Demonizing America vs. American Exceptionalism

In this podcast I discuss my recent piece in TownHall about American Exceptionalism, how the left has been trying to tear down the country for decades, and how they only care about crime when it can be blamed on the political right. That’s why they demonized police for trying to protect Federal buildings in Portland, but celebrate the tally of arrests—over 500 and counting—in the Capitol Riot, which they ridiculously call an “insurrection.”

Fake News and the Jews – Redefining Orthodoxy

The phenomenon of “Fake News” has been around since long before Donald Trump gave it that name. This is something he was clearly right about, and I go through a series of examples (mostly provided by Jake Turx in Ami Magazine) of Trump’s correct complaints.

But the real point is that observant Jews have faced this for a long time: left-wing progressives trying to redefine reality to either defame or dismantle Orthodoxy, in as much as the term means Torah-observant. Articles claiming that “Modern Orthodoxy” might accept same-sex marriage, that “Orthodox rabbis” are performing same-sex marriage, or that “Orthodox schools” ordain women are all cases in point. The CJV Statement on Orthodoxy sets the record straight.

Defending the Indefensible in Foster Care

I discuss my current piece in Newsweek, with some background on the case and religious liberty issues. But most of all, in the podcast I talk about the silly reactions from supposedly-educated professors, falling over themselves to contradict basic logic, reason, and economics, to defend a bigoted policy—when the facts themselves are quite clear.

Shutting Down Faith-Based Foster Care Agencies Harms Children

As published in Newsweek

The Supreme Court has the chance this month to protect religious freedom, religious minorities and foster families. In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Court will determine whether Catholic Social Services (CSS) will be permitted to resume providing foster care services, as it did for more than 200 years.

The city of Philadelphia shuttered CSS because, hypothetically, a same-sex couple could approach CSS for a “home study” (an intimate, detailed family evaluation) that the agency could not complete in a way that both affirms same-sex marriage and remains consistent with its Catholic beliefs. CSS stated that it would help such couples find a different agency (there are dozens across the city) that could complete the “home study,” and noted that no same-sex couple has ever approached it. Yet the city refused all compromise.

Although the Fulton case specifically involves the Catholic Church, freedom of religious practice for all is at stake. If Philadelphia gets its way, the Court will have handed governments a legal tool to use against minority religious communities.

Some argue that, on the contrary, a decision favoring CSS is more likely to enable discrimination against religious minorities. This claim rests upon the same illogical—and profoundly dangerous—distortion activists use to claim anti-LGBT discrimination: misrepresenting freedom of association and pursuit of a religious mission as a “license to discriminate.”

Another agency, South Carolina’s Miracle Hill Ministries, has become a national focal point due to its religious limitations. Like CSS, Miracle Hill is a religious ministry, committed to serving foster children in accordance with its beliefs. But unlike CSS, Miracle Hill makes evangelism part of its mission, and requires those who wish to provide services under its auspices to sign a statement affirming its doctrine.

Two things are immediately obvious: first, the aforementioned requirement entirely precludes, for instance, a Jewish family from providing services through Miracle Hill; second, this is in no way discriminatory. Miracle Hill does not prevent Jews—or anyone else—from serving as foster parents. Nor does it impinge upon anyone else’s religious expression. The public square is big enough for everyone.

Ignoring this reality, some tarnish Miracle Hill (and separately, CSS) as engaging in “government-funded discrimination.” This is both wrong and misleading. No government funds are provided to Miracle Hill for administration, advertising, recruitment or evaluation of potential foster care families. CSS receives no payment for carrying out home studies. Private agencies and families receive partial reimbursement for the costs of caring for each individual child successfully placed, while relieving government of providing the same service at far greater taxpayer expense.

As all children requiring foster care go through state-operated social service departments, what is at stake for religious foster agencies is their very ability to participate in public life. There is no credible argument that eliminating faith-based foster and adoption agencies expands availability of loving homes for children. On the contrary, eliminating those agencies means eliminating their public outreach, and removes from the adoption pool any families that would choose to work with those agencies because of their shared religious creed. Given the severe shortage of foster care homes for needy children, closing these agencies causes clear and demonstrable harm.

For the Jewish community, foster care and adoption are deeply connected with our most basic beliefs. We regard it as a religious obligation to place Jewish children in Jewish homes, where they will receive a Jewish education and participate in our observances. Were it to be deemed “discriminatory” for Miracle Hill to limit its providers to those who share its beliefs—or for CSS to step aside and allow other agencies to perform home studies for same-sex couples—our own religious obligation to place a Jewish child with a Jewish family could likewise be infringed.

This threat to religious freedom has real implications for children. Because Philadelphia refuses to work with CSS, children in need of foster care are being kept in institutional settings, rather than being placed with loving foster parents. Both the city and LGBTQ activists claim that this flagrantly inhumane outcome is good for society.

Furthermore, we see a clear and compelling pattern of harassment. Philadelphia prohibits CSS from operating due to what the city admits is an entirely hypothetical concern. Miracle Hill’s threat comes from a woman whose own religious authorities say that she could affirm its doctrine—but who refuses to do so, simply to give lawyers at Americans United for Separation of Church and State a case to prosecute. And in other cases across the country, from small businesses to major universities, institutions which have served the public for decades if not centuries are being told to choose between abandoning religious principle, refusing funding available to all others, or closing down outright.

