I just received the following press release from my favorite Jewish feminist underground collective, Jewish Women Watching. What’s up with Synagogue 3000?
Jewish community embraces fundamentalist Pastor Rick Warren, known homophobe and anti-choice advocate
July 17, 2006: Following in the footsteps of its 2002 Strange Bedfellows campaign, the anonymous feminist group Jewish Women Watching (JWW) is once again warning the Jewish community against hopping into bed with right-wing Christian fundamentalists.
Last month, Synagogue 3000, a group whose mission is “to make synagogues compelling moral and spiritual centers,” invited Pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestselling “Purpose Driven Life” and founder of a California megachurch, to speak publicly about building spiritual community. Warren is a known homophobe and anti-choice advocate. JWW thinks it’s a “shanda” (an embarrassment) that Synagogue 3000 is holding Warren up as a moral leader worthy of emulation.
Warren has called gays “unnatural” and part of a “hierarchy of evil.” During the last Presidential election, he urged his congregants to vote against a woman’s right to choose. He advises that gays and lesbians, as well as women who have had abortions should seek forgiveness.
“If in fact the American Jewish community still supports the separation of church and state, a woman’s right to choose, and tolerance and equality,” said Adah Isaacs Menken of JWW, “it sounds like abstinence remains the only safeguard against strange bedfellows.”
In its original Strange Bedfellows campaign, JWW disseminated condoms to protect individuals against the partnerships of Jewish communal organizations and the likes of Christian fundamentalists Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Ralph Reed. These men have all slandered women, gays and lesbians, and Jews, and yet all have been embraced and rewarded by the Jewish community. Now we can add Rick Warren to the list.
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Jewish Women Watching is an anonymous activist collective that aims to rouse the public to challenge and change the sexist and other discriminatory practices in the American Jewish community. Since 1999, JWW has been criticizing the Jewish community’s narrow-minded priorities in online, print, and street actions. For more information, and to view the Strange Bedfellow campaign, visit JWW’s web site at www.jewishwomenwatching.com