Protecting Medicare and Social Security, fighting for good jobs and a clean environment, standing up for women’s rights and equality are Jewish values.
By Melanie Nathan, October 21, 2012.
When Anne Romney had the audacity to tout her husband’s religious escapade as ‘The Mission,’ as if akin to serving in the U.S. military, she gave us license to throw in our religious card and hence justify the assertion that no good Jew should cast a vote Mitt Romney’s way. And there is much more..
Ann Romney squirmed in stone faced discomfort on the popular TV show, The View, as Whoopi Goldberg questioned her about mothers of service members whose sons come home in body bags in relation to her husbands dodge of service in Vietnam and the fact that her five sons have never enlisted in the United States Military.
My jaw dropped when she drew the flagrant analogy that Mitt had served two years pounding the pavements of Paris trying to convert people to Mormonism instead of serving in Vietnam.
Yes it is an admission from Mitts’ wife, that his service was to his religion instead of his country.
Ann Romney demonstrates the cloudy attitude toward life that is clearly the soul of the Romney family and likely to impact the White House if her husband were to be elected. She provided an open window to how they think. If she can insert the Romney “Mormon Mission” into the conversation in this context, I wonder what her response would have been had Whoopi challenged her on the question of Mitt’s admission that he had baptized dead Jews.
It is widely reported that In 1994, an Israeli genealogist researching her family in the Mormons’ computerized International Genealogical Index discovered that her grandfather, an observant Jew killed in the Holocaust, had been posthumously baptized as a Mormon, as had Anne Frank, Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, Albert Einstein and 380,000 Holocaust victims.
It seems that Mormons believe deeply that they have this duty and Mitt is no exception. The religious rite is proxy baptism for the dead. According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, these posthumous “blessings” are intended to “save” ancestors and others who weren’t baptized in life or were baptized “without proper authority.”
When Newsweek magazine asked Romney if he personally had performed posthumous baptisms on anyone, author Jonathan Darman wrote, “he looked slightly startled and answered, ‘I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.’
Although the Church has agreed to stop these baptisms, it is clear that they continue and Mitt Romney has never apologized to Jews, the specific families of those he baptized and nor has he spoken out against the offense to others.
This is not the only reason that I cringe at the thought of my fellow Jews voting for Romney and my suggestions are not intended to denigrate his religion, or his right to practice it, but rather to remind voters about Jewish values and that Romney does not share them.
I believe that Mitt Romney’s political principles and the comments he has made along the path of his campaign demonstrate the lack of core principles that Jews hold essential to their values.
Voting for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is voting for the pronouncement that 100 % of Americans do not matter, that a woman’s right to equality is buried somewhere in a binder, that same-sex couples are not entitled to parity under the civil law, that immigrants are only worthy if they are degreed, and laborers so integral to our infrastructure are unworthy, that much of our critical aid to the third world will be cut, that women should not have the right to make decisions pertaining to their health and bodies, that so many Americans, including us Jews in high risk cancer categories with pre-existing conditions will be denied medical insurance. Oy!
The Torah teaches us about Mitzvot and as Jews we hold especially dear the principles of Gemilut Chassadim; charity and loving kindness, as the very foundation, cornerstone and pillar of the universe. Biblical and Rabbinical writings abound with references to the significance, and imperative qualities of these mitzvoth, without which humanity and society cannot exist.
While Republican policy tends to detract from the implementation of these values in government, Romney’s policy goes further to assault these core principles. Social justice helms our consciousness and for many if us voting for officials who turn their back on communities less fortunate is just not a virtuous option.
I respect good business and success, and the Torah teaches us not to do it at the expense of others.
While Social justice is taught in our Synagogues, and steers our consciousness and our zest for a good life, the Romney political path asserts the opposite. Barack Obama has spent his adult professional life in public service and Mitt Romney has spent his getting rich at the expense of others.
Mitt Romney has not stated one thing different that he would do for Israel than President Barack Obama has already done or will do. The fear, though is that an over zealous and inexperienced Romney, who is of the Bush military preemptive war- makes- some-Americans-rich- mold, would likely jump to a premature war with Iran, causing enormous harm to Israel. If one listens to Republican run Fox News chit chat on Iran and hears between the lines – the Republicans are already planning for a preemptive war with no attempts at diplomacy.
“Despite the clear facts and substantial evidence, political partisans and opponents of the president continue a coordinated campaign to sow seeds of doubt about President Obama’s support for Israel. The effort is not new. It began in 2008 when people stressed his middle name and used it as a weapon. From there, they began to call then-Senator Obama a Muslim. With the Muslim myth debunked, these same critics moved on and began questioning the president’s place of birth.
While sitting in the Oval Office not long ago, President Obama looked me in the eye and said, “My commitment to Israel’s security is bone-deep.” It is reflected in his actions; it comes from a passion to secure the Jewish State, and it traces through his roots.” (Edgar M. Bronfman is the former CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and the former president of the World Jewish Congress.
I have no doubt that Obama, who demonstrated his prowess and brilliance in the demise of Bin Laden, will strive absolutely to protect Israel from Iran without any qualm. Obama will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear arms for the sake of the entire world and nor will he burden the world with a war designed for profiteering with preemptive strikes. Heck, we do not even know what Romney’s foreign policy is at this time? Are we going to wait until after the election? On the subject of the Middle East and Israel I squirm at Romney’s demonstrated disrespect for Arabs and Muslims as well as that of his Tea Party supporters, noting such will certainly not serve critical diplomacy. While Romney and Ryan attack the Obama administration on the Benghazi attacks, they fail to mention Republican congressional votes to cut security spending.
So to my fellow Jews, do not fall for the fear tactics and Romney rhetoric. We are all safely in the hands of a President who cares about our issues and we know he has not let us down. We are in the safe hands of a President who does not make the most basic of gaffs on foreign soil. Obama is the consummate diplomat while Romney insults while on foreign soil.
When it comes to the economy we are on the mend and to think it will take less than four years to clean the warmongering Bush mess is unrealistic. Common sense dictates we remain on this safe path.
What we need to do in the United States of America over these next few weeks is fight for our President and a supportive Congress; one that will not compound America’s problems with four more years of purposeful obstruction. We need to elect members to Congress who care about people more than they care about tainting the Obama presidency via their refusal to work in a bipartisan fashion for the issues that Americans and the World care about.
So looking forward to four more years of ‘L’Chaim’ from Barack and Michelle; a safe Israel, lighting of Menorahs, Pesach Seders and Happy Rosh Hashanah’s from a progressive and Democratic White House.
By Melanie Nathan
Obama: real actions, not bluster, in support of Israel
Obama has not adopted the swagger and bravado of his predecessors in terms of his support for Israel – he has simply done it. His practical and deliberate support for Israel make redundant the verbal attacks and innuendos about him spread by his opponents. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/obama-real-actions-not-bluster-in-support-of-israel-1.456414 )
- Whoopi shut down by Ann Romney on ‘The View’ (abc4.com)
- Sorry Mrs. Romney, Comparing Serving In Mormon Missions To Military Service Is Insulting (crooksandliars.com)
- Whoopi Presses Ann Romney On Sons’ Lack Of Military Service: Does Mormonism Not Allow It? (mediaite.com)
- Whoopi Goldberg faces Twitter hate after Ann Romney ‘View’ interview (thegrio.com)
- Ann Romney Thinks a Mormon Mission is the Same as Serving in the Military (politicususa.com)
- Ann: Mormon missions are just like military service! (salon.com)