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{Reposted from the Emes Ve-Emunah website)

The pretense is gone! Liberal Orthodoxy is now the Torah of the left. It is a doctrine that is constantly being heard on campuses all over the land. A philosophy reflected by the media with little to no opposition. Mainstream America is becoming more liberal with each passing day. How can it not be?! …being bombarded with a constant barrage of liberal thinking they hear on the airwaves each day.


To the orthodox liberal, conservative values are so terrible that if they raise their ugly head, it becomes necessary to beat those values down. By any means necessary.  Even if it means undermining the foundational democratic structure upon which this country was built – the three separate but equal branches of government.

Which are the Executive (President), Legislative (Congress) and Judicial (The Court). The idea being that each branch should be a check and balance on the other two. Power is therefore supposed to be equally divided among those branches.

As this pertains to the Supreme Court they have the ability to rule on the constitutionality of any laws the Legislative branch passes. This is truly a great system. It has worked pretty well over these past 200 years.

Not that the Judicial branch is entirely apolitical.  Members of the Supreme Court are chosen by a sitting President and then vetted and approved by the Senate. A liberal President will choose liberal justices and a conservative president will choose conservative justices. The Senate has for the most part approved quailifed candidates of either political persuasion. Even as ideologues on either side of the political aisle have tried to subvert nominees that they didn’t like. As was the case with the conservative, Robert Bork – who was successfully boycotted.

Most of the time, that ploy doesn’t work. So that an Antonin Scalia will be approved just as a Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be. What often happens is that a court will have a majority of one political philosophy or the other. Although sometimes a justice will surprise you and not be the reliable conservative or liberal they were thought to be.

That is the way it works. And as indicated our system of government has been working pretty well.

Be that as it may, occasionally circumstances will produce a court heavily weighted politically to one side. When that happens the court will make decisions that reflect that philosophy.

How does that happen? When a justice dies or retires needs to be replaced, choosing a nominee belongs to the sitting President. Approving him or her belongs to the Senate. The nominee is pretty much of the same political philosophy of the President. Who was elected by the people. His choice in theory represents the will of the people that elected him. That seems fair to me. Very democratic in fact. When Democrats are in power you will get the Ginsburgs. When Republicans are in power you will get the Scalias.

That is the way it should work. Our system of government should reflect the will of the people. And if elections are about anything, they are about that. When there is a change of power from one party to to other, the Justices remain as do their political perspectives. Until a vacancy opens up. Then the sitting President of that time chooses – again reflecting the will of the people that elected him. And so it goes.

That is about to change. And that is where Liberal Orthodoxy comes in. Those who are Orthodox that way are so convinced of their moral and ethical rectitude that only a Liberal Supreme Court will do. A Conservative Court is a blasphemy! An unconscionable  aberration that will undermine morality and decency itself. Liberalism is their Halacha… their immutable god.

Undermining all the progress that has been made over the past few decades must not be allowed. It can not be undone by those ‘godless’ conservatives. They must do what’s necessary to change it back to the sanity and basic decency that Liberalism so obviously is. If the court has six conservatives and 3 liberals, (as it soon will) well all you have to do is add 4 more liberal justices. And the Supreme Court stays pure and pristine. As it was before.

To cite one example that Liberal Orthodoxy champions, it is the right of a woman to have an abortion if she so chooses. Or to put it the sanitized way they do – they campion a woman’s  reproductive rights. Which sounds so much more civilized… so much more ethical. Who would deny anyone the basic right to choose when to have a child? Except that what they really mean is the right to kill the fetus of an unwanted pregnancy. No matter how late in the pregnancy. Even if it could survive outside the womb. A potential life – destroyed because it would disrupt her life. That is the moral and ethical position of Liberal Orthodoxy. That is what they want to protect. That is worth undermining the independence of the court. Turning it into a rubber stamp of their agenda.

The current Democratic Presidential nominee has basically admitted to the media that he is considering doing exactly that! Explaining that he will not let all the progress that has been made be destroyed.

What about about that half of the country that does not agree with Liberal Orthodoxy – those of us that have a different kind of Orthodoxy? What about those of us that believe in the sanctity of life and are not willing to support abortion on demand?

They might answer the question with a question: What do bible thumping, gun toting ignoramuses know about ethics and morality anyway?!

(For the record, I am actually in favor of keeping the procedure legal. For religious reasons. I do not want a Halachic decision requiring abortion to be against the law. But I am ethically opposed to the way Liberal Orthodoxy sees it.  Which is assuring the a right of a woman to kill her fetus on demand.)


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Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at