Category: Society

I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested.
I’d like to think that if I was I would pass.
Look at the tested, and think there but for the grace go I.
Might be a coward, I’m afraid of what I might find out.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get”

With the recent US Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges declaring same-sex marriage to be a constitutionally protected right, religious organizations are understandably concerned as to how they will be affected by this new legal reality.  In addition to public statements issued by The Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union, several rabbinic colleagues have expressed similar concerns shared by other religious leaders regarding what this ruling might mean for their own practice, particularly if they will now be forced to officiate or facilitate a practice which violates their religious beliefs. 1

Aside from these concerns over government interference in religious affairs, the Supreme Court’s ruling may have more salient ramifications on a communal level. Specifically, with same-sex marriage legalized nationally, Orthodox homosexual couples may be more likely take advantage of the benefits such legal recognition provides. This new reality may create new tensions within communities where such couples may expect or demand religious recognition for their union.

While these concerns are currently dominating the discussion, my sense is that the attention is misplaced. I do not mean to be dismissive of the concerns of others, but I suggest the details are not nearly as significant as the underlying existential tensions.

Notes:

  1. In 2011 when New York was about to legalize same-sex marriage, I argued that Orthodox Jews should not oppose such legislation but rather insist on religious protections.

Politics Religion Society

“Dozens of people are gunned down each day in Springfield,but until now none of them was important.” – The Simpsons In the immediate aftermath of the horrific shootings at Sandy…

Politics Popular Culture Religion Society

A few months ago I wrote a short article for the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals’ new journal Conversations. The purpose of this journal is to promote communal dialogue on various issues facing the Jewish community. Unlike the Edah/Meorot journals, the journal is supposed to be more accessible than academic and so I was given two editorial conditions:1. keep it short and 2. no footnotes.

As longtime blog readers know, that last condition was a tough one to overcome.

At any rate, I’m posting my article “A Fair And Balanced Approach To Jewish Social Justice” and I plan on revisiting the motivations for the article at some later point.

Culture Economics Jewish Culture Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava Random Acts of Scholarship Sermons, Lectures, and Divrei Torah Society

Following up on the topic of conversions, it seems that 3 out of 4 religions agree that freedom to convert from or to another religion is a basic religious right.…

Religion Society

A few outlets are covering a Gallup International survey about which professions are more trusted than others. Although most of the press has focused on the extreme distrust of politicians (duh), there are other less obvious revelations.

Society

Just found this CNN article: A federal jury awarded as much as $434,000 to a Ukrainian woman who sued the Internet matchmaking service that set her up with the man…

Society

If you were following Protocols a while ago, you might be familiar with Douglass Rushkoff and his recent book Nothing Sacred. I know I’m a little late with this, but…

Jewish Culture Jewish Law / Halakha Religion Science and Technology Society

My previous post “The Harm In Being Nice” generated a great deal of feedback. Thanks to everyone who posted, IMed, e-mailed, voted, and threatened. Although some people missed the point,…

Jewish Dating Personal Society

I’ve resisted posting things based on my personal life mostly because I don’t know who reads this site. (Or paradoxically, because I know exactly who reads this site). However, I…

Jewish Dating Personal Society

Does anyone else find interesting how much MSNBC covers the new-age Kabbalah craze? It could just be the standard mocking of stupid celebrities. Not only are people like Madonna and…

Odds & Ends Popular Culture Religion Society