Keeping Politics Out of the Temple

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In the 2012 presidential election, Florida is one of a handful of “battleground states” that will more than likely determine the outcome. One of the key voting blocs in Florida are Jewish Americans. High among the concerns of many is the state of U.S.-Israel relations. Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was scheduled to speak about that topic last Friday at Miami’s Temple Israel. Long-time temple member Stanley G. Tate objected to the inappropriate mixing politics with religion. When Temple president Ben Kuehne insisted in having Wasserman Schultz appear, Mr. Tate, a prominent Republican, asked for equal time to rebut Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Kuehne refused. When the dust settled Wasserman Schultz’s appearance was cancelled, and Mr. Tate resigned his six-decade membership at the temple.

Both Tate and Kuehne are politically involved. Kuehne is a high-profile Democrat retained by Al Gore during the 2000 Florida recount who has contributed campaign donations to Florida Democrats. Tate is a high-profile Republican, founding member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and is currently working for Mitt Romney’s election campaign in Miami-Dade county. Both men are attorneys. Like Kuehne, Tate has also been president of the temple.

According to Mr. Tate, Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s invitation to speak from the bema or the pulpit immediately following Shabbat put the the temple’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in jeopardy, because it violated the prohibition of  partisan political activities within the temple. Mr Kuehne contends that Ms. Wasserman Schultz is an elected official and that her “presentation,” not her “speech,” would have been given under the auspices of the temple’s Social Justice Forum where a series of programs has included a number of speakers on a variety of topics.

“The temple is a non-partisan, non-political organization,” said Kuehne. “It promotes Jewish religious and cultural values. Politics surround all of what we do in American society. And politics tend to be very potentially divisive of late. But throughout 90 years, Temple Israel has tried to steer clear of politics by getting involved in social justice programming that we believe is independent of and more compelling than political issues.” Kuehne also maintained that the temple “is always making an attempt to utilize a variety of spokespersons on the issues of the day…and we hope to continue that tradition,” adding that “generally the programs are independent of the party registration of any of our speakers.”

Tate wasn’t buying it. “She’s the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee,” he said. “The topic is the U.S.-Israel relationship. There cannot be any conversation on that topic, none, unless it has to do with the politics.” Kuehne’s rebuttal? He conceded that Ms.Wasserman Schultz’s speech might be considered political, but insisted it would not be partisan. He was asked if he was given a copy of Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s speech in advance in order to determine if that were the case. He said no, but that he expected the congresswoman to “comport herself in a non-partisan manner.”

Ms. Wasserman Schultz reacted predictably: “I believe strongly that in a democracy people should be able to hear from and interact with their elected officials, which is why I gladly accepted Temple Israel’s invitation to speak as I have previously to many organizations and religious institutions throughout South Florida,” she said. “It is unfortunate that some would allow politics to stand in the way of citizens’ ability to interact with their representative.” However, Temple Israel is not within the boundaries of her Florida congressional district, and it thus raises questions about the political nature of her talk, especially with respect to her prestigious position as head of the DNC and Obama surrogate.

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  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    I want to thank Debbie Wasserman Schultz for helping me decide who to vote for.

    I'm voting for Romney.

  • Ami

    Maybe members of Reform "Temples" should try practicing Judaism for a change!

    • Amused

      Yea , maybe they should take the position of several Ultra-Orthodox sects – "There should be no Israel unless it's established by Moschiach " .

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Let the neteuri kaka establish a "community" in Gaza. Let's see how tolerant Hamass is towards neteuri kaka.

      • Avigayil

        Both positions are extreme. The secularists think that they can disavow real Judaism and be left alone. The religious anti-zionists think that they can insulate themselves inside of a time warp and be left alone. Both of these groups also buried their heads in the sand right before Holocaust. They refused to believe that they were no longer safe in Europe despite their best efforts. The Jewish ideal is to choose the middle path, to be religious but practical as well.

      • Atikva

        Do you seriously think that Moschiach had nothing to do with the return of His people to their land? Well, think again.

        There is not one step leading toward the re-birth of the Land of Israel that He didn't inspire and engineer. It was Him all the time.

      • Choi

        And as you attempt FOOL everybody with your Memorial Day post on the Memorial Day thread,you prove that defending a FELLOW DEMOCRACY,Israel,is beyond your grasp.
        Why?
        Because YOU ARE A JEW-HATER.
        Amused: YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE!

