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“Hate-Speech” and Twitter – Rabbi Lapin’s Response

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was asked to respond for a news article to Louis Farrakhan’s most recent anti-Semitic remark on Twitter, and on Twitter’s hypocrisy in addressing “hate-speech”. Here is his submitted quote:

“Jews, along with all Americans, are best served by constitutional fealty and it is the First Amendment to the Constitution that happily makes America one of the few nations not to criminalize what is called “hate-speech.” The reason I say “happily” is because we Jews would rapidly become hate-speech legislation’s first victims, as teaching certain Biblical chapters is made illegal. In America, Louis Farrakhan may freely utter his opinions about Jews, and being a private sector company, Twitter may freely choose to publish those opinions. But Twitter betrays its moral mendacity by providing Farrakhan with a megaphone while banning many voices like the Christian blogger, Elizabeth Johnston, for opposing the sexualization of young children by Teen Vogue magazine. Americans would be better served by a Twitter that practiced no censorship at all. And Twitter would be better off too.” ~ Rabbi Daniel Lapin, American Alliance of Jews and Christians

Elections are coming

There are a number of times in the past that my husband and I voted for third-party candidates as a way of sending a message to the GOP elite. They didn’t get the message, by the way. We weren’t alone and ignoring what we were feeling is what led to the election of President Trump.

This year, however, with elections coming up, I would vote for any Republican candidate, including ones I distrust and dislike. Things are so volatile that I don’t know if there are any foregone conclusions and the danger of giving the Democrat Party any more control is present and real.

The Gosnell Movie

I did not want to see this movie. Despite its PG-13 rating, I knew that it would be distressing. How could it not be? Dr. Kermit Gosnell was a prolific abortionist sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. He was convicted for (among other things) murdering three infants and of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient at his clinic.

The reason that I am posting this as a Practical Parenting column as well as a Musing is that I recommend you take the parental guidance part of the movie’s rating very seriously. I would not have wanted to see this movie when I was pregnant or nursing. If my child’s youth group was going to see it, I would try, at a minimum, to see it myself first and decide if it is appropriate for my child. In Hollywood’s world, gore and violence are routine, so to them this movie may seem unremarkable, but the subject matter is mature and the visual impact is powerful.

The Gosnell trial is relatively recent history and the movie’s producers make clear that most of the material is drawn from transcripts and police reports. I knew of the trial and how unprofessionally the press tried to ignore it. It was a fight to produce the movie as well, and there is no question that there is a strong cultural attempt to suppress it. Each and every person who acted in or worked on the film is a hero because there will be ramifications to his or her career.

The movie is gripping. I am not qualified to write a review that talks about the acting, directing, musical score or other aspects. I can only say that the movie touched and disturbed me deeply. Concern that this might happen, of course, is exactly why I didn’t want to see it.

So, why did I make myself view it? I did not see it to pat myself on the back for being pro-life. Kermit Gosnell was not on trial for performing legal abortions. He was either a very disturbed or a very evil man – probably both. I know caring and good people who support abortion. None of them would defend his actions. To say that his clinic was unsanitary is a gross understatement. He reused instruments intended for single use, had unqualified teenagers dispensing anesthesia and drugs and killed babies who were born alive. Indeed, he was convicted precisely because he broke the law.

If that is so, why is it so important to so many news outlets, newspapers, media influencers and politicians that people not see this movie? I think it is because Kermit Gosnell is not the only bad guy in this story. The government of Pennsylvania, its politicians, health department and social services failed the women of that state, especially low-income minorities. Because they saw abortion as a sacred cow that must not be questioned, they did not carry out inspections or respond to complaints. Laboring under a false, sanctimonious belief that nothing must prevent women’s access to an abortion clinic, they all but guaranteed that women would be abused. Were it not for the relentless political pressure of the pro-choice movement, Kermit Gosnell would have had his medical license revoked. Were it not for the importance of abortion to secular society, Gosnell’s practice would have been closed. The records make clear that nail salons received more scrutiny than abortion clinics. Had Gosnell not been protected in this way, lives would have been saved.

This movie is disturbing as well because, today, abortion is light years away from how it was understood in Roe v Wade.  Abortion today is a widely accepted and celebrated culture. Furthermore, science, in its understanding of the fetus and its ability to treat newborns born prematurely, is worlds away from 1973. The description of legal abortions in the trial was unsettling. 

Very few people today actually look at abortion with rational and probing minds. It is a sacred sacrament of the Left, not open to debate. The good people I know who are pro-choice will need to ask themselves and answer serious questions if they see this movie. Not questions about Kermit Gosnell and his actions, but tremendously uncomfortable questions about the entire pro-choice movement and about legally sanctioned abortion. No wonder so many want to keep this movie under wraps.

As an adult citizen of a country in which abortion is legal, I felt obligated to see this movie. I believe that any honest pro-choice individual who squirms at the current suggestion that having an abortion is a reason for pride or a wonderful rite of passage should see Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (an unfortunate subtitle in my opinion). Despite the reservations I expressed at the beginning of this Musing, I would use every bit of parental pressure at my hands to make sure that any college-aged student or older child of mine saw it.  Because of cultural repression, that isn’t going to be easy. That, in itself, should encourage all principled and open-minded people to make the effort.

On another note: I am friends with many of you on Facebook. Due to changes on that platform I will now be posting my Susan’s Musings, Ask the Rabbi (and me!) and Practical Parenting posts on my new page instead. Find out when there are new posts by following me here.

