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October 05, 1984 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-10-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

12

Friday, October 5, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LOTTIE D. HALPERIN, R.E.-F.E.S.A.

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Continued from Page 2

can soil, anything lacking in op-
timism is possible.
In his column, George Will recited
this lack of faith in the adoption of
the genocide pact:
The treaty had been
ratified by nearly 90 na-
tions in the mid-70s when
genocide consumed Cam-
bodia. The treaty was
irrelevant. The way to
have prevented genocide
in Cambodia was to have
won the war in Indochina.
Under the language of
the treaty the Soviet re-
gime is today, and has
been for 67 years, guilty
regarding its treatment of
various national, ethnic
and religious groups. If the
treaty is ratified, would the
United States promptly try
to bring the Soviet regime
to the bar of justice? Of
course not; it is like pulling
teeth to get even this con-
servative Administration
to issue congressionally
mandated reports on
Soviet violations of arms-
control agreements.
No, the treaty would be
just another pretty patch
on the quilt of hypocrisy
typified by the Helsinki
process, in which we sol-
emnly discuss the rights of
trade unions and jour-
nalists in the Soviet bloc,
where there are no trade
unions or journalists.
Under the genocide treaty
the United States would
solemnly commit itself to
act against certain crimes;
then by not acting, the
United States would, infe-
rentially, acquit the Soviet
regime of the crimes.
After 44 months of allow-
ing the treaty to gather
dust, the Administration,
two months before an elec-
tion, has dusted it off. No
doubt some deep thinkerls
thinking about the Jewish
vote. One can imagine
what survivors of the
Holocaust think of a treaty
perfectly designed to re-
strain through its moral
authority any regime that
believes in both genocide
and the rule of law.
If this were to be accepted, what
hope would be left to get justice in
the Soviet Union, to protect the
liberties in this country, to attain
a civilization worthy of mankind?
The usual pragmatism of
George Will has just been ne-
gated. HiS conservatism is now
under challenge.

Once again ...
the tradition that
demands retention
of Separation Principle

There is this to be said about the
big battle on the American scene
for the protection of the Separa-
tion Principle: the libertarians
are not silent.
Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Albert •
Schweitzer Professor of the
Humanities at the City Univer-
sity of New York and Pulitzer
Prize winner in history and biog-
raphy, writing in the Wall Street
Journal Sept. 20 under the title
"Church-State Rift is as Old as -
America," offers a few lessons for
this generation. His most schol-
arly analysis of the Separation
ideal which has guided this nation
since its founding is concluded
with a brief summation subtitled -
"Absolute's versus Compromise"
and states:
Religion deals in abso-
lutes: politics in com-
promise and adjustment.
That is why the Founding
Fathers were determined
to keep sectarianism out of
politics.
The American Constitu-
tion was drawn for non-_
Christians as well as
Christians, for nonbeliev-
ers as well as believers. It
did not ordain a religious
state. Madison saw "the
best and only security for
religious liberty" in the
existence of a "multiplicity
• of sects," checking and
balancing each other. He
did not want a single reli-
gious consensus to prevail.
"If there were a majority of
one sect," he said, "a bill of
rights would be a poor pro-
tection indeed."
One hopes that religion
has expired as a national
political issue and that the
candidates will hereafter
address themselves to the
serious policy choices be-
fore the country. The last
thing we need is to strain
the fragile ligaments of our
democracy by pouring
religious discord into what
Jefferson called the bois-
terous ocean of political
passion."
Perhaps the current debate
over the religious impacts on poli-
tics serves the important purpose _
of teaching the unknowledgeable
the history of this nation. May the
Schlesinger expression of hope for
an end to political passion come to
fruition!

NEWS

Second-day service at Canadian temple

Toronto(JTA) — Holy Blossom
Temple, Canada's leading Pro-
gressive (Reform) synagogue, ob-
served the full two days of Rosh
Hashana this year, breaking its
60-year practice of observing the
first day only. The same will apply
to Su ccot, synagogue officials
said.

The change has been attributed

to the leadership of Rabbi Dov --

Marmur, the Swedish-educated,
British-trained rabbi who took
over the pulpit a year ago. The
second days of the observance will
be open to non-members, Reform
or unaffiliated Jews, who may
want to attend. It remains to be
seen whether the change will be
emulated by other Progressive
congregations in Canada.

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