HOUSTON – The leader of the largest branch of American Judaism blasted conservative religious activists in a speech Saturday, calling them “zealots” who claim a “monopoly on God” while promoting anti-gay policies akin to Adolf Hitler’s. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, said “religious right” leaders believe “unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text you cannot be a moral person.” “What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God?” he said during the movement’s national assembly in Houston, which runs through today. The audience of 5,000 responded to the speech with enthusiastic applause. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Yoffie did not mention evangelical Christians directly, using the term “religious right” instead. In a separate interview, he said the phrase encompassed conservative activists of all faiths, including within the Jewish community. He used particularly strong language to condemn conservative attitudes toward homosexuals. He said he understood that traditionalists have concluded gay marriage violates Scripture, but he said that did not justify denying legal protections to same-sex partners and their children. “We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations,” Yoffie said. “Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry.” The Union for Reform Judaism represents about 900 synagogues in North America with an estimated membership of 1.5 million people. Of the three major streams of U.S. Judaism – Orthodox and Conservative are the others – it is the only one that sanctions gay ordination and supports civil marriage for same-gender couples. Yoffie said liberals and conservatives share some concerns, such as the potential damage to children from violent or highly sexual TV shows and other popular media. But he said, overall, conservatives too narrowly define family values, making a “frozen embryo in a fertility clinic” more important than a child, and ignoring poverty and other social ills. One attendee, Judy Weinman of Troy, N.Y., said she thought Yoffie was “right on target.” “He reminded us of where we have things in common and where we’re different,” she said. Yoffie also urged lawmakers to model themselves on presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, who famously told a Houston clergy group in 1960 that a president should not make policy based on his religion. On other topics, Yoffie asked Reform synagogues to do more to hold onto members, who often leave after their children go to college. He also said the Reform movement, which is among the most accepting of non-Jewish spouses, should make a greater effort to invite spouses to convert. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableySerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBemoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comMagellan TimesThis Is Why The Roy Rogers Museum Has Been Closed For GoodMagellan Times KCS-content Share Stobart in shock profit warning FREIGHT company Stobart Group has cut its full-year profit forecast and warned that government spending cuts and tax rises could hit volumes in 2011.“We have slightly reduced our full-year profit expectations as a result of reduced spend by Network Rail and increased overall finance costs. We are also cautious that 2011 may see volumes affected by the increase in VAT rate and the government spending review,” said chief executive Andrew Tinkler.The company said customers were demanding shorter lead times, as hard-pressed retailers ordered fewer items more often.Tinkler said this was giving the company less time to plan deliveries, leading to a lower vehicle utilisation rate.But Stobart said in the longer term it would benefit from the flexibility of its business model, which uses its own fleet and drivers, reducing the need to rely on subcontractors, and a pay-as-you-go system.Ben Whawell, chief financial officer, said the company had not seen much direct effect on volumes from reduced government spending so far, but that the size of the cuts expected from the government spending review might well have some impact.Stobart reported a 38.7 per cent jump in pre-tax profit in its first half to August 31 to £15.4m, on revenue from continuing operations up 11.7 per cent at £243.7m, with contract wins from Tesco and A.G. Barr adding volume and margin.Shares in the company tumbled 13 per cent on the release of the statement.Killick says the statement led to downgrades in forecasts by an average of eight per cent. Wednesday 20 October 2010 7:31 pm Show Comments ▼ whatsapp whatsapp More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comFeds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raidnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.com Tags: NULL