Thursday, February 02, 2006

Today's Cross Current comment that won't see the light of day.

Toby Katz wants to know why nobody thinks Cross Currents is a religious blog. She writes:
We are working in the arena of hashkafa here. My understanding of Torah Im Derech Eretz is that the Torah has something to say about everything, and that it behooves Jews to act in accord with Torah values at all times... What area is outside the purview of politics? Women’s issues? Day school tuition? Crime and punishment? Israel? [...]But I reject the premise that what we are discussing here is “just politics.” What some casually dismiss as “politics” I think of as “life.”
My answer: Perhaps if there was a greater variety of Torah perspectives present, we'd be able to take more seriously your claim of being a "religious blog that talks about important issues."

With only Shira Schmidt here to speak for the parts of Torah that coincide with liberal, democratic, and progressive politics, the result is a blog that speaks about "important issues" from only the conservative, republican and regressive perspectives. (That fact that many of your writers are likely scratching their heads wondering which parts of Torah coincide with liberalism all but makes my point for me.)

A blog that had a religious agenda, and not a political agenda, would reference Torah thoughts from all over the political spectrum. Not just the right. A blog that had a religious agenda and not a political agenda would never have published Eytan Kobre's attacks on the Times, or Toby Katz's obscene celebration of Tookie William's execution. A blog with a religious agenda would be attempting to show us the great multiplicity of opinions that all fall under the rubric of Torah thought, rather than being committed to just one, very narrow perspective. And there are legions of other examples.

As for myself, I reject the idea that God is a Democrat or a Republican, and I acknowledge that a fair amount of Jewish law and belief overlaps with Republican positions. However, if Cross Currents is truely a religious blog, they ought to give equal time to the parts of Torah that don't fit the GOP talking points.