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‘How do you still call yourself a Catholic?’ Lehrer asks

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Two days  ago on WNYC, the very thoughtful host Brian Lehrer responded to the bombshell sexual abuse revelations about 1000 victims in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania by asking Catholics to call in and explain why they were still Catholic.

How do you still call yourself a Catholic? Or, How do you still go to church? I don’t mean this in a snarky way at all or an anti-Catholic way. I’m not a Catholic, I’m not trying to pry anyone out of their religion. But I’m just curious how you deal with it? If you stay identified, if you stay involved, if the institution is this rotten and this hypocritical with respect to the values of doing unto others that Jesus and God are supposed to stand for, how do you still call yourself a Catholic? And how does this new set of revelations land with you? Are you feeling them emotionally with any new disgust or is it all kind of baked in for you with all that had already become known over the last 20 years?

These are excellent questions, and natural responses. Among the callers was someone who said he concentrates on the good works his parish does, including among the Hispanics; another who said that more investigations should follow, but the sacrament of the Eucharist is still central to his life; and someone else who said she’s an ex-Catholic because the church takes no responsibility for all the damage it’s caused, and priests should be allowed to marry.

But charity begins at home; and my marvel about Lehrer’s moral scrutiny is that it is absent when it comes to two other establishments with which he has much stronger identification: 1, the Jewish congregations that have supported Israel and that invite AIPAC to the pulpit even after yet anther massacre in Gaza, and 2, the foreign policy establishment that gave us the Iraq war.

As to the Jewish establishment, it is common to hear young Jews and anti-Zionist Jews expressing Lehrer’s disgust, and saying they want nothing to do with the formal Jewish religion in the United States, so long as the official bodies are supporting Israel thru thick and thin. Jewish Voice for Peace created a rabbinical council so as to give dissenting Jews a place to maintain their faith. And IfNotNow has encouraged a revival of Jewish religious song/ritual in a non-Zionist context. All because of the moral black hole that Israel represents. If he were fair, Brian Lehrer would have a number of these Jewish dissenters on to ask them how they reconciled faithfulness with the human rights atrocities of the Jewish state. I don’t think he’s ever had a Jewish anti-Zionist on his show. Lehrer might as well be Fox News when it comes to Israel.

Then there’s the foreign policy establishment that gave us the Iraq war. Fifteen years on after the greatest foreign-policy mistake of the last generation or two, and many of those who supported the war still have prominent positions in the formation of policy/ideas, and get invited on to Lehrer’s show and others to opine. In fact, supporting the Iraq war actually seems to be a credential for success in that field. And not to have supported the Iraq war exposes a person to the scorn that it did back in 2003, when George Packer wrote us off in The New Yorker as a bunch  of hippies and conspiracy theorists milling in the streets.

There has been no antiwar dividend to speak of. Those who backed this extremely costly and harmful mistake are still in very powerful positions, throughout the media. Tom Friedman and Bill Kristol have never been called to account fully for their blunder; Kristol gets to go on Ari Melber’s show on MSNBC, and on Brian Lehrer’s show too.

The little shriving that war supporters have done has been woefully incomplete and performative (the new word for lip-service). I’m thinking of Peter Beinart, or the forum that Jake Weisberg convened at Slate years ago, in which war supporters got to rationalize everything they’d predicted wrong.

Tony Judt famously called these writers the “useful idiots” of George Bush’s war, and Tucker Carlson still calls them out on Fox, but the liberal cables stay away from the issue. Yet everyone knows these people f***ed up, and some day they will be held to account.

David Bromwich comments on the norms of the “unipolar press” in “The American Breakdown,” a Trump-zeitgeist piece in the London Review of Books:

[T]he geopolitical common sense of Putin’s comment on Ukraine and Crimea – ‘I do not want to be welcomed in Sevastopol by Nato sailors’ – is almost inscrutable to the unipolar press that in 2003 overwhelmingly endorsed the Iraq War. From the New York Times and the New Yorker to CNN and MSNBC, nothing has changed in the mentality of the people who arrived at that verdict 15 years ago; and the next Democratic president, if there is one, will be under pressure to mount continuous threats against a nuclear power the Democrats have gone back to calling an adversary.

