Rev. Tim Miner M.Div. OUnI
Rabbi Dr. Rami Shapiro OUnI
When I first read this I thought the solution was to burn down all the religious institutions I disagree with and then offer to help rebuild them again. Slowly. But that isn't what Tim meant at all. He meant we have to sit down and chat with people who think we are spawn of the devil. We have to make room for them in the Big I of Inclusivity and Interfaith.
Actually I like talking with fundamentalists. They are clear about what they believe and not hesitant to share their beliefs. So on the chatting level I have no problem. My problem (and that is all it is MY problem) is that sometimes when we welcome those who disagree with us we end up catering to them as well. This is especially true when liberal Jews seek to engage truly Orthodox Jews in joint events. Suddenly we, the liberals, have to live as Orthodox Jews so that we can enjoy the company of Orthodox Jews who have no appreciation or respect for our liberalism at all.
The challenge is to create a gathering where no one has to cater to anyone. Is this possible? I have yet to see it in the Jewish world. What would this look like? What could such a gathering accomplish? If there is a constituency that will not budge, will the rest simply surrender? That is what seems to be happening with the Democrats in Congress vis a vis the Tea Party folks. The two party system is dead; we are all Conservative Republicans now. Except for Bernie Sanders.
The point is not to support one side or another, but simply to note that the most intransigent seem to win. Will this happen to the Big I Tent as well? And if not, why not?