        • Amused

          thanks again Choi for confirming my estimation of you …IMBECILE . LOL…and it looks like there are atleast 4 more just like you .

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            Thanks again amused for just confirming my estimation of you.

    • Ghostwriter

      Ummm,who is Moschiach? I have no idea who he is.

      • Amused

        Exactly Ghostwriter .

  • David

    Judaism? What's that? They practice "secularism". They think that if they do not "act" Jewish, the muslims and nazis will leave them alone.

    • oldtimer

      They tried that in Germany, and look at the result…….

      • Amused

        Go back to sleep in your easy chair oldtimer . Commenting after you wake up in the middle of a discussion, does you no good .

    • Amused

      typical ignorant remark coming from a non-jew .

      • Amused

        My above reply directed to David .

        • Lady_Dr

          David was exactly right – I use to work for a Jewish institution in Miami which had a LOT of Temple Israel members working there, volunteering there, giving their money there (and to our institution). I woke up and smelled the coffee – these people are bagel and lox Jews. Their ignorance of Judaism is pathic and their allegiance is strictly to the DNC. I heard DWS speak once on the same platform as Ileana Ros-Lethenin who DOES represent Miami. The latter looked and spoke like a congressional rep – one could be proud of her. DWS came across as a real twit, a vocal adolescent who simply mouthed certain talking points – she is an embarrassment.

          • Amused

            How did you get a job there ? not being a jew and all…….and it's obvious you just worked there ,and nothng else , for if you actually talked to any of those "bagel and lox " jews [as you put it ] ,you'd have soon realized that they do in fact know Judaism .

  • oldtimer

    Why did they even consider to invite someone like her. Rev.2:9 & 3:9.

  • logdon

    Kapos in the Temple? Not for now.

    But these self negating Jews give kapos a good name. They have a choice.

    The kapo's was that of hauling the dead brethren from death chamber to crematoria. Or joining them. In fact most did after the physical or mental abilities broke down.

    What they earned was a temporary reprieve and nothing more.

    They got a Nazi hudna, transient peace in exchange for ultimate grovelling. Just as soon as the grovelling outweighed its usefulness, off they went.

    Mangling the old chestnut, those who ignore history are bound to relive it.

    And further mangling, are these neu-kapos the old money lenders?

    • Amused

      your anti-semitism is showing you ignoramus .

      • logdon

        And you are an idiot. Can you read More.Than.The.Glaringly.Obvious? There, I've made it simple.

        Is your power of comprehension so low that the fact I'm championing zionism and judaism against these sell outs flies over your empty head?

        There are Jews right now in Israel who advocate disbanding the country's religious base. They talk of living side by side in a land shared with the 'right to returners'.

        Are you also on their side merely because they're Jews?

        • ajnn

          ignore the idiot 'amused'.

  • Amused

    Hmmmmm, no politics in the temple ? Sounds like a good idea . I find the whole incident a bit disingenuous given the topic …US support for Israel .And being a jew myself , I can see the irony here …lol..TWO Jewish lawyers , one a Democrat the other a Republican ! OY !!!
    My question would be , what would the Republican Member's counter-point be ? Other things to be considered , would be whether or not Wasserman was to speak during an actual service ? Was she getting paid, and if so , with Temple Funds to speak ? Would there be any objections if it were Bibi invited to speak ?

    • pete

      Bibi would not be a elected official of the US using the temple essentially as a campaign stop in a US election year. I kind of think Jefferson et al was talking about the separation of the US government from the churches and other religious institutions, not the head of state of a foreign nation speaking to his co-religionists. The Pope is also a head of state. The Vatican, like it or not, is a country. But I doubt that anyone would object to his speaking about Catholic political issues like abortion in a US Cathedral on the grounds of church/state separation. Neither Bibi nor the Pope in similar situations would pose a threat to anyones tax exempt status for talking about issues. But a American pol delivering what amounts to a campaign speech on a issue near and dear to the hearts of the congregation in a house of worship right after services? Sounds like a breech to me.

  • davarino

    In this particular case its not so much keeping politics out of temple as it is keeping nuts out of temple.

  • Amused

    ….and of course , the article begs the inevitable question …."what of all the christian churches and pastors who are actually telling their congregations who to vote for" , and DURING regular church services , regardless if Dem.or Rep . ??? And what of those same Pastors who have become public figures for political positions ?

    It's a TWO-WAY STREET ,Mr.Alhert .

