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  •  How come no one ever asks Rep. Cantor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, Gentle Giant

    about Judaism's beliefs about abortion and where he stands with regard to his own faith?

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:50:01 AM PST

    •  He's a Catholic Jew. (1+ / 0-)
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      Judiasm, however, has positions but doesn't require Jews to follow the party line.  

      That is why Jews have such a tough time electing a Pope.

      We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

      by captainlaser on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:52:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Judaism doesn't fit the mold (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, Batya the Toon

        There really is no such thing as a "Jewish position," and certainly no hierarchy to define one.  Every rabbi, with relatively few restrictions imposed by his/her branch of Judaism, is an independent interpreter of the Law.  This is why it's long been joked that when you assemble four rabbis in one room you end up with at least five opinions on any given subject.

        While it's accurate to say that Judaism unequivocally supports a mother's life above that of her unborn child, it's not accurate to infer from that that all Jews support abortion on demand.  It's far more complex than that.  To Jews of my generation in particular, abortion remains, to be gentle in my wording, unsavory, because some of us had family members who were forced again and again to have abortions for research purposes, or simply because a skinny, unpregnant Jewess was more attractive to her tormentors than would be a pregnant one.  I suppose it's for much the same reason that very few of us have voluntary tattoos.

        In any case, it is a twisting of the truth to infer that the "Jewish faith" supports unrestricted abortion.  Or, rather than twisting the truth, it likely comes down to a misunderstanding of Judaism.  We're not a church with rules established by a council of bishops or rabbis.  On the other hand, we don't seek converts, so we have no desire to impose our self-imposed rules on others.  What laws we follow are for us alone, and so it's pretty much fruitless to try to use our beliefs in an argument in the broader culture.  What you do has no bearing upon our beliefs, and what we believe should have no bearing upon what you do.  


        The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

        by Not A Bot on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:37:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think anyone said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Not A Bot

          that the Jewish faith supports unrestricted abortion -- rather, that it does not unequivocally prohibit the use of birth control (which is true) and that it does at times require an abortion to be performed (which is also true).

          There isn't a single flat-out code of rules on these issues; they are handled on a case-by-case basis, and any given rabbi's opinion is (as you say) far from guaranteed to agree with any other rabbi's.

          As far as what bearing our beliefs should have on the broader culture: none, except that this country guarantees its citizens' religious freedom, which means that it ought not to be able to pass laws that restrict our freedom to do something our religion requires, in the name of protecting someone else's freedom to not pay for a medical practice their religion prohibits.

          •  I'm not arguing with you (0+ / 0-)

            There's a lot of drama that results from the collision of opposing belief systems.  I can see the problem with requiring a Catholic (or Baptist) physician to perform an abortion he or she believes to be wrong, just as surely as I can see the problem with shutting down clinics that provide that service to women who need it.  It's never going to be a simple subject.  The problem is in figuring out a way to not force anyone to commit acts against their own beliefs.  Easier said than done in a pluralist society.  Not quite on topic, but similar in concept, is the current push in Europe to outlaw circumcision.  

            One thing that caught my attention in the opening article was the nurse who was unhappy with assisting in an abortion.  The rational choice for her would be to change jobs.  

            The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

            by Not A Bot on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 03:07:48 PM PST

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            •  It is indeed a problem. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Not A Bot

              I have some sympathy for a doctor or nurse who does not want to perform (or assist in) a medical procedure that they feel violates their religious beliefs.  As you say, though, surely there are other jobs -- even other jobs in the field of medicine -- where such a procedure wouldn't be asked of them.

              I have considerably less sympathy for employers required by law to provide insurance coverage who do not want their money to be used to pay for procedures that violate their religion.  If it is money that you are required to provide for your employee, it is not your money, and you are not morally complicit in whatever your employee does with it.

              •  Yep, Batya. Even ER work would do the trick. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Batya the Toon

                A doc or nurse would be highly unlikely to become involved with optional abortions in an emergency room setting; and any abortions they did run into would likely deal with a life-or-life choice, which under almost every religious system favors the mother.  Except maybe the Catholic church and extreme protestant fundamentalists.

                As to your second paragraph, I think most rabbis would consider government-mandated health insurance to be a kind of a tax on the employer.  Once taxed, the money is out of our hands, and no longer our responsibility (I'm using our in the hypothetical sense).  So yes, you're right.

                I still see some difficulty if the employer is a church or a religious charity (including church-owned hospitals).  It gets murky, and even more so if the charity or hospital accepts federal funds of any sort.  I'm conflicted on this, even though deep inside I'd feel some satisfaction if the Catholic church were divested of its assets and then dissolved.

                I enjoy reading Kaili Joy Gray's essays, even though I occasionally disagree with her.  I'm of the wrong sex to have a dog in the abortion fight, and too old in any case.  But the subjects Kaili brings up are very often related to conversations I participate in or at least listen in on with my daughters and granddaughters.  Mostly I read and listen and try to learn.  Now and then I open my big mouth and get in trouble, but that's okay.    

                The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

                by Not A Bot on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:27:44 PM PST

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    •  i don't want to (0+ / 0-)

      hear from cantor.  if his lips are moving, he's lying or trying to pass something that hurts americans.  

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