The idea that minority religious groups will benefit if success is granted to this tactic could hardly be more ludicrous.

Marjorie Greene’s Mask-Holocaust Madness

Rep. Marjorie T. Greene (R-GA) made some really inappropriate comparisons between mask mandates and Jews being sent to gas chambers; when challenged, she said any “rational” Jew would agree with her.

There was internal debate about whether or not to say anything, and criticism of our condemnation of those remarks.

But we didn’t want to be like Chuck Schumer, who is happy to condemn a Republican who does precisely what AOC did in 2019, which he greeted with silence — and vastly less serious than the openly Antisemitic statements of Reps. AOC, Bush, Omar and Tlaib within the past month, which none of the Democratic leadership have condemned at all. We have an obligation to be consistent.

At the end I point out that Facebook had to stop censoring discussion of the possible origin of COVID in the Wuhan virology lab, which means calling it the “Wuhan Virus,” which was never racist (no matter how many race-baiting idiots may say otherwise), may be entirely true.

Fox News: Biden’s address to Congress left anti-Semitism unaddressed. Why?

Published on Fox News

We all expected President Biden to speak about hate in America during his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

He did not disappoint.

He talked about the murder of George Floyd, systemic racism, and white supremacy. He mentioned attacks upon Blacks, Native Americans, and women. He celebrated a hate crimes act to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

This past weekend, in fact, provided Biden with an additional reason to discuss hate in America. Beginning Thursday night and proceeding through the weekend, four different synagogues and three vehicles were vandalized in a Jewish neighborhood in the Bronx. All were damaged in precisely the same way: smashed windows.

Every student of the Holocaust knows that the Nazis’ first wholesale, violent attack on Jewish property was Kristallnacht—the Night of Broken Glass.

Seeing it replicated in microcosm on the streets of New York traumatized the Jewish community, and gave Biden the opportunity to assuage its concerns with words of healing.

There’s one problem: he passed.

President Biden spoke about “the viciousness of the hate crimes over the past year,” but never mentioned the community that is, according to the FBI, overwhelmingly the most frequent victim. Given the small Jewish population of the United States, merely 2 percent of Americans, a Jew is several times more likely to be the target of a hate crime than all of those who earned Biden’s mention.

Could we imagine that President Biden would have said nothing if it had instead been four Black churches, or four mosques, vandalized last weekend?

Of course not. It would have been a leading element of his address, the centerpiece of his section on fighting bigotry.

For Biden to spend so much time talking about racism and hate in America, and to rattle off a long list of targeted groups—yet omit entirely the targets of multiple hate crimes carried out within the previous week—sends its own message: Jews don’t qualify as a targeted group.

Instead, Biden called for passage of a bill, the “Equality Act,” that would give state sanction to anti-Semitism. It provides a potent weapon to be used against anyone who dares to hold a Jewish wedding with a Mechitzah, a divider between men and women, in accordance with thousands of years of Jewish observance.

For Asians, Biden called for the passage of a new hate crimes act. For the more frequent Jewish victims of precisely the same random, violent assaults, he called to make their religious practices a violation of American statute… and to declare their Bible a bigoted document.

This is not entirely new. We did not have to wait for a joint session of Congress to wonder whether Jewish concerns were being ignored. One Biden appointee after the next has a track record of hostility towards the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

Biden placed Maher Bitar, whose animosity against the world’s only Jewish state is longer than his career, in charge of intelligence on the National Security Council.

As USAID Administrator he selected Samantha Power, the former U.N. Ambassador who, in 2016, architected the ridiculously anti-historical and obviously hateful UNSC Resolution 2334, which declared the site of the Jews’ Holy Temple, David’s city, the Mount of Olives, Judea and Samaria to all be “occupied Arab land.”

And as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israel and Palestinian Affairs at the State Department, he picked Hady Amr, who responded to the neutralization of a notorious Hamas terrorist by decrying Israel’s “brutal murders of innocents” and implying that both Israelis and Americans deserved to be targeted in return. And this is by no means an exhaustive list of Biden appointees with similar records and attitudes.

Also, within the past week, dozens of rockets from Hamas terrorists have targeted Israeli towns, attempting to murder men, women and children indiscriminately for the “crime” of being a Jew trying to live on the Jews’ Holy Land.

Yet on Wednesday night, Biden claimed that “our intelligence agencies” not only regard white supremacy, biased thoughts, as terrorism, but “the most lethal terrorist threat today.”

The most frequent targets of terrorist threats would, of course, beg to disagree. But according to the Oval Office’s newest occupant, Jews aren’t a targeted group, after all.

We’re not calling J Street a hate group… yet

J Street is doing its level best to deserve the title. Let’s walk through some of what they’ve said, to lay out the proof.

Oh… and I got myself blocked on Twitter by Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the Union for Reform Judaism. What did I do to deserve this honor? Listen in!

CJV rebukes an ADL gone off-course

The ADL’s misguided attack on Tucker Carlson provided a real opportunity for the Coalition for Jewish Values to speak truth to power.

Our letter criticizing the ADL was picked up by the Jerusalem Post, and from there to numerous outlets including Mediaite, Breitbart and The Hill.

Notably, Newsweek took our statement to the ADL for a spokesperson’s response.

Rabbi Dov Fischer elaborated in an excellent op-ed in The American Spectator.