Branko Marcetic in In These Times singles out one of these unrepentant hawks, Jonathan Chait, over Chait’s lament that the left is skeptical of the Russia influence story.

Chait, like many other pundits, has been caught up in nationalistic, pro-war fervor before. After September 11, he urged Democrats to “maintain their unity behind the war on terrorism and give Bush all the funding for it he needs.” He accused the Left of “looking for reasons” to oppose the Afghanistan invasion, and argued that “humanitarianism … requires more American fighting, not less.” In a now-infamous2002 column, he argued that “Saddam has provided strong evidence that he will not allow anything to deter him from pursuing weapons of mass destruction,” that a war against him would deter future dictators, and that alternatives to military action in Iraq had “failed for more than a decade.” He asserted that it’s “difficult to imagine that deposing Saddam will not greatly improve the living conditions and human rights of the Iraqi people,” and as late as May 2003, mocked the idea that Saddam had no WMDs, even arguing that their absence “proves that inspections could never have worked.” Chait was, of course, disastrously wrong.

Chait’s catastrophic misjudgement and subsequent events in Iraq didn’t appear to prompt any soul searching. Three years into the invasion, Chait argued that Bush simply “mismanaged” the war. Five years after that, he backed NATO intervention in Libya, with similarly disastrous consequences.

Chait unifies these two establishments. A few years back he said on a J Street panel that the liberal Israel lobby group should have a big tent but that it must not include anti-Zionists like me, a red line that J Street has observed.
The rightness of supporting Israel and having supported the Iraq war are still articles of faith inside the liberal foreign policy establishment. The Roman Catholic moment will happen, I’m sure of it, but the priests will have to be doddering. For now, too many careers would be hurt by any real examination.
Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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46 Responses

  1. Eva Smagacz on August 19, 2018, 11:45 am

    As a roman catholic, I am aghast at the mistreatment of children (mainly children, but adults were mistreated as well) that has happened in catholic church institutions.

    I believe that those that want to mistreat others are drawn to institutions where this is made possible, and easy: I do not believe that catholic church is an exception.

    The institutions, by definition, will keep the internally discovered scandals to themselves, to protect their good name, obviously at the detriment of victims, past and future: I do not believe that catholic church is an exception.

    This prevents institutions from acknowledging the wrong done and introducing reforms that would make such abuse much less likely. Both acknowledgement and reforms are necessary: one to heal the past and one to safeguard the future: again, catholic church is no exception.

    I remember the times when the priest walking through the villages would be greeted with being kissed on the hand, the way I greet my father.

    So I feel anger and the sorrow that many priests (and many nuns) abused their position.
    but I direct my fury and disdain at those who knew what was happening, or should have made it their business, and who did NOTHING.

    Because here is the thing: those of us who are not perpetrating the (particular) crime vastly outnumber those of us who commit that sin/crime. We have responsibility and the power to stop such things occurring, and yet we often do nothing.

    The mindset is usually: the Catholic/Zionist/Buddihst would never do that. But our capacity to do evil is build into all of us. And only by calling the crime out loud we can start remedy the evil.


    • Don on August 19, 2018, 5:07 pm

      “our capacity to do evil is build into all of us”.

      I agree, Eva. I am a Catholic, and appalled and depressed that ordained priests would engage in such immoral acts.

      But I think G K Chesterton was correct when he wrote “the (Catholic) church is not justified because her children do not sin; but because they do.”

  2. pabelmont on August 19, 2018, 1:35 pm

    So, the Catholic Church (more accurately, parts of it) have done great harm. And this has become known and the church has suffered for it.

    But the Democrats and Republicans and all the pundits who promoted and still promote America’s wars in the M/E and America’s carte blanche to Israel — who have done far more harm than the Catholic Church — and all this is widely known — have not suffered for either. And Brian Lehrer seems not to have suffered for his choices, either.

  3. John Smithson on August 19, 2018, 3:54 pm

    It’s a terrible stain on the fabric of the Catholic Church no doubt but does not destroy the fabric of the Church unless we let it. God helps those who help themselves – my vote is we start the process of reconciliation/healing and if necessary ex-communication of those involved and try to move on as best we can.