    • Atikva

      "what of all the christian churches and pastors who are actually telling their congregations who to vote for"

      What indeed? How about your own church – if any? Did you hear your pastor tell you whom to vote for, or is this just another unverified rumor from someone who never set foot in a church?

      I, in turn, am in church every Sunday, and I never heard a word about the forthcoming presidential election. The congregation simply wouldn't accept it.

      • Amused

        you're kidding right ?

        • Atikva

          Do I look like it?

          You know no more about what happens every Sunday in our churches than I know about what happens every Friday/Saturday at shul. The difference is that I don't pretend to.

      • fiddler

        amused is a jew, or sho s/he says.

    • fiddler

      and of course , the article begs the inevitable question …."what of all the christian churches and pastors who are actually telling their congregations who to vote for"

      You mean as Al Gore did at black churches in 2000?: "Now you need to go to the polls and do the Lord's work".

      Where was the ACLU?

      • Amused

        I think having a mother born in Tel Aviv to jewish parents qualifies me as a jew fiddler …and it's HE , not She . And I mean , as in countless sermons in christian congregation who tell their congregations who to vote for , regardless of what Gore did or didn't do . It applies to any poltics in any church or synogogue claiming 501c . As for what Wasserman DID not do , due to controversy brought about by a REPUBLICAN of that congregation , going to a Temple , being a Jew what would be wrong with Wasserman beating the drum for Israel violate ? It was assumed by the republican lawyer/ifdiot member of that temple , that Wasserman would be there to talk politics .Therefore HE HIMSELF DEMANDED EQUAL TIME based on his assumption .

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          No countless of Christians pastors do not tell them how to vote. They do explain the issues. But the IRS would go after them for violating their non profit status if they did.

          • Amused

            Yea Roger , Obama's the anti-christ , A BABY KILLER ,a muslim , marxist ,communist ,nazi ,and wants to put all you good christians in concentration camps …..now don't tell the good preacher who you'll vote for ,and he won't tell you who to vote for .

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            The IRS has issues with conservative Pastors telling things like that from the pulpit.
            http://projectfairplay.org/facts/faq/

  • oldtimer

    The US is a republic not a democracy..And to the republic forwhich it stands..Big difference, look it up.

    • Amused

      With all due respect oldtimer , what are we trying to sell overseas in other lands ? Democracy ? Or Republic ?
      Indeed look up both , and you'll find they are just about one and the same . Although many lands have incorporated [co-opted ] the term Republic -USSR / China / N.Korea . In the US we are BOTH . You can't have a TRUE REPUBLIC without DEMOCRACY . Even Machiavelli had trouble distinguishing both .What do we support and promote around the world ? Democracies or Republics ?

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        We are trying to sell liberty and freedom.

        You are just a recycled troll, what other names have you posted under here?
        Are you going the 'guest' route to avoid a huge negative rating?

        • Amused

          As usual Roger GFY …..now you know who I am . Now run along little idiot .

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            So what other troll names have you used?

        • patriothere

          lol. Yeah right. You are selling rothchild zionism.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            No, selling exactly what I said.

            You're just an Iranian centric paid hack.
            Remember explaining it?

            6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who are being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out.

  • Zed

    Any Jew that does not do everything they can to support Israel is delusional (what else is new?) and on some level, suicidal. History does repeat itself because humans have very short life spans but their animal tendencies evolve over hundreds of thousands of years. It doesn't have to be the Jews every time history repeats itself, right now it happens to be the Syrians!

  • Amused

    …or the Libyans , Egyptians , Morrocans , Tunisians ,Burmese , etc . Your point ? [ beyond your first sentence ]

  • Amused

    The Party names Republican and Democrat merely reflect differences of opinion , not nationwide philiosphies , for we are ALL willing , voting , participants in a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC .

    • Choi

      That's a democratic Republic.

      • Amused

        Choi = schmuck

    • Tanstaafl jw

      What's in a name?

      Juliet:
      "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet."

      • boogies daddy

        Democracies don't smell so good when they fail….and they all do.

        • Amused

          oh really ….that why we sacrificed our blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan ? Interesting view , but not surprising at all given the poison politics of repocon morons like yourself , and not surprising that atleast so far two approving morons sign on to your ignorant remark .
          The trouble with your party is that they would rather see the Ship of State sunk , so long as they are in control when it does . What a bunch of pathetic suckers !

          • fiddler

            Can you possibly speak without using ad hominem? You DO have friends, right? We are NOT amused.

