Culture, Justice, Religion

How Would God REALLY Vote – A call for collaborators

David Klinghoffer, resident Jew at the Discovery Institute, has just come out with a new book: How Would God Vote: Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative.

Longtime readers of Klinghoffer’s Forward column won’t be surprised to find the book maddening in its refusal to engage in serious thinking. He ignores whole swathes of Torah and Talmud; doesn’t bother thinking of the actual consequences of his policies; and lines up enough straw men to constitute a fire hazard.

Klinghoffer does surprise on occasion. He praises the idea of reparations to African-Americans for slavery. He downplays the need for global conflict. (Better, he says, to fight “cultural decadence” at home.) And if you’re looking for a Republican propagandist for whom opposition to abortion is only a first step toward banning contraception and no-fault divorce, Klinghoffer is your man.

However, as someone who does think the Torah has something to say about economic and political arrangements, I’m looking at this book as an opportunity. Get ready for: How Would God REALLY Vote: A Jewish Response to David Klinghoffer.

I’m looking for volunteers to write a chapter or two of the book. Chapters can come in a variety of genres:

  • You can rip into Klinghoffer’s logic
  • You can show where Klinghoffer misunderstands Torah
  • You can show how Torah addresses a policy area that Klinghoffer doesn’t deal with

Contributions can be repurposed from already-published articles, op-eds, and blog posts.

Deadline is July 7. Publication date is planned for August 15, in time for political conventions and the high campaign season.

If you’re interested, raise a virtual hand below, or drop me an email at larry at yudel dot com.

3 thoughts on “How Would God REALLY Vote – A call for collaborators

  1. The Torah and talmudic tradition have an anti-authoritarian streak a mile wide: the best response to party politics built on Torah sources might be abstention– or revolution, depending on the circumstances.
    Just be careful not to claim that really the Torah tells you to vote liberal or Democrat either. In some ways that IS more problematic with respect to our sources than (allegedly) g-d- fearing conservatives. But neither can claim the mantle of heaven– that’s the biggest part of the problem.
    Judaism DOES have a well-established tradition on how to deal with foreign KINGS. But it is far less clear on how to deal with elected leaders, and the whole idea of democracy.
    While the western democratic tradition is inextricably bound up in its origins with the torah tradition (see Yoram Hazony’s excellent works on this), one can make a stronger case from Torah for REAL radicalism– stuff that would terrify liberals– than for middle-of-the-road pacifist democratic ideals. How about Jubilee: ALL debts forgiven, and all peoples returned to their places of tribal origin. National boundaries have no place in the Jubilee…

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