April 21, 2015


The Road to David Brooks' Character (Jane Eisner, April 21, 2015, The Forward)

[D]espite the fact that he's the Jewish conservative whom even some liberals love to read, who proudly sent his three children to day school and has a son serving in the Israeli military, who writes about religious thought and faith traditions so approvingly, he seems at odds with contemporary Jewish life. It's not just his choice of breakfast that morning that leads me to this conclusion; it's that his politics are more old-fashioned Republican than those of most American Jews, and the starchy criticisms of modern culture woven through his columns for The Times can feel almost WASPy. [....]

As he spoke about his work that morning, Brooks didn't look like a person whose soul needed saving. He appeared just as you would expect: At 53 years old, he has hair that is thin and gray; his dress is casually professorial, his voice reasonable and recognizable from all the broadcast appearances he's done ever since, as a young journalist, he carved out a niche as an intellectual conservative pundit. He admires modesty, and tries to show it, but his ideas and the way he expresses them sound lofty and sometimes unreachable. When he writes that the "most important thing is whether you are willing to engage in moral struggle against yourself," I'm not sure how to take that abstract admonition and make it a daily practice.

...but it's important to note that she's essentially saying that to engage in moral struggle at the current time is to make oneself seem to be Christian. This is an existential problem for the idea of Judaism as a religion, as opposed to an ethnicity.

Pastor Charles Stanley declines Jewish National Fund Award (AJC, April 21, 2015)

Pastor Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Atlanta and a best-selling author, has pulled out of an event during which he was to be honored.

According to Jewish National Fund spokesman Adam Brill, Stanley informed the Jewish National Fund " that because of his deep love for Israel, and his reluctance to be a point of controversy and conflict within the Jewish community, he has declined to be recognized at the Jack Hirsch Memorial Breakfast in Atlanta, on Thursday."

Criticism had mounted from some members of Atlanta's Jewish community concerned about his stance on homosexuality.

He believes in their book, they don't.

Posted by at April 21, 2015 2:17 PM

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