Leave it to Fox to manage to find a way to stoke even more hatred and division when it comes to the issue of religion just one day after the horrific shooting at a synagogue in California.
Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow, whose synagogue was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, rose to fame after being invited by Trump to speak following the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh:
A Carmel rabbi answered a request from President Trump hours after 11 people were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow led prayer during the president’s speech on Saturday at the Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis.
Rabbi Sendrow usually does not look at his phone or use his car on Sabbath. However, he kept getting a call from Washington, DC so he picked up his phone and it was the White House.
He led the convention in prayer with pastor Thom O’Leary. President Trump stood on stage with them.
“To be in the presence of the president is an overwhelming honor,” Rabbi Sendrow said. “But that was not at all why I was there. I was there to pray for the victims of the shooting, both the survivors and the families of those who did not survive. That was what was foremost in my heart and mind.” [...]
He praised the president for condemning the actions of the suspected shooter. President Trump suggested the house of worship should have had armed guards. Rabbi Sendrow said they will increase security at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla but also remain inclusive.
“A policeman with a gun is the best way to stop an evil person with a gun,” he said. “I don’t love the idea of having to have armed security but our greatest value as Jews is the protection of human life.”
Fox's Leland Vittert spoke to Sendrow this Sunday about the shooting this weekend in California, and Sendrow proceeded to blame the rise in the number of hate crimes not on the type of rhetoric we've heard from his hero, Mr. "Very Fine People On Both Sides" Trump, but on, you guessed it, secularism.
“There are more anti-Semitic acts, that’s undeniable,” Sendrow admitted. “I maintain that America is not a racist, nor an anti-Semitic society. The percentage of bad actors is infinitesimally small. But we know all too well that it only takes one bad actor to wreak havoc on a community.”
Vittert pointed to a rise in hate crimes at “religious centers over the last couple of months or so.”
“What’s happening in the world?” the Fox News host asked.
“I believe that at least a piece of it is the decline in adherence to religious values and an adoption of secular values,” Sendrow opined.
The rabbi was quick to point out that “not every secularist is a potential mass murderer.”
“But I think that there is a sickness in the soul of our society, and I believe that a symptom of that is our decline in religiosity as a society.”
Over in Fox-land, there's no such thing as a problem that can't be blamed on liberals, atheists, or some other boogeyman on the left in order to distract from whatever atrocity we're seeing from Dear Leader that day. Shame on them for giving this man airtime.
Editor's note (Karoli): This "rabbi" intentionally misses the point in order to take a shot at everyone who isn't like him, including the victims of this horrific crime. By saying what he did, he blamed the 60-year old woman who died jumping in front of the bullets intended for the rabbi, the congregants celebrating Passover, everyone who isn't him. It's despicable.
Here is a better, and more rational perspective, via Elad Nehorai at The Forward:
Because the fact of the matter is, anti-Semitism is just one part of the worldview that resulted in these horrific acts. The other part resulted in the mass murders of African Americans and Muslims and immigrants.
The simple reality is that Jews have been targeted far more than we realize. When Dylann Roof massacred nine worshippers at a black church, he was also targeting Jews. When Brenton Tarrant killed 50 Muslims worshipping in New Zealand, he was also targeting Jews. Indeed, when any white nationalist terrorist kills any person of any background, they are targeting Jews.
And the Pittsburgh and Poway shooters were attacking every other minority group, too.
So as long as we keep looking at these attacks as singular, as focused on only one minority, we are missing the story that white nationalists are telling us about themselves. And if we do not wake up to this reality, we will keep ourselves blind to a terrorist and political threat that grows by the day.
White nationalism is the problem. Not secularism.