“..Are you offended when people pray out loud in public places?” I asked my interview guest.
It was 2006 and U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, was on his way to losing with his own party. I suspected at the time that Mr. Lieberman was in trouble with fellow Democrats because – at least in part – he was “too religious” (after all, he has been known to “give thanks to Yahweh” in public from time to time). So I asked prominent conservative Jewish commentator and columnist Rich Galen to offer his insights on my daily talk show.
“Absolutely not” Galen responded when I asked about public prayer being offensive. “And if I’m with Christian friends and they pray before a meal” he continued in his usual good-natured wit, “when they get to the part where they say ‘in Jesus’ name,’ I always shout ‘Amen!,’ because, you know, I need all the help I can get – and what the heck, you Christian folks might be right about the Messiah thing!”
I wish more Americans – Jews and Gentiles alike – had Rich Galen’s respectful, “live and let live” outlook on the expression of Judeo-Christian traditions (I wish more of us had his sense of humor, too). Unfortunately many Jews in America seem quite indifferent about their own cultural and faith heritage (whether or not they take the religion of “Judaism” seriously), while far too many Democrats have moved from being indifferent to being hostile towards traditional religious beliefs. These factors, combined with a U.S. foreign policy that is now decidedly anti-Israel, could mean serious trouble for both our own nation and our historic Middle Eastern ally.
The plight of Senator Joe Lieberman over the past decade is an important chapter in America’s “indifference- to-hostility” story. Lieberman, who is not only Jewish but an “Observant Orthodox Jew,” lost favor with his own Connecticut Democrat Party back in 2006 because he was supposedly too supportive of “Bush’s war” in Iraq. Thus, Democrats in The Constitution State ran a challenger candidate that year who was more genuinely “anti-Bush,” and who went on to win the state-wide Democrat primary race.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.