          • Amused

            who cares ? I call a spade a spade , if that offends or seems ad hominem tough sheeet . Got that fiddler >?

  • Lady_Dr

    DWS – the gift that keeps on giving – to the Republican Party. She is an angry bitch, a self-hating Jew, who lives on the DNC plantation as a slavedriver. No idea how she gets re-elected either – she doesn't seem stylish enough for the ladies-who-do-lunch in her district.

  • dos

    "put the the temple’s 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in jeopardy," It won't, only conservatives are under such discrimination. A recent example is Obama's IRA's investigation of the Tea Party organizations.

    • dos

      It's IRS. Hahaha.

      • Amused

        Awwww, conservatives as "eternal victims " , I know of other groups who think themselves "eternal victims ' too .

  • http://WWW.MEDIACRAPMATTERS.US ABUTOM

    If you are Jewish and you love your country and your heritage GET OUT OF THE PARTY OF DEATH. A PARTY THAT CAN MURDER LITTLE CHILDREN CAN MURDER ADULTS TOO. OBAMA IS NOT FOR US OR ISRAEL.
    THE ONLY FRIEND ISRAEL CAN COUNT ON IS ISRAEL. EN GARDE .http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spiritofamericapartybook/2012/05/26/memorial-day-tribute-to-guess-who

    • Asher

      The same tactics are going on that lifted Hitler to power…the Power of Lying and Deception to fool people, and also the collapse of the economy, and redistribution of wealth!

  • Saltire

    Thank you, Mr. Tate, for taking a stand on the separation of religion and politics. All churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues need to take similar stands and remove politics from the pulpit. Otherwise, file as a non-profit political organization instead of a religious organization.

    • Asher

      I agree when you are in God's house, you uphold his principles and his commands…Never speak of Evil…he knows and sees all…those who are in the depths of corruption are due for a rude awakening.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    I'm wondering if they just didn't realize that looking at her horrible hair and keeping a straight face would be so very difficult.

    • Amused

      well ya know Roger , that's a good reason , for making a political judgement …….HAIR . Didn't know you were so "catty " Roger . Like Lady_DR on style of clothes . Pathetic.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        And I didn't know you consider her looks to be so attractive.

        • patriothere

          Again you dig yourself a digger hole.
          Paris Hilton's dating habits have always been an important macro economic indicator.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            The flame program must have degraded your translation program.

            You're making even less sense than normal.

  • Ken

    I wish we could disinvite her from our government entirely!!

  • Asher

    Debbie Wasserman Schutz is as divisive as her Commander And Chief…Hussein Obama. Wanna get the public riled up…invite her to speak…she is a total turn off for Freedom or Sanity!

  • Amused

    Well fortunately for democracy and the greater good of the country , we "disinvite " by the ballot , not by what you or any of your fellow malcontents deem so. In this country we vote and live with the result until the next election .Don't like it ? then pack your bags and go move to a country that doesn't practice Democracy .

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      We have a republic, you know the 'rule of law' thing?

      • patriothere

        You live under tyranny from hook nosed jews.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          Nope, I live in a republic founded by Christian protestants.
          You just see Jews behind every tree, behind every motorcycle. Behind every computer program…

          I hear your Iranian computers are all plugged up again, this time even effecting oil output. How does that feel?

          • patriothere

            Once again you lie. You always lie.

            Paris Hilton's dating habits have always been an important macro economic indicator.

            My Country was built by blacks and paid by the jews. USA. Today it's more like built by the blacks and owned by the Chinese. LOL!

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            Did the flame program shut down your computer, or did Iranian central clerics demand you unplug it and send pre-recorded spam for a while?

        • Amused

          yea just spit it out patriothere .

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            So alike in the 'stupid'.

  • Herbster

    It appears that Mr. Kuehne's true religion is liberalism, not Judaism.

  • Schlomotion

    Other unachieved famous rebuttals by Barbarians in American History:

    The Rebuttal to the Declaration of Independence
    The Rebuttal to the Bill of Rights
    The Rebuttal to the Gettysburg Address
    The Rebuttal to Einstein's Theory of Relativity
    The Rebuttal to Eisenhower's Warning against the Military Industrial Complex
    The Rebuttal to Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Was that supposed to mean something, or were you putting random words together?
      It's hard to tell with liberal progressives.

  • patriothere

    No you're not.
    Paris Hilton's dating habits have always been an important macro economic indicator.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      So, did the 'flame' program cause your computer problems?

      Or are you waiting for the next update to patch the things it missed?