Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Jewish American Heritage Month

Lots of my friends are getting all celebratory over the fact that May is officially Jewish American Heritage Month. President Barack Hussein Obama has once again this year issued a Presidential Proclamation to that effect, and the Library of Congress even has a dedicated website on it.


On one hand, it is not a totally bad thing for the government to recognize the contributions of its Jewish citizens, and send out the metamessage that Jews are not bad people. This is far, far better than is officially done by certain other governments of now and yore, Islamic and otherwise. It is far, far better than U.S. Secretary of State (and later, President) James Monroe's rescission in 1813 of Mordecai Noah's appointment as U.S. Consul to Tunis because he did not want to offend the Bey of Tunis on account of Noah's Jewish faith. [N.B. That excuse doesn't wash because the Bey himself had Jewish representatives in his service, including Aaron Nunez Cardozo in Gibraltar.]. And during his brief tenure as U.S. Counsel to Tunis, Mordechai Noah did have some respectable successes in diplomatically controlling the predations of the Barbary Pirates (who were the Muslim terrorists of the day).

But, proud as I am of the Jewish contributions to America and to the world, this Jewish American Heritage Month thing is not without its uneasiness for me.

Specifically, at what point is the line crossed, and the U.S. government becomes more than just a recognizer of, but a definer and arbiter of the Jewish history and culture and people? They have already done this with the African-American race, and, quite insidiously, now have the Native Americans boxed into being a race of purveyors of tobacco and gambling (and, unfortunately, a disproportionate amount of prostitution).

Moreover, the Government's exemplars of Jews on the website include few if any religiously-observant ones. Which wouldn't be so bad if so many (though not all) of the nonreligious ones they did feature were not so antithetical to the true American values of strength and self-sufficiency.

And, in a broader sense, anything in the hands of Barack Hussein Obama is suspect.

Especially if it is Jewish lives!

I do not need the U.S. government to define my heritage. I do not need the U.S. government to tell me when to celebrate my Jewishness! It is all well and good that May has been declared Jewish American Heritage Month, but in my book, EVERY MONTH is Jewish American Heritage Month!

And so, while I am not without my appreciation of Obama's Jewish American Heritage Month proclamation, I cannot party too heavily over it. Someone's got to be the designated driver, to get people home safely after the party is over!

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