Main | Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"America's Rabbi" Runs For Congress

Last month former TLC reality star Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who calls himself "America's Rabbi," wrote a widely-distributed column for Huffington Post in which he argued that everybody, straight and gay, should only have civil unions and that marriage itself should be left to the church.
This proposal might just allow nearly everyone to win, a "one size fits all" solution to the gay marriage narrative that has hijacked the political landscape, created ever deepening divides in the nation, and has served to be only destructive and distracting from far greater social values issues facing this country. The benefits to this proposal are, first and foremost, that no one would receive either preferential treatment or any discrimination when it comes to the government's recognition of the legal rights of the union of any couple. Furthermore, there would be no need to redefine marriage, as each group would have the authority to define or expand the meaning of their union according to their particular religious tradition. This solution would reduce the role of government, which should not be involved in religious choices.
Today Boteach promoted his bid for Congress by appearing with fellow former TLC reality star Jon Gosselin to argue that marriage counseling should be tax deductible. Because the real problem with the institution isn't that gays want in (and he's OK with that), it's that so many straight marriages fail. (And guess who's a paid marriage counselor?)
“Gay marriage at most will affect seven percent of the American population — at most,” he said, his insistant voice rising. “Divorce affects 50 percent of the heterosexual population.” The divorce issue, Boteach argued, should be “front and center in the national discussion.” The two men noted that they have many similarities: they are both the children of divorced parents, they both now have many children (Boteach has nine), they both had shows on TLC. Gosselin’s marriage famously fell apart three years ago (Boteach denounced how millions of people had been “entertained” by the Gosselin’s divorce), and Boteach has since served as an adviser to Gosselin. Gosselin had decided to support Boteach on the counseling issue, perhaps as a result of the $30,000 in marital counseling bills he said he racked up as his marriage dissolved.
Known for his histrionics and relentless self-promotion, Boteach was once the spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson. He won his New Jersey GOP primary three weeks ago and will face eight-term Rep. Bill Pascrell in November.

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