    Like (most) hospitals? – Thank the Catholic Church
    Like the idea of teaching/schooling ALL children? – Thank the Catholic Church
    As much as folks hate to admit it the Catholic Church HAS/DOES/WILL DO a TON of GOOD all over the world. Yes it’s a shame, but no it doesn’t mean the whole organization is evil.

    As for Lehrer – the hypocrisy is galling, like the question couldn’t be asked of anyone supportive of Israel right now…

    I forget where this fits into the Zionist four part process…

    We (Israelis/Zionists) Rock! No
    They (Palestinians) Suck! No
    You (anyone critical of us) Suck! YES!!
    Everything (we’re not as bad as all the other bad stuff happening) Sucks! Maybe…

    Anyone see the report of how Israel cleared their guys that blew up the four 10-11 yr olds on the beach in Gaza?

    Remove the log from your own eye before removing the mote from your neighbors eye.

  4. marc b. on August 19, 2018, 4:38 pm

    “Emmanuel: Atop the shadow-cast hills at the northern end of the West Bank, in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement of Emmanuel, abusers of children have found a safe haven.

    Malka Leifer, the former Melbourne school principal and accused child molester, came to live here in 2016 after an Israeli judge found she was mentally unfit to face extradition to Australia.

    And here, even though she is wanted by Victoria Police on 74 counts of alleged sexual assault and rape involving girls, one resident claims Leifer was able to continue abusing children, including his own teenage daughter, without consequence.”

    So when are we going to be treated to the ‘Spotlight’, you know the version where the catholic editor is brought into the NYT to cut through the prejudice, and corruption and parochialism of the Jewish community and bravely publish the expose of decades of sexual abuse covered up by the Church hierarchy? Blackmail, payoffs, witness intimidation, corrupt DAs, it’s all there.

    • JWalters on August 20, 2018, 12:38 am

      Very true. As Eva Smagacz points out above, this is not confined to any one religion. Here’s another case of an Orthodox Jewish temple with a “problem”.
      “The Child-Rape Assembly Line”

      As you say, “it’s all there”. A well-done show on this would likely be a ratings blockbuster.

      • annie on August 20, 2018, 3:43 am

        from your vice article

        The child sex abuse crisis in ultra-Orthodox Judaism, like that in the Catholic Church, has produced its share of shocking headlines in recent years. In New York, and in the prominent Orthodox communities of Israel and London, allegations of child molestation and rape have been rampant.

        it doesn’t (or rarely) make national news here. i have only read about it in the “regional” section of ny papers. catholics, that hits the national news. wonder why that is?

        Rabbi Rosenberg believes around half of young males in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community—the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world—have been victims of sexual assault perpetrated by their elders. Ben Hirsch, director of Survivors for Justice, a Brooklyn organization that advocates for Orthodox sex abuse victims, thinks the real number is higher. “From anecdotal evidence, we’re looking at over 50 percent.

        massive bummer.

      • RoHa on August 20, 2018, 9:12 am

        “massive bummer.”

        Perhaps not appropriate for the context.

      • gamal on August 20, 2018, 9:29 am

        As Milarepa said “if you looking for a Buddhist don’t bother checking the monasteries, you never find them there”

        “massive bummer”

        in a spirit of ecumenical distress, here is the Dalai Lama pointing out the problem with institutions ( run by men ), the “author” of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, after the letter of the 8 and the affair of Mimi is now in hiding ( how disgraceful, I have known him since I was a kid), and of course after the shocking crisis of his regent, many years ago now Trungpas son is standing down from Shambala, the Dalai Lama, makes the obvious my experience the Vajrayana organizations chew up vulnerable women, dark days in Lodeve.

        anything you are dependent upon will hurt you one way or another

        “oh my Guru, I must follow whatever my Guru says, that’s totally wrong..should not follow” D.L.

  5. John O on August 19, 2018, 5:35 pm

    If I made a comment here – or anywhere, for that matter – along the lines of “How can you still call yourself a Jew when …?”, I would be rightly pilloried for it. Lehrer’s sheer arrogance is outrageous.

