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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

August 12, 2016  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Why Jews should fear Trump

Dear Editor:

Cleverly slipped into Trump’s acceptance speech was a paragraph that should send chills down the spine of every Jew.

“At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelicval and religious community because I’ll tell you what, the support they have given me, and I’m not sure I totally deserve it has been so amazing and has been such a big reason for me being here tonight. So true. They have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exemp status if they openly advocate their political views. Their voice has been taken away. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all….”

The separation of church and state has been, and continues to be, vital to the life of our society as one that does NOT have a state religion. Candidate after candidate in the Republican primary advocated for Supreme Court justices that uphold the Constitution, while proclaiming that the Bible (New Testament) is more important than the Constitution. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence identified himself as first, a Christian, then an American.

As Jews, we cannot sit back and let it happen to us again. Do we really want our government controlled by religious fundamentalists? These are the zealots who have historically justified slavery, fought against women’s suffrage, led the fight against school desegregation, and continue the fight to discriminate against people, in the name of their “religious” beliefs and freedom.

As Jews, we cannot accept the first step in having religion control government. History has taught us that we are always the ones who eventually become the scapegoats and victims. There is a First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Trump’s remarks are just the first shot at undermining this foundation of our democracy. We can’t sit back on our fat bank accounts and imagine that it can’t happen here. Remember Spain, Germany, Iran, and history. Jews should be aware and afraid.

Carl L. Zielonka, DDS
Tampa


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