Tuesday, February 12, 2008

6 ’Adhar 5768: Darwin Day/Lincoln’s Birthday/National Pancake Day


Divine misconception of the day: “Oldest Rabbinic Group in U.S. Bans Voting for Anti-Family Values Candidate”. This article talks about how how R. Yehuda Levin of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada wants everyone to not vote for “Candidates who support abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, liberal attitudes towards pornography of any sort”, even if means one does not vote for anyone in a major party.  (Yes, I should have reported on this subject before Super Tuesday, but I was sick with a respiratory infection and was not working at 100% mentally at that point.)  The article notes R. Levin’s video on YouTube:

Said video gives a link to his site.  Having reviewed article, video, and site, I sent him the following response, which covers errors both religious and political. Note for those not familiar with Jewish terminology: “HashShem” = YHWH, the God of Israel.
My dear Rabbi: 

I have read about you (http://wwrn.org/article.php?idd=27674) and seen your video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaIz4qjSji0), and it is with deep regret that I cannot sign your pledge. As an Orthodox Jew, I have no love of abortion, homosexuality, or pornography, and I certainly would not vote for anyone promoting them. But I have to ask: are these the only things that HashShem cares about? Whatever happened to caring about other human beings? Whatever happened to caring for the poor, including getting them out of poverty? Whatever happened to getting people out of debt? Whatever happened to healthcare? (We have a duty to heal the sick.) Whatever happened to the environment and recycling? (We have to the planet in good condition for the sake of the humans who live on it.) Whatever happened to education (as opposed to teaching to the test)? Whatever happened to fighting for justice? Whatever happened to the State of Israel? Why have you chosen only three issues as a hot button and ignored everything else HashShem wants of us?

Furthermore, I am unaware of any politician who is truly pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, or pro-pornography; I have never heard of anyone in office or running for office promoting committing abortions, committing homosexual acts, or creating, distributing, or consuming pornographic materials. On the other hand, there are politicians who believe we should permit abortions and homosexual activities under the whole “rights” rubric, while not advocating said activities for those who do not wish to perform them. And who is “pro-pornography”? Would that not be suicidal for a politician? Why are you mischaracterizing people?

And how does being against abortion, homosexuality, and pornography bring morality to our lives? Does being against abortion automatically make one a better parent? Does being against homosexuality automatically make one a better husband or wife? Does being against pornography automatically make one respect and treat other humans better? How about doing something about the problems which lead to abortion and pornography rather than merely condemn the end in a series of mistakes?

Finally, your voting strategy is ineffective. Many of us are well aware that the system is biased to give us candidates who can be elected, not ones who are necessarily the best people for the job. All our candidates are humans, not angels. They are flawed. Many of them lie. The only way one can vote for the candidate one truly wants is to have low standards. The only thing one can do is to vote for the best of the bunch (or to be cynical, against the worst of the bunch). Your plan is to effectively not vote. Given the choice of a candidate whom one agrees with 50% or effectively not voting, most people would rather vote for Mr./Ms. 50%, as that at least tells the politicians that Mr./Ms. 50% is a better match for what they want, despite the imperfections. Effectively not voting, since it does not register, tells the politicians nothing and puts us completely at the mercy of other people, who may have radically different ideas about who should be in office. 

Sincerely yours,

Aaron Solomon Adelman

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Fur Elise”. Now, while Für Elise is not a particular weird piece of music, it is rather weird for one person to play it (or anything else) on two electric guitars at the same time.

Note: Any guitar teacher will tell you this is not how you are supposed to play a guitar. Do so at your own risk.

Enjoy and share the weirdness.

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