    • Mooser on August 20, 2018, 5:05 pm

      “If I made a comment here – or anywhere, for that matter – along the lines of “How can you still call yourself a Jew when …?”

      You would simply be joining us in our favorite indoor sport, religious backbiting. The Zionist says ‘How can you still call yourself a Jew when you don’t support Israel’.
      And anti-Zionists have a penchant for accusing Zionists of failing Judaism’s ideals.

  6. Keith on August 19, 2018, 6:00 pm

    A bit off topic, but not much. If we are talking about holding folks accountable, then the financiers and financial system should be towards the top of the list. Forget Russiagate, our society is controlled by the financial system. Most Americans are appallingly ignorant about this critical element of political economy. This is a dereliction of citizen duty. Below I link to a 25 minute interview of Nomi Prinz by Chris Hedges which provides a wake-up call to those not sufficiently aware. This is a must see video, particularly if you are so far removed from financial reality that you don’t know who Nomi Prinz is.

    Link to Chris Hedges/ Nomi Prinz-

    • JWalters on August 20, 2018, 12:50 am

      Spot on topic. We need to get to the root of the problem, so “follow the money”. The really big money is in the money business, with the bankers who sit at the financial hub of the economy. The bankers’ role in the so-called “war on terror” is sketched at

      Thanks for the link. Chris Hedges and Nomi Prinz are both aces.

  7. echinococcus on August 19, 2018, 7:38 pm

    Calling the invasion of Iraq a “mistake”. For heaven’s sake.
    Best way to repeat wars of aggression –selectively.

  8. JWalters on August 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    “[T]he geopolitical common sense of Putin’s comment on Ukraine and Crimea – ‘I do not want to be welcomed in Sevastopol by Nato sailors’ – is almost inscrutable to the unipolar press”

    This NATO threat is so OBVIOUSLY provocative that I’ve continually marveled at how the mainstream press cotinually misses it! I’m shocked! Shocked! It never gets even a mention! No, instead they endlessly scrutinize Putin’s personality. Actually, I don’t believe ALL the MSM reporters could be missing this. Therefore they’re following instructions. What else?

  9. JWalters on August 20, 2018, 12:21 am

    “Chait, like many other pundits, has been caught up in nationalistic, pro-war fervor before. “

    I’d amend that to “caught up in the oligarchy’s pro-war fervor before”.

    The existence of the oligarchy was revealed in the Great Recession, according to former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund Simon Johnson.
    “The Quiet Coup”

    As a consequence of this oligarchy, the mainstream press is operating as a monopoly.

  10. JWalters on August 20, 2018, 12:59 am

    Another home run article from Phil Weiss. This was a fat shot, and you nailed it. Thanks!

  11. Vera Gottlieb on August 20, 2018, 9:32 am

    Two wrongs (Catholic pedophiles and Zionism destroying Palestinian lands) will never make one right.

  12. Misterioso on August 20, 2018, 10:35 am

    I will be eternally grateful that during the 19th century in Ireland, my great, great grandfather (a school teacher) was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for advocating on behalf of the landless and impoverished Irish folk suffering under the boot of the British.

    BTW, during the years I lived in the Arab world, Palestinians would often comment that they and the Irish shared something in common, i.e., they both had been “screwed” by the British.

    • Jane Porter on August 20, 2018, 6:35 pm

      In latin countries, where there was no possibility for poor peasant to go to school, the only escape was to go to the seminary ands become a priest. ands then make the wow of chastity.
      In the old times, until the 1960’s they had a woman servant, and often they used them sexually
      Lots of them had children who were not recognized by the Church. Every year at Easter a group of these women come to Rome to demonstrate, and ask to be received by the Pope who never accepted to speak to them. The Vatican modernized a lots of things in the catholic law after ww2 like not fasting and suppressing the use of latin for prayers but this problem of the priests not allowed to marry, never touched it! As well as divorced catholics were excommuniated, lots of them implored for decades to have the right to the holy communion. Refused.
      Then Pope Francis recently convoked a synode to suppress excommunication for divorced people. Cardinals voted in majority for it. The newspapers praised the Pope for this new liberal approach. But reading, that in Spain, prince Felipe was the new king, and knowing
      that his wife was a divorced woman, the Church had to do something about ii. Imagine the queen of Spain not being accepted at the communion table. L’opus Dei etc… Like AIPAC and the rest they want everything to stay the way it is now.
      No palestinian state, no Republica Española.
      All horrible comedies based on old and new testaments

      • Eva Smagacz on August 25, 2018, 2:45 pm

        I think it’s a shortcut to say that divorced people were communicated. You are not even prevented from taking communion.

