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Cynically Clueless? Cluelessly Cynical? Views Differ by tristero

Cynically Clueless? Cluelessly Cynical? Views Differ 

by tristero

You don't have to be Jewish (as the old commercial goes) to know that this was a spectacularly bad idea:

At a campaign stop in Michigan on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence condemned anti-Semitism and the deadly massacre at Pittsburgh synagogue, and asked “a leader in the Jewish community” to offer a prayer for the victims and the country. 
As he began his prayer, it became immediately clear that the rabbi, Loren Jacobs of Congregation Shema Yisrael in suburban Detroit, would not be considered a Jew by any of the four major denominations of Judaism. In his prayer, he mentioned the “saving power” of the Lord and concluded, “In the name of Jesus, amen.” 
Rabbi Jacobs believes that Jesus is the Messiah, a conviction that is theologically incompatible with Judaism. Some Jews believe that the movement the rabbi represents, Messianic Judaism, is not only antithetical to Judaism but also hostile to their religion because its goal is to persuade Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and by doing so convert Jewish people to Christianity. 
Rabbi Jacobs, a leading figure in the denomination colloquially known as Jews for Jesus, quickly came under criticism on Monday for appearing to represent Jews at the rally and for leading the only prayer by a religious figure at the event for the 11 people and six others injured in the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday.

After the rally, Mr. Pence’s office said that the vice president did not invite the rabbi to the event and asked him to offer a prayer on stage as a message of unity.
One religious leader upset about Rabbi Jacobs’s prayer on Monday was Rabbi Jason Miller, who lives in Detroit. He said on Twitter that there are more than 60 Jewish rabbis in Michigan that campaign rally organizers could have asked to offer a prayer. 

“For the record, Messianic ‘Judaism’ is a branch of Christianity & offensive to the Jewish community,” Rabbi Miller wrote in a separate tweet. “It was an insulting political stunt.”
One can't begin to count the ways this was clueless and cynical. Clueless because mainstream Jews can't accept Jesus as the Messiah. Cynical because Pence and Company are merely pretending to be ecumenical while actually asserting the dominance of American christianism.

Of course, Loren Jacobs and his Jews for Jesus followers are entitled to worship however they want. This is not about religious tolerance. But if Pence and his party sincerely wanted to demonstrate their "unity" at this awful time with the traumatized American Jewish community, this was a terrible way to show it.