Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Will Obama Birth Control Mandate Violate Jewish Obligation of Tikkun Olam ?

Besides the problem with birth control the Bishops, non Catholic Christians , and non Christians are having problems with what is the ultimate huge threat here. It appears the Government is taking a much bigger role in deciding what is religious and what what is not.

First Thoughts link a liberal Jew at at this link Liberal Jews Speak Against HHS Mandate

Noam Neusner says that President Obama’s claim that religiously motivated schools and services are not truly religious runs counter to tikkun olam, the Jewish obligation to do good to others:
The Obama Administration has held – and continues to hold – that if a religious institution wants to serve the community as a whole and employ people who do not subscribe to their faith, what they do is functionally not a religious mission at all, but a public one. In other words, you can practice your faith when it applies only to you. When it applies to other people, you can’t. Given the special freedoms from state oversight and control accorded to religion under the laws of our Constitution – freedoms which have served the Jewish people particularly well – this is a significant assertion. [ . . . ]

.....tikkun olam has been the rallying cry of countless bar and bat mitzvah speeches and high holiday sermons for decades. Although they may attempt to look past this issue as a problem only for Catholics, they will soon begin to understand its implication for them.
If tikkun olam is to retain any meaning, it must mean what it has always meant: Judaism as a faith is expressed in actions benefitting all of society, not just Jews. It must be defended by these same liberal Jews and liberal denominations against this redefinition by the Obama administration.......

Read the whole thing.


Kurt said...

What balderdash. The now withdrawn HHS rule did not give an exemption to parachurch organizations. No one said they were not religious.

Measured by the same rule, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to parachurch organizations but not churches, is also wrongly saying these parachurch groups are not religious. Is is fair to say that the Catholic Church condemns the Civil Rights Act? Can I puplish that on my blog?

James H said...

It is not balderdash and by the way that rule was published on Fridday with no changes which pretty much promises in the future that a compromise would be met.

The Governement is making distinctions here an yes supporters of the Adimintration are picking this up. See the talk about Church "business" I see versus what happens in the 4 walls of the Church.

If there is not distinction being made then why does the exemption still apply to lets say the 4 walls of the Church. To lets say the Choir's music director, the Bishop's bookeeper but not to the Catholic school teacher.

There seems to be a incredibly narrowing of the exemption here. Which is what has got some Jews and many other Christians upset and concerned.

That is one factor in all this. Not the only one but an important one

No one is saying that everything the Church does in these other facets of Church life cannot escape all facets of Federal law. For instance the Civil Rights Act though I am not sure that all provisions of even that which all para Church organizations. I need to review the famous Bob Jones case again on that score.

Let me say this. I think in the background among many religious groups is concern over the Govts position in the Hosanna-Tabor case earlier this year. That was a bombshell to say the least. That is playing a large role in examining if the GOVT is indeed trying to intrude on Church affairs more and more and limit what is "religious" and thus has more protections