Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A Little Subtle Anti-Semitism For Your Wednesday

One of the most obnoxious habits adopted by the Christian right is the use of the term "Judeo-Christian values." It's a shout-out to the social unacceptability of Christian supremacism, at least with respect to the Jews. It's often obnoxiously linked to the blather about how the US is a "Christian nation," which by definition excludes us Jews - it's as if they're saying "it's okay, you can come too, as long as you hew to the imagined form of Jewish morals that we have laid out for you." The fact that Jewish morality and Christian morality are starkly different once you inspect them is unimportant to them - what's important is the veneer of tolerance. And occasionally, that veneer slips.

Let's go to Hawaii, then, and check in on the culture-war shenanigans occurring in their race for Governor. Their current governor, the insanely popular Republican Linda Lingle, is term-limited. The lieutenant governor, Duke Aiona, and Democrat Mufi Hannemann are running to replace her. The head of the Republican GOP recently sent out an e-mail encouraging pastors to block Hannemann from campaigning in their churches. That's odd enough, but what's really revealing is this little tidbit:
Aiona's campaign is "Christ's opportunity," and his election would give Hawaii the first "righteous leader" since Queen Liliuokalani, who died in 1917," Kaauwai wrote.

That long string of "unrighteous leaders" would presumably include his own partisan Lingle. While she's nominally pro-choice, she supports a whole host of restrictions on abortion that are generally favored by pro-lifers, and since the illegality of abortion isn't going to come before a legislature anytime soon, she's functionally with the conservatives on that one. And Lingle recently vetoed a bill that would have given Hawaiian same-sex couples civil unions - not even marriage equality, mind you, but civil unions, a position so moderate that even the former governor of Utah supports it. You'd think that'd put her in the religious Right's good graces, yes? What, exactly, makes her an "unrighteous" leader?

I'm sure you, dear astute readers, have figured out the punchline by now: Lingle is Jewish.

It doesn't matter how much a Jew sides with conservative Christians on the issues. Jewish Republicans and conservatives will still be lumped in with the enemy when the Christian right folks talk amongst themselves. When it comes right down to it, they could give two shits about Jews. We're not "righteous," no matter how hard we try. So let's not be fooled. No matter how loudly they proclaim "Judeo-Christian" values, deep down they still don't like us. Folks like Eric Cantor and Norm Coleman would be wise to take note.

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