Fighting the false god of inclusiveness at Dodger Stadium
I have often said that as a rabbi, I have more in common with a devout Catholic or Christian than I do with a secular Jew. The root and cause of this understanding and personal mantra are now starting to get explored culturally through the work of media personalities like Andrew Klavan at the Daily Wire.
Many of us are aware that Klavan is often insightful in his analysis of current issues. But in a broadcast last week, he touched on an understanding that really should be explored by every person who wants to succeed in the battle for this nation's soul and children: what really is the problem with "inclusion," and how is it in opposition to shared values?
Klavan correctly points out that inclusion is a process in contradiction to morality. When people focus on being "inclusive," they rationalize that even bad people should be included as part of a group. Conversely, groups that are built around shared morality and values end up being truly inclusive without inviting evil people into the group.
He uses the recent Dodger Stadium protest as an example. A disgusting anti-Catholic group of transvestites that call themselves The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were being honored by the Dodgers during "Pride Night." In the name of "inclusivity," these personifications of anti-religion hate were invited to be part of a larger LGBT group...the majority of which were not anti-Catholic or anti-religion at all. The commitment to being "inclusive" led to the entire LGBT group being stained with ugliness.
On the other side, 5,000 people of multiple faiths, myself included, stood together as people of faith with shared values. Klavan illustrates how ridiculous and dangerous the current notion of "inclusiveness" is, as it means that Nazis or murderers can be included in a group and forgiven for their evil in the name of being "inclusive." A good point, and one that we need to build upon.
What is the real lesson that we can learn from Klavan's thesis, and from recent actions? How can we stop an inclusiveness that includes evil, and instead support a true inclusiveness that comes from shared values and mutual respect?
The answer is found not in the desire to be inclusive, but in the realization that shared values create actual inclusivity. I was praying and included with Catholic leaders at Dodger Stadium not because they had a desire to include someone different, but because we all share the same values of faith and morality. I have much more in common with Catholics for Catholics, the sponsor of the Dodgers event, than I do with the ADL, which has abandoned Jewish values in favor of a political agenda.
While I don't accept Jesus as my personal savior, I absolutely accept that he is the spiritual pathway for all devout Christians. The Catholics at the Dodgers event don't wrap tefillin, or wear a tallit (both are traditional Jewish practices), but they all respect my love for God and the Bible. I don't partake of the Eucharist, and they don't keep kosher. But we all have a deep respect for life, one another, and God. As I have repeatedly said, "When the Messiah comes, Jews will say 'welcome,' and Christians will say 'welcome back,' and we will all accept him."
Our shared values are able to build a strong and inclusive community together. This is the key to winning the current war on religion.
And let's be clear: there is a war on religion going on. Devout people of all faiths experience it every day from the media, the government, and fanatical secularists. The prominence of transvestite programming being pushed in schools, the governmental closing of churches in the name of secular priorities, and the nonstop attack on the family unit are all manifestations of this war — a war that must be won for the sake of our children and of our nation.
Klavan's concept that shared morality creates authentic and healthy inclusive communities must be extended into our daily practices. But how?
We must reach out and invite people of faith from other religions into our homes, our events, and our churches and synagogues. Our temple is blessed each year to have musical participants from Godspeak Church add their music to our Yom Kippur services. I have often prayed at services with Christian leaders in their churches. Since God accepts how we all pray, we need to do the same, and accept and empower one another's prayers.
To win this cultural war, we must support one another in faith and reject a secular inclusiveness that would embrace evil in the name of participation.
May we all have the strength to create communities based on shared values and morality and reject the false god of "inclusiveness."
Rabbi Michael Barclay is the spiritual leader of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, CA (www.NerSimcha.org) and the author of Sacred Relationships: Biblical Wisdom for Deepening Our Lives Together. He can be reached directly at Rabbi@NerSimcha.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Rabbi_Barclay and on Gettr at @RabbiBarclay.
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.