Bruce James 
Member since Jun 15, 2015

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Re: “Mikey's Mission

I wear many hats. First is I wear a yarmulke -- a skull cap worn by observant Jews. It is a combination of two Aramaic words (Aramaic being the language spoken in Jesus' time, and used in the Talmud) "ya'ar malkah" i.e. fear or reverence of the King of Kings. Second I wear the hat (if there is one) of an attorny admitted to the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. And third, I am the son of an Air Force officer who served in three wars, a grandfather who served in World War I, and ancestors who fought in other US conflicts including the Civil War and the Revolution.

As an Orthodox Jew, I believe that God created the world and placed the Jews on it to be His servants and that they should strive to be a "kingdom of priests" and a role model for the world. Collectively, the Jewish people are responsible for the keeping of 613 commandments, which include every "Thou shalt not" or "Thou shalt" in the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy -- the books we know collectively as the "Torah." A Jew cannot walk away from his responsibility, and even if he tries, God has said that He will never break His Covenant with us (Lev. 26:43-44; Isaiah 60). We know that the Messiah will come and when he does, there will be no more war (Isa. 2:4 and 11:6; Micah 4:3); there will be no one alive in the world who does not accept the God of Abraham as his personal and only God (Isa. 11:9 and 40:5; Zeph. 3:9); the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem in the same place it stood before (Micah 4:1); all of the Jews in the world will move to the Land of Israel, gathered by God from the "four corners of the world" (Deut. 20:3-4; Isa. 11:12, 27:12-13); and the righteous who died before that day shall rise from their graves and make their way to the Holy Land (Isa. 26:19). As none of these have happened, ever, I must assume that the Messiah has not come. I also assume, as a matter of pragmatics, that anyone who does those things will be the Messiah, whether his name is Jesus, Ralph, or Mike. I will not quibble with success or question the Hand of God when it is right in front of me. I believe further, that the Messiah can come in peace to begin the Messianic Era in any generation, but only when the Jewish people have reached the level of piety and observance the Torah requires them to meet (see Deut. 30:15-20), even if that fall short of what one might call "perfect" See Psalm 19 (where David teaches that the effort to observe the commandments perfectly is what God wants, not rigid observance of all commandments even those of which he violated by mistake). If we are not worthy by the End of Time (whenever that may be), the Messianic Era will come about through the devastating written about in Ezekiel. So long as Jews are lured into the teachings of other religions, I believe that those who mislead them to follow other gods are preventing the coming of the Messiah.

As an attorney and a Federal employee, I took an oath to support and defend the United States Constitution. The First Amendment to the Constitution says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Note that this one amendment has many points -- (1) the Government cannot establish or endorse a religion -- nor can it appear to. When a commanding officer, in uniform, a teacher or principal within the public schools, or anyone else exercising power and authority representing the secular government, city, state or national, proselytizes those under his or her authority, they essentially are giving the appearance that the Government endorses Christianity over any other religion -- something the Establishment clause of the 1st Amendment makes crystal clear to be unconstitutional. (2) the Government, further, cannot prevent anyone from practicing the religion of their choice. Of course, understanding that "preaching the Word" is a Christian form of worship, one should see a conflict between the freedom to practice one's own religion, for a Government employee or a serviceman or servicewoman, must be done on their own time and not in uniform. (3) The Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, but again, the Government prohibits speech that would undermine the first two clauses of the Amendment. (4) and (5) cover the Freedom of the press and the Right to Assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. That means, anyone who feels that their legal rights, or that their Constitutional rights, are being infringed, they can go to court. And that is what Mr. Weinstein does on behalf of non-Christian soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who feel discriminated against for not being Christian and coerced to convert by their superiors.

We know what happens when an officer abuses his position to solicit someone under his or her command to have a sexual affair, his or her actions are alarming because they break down the discipline of command and the morale of the unit, especially when the officer gives more favorable duty or other consideration to his or her lover. Is it any different if a commander shows favoritism to co-religionists? What if the commanding officer was a Scientologist, a Buddhist, or a Muslim, and demanded that those in his or her command proselytize Christians and reserved the best ratings and job opportunities for fellow believers? Certainly, the Christian community would be up in arms, justifiably. Just as sexual harassment should have no place in the military's command structure, nor should religious harassment.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bruce James on 04/19/2016 at 1:50 PM

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