Back in 2008, David Klinghofer, who used the be the Forward’s token Republican, published a book titled How Would God Vote?: Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Conservative. I seriously disliked his book, not because I see anything wrong with Conservatism or Conservatives – my most admired politicians have been Sam Nunn and Henry “Scoop” Jackson – but I couldn’t stomach the liberties Klinghofer was taking with rabbinic tradition, to produce a book that, in my opinion, belonged on the shelves of a Presbyterian, and not a Jewish library.
My good friend and publisher Larry Yudelson and I decided, in the summer of 2008, to write a rebuttal which we titled, aptly enough:How Would God REALLY Vote: A Jewish Rebuttal to David Klinghoffer’s Conservative Polemic.
Larry contributed most of the entries, I was responsible for, I believe, 5 out of the 15. One of my major peeves regarding Klinghofer’s book was his view on the liaison between Christians and Jews.
In his opening chapter, “With God or Against Him,” Klinghoffer sets up a premise that’s hard to follow, not because of its complexity, but because of what we on the Lower East Side would call a mishmash of concepts:
It should go without saying that my political reading of the Bible is my own, drawing on the oldest biblical interpretive tradition, claiming roots that go back three thousand years and found in the Talmud and other ancient rabbinic texts. Yet Scripture’s vision of the ideal society does not belong to Jews alone.