Tuesday, March 23, 2021

First They Came For...

 I have said that I am a Christian who belongs to a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church congregation.  We have certain religious practices that are "must haves."  For instance, most Sundays we have a Divine Service that features the eating of Christ's Body and drinking His Blood, through the bread and wine of Communion.  Christ commanded that we do this.  To not do it is to spit on his Commandment.  We also sing hymns, engage in corporate prayers, and so forth.  So why am I highlighting a story from The Federalist that talks about what the "Equality Act" will do to Jewish worshippers? Well, because of a Lutheran who lived during the Nazi regime in Germany, Martin Neimoller. Neimoller wrote a confessional poem called "First they came for...

First they came for the socialists,
and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The essence of defending free speech, or indeed any right against State encroachment is to speak when it first rears its head. But failing that, we need to speak out whenever and wherever we see it. So, I am highlighting a piece today by Yaakov Menken entitled How The Equality Act Would Legalize Religious Bigotry. I would note that here in the United States there is a widespread belief that that which is legal (or at least not illegal) is moral. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the Equality Act is such a piece of work. Like the "For The People Act," the "Equality Act" was written in Hell by the Devil himself.

Menken starts off by telling us about a ceremony for at least 100.000 Jews who had completed a 7 year long study of the Oral Torah, the first 5 books in the Holy Bible.

On Jan. 1, 2020, almost three months before COVID-19 limits on gatherings, more than 100,000 observant American Jews filled MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and other locations across the country for a unique gala honoring religious education. Called simply “The Siyum,” meaning “the completion,” it honored the tens of thousands of religiously motivated men — and significant number of women — who completed a seven-and-a-half-year cycle studying the Oral Torah.
The Siyum celebrates not only education, but Jewish resilience in the face of persecution. The 2,711-day cycle was first set in motion in Poland in 1923, where the first Siyum ensued in 1931. In 1945, the main venues of the third Siyum were in Israel, but, incredibly, one was also held by Holocaust survivors in a displaced persons camp in Germany. Since 1990, the largest celebrations have taken place in the United States, each exponentially larger than the one before it.
Makes sense. After all, our own theologians study for many years to become pastors. Contrary to the impressions of atheists, Christianity requires a great deal of people to be able to maintain trust and faith in their God in the face of extreme difficulties and death. And Christians must many times face down such fears in the face of not knowing: it's why it's called "faith."

But back to the issue at hand, the reason there may never be another Siyum in these United States is because Congress intends to make it illegal to segregate the men from the women. But this segregation is part and parcel of Jewish religious custom:

The reason is simple: not only prayer services, but family lifecycle events of all kinds — from circumcisions to bar mitzvahs to weddings to funerals — are commonly divided by biological sex in traditional Orthodox Judaism. This is true whether or not ceremonies are held in synagogues.
Whether in restaurants, catering halls, funeral homes, or elsewhere, all of these gatherings are often observed in what the law describes as “public accommodations.” Every major Siyum event over the past century has observed this same strict separation of the sexes.
The Equality Act would ban them all. This piece of legislation mandates the “desegregation of public facilities [by] sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity).” This directly forbids traditional Jewish practice in any such location.
The Equality Act is one more piece of garbage legislation. The act does not supply actual equality, but is intended to give pretend equality to pretend girls for made up reasons. It caters to the sick among us. It defies reality, and should be opposed.

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