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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rabbi Shmuley Apologetics

My sincere condolences to the peaceful citizens of Norway are extended today, as the country unravels from the impact of a right wing extremist who executed an evil act against innocent people in defense of ideological and delusional thinking.

This heartfelt message to the Norwegian people is not intentionally meant as a passageway for a message to America's Rabbbi Shmuley; but, it's nonetheless a timely method to, perhaps, have him understand why my blog is directed his way.

I could not believe it when Rabbi Shmuley recently published an apologetic column defending right wing extremist politician Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, because, in the Rabbi's opinion, the right wing extremist was a kind man.  After all, wrote the Rabbi, Rep. Cantor is known for being polite and answering all of his mail. (The Demonization of Eric Cantor July 19, 2011 in Jewish

This is like a bad joke. Surely, the Rabbi is using apologetics to help readers conclude that his point of view must be challenged.  So, I'm challenging him right here.

How many dozens of times do we read about nice young people who are quiet and generally friendly AFTER their names are headlines for executing horrid behaviors?  Rabbi Shmuley needs only to look at his own Brooklyn people and the heinous death of a young man to realize we do not apologize for people who harbor extremist points of view or harbor harmful thoughts, either on the right or on the left of our spectrum.

When I think about RWE-RWEs (right wing extremists), they do not conjure up images of nice people who write letters to constituents just because they can.  Rather, they are more like the character Screwtape created by C.S. Lewis, using cunning as a way of gaining confidence for nefarious purposes. 

Representative Cantor uses an extreme point of view on taxes to hold the entire American economy hostage while, at the same time, we get the impression from Rabbi Shmuley, he is jotting off notes to say hello and wish people well.  None of us will be well if Cantor's ideological policies are supported. It's usually the case that one right wing extremist act just leads to another and another, copy cat fashion. Supporting a no tax pledge ahead of the Congressman's oath to uphold the US Constitution is just a trough to plow through more extremist policies. Regardless of how many sweet notes the Congressman writes to cover the wake created by his actions, this no tax pledge, if it prevails, will spin off uncontrollable right wing behaviors that, I predict, will lead us backwards into uninspired public policy.

I believe Rabbi Shmuley should write an apology for his apologetic opinion piece because people like me believe he should be a leader who teaches us about the dangers of RWE-RWEs rather than creating ambiguity about their intentions.

As for the Norwegian people, they deserve an outpouring of love and support while they grieve the inconsolable tragedy perpetrated by what appears to be one of their own right wing zealots.



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