The American Right Needs to Look Beyond the Legal Status of Abortion to the Restoration of Sexual Ethics

March 7 2022

For half a century, a pillar of the conservative social agenda in the U.S. has been the quest to overturn Roe v. Wade and thus protect nascent human life. As conservatives now have some reason to hope they can achieve this end, Rafi Eis urges them to look beyond the narrow question of the legality of abortion, to the much larger question of how to restore long-held ideas about sexuality and family life, and thereby to reduce demand for abortions. Eis urges conservative Christians in particular to look to the ways Orthodox Jews have preserved traditional sexual morality:

Since it’s likely that women will still seek to terminate pregnancies after [a reversal of] Roe, a more fundamental cultural change is needed to end abortion. The Bible offers a profoundly wise resource in thinking about sex. . . . Sexual virtue features prominently in Genesis. The book devotes fifteen stories to the morality of sex, and its clear message is that sexual virtue is to be praised while undisciplined sexuality is ruinous and can even destroy society. . . . Further, Genesis promotes marriage and procreation as central to the human condition, and these are some of the first principles found in the Bible. At creation, the Bible charges man “to be fruitful and multiply,” and in the next chapter it asserts that “it is not good for man to be alone,” which directly leads to the mandate that a man should “cling to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” As Abraham’s descendants grow from a family into a nation, the emphasis on family remains.

No matter how often liberals and progressives reduce sex to consent and pleasure, human nature is otherwise. And we are suffering deeply from changing our moral norms. . . . Without the commitment of marriage, the subsequent heartbreak, abandonment, and betrayal hurt us and make us more suspicious, jaded, on guard, and frustrated.

The Orthodox Jewish community succeeds in preventing abortions even where it is legal by embracing the Bible’s teachings on abstinence. The largest Orthodox communities happen to be located in the abortion-permissive states of New York, New Jersey, and California, giving Orthodox Jewish women vast abortion freedom. But it is very uncommon for Orthodox women to seek elective abortions to rid themselves of an inconvenient pregnancy.

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Read more at Public Discourse

More about: Abortion, Conservatism, Sexual ethics, U.S. Politics

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia