Theology Watch

Haim Watzman

My sister Nancy once worked for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, a project that tracks where legislators get their money from and how it affects their votes.

But Congress seems to be in danger no less from bad theology as bad money. Yesterday she referred me to this incredible video of Rep. John Shimkus, who represents a huge chunk of southern Illinois. Shimkus believes that, because God promised Noah that he would not destroy the world again, we don’t need to do anything about global warming.

Note that Shimkus segues without blinking from God’s promise that He will not destroy the world into the odd idea that therefore mankind is incapable of destroying the world on its own. That’s sloppy theology.

Maimonides would not have made such a ridiculous mistake had he been elected to Congress.

Read more

Divine Press Office: No Comment

In a discussion set off by certain recent comments on God’s role in the Holocaust, my  friends on a wonkish listserve strayed briefly from economic policy and election polls to The Big Issues. One comment was from Harold Pollack, a public health researcher and occasional columnist:

God, since I was twelve years old, I have wondered how Hitler could be one of your children. I’ve never received a satisfactory answer. Could you contact me offline to clear this up?

I couldn’t help but pass on this message:

God is busy for the next day (a thousand human years) trying to figure out how the crown of Her creation, human civilization, came to include such evil. She will respond to Her email afterwards.

Harold’s answer:

Darned press secretary. Given my age, doesn’t he know that I’m operating on a fifty-year deadline here?

Read more

Are You Listening, Joe Lieberman?

Kudos to Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, who has publicly spoken out against Jewish political cooperation with Christian Zionists, their most prominent organization – Christians United for Israel – and its leader, John Hagee:

The heart of Pastor Hagee’s message is to be found in these words: “Stop giving the land away. The land belongs to you. Keep it.”

…mainstream Christian Zionists are, by their own admission, not “”advocates” of Israel but “Biblical advocates” of Israel, and this means that they oppose any territorial concessions by the Government of Israel for any reason whatsoever. It follows that their vision of Israel rejects a two-state solution, rejects the possibility of a democratic Israel,

Read more