        Excommunication is a very grave punishment in catholic church. It had not been used widely, and virtually always on the grounds of major theological errors.

        You were not excommunicated for being divorced in civilian court. You were prevented from taking holy communion if you started another relationship. The was possible to separate from your husband. And that’s long as you were not sexual involved with another person, there was no sin.

        In the same way the church request celibacy from separated or divorced women, they demanded celibacy from homosexuals.

  13. oldgeezer on August 20, 2018, 10:35 am

    I disagree that anyone in the establishment would consider Iraq a mistake.

    They wanted Iraq destroyed. It will be a long long time before Iraq even heals, even now 15 years on, and it will be an even longer time before it will be able to defend itself. And the point in time when it might have the strength to have any influence in the region is a generation or two away.

    According to both the yinon plan and the pnac this is the definition of success. I may not agree but this is how these people who got it wrong still have the power. The powers that be don’t see it as a wrong.

  14. CigarGod on August 20, 2018, 10:50 am

    Another mind-expanding post, Phil.

    Initially, I cringed at the “look over there” critcism of Jews who want to talk about Catholic abuse, but not Zionist abuse.
    But then, I realized they never do talk about Zionist abuse (abuse by zionists).

    NPR never has an anti-zionist on, nor do they criticize zionists. But, they sure do have the sins of others on review every 30 minutes on the hour.

  15. marc b. on August 20, 2018, 12:47 pm

    See National Security Archive articles, ‘What Gorbachev heard’, and ‘What Yeltsin heard’. By the time Clinton and Yeltsin were simultaneously in office, the dipsomaniac was giving away the bank (with the assistance of his daughter) and crying in his vodka over the liberals’ expansion of NATO, liberals being Clinton, Christopher, and Holbrooke. (Another example of Chomsky’s analysis that the ‘liberals’ in the US and Israel are often more hawkish than the conservatives.)


    “The first concrete assurances by Western leaders on NATO began on January 31, 1990, when West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher opened the bidding with a major public speech at Tutzing, in Bavaria, on German unification. The U.S. Embassy in Bonn (see Document 1) informed Washington that Genscher made clear “that the changes in Eastern Europe and the German unification process must not lead to an ‘impairment of Soviet security interests.’ Therefore, NATO should rule out an ‘expansion of its territory towards the east, i.e. moving it closer to the Soviet borders.’” The Bonn cable also noted Genscher’s proposal to leave the East German territory out of NATO military structures even in a unified Germany in NATO.[3]

    This latter idea of special status for the GDR territory was codified in the final German unification treaty signed on September 12, 1990, by the Two-Plus-Four foreign ministers (see Document 25). The former idea about “closer to the Soviet borders” is written down not in treaties but in multiple memoranda of conversation between the Soviets and the highest-level Western interlocutors (Genscher, Kohl, Baker, Gates, Bush, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Major, Woerner, and others) offering assurances throughout 1990 and into 1991 about protecting Soviet security interests and including the USSR in new European security structures. The two issues were related but not the same. Subsequent analysis sometimes conflated the two and argued that the discussion did not involve all of Europe. The documents published below show clearly that it did.”


    “Christopher later claimed in his memoir that Yeltsin misunderstood – perhaps from being drunk – the real message that the Partnership for Peace would in fact “lead to gradual expansion of NATO”;[1] but the actual American-written cable reporting the conversation supports subsequent Russian complaints about being misled.[2]”

    out of order. this was supposed to be in reply to JWalters comment on NATO above.

