005

Reform Leader attacks religious right

Yoffie is harming Jews by antagonizing the majority of Americans. Period.

Washington Post :

The leader of the largest branch of American Judaism blasted conservative religious activists in a speech Saturday, calling them "zealots" who claim a "monopoly on God" while promoting anti-gay policies akin to Adolf Hitler's.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, said "religious right" leaders believe "unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text you cannot be a moral person."
"What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God?" he said during the movement's national assembly in Houston, which runs through Sunday.
The audience of 5,000 responded to the speech with enthusiastic applause.
Yoffie did not mention evangelical Christians directly, using the term "religious right" instead. In a separate interview, he said the phrase encompassed conservative activists of all faiths, including within the Jewish community.
He used particularly strong language to condemn conservative attitudes toward homosexuals. He said he understood that traditionalists have concluded gay marriage violates Scripture, but he said that did not justify denying legal protections to same-sex partners and their children.
"We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations," Yoffie said. "Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry."
The Union for Reform Judaism represents about 900 synagogues in North America with an estimated membership of 1.5 million people. Of the three major streams of U.S. Judaism _ Orthodox and Conservative are the others _ it is the only one that sanctions gay ordination and supports civil marriage for same-gender couples.
Yoffie said liberals and conservatives share some concerns, such as the potential damage to children from violent or highly sexual TV shows and other popular media. But he said, overall, conservatives too narrowly define family values, making a "frozen embryo in a fertility clinic" more important than a child, and ignoring poverty and other social ills...
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 6:42 PM


Anonymous SephardiLady said...

Proud to be part of the religious right.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yoffe is disappointing. He did take a move to the right (for Reform) at one time, but they still need to do alot of teshuvoh (repentance).

10:11 PM  
Blogger Yeshiva Orthodoxy said...

For evey step forward they take two steps back.

2:52 AM  

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