Mr. Prelutsky Responds

Mr. Prelutsky responded to my email, very quickly I might add. Here is his response below and below that my response to him.

****(Dear Jack–I read your two pieces and some of the commentary. I could comment on your articlespoint by point, but because I have been responding to scores of e-mails over the past week since my articles appeared, I really feel myself drained. I would only be repeating things I have already written to your friend Dov Bear. Judging by the comments of your respondents, whatever I wrote would fall on deaf ears. Blind eyes? I am willing to let my articles speak for themselves. For the record, one Christian took me to task; of the 40 or 50 Jews who bothered to write, roughly a third were upset to some degree or other. In most cases, they didn’t deny what I wrote, they merely thought it was unseemly that a Jew would attack other Jews.

I would only say that you are being ingenuous when you question the make-up of the ACLU and its legal staff. You can praise their activities all you like, but to suggest that it is not a predominantly Jewish organization is just silly.
And to go on insisting that “separatation of church and state” is part of the Constitution is a lie. And, when called on it, to claim that, thanks to Court interpretation, it might as well be engraved in stone is sheer malarkey. Congress has nothing to do with a municipality’s putting up Christmas decorations or with high schools using the words Christmas vacation in their schedules. All of this is a far cry from Christians rolling over Jews in order to set up an American theocracy.
It is nice to be vigilant, Jack, but one does run the risk of being taken for the Boy Who Cried Wolf or, worse yet, Chicken Little.
Happy new year.
Burt Prelutsky

Dear Mr. Prelutsky,

My thanks for the quick reply, I really do appreciate it and as promised I will post it on my blog.

You do not have to comment on my article point by point for a dialogue to occur.

I want to make sure that you understand that I am not asking for a removal of Christmas or Christianity. I am not advocating anything different than I do for Judaism or any other religion.

I want neutrality from the government, it is very simple. It is better and smarter for everyone.

I understand and appreciate that many Jews wrote to you and that most didn’t argue the points you addressed. That is not indicative of the fallacy of the arguments you posed. Some people do not have the education or ability to pull things apart.

I believe that you mentioned that most American Jews have at best a basic understanding of Judaism. That in itself could be reason for the lack of a more cogent reply than that you should not chastise other Jews.

I don’t have a problem with conducting this dialogue in public. If someone is doing the wrong thing it should be addressed regardless of religious affiliation.

As for my comments about the ACLU, I’ll take your response as an affirmation that you made a guess about the composition of the membership. And that is unfair and reasonable. If you are going to point fingers at a group you need to be able to verify what you say.

In regard to the Constition you are fooling yourself if you are trying to make the case that things that are not mentioned in it cannot be addressed by it. The Constitution was constructed as a living document that could be amended and or adjusted to suit the needs of a particular time and place.

It is easy to suggest that vigilance can lead to being called names such as ‘Chicken Little’ or the ‘Boy who cried wolf.’

I am not clear if that was just a comment or if you were trying to marginalize my position, but I do want to respond.

Part of the reason 911 took place was because we were not vigilant and people in positions of authority did not allow themselves to consider that others could act in such a heinous fashion.

Many German Jews were completely assimilated and considered themselves Jews in name only, but they died along with everyone else.

Do you think that Japanese Americans could have ever expected that they would be rounded up and placed into camps.

There are a hundred other examples that I could cite, but what would the point be.

The bottom line is that you and I disagree here. I feel like you are acting a bit sycophantic here and unnecessarily so. We are just as much citizens as the next person and deserve the same rights.

I don’t want anything special, just equality.

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3 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack December 25, 2004 at 5:36 am

    It is a ridiculous statement that I will not give credence to unless proven. Alleging that the ACLU must be primarily composed of Jews is just as wrong as saying that that Asian are good in math, Blacks are good at basketball etc.

  2. Koftu December 25, 2004 at 5:23 am

    Indeed, it is very sad that we make guesses as to the composition of the ACLU. On this same topic: Why does it seem that membership or Jewish association with the ACLU is given a negative connotation in this “dialogue”? I would be proud if MOT made up a significant portion of the membership of an organization that fights for that neutrality and equal extension of rights that both Jack and myself would love to see.

  3. Stacey December 25, 2004 at 4:41 am

    You are right in questioning whether this poor-excuse-for-a-Jew checked the facts pertaining to the ACLU.

    After seeing the flagrant error in his column, where he incorrectly refers to “Reform” Jewry as “reformed”, saying:

    “For the most part, American Jews are circumcised, have a bar mitzvah, attend a reformed or conservative temple….”

    it begs the question of what other “facts” are inaccurate, as well.

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