Monday, October 6, 2008

Sarah Palin, Church and the Jews

While Governor Palin has come to the synagogue in Anchorage on at least 2 occasions I received the following email today from Shalom TV:

October 7, 2008


Call of McCain's co-chair on "Jewish Outreach" has been missed or ignored by both the secular and Jewish media
October 7, 2008 (Fort Lee, NJ) -- In a Shalom TV editorial, Rabbi Mark S. Golub, president of American Jewry's national cable television network, expressed his concern that both the Jewish and secular media has not asked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to clarify her position on the intrinsic religious integrity of Judaism and the Jewish People.

Golub points out that Governor Palin is a participating member of The Wasilla Bible Church whose pastor publicly preaches the need to convert Jews to Christianity. More specifically, Governor Palin was in attendance when the visiting executive director of Jews for Jesus preached that Palestinian terrorism which murders and maims Israeli civilians is God's punishment of the Jews for not accepting Jesus. Governor Palin's pastor followed this sermon with a collection for Jews for Jesus and prayed that God would make their work of bringing Jews to Jesus successful.

The call for Governor Palin to clarify her own stand on whether Jews need to be converted to Christianity deserves prompt media attention since it comes from an official member of the John McCain presidential campaign, Fred Zeidman, who serves as the McCain campaign co-chair for "Jewish Outreach."

In an interview on Shalom TV, Zeidman stated that Governor Palin not only owes an explanation of her views to the American Jewish community, but also owes an explanation to the American community at large--in the same way that Senator Barack Obama owed the American people an explanation of his affiliation with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ.

For Golub, the lack of a Jewish follow-up to Zeidman's call raises serious questions. Are American Jews reluctant to make an issue over possible anti-Semitic church movements? Are American Jews resigned to a double standard that would condemn anti-white bigotry but not anti-Semitism?

And for Golub, the issue goes far beyond the Jewish community alone.

"It may well be that Governor Palin does not share the views of her church, her pastor, or the executive director of Jews for Jesus," said Golub from his New Jersey office. "But Jews in particular, and all Americans who care about church-state separation and religious tolerance in the United States, have a right to ask Governor Palin to clarify where she stands on the need to convert Jews. In America, one would not expect any public official to view any religious group--not Muslims, not Jews, not Christians--as a community of lost souls that must be converted. Yet this is the view of Governor Palin's pastor and church community, and if the governor does share her pastor's perspective on Jews--or on any other non-Christian group in America--one may wonder how her views might effect her public policy decisions were she to be elected in November." ...

Shalom TV, Inc. | P.O. Box 1989 | Fort Lee | NJ | 07024"

Given that Governor Palin has been taking Senator Obama to task about his church and pastor, isn't only fair that she respond to the same level of charges against her?

The reality is that neither should be held responsible for the words of their pastors, not to mention, religious tests for holding elected office are illeagal on the national level and in all 50 states.

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