Two Visions of America – Rabbi Sherwin Wine

Rabbi Sherwin Wine

Rabbi Sherwin Wine

Why is it that I keep finding these marvelous quotes by Rabbis? I wonder if I may be a secret Jew.

“There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.

“The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.

“This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies.” – Rabbi Sherwin Wine 1928-2007

3 Responses to Two Visions of America – Rabbi Sherwin Wine

  1. Frederick says:

    “neither completely religious nor completely secular.” And that is the true challenge that we face in anything. Finding a balance between extremes is always difficult and usually ends up swaying back and forth, never being truly where it should be.

  2. Ari says:

    I wonder if the Rabbi has the fortitude to defend it even against his own brothers, the orthodox Jews, who definitely ascribe to the first vision.

  3. Thom says:

    Rabbi Sherwin Wine founded Humanistic Judaism, a non-theistic religion based upon Jewish tradition. Wine criticized orthodox Jews as well as fundamentalist Christians and Moslems. Sadly, Rabbi Wine was killed in a car accident in Morocco, July 21, 2007,

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