Monday, November 05, 2012

A smidgen of Mixed Judeo-Christian "Values"/Identity and Politics

By Gary Berg-Cross

Religion continues to play a big part in American elections as noted in Ralph Reed Spins a New Faith, Freedom and Conservative Politics Message . A phrase heard often in battleground states is “Souls to the Polls.” Innocent enough. On the Sunday before election in Cleveland Ohio, R&B singer John Legend joined Democratic public officials from around the county on a makeshift stage to  mitigate the angst of waiting on a 4 block long line for early votes (Kent State radio)

On the Republican side it is a bit deeper mix of religion and politics. Fundamentalist Christians are a key part of the right wing base. HufPo, for example, says that:

Most on the Right would describe themselves as religious, predominately Christian-based religious, one is left to extrapolate that their positions … are mandated by their God and doctrine. Abortion is, of course, off-the-charts wrong on every level, at any time, for any reason; birth control ,

For some time the Romney-Ryan strategy has been to bash Obama over ‘Judeo-Christian’ values.  A good bashing seems to have worked in quieting down the base and helping to overcom their uneasiness with Mitt Romney’s Mormonism  (See faith” voters were seen to have begin to rally behind Romney).  

On election eve Paul Ryan warned evangelical Christians that another 4 years of President Obama would threaten "Judeo-Christian values" whatever that is.  Maybe lower tax for money changers? 

According to the NYTs his remarks came in a conference call with the evangelical Christian Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group founded by that new born conservative Christian strategist Ralph Reed.Yes that Ralph Reed.
Mormons and evangelicals are getting comfie.

Ryan stirred the witches pot by describing Obama’s policies this way:

 It’s a dangerous path. It’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.’

He also broadend the base (think Florida) by appealing to a theologically oriented, Judeo-Christian faith voters which include fundamentalist Jews as well as Christians.  

And there has been activity on that front too, thanks to casino mogul and Jewish fundamentalist Sheldon Adelson & wife who has invested heavily in the Presidential campaign with some $20 million for Newt Gingrich’s failed primary campaign,  and at least $10 million for a super PAC supporting GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. His rationale? A mix of politics and identity:

"There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats, a disturbing development that my parents' generation would not have ignored," he wrote, citing a poll as well as the tumult at the Democratic National Convention this summer over the removal and eventual inclusion of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the party platform.” (CNN)

The Adelsons also have heaped largess on one particular New Jersey race. It has a religious connection too. According to reports Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands empire, along  with wife, Miriam,  have given $500,000 to the Patriot Prosperity PAC, an independent super PAC supporting the Republican Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Boteach  is a TV celebrity, author of “Kosher Sex,” host of the show “Shalom in the Home,” and former spiritual adviser to pop star Michael Jackson. He  is running against eight-term incumbent Democrat Bill Pascrell, Jr. in a newly redrawn 9th District that includes Paterson.

The Adelsons’ total  support for the Rabbi comes to more than $1 million this year. Pascrell and the Rabbi recently  debated at Temple Sinai in Tenafly NJ. The main topics were an exchange of  views on Israel and the economy. Boteach said taxes were too high under the Democratic administration, crippling job growth.  
We need some religious sponsored trickle down apparently.


  1. Ryan and Reed:
  2. Sheldon Adelson:
  3. Shmuley faces off with Hitch:

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