Voice Letters: Readers Sound Off on the Heresy and Evangelism of Bernie Sanders
Illustration by Peter Kuper
Elect the Left
The amazing thing about Bernie Sanders is that he has revived the very best legacy of American Jewish intellectuals — the Left ["The Heresy and Evangelism of Bernie Sanders," Voice, March 30]. They practically invented it. It's brilliant, honest, and frequently funny. It has heart and fairness. It's something the world has always needed and it is very historically located. Thank god for history. Now let's see it become presidential. Because Sanders is definitely the only person talking truth and sense.
— Steven Kelleher
Peace, Love, and Understanding
Religious or secular in our own beliefs, we should absolutely care about the influence of religion in politics and government policy. This was an interesting piece which in no way threatens my agnosticism. Why? Because Bernie is Jewish, and that upbringing did shape him. It's interesting and important to understand not just what values others may hold, but how they came about them, religious or otherwise. Especially when it comes to those we wish to entrust with great power.
— Sara Finley
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
Social and economic justice are at the core of Jewishness, in my opinion. Israeli nationalists are apostates who have valued land over the core values of the Jewish religion and the Jewish people. There are some that will disagree with me (as is always the case when making religious and philosophical points with the Jews). But I would like to point out that societies, in general, tend to work better when they operate on the fundamental principles of universal siblinghood across all peoples, in both the social and economic senses of the word. Perhaps the universe (or God) is saying be kind and sensible to others before yourself? Think about it.
— Eli Levine
Getting Back to Our Pagan Roots
Great article explaining many of the contradictions associated with Judaism today. Seems like when you try to stick with Bernie's neutral position (rights for Israel and Palestine), some will try to call you either a Nazi or a Zionist. This makes it clear what kind of Judaism is peaceful and which kind is exploitative. Thanks for sharing this greatly needed, educational piece of writing! That's also not to say that Christianity and Islam and other world religions have not caused their own atrocities, but it seems like because of the Holocaust no one is allowed to talk about the negative side of the Jewish establishment. Every world religion today is guilty of suppressing the sacred feminine. We need to bring these values back in order to reach balance, come out of duality, and value the earth as sacred, like our pagan ancestors did, in order to live more sustainably. Bernie is on the right track.
— Alexandrea Nicole Reitz
Bernie's Spirituality Is Universal
As an independent spiritual thinker, my take on Bernie is that he embodies the best of Judaism without being either a fundamentalist or a dilettante. The openness to new ideas, the delight in embracing the unity among all people, the ability to be devout in one's own way without denigrating another faith: These are the hallmarks of the faith I've come to find in educated, open-hearted Jewish people I know. What I like is that I can see the core principles of my spiritual convictions in his way of moving in the world, without being the least bit worried that he'll try to make his religion the goal of his politics. Just the opposite of Ted Cruz, if you will. If religious people can see their best attributes reflected in Bernie, then he can build the bridges between people of different faiths as well as with atheists in a way that no presidential candidate in my memory ever has.
— Eric Novikoff
Bernie Is Too a Zionist
The article is anti-Jewish and written by someone who knows nothing about Zionism or Judaism. So sad. This passage says it all: "His every utterance about universal health care, economic inequality, and social justice relentlessly embraces Judaism; it's just a Judaism many people no longer recognize. Bernie Sanders is a Jew of a different era — the kind of Jew that Zionists would very much like us to forget." Anyone who knew the first thing about Zionism would know that what Bernie says about social and economic justice is at the heart of Zionism. I am sick and tired of haters and bigots pretending to be concerned about human rights and vilifying the liberal cause of our time — Zionism. I only wish that Bernie were a committed Zionist; that would make him the true liberal we all want.
— Jonathan Eron
Bernie Is Also a Satanist
Bernie Sanders is an atheistic Communist, essentially a Satanist tool of the bankers he chastises. His socialism and spirituality amount to promising other people's money to underachievers in return for their vote.
— Jesse DeMoll
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