The Chelsea Clinton Wedding Disaster

Chelsea Clinton is getting married, and I am sadly declaring her special day a disaster for me.

(I wanted to run this column a couple weeks ago, and genuinely regret it running so close to her wedding day. Event driven items take priority over topic driven ones.)

No, this has nothing to do with other weddings that may get interrupted. That is part of life. Chelsea is not intentionally trying to hurt anyone. She requires Secret Service protection, and justifiably so. These things happen.

I am just dismayed that she is getting married. No, I am not attracted to her. This has nothing to do with sex.

It has nothing to do with politics. Her parents may be wretched, but she has never raised my taxes or pardoned a terrorist.

I don’t mind Chelsea Clinton getting married in general. I mind her choice of spouse.

Chelsea Clinton is marrying a successful Wall Street professional who could very well be a good guy.

Yet when all is said and done, Chelsea’s wedding will be a funeral for what I hold dear, and too many of these funerals are taking place.

Chelsea Clinton is a Christian, and she is marrying a man who is Jewish.

I am totally opposed to Jewish intermarriage. It is the destruction of Judaism.

I want to make it crystal clear that I have a deep respect for people of all faiths, and people who choose not to have religious faith at all. Christianity is a beautiful religion with rich traditions.

My neighbors were Christians. Some of the best people I have ever known are Christians. Christianity is a beautiful faith. It also has no place in my home.

It is not my faith. My faith is Judaism.

My neighbors honored my Hanukkah traditions. They gave me chocolates around the holiday. They were lovely to me. I had the best neighbors a guy could ask for. Yet when it came time to engage in religious rituals, I went to Synagogue and they went to Church. I celebrated Hanukkah and they celebrated Christmas. One of my closest friends in this world is a devout Christian. We do not hang out on December 25th because that is his special day to be a part of a group that is a different group from mine.

Some will ask what business it is of mine to tell others how to live. I am not ordering anybody to do anything. I am just lamenting.

The reason why Jewish intermarriage is a tragedy is because there are so few Jews in the world. People think we are numerous because of our accomplishments, but we are actually tiny in numbers. There are over one billion Christians and one billion Muslims. Only 14 million Jews exist. We are 1/5 of 1% of the people of the world.

Combine that with a staggering 52% intermarriage rate and that means a faith that may not exist in 100 years. We have survived because hardship made us stronger. Comfort and acceptance are doing what Hitler never could. My father is a Holocaust survivor, and I cannot fathom the notion of what he and my grandparents went through. To marry outside my faith would be to kill everything my grandparents fought to preserve.

Intermarriage and secularism are killing Judaism. Intermarriage often increases Jewish secularism.

Is it possible that Chelsea will convert to Judaism? Not bloody likely. Statistically speaking, children of such intermarriages either embrace Christianity or nothing at all. Judaism is rarely chosen.

One reason for this is that while both religions have serious and fun aspects, Christianity begins by teaching the fun stuff while Judaism talks about responsibility. Getting gifts from Santa Claus and hunting for Easter eggs is more fun than fasting for 24 hours on Yom Kippur. Judaism has much joy to it, but we Jews are terrible at marketing our religion to kids.

Also, converting to Christianity and Islam is easy. Converting to Judaism is an arduous process that can take more than two years.

I have Jewish friends who have intermarried. I consider their spouses to be my friends. Their kids are wonderful children. My cousin (rest her soul) married an Italian man. He is one of the finest men I know, and his children are wonderful human beings with a fabulous father. I am honored to have them as my family.

Yet the loss of Jewish life pains me.

I just wish Chelsea would have chosen among the billion Christians, or anybody else among the 99.8% of non-Jews.

Some will say that they are in love, and not hurting anybody. This is false. Virtually every Jewish intermarriage results in one less Jew in the world. We simply cannot afford to lose any more people.

If a billion Jews existed, I would not care. We just cannot handle any more defections.

Christianity is beautiful, but so is Judaism. Christianity will still exist in the 22nd century.

As for Judaism, I hope it does. We survived pogroms, persecution, and torment. We survived the Romans and the Arabs. Yet we are withering under a daily assault of kindness and acceptance.

I hope that Chelsea Clinton and her husband give their future children plenty of Jewish experiences. The children will not be legally Jewish, but maybe as adults they may choose to convert to Judaism.

I am not holding out much hope.

I wish them no ill will, but I cannot celebrate their nuptials…not when my entire faith is fighting for its very existence.

eric

11 Responses to “The Chelsea Clinton Wedding Disaster”

  1. Eagle 6 says:

    Ah, lamentations!! Hang in there Eric. Granted, many Christians have forsaken the law, but others truly believe Jesus is not Santa Claus or the Easter bunny (St Nick and Istar), and that he meant it when he said he came not to abolish, but to fulfill the law. Thus the beauty of “grace”. Having said that, I wouldn’t worry too much about the population of Jews or Christians… Muslims do not have to carry out Jihad or anything else – all they have to do is continue having babies at their current rate!!

  2. parrothead says:

    I have at least done my part so far. I not only married a Jewish woman, but have had 2 beautiful Jewish children to keep things at least even when we leave this earth. The Chabad rabbi in town has 5 (so far)so he is trying to make up for a few that haven’t 🙂

  3. While I doubt Chelsea will convert (I have the feeling she has other plans for the future), I do believe she will at least make sure any kids she has are educated about Judaism, giving them the chance to follow Judaism if they choose, and they very well may.