  16. Deist on August 20, 2018, 1:10 pm

    As a former Roman Catholic who left Catholicism for reason and Deism, I believe a key reason so many victims fall prey to clergy pedophiles is because, as was made evident in the wonderful film “Spotlight”, the clergy are looked at by the faithful as God’s direct representative, so how can you say “no” to God? It’s very important for people to learn that God gave them innate reason and not religion.

    Regarding the crimes being committed by the Jewish state of Israel, how can a Jew embrace Judaism and not blindly support the Jewish state of Israel? An objective look at the Hebrew Bible makes it clear that Judaism teaches Jewish superiority, Deuteronomy 7:6 which claims God chose the Jews “above all people that are upon the face of the earth” is just one of many key teachings in Judaism that promotes Jewish superiority. Add to these, teachings which promote the Jewish state of Israel over all, such as Isaiah 60:12 which claims God said any Gentile nation that will no support and serve Israel will be “utterly wasted” and it is impossible not to support Israel and its crimes against humanity if you believe in and embrace Judaism.

    Progress! Bob Johnson

    • Mooser on August 20, 2018, 6:14 pm

      “and it is impossible not to support Israel and its crimes against humanity if you believe in and embrace Judaism.”

      I hope you don’t mind too much if people try to embrace Judaism without supporting Israel. Some people will think it can be done.

    • jon s on August 21, 2018, 7:06 am

      Deuteronomy 7:6 : ” For you are a holy people to the Lord, your God: the Lord your God has chosen you to be His treasured people, out of all the peoples upon the face of the earth.”
      The word “above ” does not appear. Being “chosen” -a concept which all Jews are familiar with- does not necessarily mean being “superior”.

      • Mooser on August 21, 2018, 12:25 pm

        “The word “above ” does not appear.”

        Very convenient that Deuteronomy was written in English. Prevents much misunderstanding.

        “Being “chosen” -a concept which all Jews are familiar with- does not necessarily mean being “superior”.

        “All Jews are familiar with…” Yeah, it’s in our Catechism, which every Jewish child memorizes. “All Jews”, regardless of denomination or sect.
        Well, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go trim my fingernails. I hear I can get 10,000 Arabs for each one. Guess I was just “chosen” to get the good deals.

      • Talkback on August 21, 2018, 3:14 pm

        Mooser: “I hear I can get 10,000 Arabs for each one.”

        Nope. More than a million each according to the most spiritual Rabbi Judaism has ever witnessed.

      • Mooser on August 21, 2018, 4:02 pm

        “Nope. More than a million each according to the most spiritual Rabbi”

        He must be some kind of kook.

  17. on August 20, 2018, 1:28 pm

    The answer to the questions that this article poses is rather simplistic. Followers of the Catholic religion are not incorporating a sociopathic ideology, though many in the bureaucracy may be, in that they are pedophiles and serial abusers of older children.

    Given that sociopathology allows one to maintain a moral code, though aberrant in terms of what a society considers normal, The actual Church teachings do not promote any form of ideology based upon sociopathology.

    One may conclude that the Catholic Church is nothing more than a “cult” in that such a person’s beliefs see all organized religion as cults. Nonetheless, the basic message and the tenets that followers of Christian religions sincerely believe are for the most part good, sound, moral ones.

    However, Judaism in general and the Zionist ideologies that grew out of it have allowed Jewish Communities around the world to form sociopathological entities that have promoted the concept that Jews were not supposed to assimilate into the societies around them. Even those that have done all they can to do so, often keep a part of themselves separate in order to follow the tenets of their beliefs.

    The Rabbis, who over the centuries adopted a form of Talmudic Judaism instead of that which only the Torah supported (as with Karaite Jews, a Jewish sect that even Adolph Hitler may have recognized as different from Talmudic Jews and therefore provided them protection from the Nuremberg Laws) maintained a very tight, tyrannical grip over their congregations and were hardly happy when Jewish laws of emancipation began to be implemented in 19th century Europe.

    The Zionists built upon the aberrations that Talmudic Judaism fostered, which gave rise to the sociopathology that is now dominant in the Israeli state for which overwhelmingly, many Israeli agree with and support.

