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Saturday, May 27, 2006

State-sponsored Judiasm in Greece

I've picked more provocative titles to blog posts, but I was intrigued by this post at the charming liberal blog from an ex-pat in Greece, "This is Not My Country".

The president of the Central Jewish Board of Greece, it would seem, wants Greek Rabbis to . . . well, I'll just quote him:

We believe that rabbis should be paid by the Greek Government as well, for equality reasons, given that the believers of the Jewish religion are also tax-paying Greek citizens. . .
It seems that the Greek government provides funds to imams and orthodox priests but not to Rabbis. The predictable libertarian response to this situation is that (1) the Greek government [i.e., taxpayers] shouldn't fund anything religious and (2) Jews shouldn't accept the funds even if they did.

* * *

Applying this to situations somewhat closer to home, all this sort of thing must seem far from the U.S. government, but my mind turns to the U.S. military where chaplains are sponsored by taxpayer dollars. In our military, the questions are the same as the ones the Greek government is faced with: if chaplains are to be sponsored, what about the very, very minor religions? Should we stop sponsoring religion in the military [or, in the Jews' case, in "the Greece"] at all? If we do, what's to become of it?

The odd reader who has been dilligent enough to stay with this blog during my third-year exam season is welcome to comment.



Blogger Mike L. said...

Although I disagree with the French answer, it speaks volumes for how great their government must be to them. What a wonderfully patriotic answer. Think about that for a minute. They appreciate their form of government that they trust it to take even more control of their economic system. My guess is that they have a healthy view of democracy as "self-government". I wonder if they get more than a small fraction of their people to vote?

What does is say when American's have lost nearly all our faith in our own ability to self-govern? We have more faith in greed than patriotism.

4:59 PM  

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