Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why I Won't Compromise on Separating Church & State כפייה דתית: אין פשרה

MadJack 11* wrote:

“The onus on compromise is always on the one who has control of the limits.”

This quote caught my eye and of course I immediately thought of the two most conspicuous conflicts today: Israel and the Palestinians; and the Orthodox vs. non-Orthodox. I framed the latter as “versus” because I see it that way: As opposed to the other conflict, I don’t feel like “each side should give a little”. If applied to Israel and the Palestinians, it’s clear who controls the limits: the Israelis. Therefore, the onus is on us to compromise―not on us only, but on us ultimately.

Not the same with the Orthodox. If applied to the Orthodox, the onus is on them to compromise. They placed limits, i.e., public transit, retail, and entertainment on Shabbat; personal status, and reproductive freedom. Therefore, the onus is on them to give in. As long as I don’t prevent them from practicing their faith, or force them to violate the mitzvot, they should stay out of my wallet, my home, my womb, my life.

As far as I’m concerned, the word “compromise” doesn’t even belong in the discussion. What does “compromise” mean in this issue? That they’ll “permit” some buses and trains to run on Saturdays? Some stores and entertainment venues to open? Some citizens to marry / divorce? Some women to abort? Unacceptable. Even one victim of religious coercion is too many. I’m not willing to “compromise”, if that’s what you want to call accepting any incidence of religious coercion.

*a fellow commentator on Carolyn Hax’s column Tell Me About It

No comments:

Post a Comment