Given my frustration with First Things magazine’s registration problems, I probably should wait until this essay comes out from behind the registration wall to tell you about it. However, my disgust at the British Court’s recent rulings against Jews trumps my aggravation at First Things clunky on line registration glitches.
I have received the print edition for January 2010. Having read this appalling news, I am compelled to let you know about it. I can’t provide a URL for this essay, but next month it should be available (and by then I’ll be no less apoplectic about the UK court but perhaps the website issues of First Things) will have been resolved.
David Goldman writes (and I am forced to transcribe by hand):
Since Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews to settle in England in 1656, Britain’s Jews have often suffered indignities, but have they ever undergone a legal assault on the practice of their religion within their own institutions?
Certainly they have now.
– – – – – – – – –
On June 26, a British court of appeals labeled “racist” a founding premise of Judaism: the election of Abraham and his descendants and the determination of Jewish status by matrilineal descent. That the court’s decision is preposterous is the least of the matter. Not since the Middle Ages have Jews had to defend their religion before state authorities. And not since the Treaty of Westphalia have states claimed the right to compel changes in religious doctrine. For the first time in many years, a secular liberal state has arrogated to itself the right to determine the legality of millennia-old practices of a monotheistic religion.
Britain’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, was apoplectic, declaring, “An English court has declared [the religious definition of Jewish status] racist, and since this is an essential element of Jewish law, it is in effect declaring Judaism racist. To be told now that Judaism is racist is distressing. To confuse religion and race is a mistake.”
The leaders of the various forms of Judaism – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform – have joined Rabbi Sacks in his condemnation of this ruling.
The Catholic Education Services of England and Wales gave public support to their Jewish colleagues. Oona Stannard, the director, said:
It is important that the right to determine who is a member of any religions ought to lie with the religious…I am extremely dismayed that the ruling has so far gone against our Jewish colleagues/providers of schools with a religious character. England’s chief Catholic prelate…fully backs the CES statement.
So what does the Archbishop of Canterbury say? Birds chirp in the bare, ruined choirs. Silence. They won’t be issuing a statement is what they said.
Meanwhile, that segment of Judaism known as the suicidal Jews (probably with a few Unitarians thrown in for good measure) hailed the ruling (warning: barf bag moment coming up here) because it would make Judaism “more inclusive”. There goes the idea of God’s chosen people, right down the chute with the rest of those who would attempt to differentiate themselves. Lovers of their own culture, nationalists, believers in sovereignty, those who thought the wall between Church and State was pretty well established…Forget it; we’re all racist hamburger now.
Except the Muslims, of course. They can continue to make their arrogant, in-your-face demands for their religious tenets. No pork, no Christmas, disruptive five-times-a-day prayer (wherever), separate schools, separate hospitals, separate pools, different rules, public threats to destroy the UK…that all pales beside the Jewish law regarding matrilineal descent.
This is a new low-water mark for British jurisprudence. You can read the full essay shortly, when it becomes the “current issue” on line at First Things. Meanwhile, I’ll close with Mr. Goldman’s final statement:
More than any other major Jewish population in the Diaspora, Britain’s Jewish community has attempted to steer clear of controversy – for example by keeping its distance from the state of Israel…but much as Britain’s Jews have tried to avoid trouble, trouble has come looking for them.
There is a moral in that somewhere…one that I hope Israel considers very carefully before it hands over any flu vaccines to Gaza. Just one Muslim death and the bombs will be flying, Jews will be dying.
Such perverted altruism has to stop before it gets any more people killed. Just as the rest of the world, particularly America, has got to take off its blinders regarding zombie jihadists like Major Hasan. We knew with fair certainty he was psychotic, but in the name of saving his superiors’ precious careers, we let him go on his merry way, until he had killed enough of us for people to take notice. Even then, it’s “shush, shush, can’t say it aloud/killing kufar makes the Jihadist proud”. No, the mantra is, instead: “wrong, wrong, you Islamophobes. The Religion of Peace shall rule the globe.”*
Close your eyes, cover your ears, yell real loud. Then when the blade is on your throat, or the bullet lodged in your son’s heart, you won’t be able to feel it till everything is over. Painless, right?
What a price to pay for a deeply false sense of security: a paralyzed fear that cannot speak its name.
*admittedly bad doggerel. You are encouraged to improve upon it.