I used to listen to Dennis Prager on the radio a lot—before his station turned to Spanish-language Christian and before I “discovered” Rush Limbaugh.
But I do miss him and his (to use one of his favorite words) clarity:
Leftism, though secular, must be understood as a religion (which is why I have begun capitalizing it). The Leftist value system’s hold on its adherents is as strong as the hold Christianity, Judaism and Islam have on their adherents. Nancy Pelosi’s belief in expanding the government’s role in American life, and therefore her passion for the health care bill, is as strong as a pro-life Christian’s belief in the sanctity of the life of the unborn.
Given the religious nature and the emotional power of Leftist values, Jews and Christians on the Left often derive their values from the Left more than from their religion.
Now, of course, most Leftist Jews and Christians will counter that Leftist values cannot trump their religion’s values because Leftist values are identical to their religion’s values. But this argument only reinforces my argument that Leftism has conquered the Christianity and the Judaism of Leftist Christians and Jews. If there is no difference between Leftist moral values and those of Judaism or Christianity, then Christianity is little more than Leftism with “Jesus” rhetoric added, and Judaism is Leftism with Jewish terms — such as “Tikkun Olam” (“repairing the world”) and “Prophetic values” — added.
But if Christianity is, morally speaking, really Leftism, why didn’t Catholics or Protestants assert these values prior to 19th-century European Leftism? And, if Judaism is essentially a set of Left-wing values, does that mean that the Torah and the Talmud are Leftist documents? Or are the two pillars of Judaism generally wrong?
But woe betide you if you dare let on that your beliefs run anywhere to the right of Che Guevara. Leftists, by virtue of their “piety” think they can talk to you the way the members of the Westboro Baptists Church talk to grieving families:
As former head of the Democratic Party Howard Dean said, “Our moral values, in contradistinction to the Republicans, is, we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.”
They believe such things despite the fact that traditional Protestants and Catholics have created more institutions to take care of the sick and needy than probably any other groups in the world. And despite the fact that religious Americans give more charity and volunteer more time than secular Americans do.
His argument builds with each paragraph, but I want to cut to this:
One of the many fundamental differences between Leftism and Judaism concerns evil. Jews and others on the Left (everywhere, not just in America) have a real problem identifying, let alone confronting, evil. Yet, for Judaism, identifying and confronting evil is as basic a Jewish value as exists. That is why, for example, there is no pacifist tradition in Judaism.
In contrast, Leftists, including Leftist Jews and Christians:
– were the loudest in condemning President Ronald Reagan when he labeled the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”
– devoted much of their lives to opposing the war in Vietnam, which they labeled immoral even though it was a war against Stalinist tyranny.
– opposed deposing the mass murderer Saddam Hussein. Many even opposed the Gulf War.
– believe that the moral wasteland known as the United Nations is, or must be the greatest force for good on earth, not the United States.
– oppose allowing the American military to recruit on campuses.
And the further Left one goes, the more one demonizes free Israel and supports the dictatorships that wish to destroy Israel.
Indeed, Israel provides the clearest proof of how Leftism is stronger than the Jewishness of most Jews on the Left. Israel is threatened with a Holocaust by Iran and tens of millions of Islamic supporters outside of Iran, and Palestinian society is saturated with the most virulent Jew-hatred since the Nazis. Yet while today’s Jew- and Israel-haters call the Left home, Jews on the Left continue to be proud members of the Left. Such is the power of Leftism, the most dynamic religion in the world for the last 150 years.
He could have ended his piece there. (I almost decided to.) But the last paragraph has all that much more force for being unexpected:
And that explains Bart Stupak’s vote, too. In his inner conflict between Catholicism and Leftism, the more dynamic religion won.