March 9, 2012


Bad secularism

Rob Eshman’s original article that this piece answers can be found here 


In Rob Eshman’s editorial this week “Bad Religion,” he posits that we leave religion out of Presidential campaigns. He says regarding the recent mandate to employer’s health insurance requires all businesses, even those that are religiously affiliated to cover the cost of birth control.

Eshman spends the next four to five hundred words poking fun and insulting the Catholic Church and its beliefs, indeed he pretends a holier than though attitude urging his agenda concerning birth control and contraception much more advanced than the rights of Catholics to believe as they choose in a country that protects their right to do that.

You would think that a people who have known so much of this very type of discrimination for hundreds of years would somehow understand that not all people are going to think like us all of the time. Jews like  Rob Eshman, Rachel Maddow and that shadowy character who anonymously composed that haiku, if he was Jewish,  need a lesson on how to be tolerant of others’ beliefs.

At this point I must admit that my own beliefs probably fall a little closer on the side of Rob Eshman on this issue rather than the Catholic Church, but I know something Rob Eshman doesn’t. I take very seriously the idea of freedom of religion in this country. And, no matter what he says, Rush Limbaugh be damned, it is one of the pillars of our democracy and we ought to ban together to protect it with our lives.

Although in a different context I’m sure, Eshman quotes in his article the Kennedy speech about separation from church and state, Kennedy said “religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against us all.” We Jews should be especially sensitive and celebrate a statement like this not throw it away as Eshman did in his editorial.

We Jews should remember that it wasn’t too long ago that we were in that same hot seat, being pulled and forced away from our beliefs so we could become like everybody else. In fact, it was the Catholic Church who was the biggest culprit of that oppression. The Church has done a lot of painful soul searching during the last 60 years finding ways to apologize for past transgressions against the Jewish people as well trying to build bridges with us now. They aren’t all the way there but the Church has made courageous strides in that direction. We ought to recognize them as brothers and work to protect all of our religious freedoms, not mock and insult the church as Eshman has done here.

Businesses with a strong religious leaning either through their ownership or their affiliation to a religion whether Catholic, orthodox Jewish or Evangelical Christian should not be forced to go against their own doctrines concerning the right to life. Keep American liberty for all, not just the minority that thinks like Eshman, Maddow, and some others who think they are better than the rest of us because they live on reason not on faith.

By the way, I wonder if this was CAIR and the Muslim community throwing up these red flags rather than the Catholics, if Eshman would have written this editorial exactly this way. Something tells me it would be different. It might not have even made the pages of the Journal just out of fear, but oh well, that is a different issue, isn’t it.


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