Rabbi slams Christian right’s reaction to Newtown as the ‘ultimate statement of heresy’

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 17:31 EDT
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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Wednesday blasted Christian conservatives like Bryan Fischer who suggested that Americans were to blame for the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut because they had abandoned God.

“The fact is that is the ultimate statement of heresy,” he said on CNN. “This is not a religious man.”

Numerous figures on the Christian right, including James Dobson and Mike Huckabee, have linked the horrific mass killing of 20 young children to issues such as prayer in school, abortion and same sex marriage. They claim these issues prove the United States no longer respects God.

“Let’s be clear,” Boteach said. “Not only is he [Bryan Fischer] wrong that we kicked God out of our lives, the United States and the American people are the most righteous people in the world.”

“We have spent endless blood and treasure to defend complete strangers, women from being beaten up by the Taliban. Our soldiers died for those people. God is one our money. We give more charity than any nation on earth. We deserve better. I am tired of people maligning the American people and saying we deserve to suffer, we’ve kicked God out. This is the most religious country in the Western world.”

Boteach believes in a “theology of defiance” and that Americans should be holding God accountable.

“You know, the word ‘Israel’ literally translates as ‘he who challenges God’ and, if you look at the great stories of the Bible — yeah, the great stories of the Bible, like God says to Abraham, I’m going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He challenges God. He says, you are? But you’re the judge of the whole earth. How could you judge people unrighteously? We’re supposed to be in a partnership with God to protect life. We’re not supposed to always defend tragedy and blame ourselves.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by CNN, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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