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I feel like a stranger in my own home.

My husband (second marriage for both of us)  and I live in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house. Our 24-year-old nephew is living in the house with us for the purpose of learning my husband’s trade and going to college part time. I am feeling uncomfortable with this arrangement as he is not my blood relative and he has asked me if I am “trying to give him hints” which I don’t think I really answered at the time due to being caught off guard.

Later I explained to him I am not his friend, I am his aunt. I see my role during this time as helping him to get up and out on his own. I told him he needs to go out and make friends of his own age. He moved from another state and has not made much of an effort that I know of to be social.

I never explicitly talked about the “hints” comment with him, but mentioned it to my husband who said we don’t really know what he meant by that but if it ever comes up again they will have to have a man to man talk.  I tried to not worry about it, but am as careful as I can to always dress very modestly, and try not to be alone with him.

He is doing well in his work but I feel profoundly uncomfortable with this arrangement. I told my husband I would like to be able to shower in our camper in our yard and I even said I would be ok with living in the camper until we are able to find another way to work things out. My husband is not in favor of me living out there but is ok with me showering out there, however he has not had time to set it up for showering yet.

I sometimes shower in the middle of the night when not too tired or wait until the weekend to shower, when our nephew goes to stay with his birth mom, step dad and half siblings about an hour away. He is supposed to be with us a year.

Rabbi Daniel and Rebbetzin Susan, please share your thoughts with me on this.

Dear Acea,

We know exactly what we want to tell your husband, but unfortunately he isn’t asking for our advice. Will he pay attention to our words? If not, you need to find someone to whom he will listen. If there is no one (or no one who will give the correct advice) then this is one of those times where you must stand up for yourself with strength and determination.

The short answer is that this is unacceptable. It isn’t just a minor issue.  It is absolutely and completely not ok. Your husband has an obligation to provide you with a home in which you feel comfortable. For you to need to shower in the middle of the night and feel nervous and on edge in your home means that he is failing in his duties.

It goes without saying that a man’s obligations to his wife are far more significant than toward his nephew or even his brother.

Of course we do not want to contribute to tension and disagreement between you and your husband but we do have to say that you are being too accommodating. Having your nephew live with you without strict parameters goes against time-tested ancient Jewish wisdom (this would be so even if he was your blood relative, by the way). If anyone should be moving into the camper, it should be your nephew. Even that is only acceptable if you are comfortable having him so close by. If his words or actions make you feel nervous or embarrassed, then he should not be on your property at all. He certainly should not be entering your home at any time that your husband isn’t present neither should he ever enter without knocking and being admitted. 

Your husband’s nephew is probably a little immature. Most 24-year-old males who are not yet supporting themselves are not men, but boys. And boys entertain fantasies.  When he asked about whether you are trying to send him hints, we know without any doubt exactly what he meant by that and are a little surprised that your husband didn’t. 

We suspect that perhaps your husband is just trying to avoid confrontation and is hoping that things will gradually settle down without him having to sit down for that serious ‘man-to-man’ talk with his nephew. 

We are not sure if your husband is mentoring his nephew for his nephew’s benefit, for the business’ benefit or for both. If your husband is trying to help his nephew, it cannot be at your expense.  If your husband’s business needs the help, then you can graciously assist with providing meals and other support to your nephew, but asking you to share what sounds like fairly compact living quarters is way too much.

If this answer sounds strongly assertive it is because we want to make sure that you do not feel an obligation to compromise or “wait things out,” or not to be so sensitive. Standing up strongly for what is right makes one a good, not a bad wife. A man’s home may be his castle, but a woman’s home is her castle, her nest and her domain.

Wishing you a home of joy,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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THOUGHT TOOLS

  • Building Blocks – Not for Kids Only October 16, 2018 by Rabbi Daniel Lapin - Jews around the world recently finished an annual cycle of reading the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) and immediately began reading again from the beginning of Genesis.  Since so many of us met the “stories” in Genesis as children, we sometimes neglect to view the book with adult eyes.  Ancient Jewish wisdom analyzes each Read More

ASK THE RABBI

  • I feel like a stranger in my own home. October 17, 2018 by Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin - My husband (second marriage for both of us)  and I live in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house. Our 24-year-old nephew is living in the house with us for the purpose of learning my husband's trade and going to college part time. I am feeling uncomfortable with this arrangement as he is not my blood Read More

SUSAN’S MUSINGS

  • The Gosnell Movie October 18, 2018 by Susan Lapin - I did not want to see this movie. Despite its PG-13 rating, I knew that it would be distressing. How could it not be? Dr. Kermit Gosnell was a prolific abortionist sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. He was convicted for (among other things) murdering three infants and of involuntary manslaughter Read More

ON OUR MIND

  • Elections are coming October 19, 2018 by Susan Lapin - There are a number of times in the past that my husband and I voted for third-party candidates as a way of sending a message to the GOP elite. They didn't get the message, by the way. We weren't alone and ignoring what we were feeling is what led to the election of President Trump. Read More

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About Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America’s Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, popular international speaker and best-selling author. He hosts the Rabbi Daniel Lapin podcast as well as co-hosting the Ancient Jewish Wisdom TV Show on the TCT network with his wife, Susan. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner, thus improving peoples’ finances, family and community life  has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths.

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