Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Jersey Corruption

I was sickened at the extent of corruption among NJ politicians. Many politicians were recently arrested as a result of a massive FBI investigation. It is a shame that those who are given the public trust can so easily betray that trust. Unfortunately what happens is that in certain communities or states, corruption becomes systemic. Such a system attracts dishonest people, and so even after arrests are made the situation persists. New officials coming into the system naturally gravitate to taking bribes and doing other illegal things because that’s what’s done.

What I found particularly disturbing was the number of rabbis involved in money laundering and other criminal enterprises. Here are men who stand on the bema every week proclaiming the Word of God, yet leading lives that bring shame and dishonor to the God they are representing. Judging from their appearance, they are Orthodox Jews who conscientiously observe many rules regarding diet, dress, the Sabbath, and other matters, yet are leading dishonest and hypocritical lives. I don’t know how they can reconcile their faith and religious observances with their criminal activities.

These rabbis are not unique in their hypocrisy, just the latest and most obvious case. What this does, however, is taint every churchgoer and every observant Jew, plus every clergyperson. People tend to paint with a very broad brush, so the anti-religion crowd will say their usual lies, “They’re all hypocrites” and “All they want is your money.” Let us remember that we can’t judge God by his followers, because we all sin and fall short of God’s standards. God doesn’t force his will on anybody. We have free will, which we abuse quite often. It’s just a shame that some clergy fall into gross sin such as those rabbis did and such as priests did with little children.

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