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defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind

Cultural Intimidation by the Religious Right: How Jews See It

Lost Consciousness: Dennis Prager Poses as Townhall Hellenizer
A Commentary at Hanukah

by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak,, December 11, 2006

I despaired of finding the perfect real-life example for framing a Hanukah message until radio talk host Dennis Prager unexpectedly burst on the scene with his insistence that newly elected congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, take his oath of office using a Christian Bible. Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, had said he planned to take the oath on a Quran.

Prager, who styles himself a Jewish thinker and defender of American values, came to my aid when he wrote, in his November 28, 2006 column for, that Ellison's should not be allowed to use the Koran: "He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization."

Prager was "out-chauvanizing" the Christian nationalists (or, at least, beating them to the punch). In another age, he would have been said to be "Hellenizing" -- adopting the notion that Greek cultural domination is ordained by the gods and the political order. (Hellenizing is the equivalent among Jews of calling some one an Uncle Tom.) Continue.

Top Reform Rabbi Gives Watershed Address to Largest U.S. Muslim Group

By Marc Perelman, The Jewish Daily Forward, September 5, 2007

The head of America's largest Jewish denomination last week became the first top Jewish communal leader in recent memory to address a major American Muslim organization.

At the 44th annual conference of Chicago's Islamic Society of North America last Friday, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, called for an end to discrimination against Muslims, more dialogue between religions, and for Jews and Muslims to unite in support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A "profound ignorance" about Islam in the United States had helped spread the image of Muslims as the enemy, Yoffie said, pushing for a more active denunciation of those promoting such beliefs. Continue.

Rise of the 'Culture Wars'
How life-style issues rank with the public

Bryan Schwartman, The Jewish Exponent, October 5, 2006

Iraq, the broader war on terror, immigration and now a scandal involving a disgraced former Republican congressman; these issues have dominated the headlines during this tempestuous election season, in which control of both branches of Congress, especially the House, remains at stake.

But is it possible that when the majority of Jews go to the polls come November, the so-called "culture-war issues" -- abortion, gay rights, the separation of church and state -- will be foremost in their minds? Click here

US Jews feel threatened by religious right

By Michael Conlon, Reuters, December 15, 2005

"CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Jewish leaders say they are increasingly worried that Christian conservatives want to turn America politically and culturally into a country that tolerates only their brand of Christianity." Click here to read the report.

TOPIC: The "War" Over Christmas, 2005

Led by Fox News personalities and religious right organizations, this war involved bullying retailers and public officials into replacing the inclusive term "holidays" with "Christmas." The trumped-up campaign discomforted Jews and other minorities. Click here to read more.

Banning of 'intelligent design' more significant than 'Christmas wars'

By Chanan Tigay, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 20, 2005

The reporter surveys a range of Jewish opinion on the decision in the Dover, Pennsylvania "intelligent design" case. The title is a bit misleading, as few of those interviewed opine on the comparison. To read the report on the JTA website, click here.