    As you point out, history shows us it’s not so much the intermarraige that limits the population of Judaism, but rather cultural forces, like modern, Western secularism. These forces are a natural product of modern civilization. The easier the life – the less likely to be religious. Christianity holds an evangelical edge in that it is very easy to “be” Christian, at least with some sects. Anyone who can say the words “I love Jesus” is automatically “Christian” by those who hold the view that one can be saved by Grace alone, regardless of one’s knowledge of, or adherance to, anything actually Christian. That works great in a society like ours, where we need things that come easy because life in general does not.

    The only reason Americans are as religious as they are is that life here can be very complicated and difficult. In other Western, or similar, nations people are less religious because life is less difficult. That’s why Scandinavians are hardly religious at all. Also, Americans need more spirituality to balance out the greed, indignity and moral corruption that is capitalism run amok. In the end, greed is not reall that “good,” no matter how you look at it.

    Judaism probably will survive for a long time to come because of the depth of it’s culture. Unlike most modern forms of Christianity, Judaism is steeped in culture and history. Being a “Jew” means having a deep connection to tightly bound group. People do like that. Most modern Christian sects offer only a superficial connection to a weakly bound group. The truth is, being a “Christain” just because you exclaim a love of Jesus is not exactly a rich theology. If anything, a couple hundred years from now, I doubt there will be very many of those sorts of Christians around, while Judaism will keep on a-truckin’ along, a small, but deeply devoted, culturally and spiritually rich group.

    JMJ

  4. ProfPapa says:

    Yet again, 2% of the population thinks it has the right to dictate to the 98%.

    Does it ever occur to the Jews that maybe this young man will convert to Christianity?

  5. Micky 2 says:

    “The only reason Americans are as religious as they are is that life here can be very complicated and difficult. In other Western, or similar, nations people are less religious because life is less difficult. That’s why Scandinavians are hardly religious at all.”

    Yeah, no pressure over there

    pfft.

  6. Micky 2 says:

    I doubt either of them is adherant to their faiths doctrine and just simply had them as labels of expediency in an A political environment.

  7. Ya’ never know, Micky. They may be religious. Some people do defy the odds. But you’re probably right. Affluent, educated people are rarely truly religious.

    As for the difficulty of life and religiosity, my rule tends to apply. There are exceptions, though. But when you look at it, people who live in places with lower crime, poverty, social ills and distress, tend to be less religious than people who come from places that are more difficult to live in. There’s another reason Americans may be more religious too, and that’s education. We are generally not as educated as our competitor nations. The less educated you are, the more likely you are to be religious, especially with an easy religion like most modern Christian sects preach.

    JMJ

  8. Micky 2 says:

    You’re wrong.
    America is religious country, or at least 70-75% of us identify as Christian. And were the wealthiest, with one of top three living standards
    Then you have third world hell holes like almost every middle eastern state which of course is 99% Muslim.
    It has nothing to do with religion determening academia, its how the religion is used, taught, and percieved.
    Basically you’re saying religious people are dumber than atheist or agnostics.
    So whats new. In Scandinavia, the governments are the churches

  9. Well, wealth-wise, American statistics are a little skewed. We have both inordinately high numbers of very wealthy and very poor, with an ever-shrinking middle class. We also work the hardest for the money we do have. We also are not the most educated, erudite people in the world, also. So, I stand by everything I’ve said and I believe most studies agree. But no, I don’t think religious people are de facto “dumb.” I just think the more educated you are, the harder it is to believe in God. God is, afterall, a pretty silly notion.

    Again, though, there are exceptions to the rule. Jewish people, even very religious ones, tend to be very educated. But on the other hand, most forms of Judaism encourage a questioning of one’s faith and the ability to broadly interpret it. Christianity, like Islam, is pretty cut ‘n dry. It doesn’t leave much room for interpretation. Either you believe or you don’t. Also, Judaism is as much a culture and ethnicity as it is a religion. That’s not true of Islam or Christianity either.

    JMJ

  10. angela says:

    Jersey…

    Your comments are haughty…and mostly incorrect…especially when it comes to Christianity. One question for you…how many times have you read the New Testament?

    Me…being the stupid Christian…has read the Torah numerous times…as well as the prophets…studied all of the books in Sunday School as a youngster…and in fact…last week at church studied the book of Isaiah.

    The main concept you fail to recognize is our religion didn’t begin with Jesus…it began with the trinity…which includes the God of your heritage…which in turn makes it as old as Judaism. Jesus is in fact a Jew…Paul…the author of most of the New Testament was a Jew.
    Judaism is a huge part of my life…as well as most Christians I know and love. We have a very strong community of believers…we meet not only on Sunday’s but in each others’ homes every Wednesday.

    Maybe you should talk to someone…read our text…or do some kind of research before making such blanket statements. Christianity isn’t easy…we are just offered grace instead of condemnation. We have been redeemed from the law…through Christ…which means he was our final sacrifice.

  11. leonkushner says:

    Eric, my feelings exactly. It’s another sad day for Jews. I hope she converts to Judaism before they have any kids.

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