    Such pathologies have been drilled into Jewish Communities around the world making congregations subservient to the many insidious tenets that Talmudic Judaism generated; making them as much victims of such deceit as Gentiles were victimized by the results of such deceit.

    Yet, today there is a slow but increasing awareness among American Jews in particular, as result of the American-based Reform Sect of Judaism that predominates in US society, that see the Israeli state in complete violation of what they thought were the Humane tenets of their own belief system.

    This is complicated by the general move towards secularism in both the United States and Europe. which has substantially weakened religious belief as the core of many moral compasses, which in reality, never required stringent belief systems to enforce.

    As to the media’s lack of attention to this issue in terms of the questions it raises in public, well that is a sociopathology in of itself that has been completely warped by both the sociopathology of the neoconservative movement and the psychopathology of many business leaders that have come to dominate political discourse in the United States.

    • jon s on August 21, 2018, 7:15 am

      “However, Judaism in general and the Zionist ideologies that grew out of it have allowed Jewish Communities around the world to form sociopathological entities that have promoted the concept that Jews were not supposed to assimilate into the societies around them. Even those that have done all they can to do so, often keep a part of themselves separate in order to follow the tenets of their beliefs.”

      Jewish communities are “sociopathological entities”?
      Striving to maintain our identity by not assimilating as we were “supposed to” is a negative in your view ? and so is “following the tenets of our beliefs”?
      And what are the ” insidious tenets that Talmudic Judaism generated” ? How familiar are you with the Talmud?

      • Mooser on August 21, 2018, 12:30 pm

        “Jewish communities…”

        “Jon s” When you say “Jewish communities”, do you mean “Israel” or are you referring to the informal Jewish communities around Temples or Jewish Centers in other countries? Or the vast majority of secular and/or Reform Jews?

        I don’t see how you can possibly speak for both. Remember, we are not in the “Jewish Nation-State”.

        (Oh BTW, would you like to tell us what relationship of the greatest majority, the overwhelming majority of Jews throughout the world have with “the Talmud”?)

  18. gamal on August 20, 2018, 1:59 pm

    some people call al israa, 17, Banu isra’il, because of the below…theres more than one source Bob,nothing in religion or scripture is about history, supremacism or servitude or license to punish, but you try telling that to people, they won’t believe you…but still not seeing the Biblically endorsed supremacism..but then I have the whole trilogy


    “(2-8)Before this We had given the Book to Moses and made it a means of guidance for Banu Isra’il 2 with this Command: “Do not make .any other guardian than Myself.3
    You are the descendants of those whom We bore in the Ark with Noah,4 and he was truly a grateful servant”. Besides this, We forewarned the Banu Isra’il in the Scriptures:5 You will work great mischief twice in the land and will become overbearingly arrogant.6

    When the occasion of the first of the two mischiefs came, We raised against you such of Our servants who were very mighty and formidable; so they penetrated through all parts of your country. This was a warning that was bound to be fulfilled.7

    Then after this We afforded you an opportunity to over-power them and helped you with abundance of riches and children and increased you far more in numbers than before.8 Behold! If you did good it proved to be good for yourselves and if you committed evil it proved to be bad for your own selves. Then, when the time came for the fulfillment of the second warning, We set other enemies on you so that they might disfigure your faces and enter into the Temple just as the former enemies had entered and destroyed whatever they could lay their hands on.9

    Now again your Lord may show compassion on you; but if you again repeat your former behavior; We will again visit you with. Our punishment, for We have prepared Hell to serve as a prison-house for the ungrateful people.10″

  19. marc b. on August 21, 2018, 11:12 am

    “The word “above ” does not appear. ”

    Yes, it does, in the King James version of the Bible.

    “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”

    and the rest of your comment is just more disingenuous BS.

    • jon s on August 21, 2018, 12:39 pm

      English Standard version:6 “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

      JPS version:
      6 For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be His own treasure, out of all peoples that are upon the face of the earth.

      And here’s the original:

      ו כִּי עַם קָדוֹשׁ אַתָּה, לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: בְּךָ בָּחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לְעַם סְגֻלָּה, מִכֹּל הָעַמִּים, אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה.

