The Right Wing media is all up in arms over a remark made Monday by David Axelrod, whom you will remember as an Obama advisor, that President Obama once said,
“I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office. For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse, anti-Semitic, it hurts.”
Barack Obama a Jew? He’s not even white! Everyone knows Jews are white folks. Look at Jesus! In fact, Senior Editor-at-Large Ben Sharpiro at Breitbart, actually quips, “In actuality, Obama is about as Jewish as George Wallace was black.”
Not to mention the fact that Obama doesn’t support everything Israel does, so how can he be Jewish? He’s an anti-Semite, isn’t he? In truth, Obama has not supported everything the United States has done, but he’s the American president. Far from being useful logic, this is just another one of Obama’s sins, according to the Right Wing media.
Fox News totally lost it, as you can see from this clip below:
You believe Jews are God’s Chosen People, Ainsley? There are different ways to respond to this, that there are many Gods (as admitted even by the Jewish God) and that the opinion of one God cannot be allowed to stand for all, or that, if you believe in no gods at all, why is it important what somebody thinks their god said? When you can prove it, we’ll talk. Until then, let’s all keep our religion to ourselves, okay?
I think what many Israelis don’t understand is that Obama, from one angle of approach, is probably the most Jewish president the United States has ever had. When he ran for Congress against an ex-Black Panther candidate, he was accused of being the candidate of the Jewish community.He has been influenced by Reform rabbis and liberal Jewish lawyers and his intellectual influences include many Jews, both people he met at Harvard and in Chicago and writers he admires. In a certain way, he could be placed in the spiritual and moral mainstream of American liberal Judaism. That’s why his relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu is so complicated. Like many liberal American Jews, when he looks at Netanyahu he sees a conservative Republican and he fails to understand how a Jew can be a conservative Republican. I think he looks at Netanyahu in much the same way he contemplates Eric Cantor, the Republican (and Jewish) house majority leader. Like many liberal-leaning Jews, he might simply not understand how a Jew could be a Republican.
There you have it, from a Jew.
Yet another Breitbart writer, Joel Pollak, actually penned a piece titled, “Sorry, Obama – James Madison was ‘Closet Thing to a Jew‘ to be President.”
Why? Well, since you asked: after chiding Obama for having “little interest in history,” Pollak goes on to invent a whole whopping lie about the origins of the United States Constitution and Madison’s role in it (you might remember Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution”:
Madison not only showed great religious tolerance towards America’s Jews, but also applied the lessons of ancient Jewish history, along with many other civilizations, when he devised a constitutional model that dispersed power among different branches of government, as the best Israelite kings did in circumscribing their own power, leaving religious affairs to independent priestly authorities.
First of all, the United States’ system of government has nothing to do with the Jewish system of monarchy, as should be obvious. Secondly, Madison showed great religious tolerance toward all. You think Madison might have felt sympathy for the Jews given that they had a history of being persecuted in the Colonies by the various Christian sects?
In fact, all that Christian persecution of religious minorities (including each other) is one of the reasons Madison was the author not only of the First Amendment, but the Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, which forbid the collection of taxes to support teachers of the Christian religion.
In fact, so strong was Madison’s support for religious free government, that his first draft of the First Amendment said,
“That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.”
This is obviously what Madison intended by the First Amendment – proving that Freedom of Religion, for Madison, also meant Freedom From Religion. Unfortunately, House committees and the full House watered it down to how it is phrased in the Constitution (you can follow the process here)
So let’s agree on a New Rule: No Conservative should ever get to mention Madison, because Madison does not agree with anything that is coming out of their mouths.
Think back to the claim that the Jews are “God’s” Chosen People. This, according to Madison, can have no bearing on how we run our country. The First Amendment, in Madison’s eyes (and in those of the Supreme Court) forbids it. It would be legislating religion.
In fact, Madison seems almost to have anticipated the Religious Right when he wrote to William Bradford in 1774 that, “That diabolical, hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some; and to their eternal infamy, the clergy can furnish their quota of impas for such business…” telling Bradford also that, “Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.”
Yes, he definitely had the Religious Right down to a tee. So let’s leave Obama alone, and maybe consider the fact that a bunch of white gentiles are maybe not the best people to be talking about who is and who isn’t Jewish, in blood or in thought.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.