      There’s no “above”.

  20. Mooser on August 21, 2018, 1:39 pm

    “And here’s the original: ו כִּי עַם קָדוֹשׁ אַתָּה,…”

    That was helpful.

    Well, then, “Jon s”, I guess all the other people in the world will just have to make up their own minds about how we see it. And probably, it’s actions, not Hebrew (that’s the “original”?) words, that will convince them.

    Want to give us an example which shows how Jews interpret the verse in our most consequential Jewish undertaking?

    Zionism should be the best indicator of how we see it. Representing as it does, the Nation-State of the Jewish People. So please wax Roth on the subject. Doesn’t our every action in the Holy Land show the world our interpretation of this verse?

    • marc b. on August 21, 2018, 3:18 pm

      yes, as if you couldn’t find 4 opinions of the translation of that passage among 3 biblical scholars. god’s treasure out of all peoples certainly doesn’t suggest superiority., i.e. higher in status or quality. no, not that.

      • MHughes976 on August 21, 2018, 4:16 pm

        Deuteronomy 9:4 insists that the Israelites were not elected because they were unusually good but that the Canaanites were to be ejected because they were unusually bad. Chapter 7 has told us that God is acting on an oath sworn to Israel’s ancestors and these two considerations, the wickedness of the others and mysterious oath, explain or hint at an understanding of why in Canaan all normal morally is being set aside for a higher purpose which in the end reconciles everyone by making the rewards of obedience to God and the absence of pride as those rewards appear plain for all the nations to see. That’s Deuteromic theology for my money.

      • Mooser on August 21, 2018, 7:40 pm

        “That’s Deuteromic theology for my money.”

        And how did the Canaanites come out of the deal?

      • MHughes976 on August 23, 2018, 4:11 pm

        The Canaanites have to lose their homes or their lives: a bit harsh. I think that Jon (my predictive text just won’t decapitalise him) is right to say that Dt in its later editions is meant to provide a defence for Jews accused of pride and misanthropy, what we might call racism. It’s not that Jews are specially good, it’s that we all have to bear in this life the role assigned to us as national groups by God, who gave Jews the role of saving most of the others and Canaanites the role of example of what happens to those so horrible that ‘the land vomits them out’. Whether we think that this train of thought genuinely avoids pride and misanthropy is another matter. I think that a non-deuteromic strain appears in which God takes care of us with more regard to our individual character and perhaps reflects a time when the Canaanites were being converted, perhaps by rough means, rather than massacred.

      • Mooser on August 23, 2018, 8:05 pm

        ” a time when the Canaanites were being converted, perhaps by rough means, rather than massacred.”

        I hope so. The Israelites, or so I hear, were always ready to play Baal.

  21. Boomer on August 21, 2018, 2:12 pm

    I wonder when we will similar zeal, and legal standards, for prosecuting Americans for crimes committed during the perpetual war on terror, or Israelis for crimes committed during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

  22. W.Jones on August 21, 2018, 4:47 pm

    I guess that the way a good Catholic should deal with the Revelations and his own view of the church is to believe that the Church requires reforms and to act accordingly to advocate for the reforms. There are saints in the Church’s history who were killed in the course of Church strife. Some of them like Maximus the Confessor I think were tortured by the Pope who was sitting in Rome, if I recall correctly. So the good Catholic should be willing to go against the bishops on issues like these. The Pope isn’t going to say that abusing kids is good. So the laity and good clergy have the power to demand and advocate strongly for changes as much as they want.

  23. Spring Renouncer on August 22, 2018, 10:42 pm

    I have a question for Mr. Weiss: have you ever attempted to call in to Lehrer’s show? It is a much more limited opportunity than being invited on air – you are definitely qualified and deserve to be interviewed about Israel, Palestine and the American Jewish community – but it is better than nothing.

    I think you should prepare a short introduction to your work and your opinions on the conflict and then listen carefully for a relevant opportunity to call in and deliver it. It may sound like an uncertain or desperate way to get your message out, but when the establishment locks all their doors shut to the truth maybe you need to use the windows instead.

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