Drones; Casey Anthony trial; Is dogma killing the Republicans?: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield's ethical take on the news (Video)

Jul 05, 2011

Live with Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Where is Caylee' Anthony's father? I have yet to hear from him concerning his daughter's death. Is he still alive or what is his situation?

I asked the question you posed in your headline to my folks who watched the trial unfold at our beach house: Why does this trial hold your attention? The answer I received was that this was a dysfunctional family with lots of dark secrets associated with it. As for dogma killing GOP, from the time of President Reagan until the present, dogma has prevented the Republicans from offering ways to help the middle class stay on its feet.

This case definitely reminds me of ancient Greek tragedy, and not only in the theatricality of it. Indeed we have this lovable and very vulnerable child dead and mystery surrounding it. This captures our interest and a desire for justice, or at least a story that is understandable. The community points to the mother, and yet, Ms Anthony's parents themselves seem all too willing to sacrifice Casey for justice for Caylee. There seems to be something so grievously wrong in the storytelling from all angles, that one simply does not know what to think. Do you think an accurate account of what happened will emerge someday? The process of law seems not to have served up a coherent tale; what spiritual processes might offer up a more plausible explanation?

Is dogma really so dangerous? Isn't it really just another word for principles, and isn't politics without principles really the dangerous thing?

As I look at the history of man and the evolution of weapons such that human hands lead to knifes which lead to lances to bows to rifles to Gatlin's gun... All of these advancements progressively put greater distance between combatants thus removing the human interaction of the act of war, yet the rate of wars seems to have slowed inversely to the effectiveness of the task. Gatlin's gun and the UAV drone seem to share a similar removal from the proximity or humanity of war and I guess they will neither encourage or discourage the inhumanity. Wars will continue until there is only one mindset in this world-LOVE not WAR.

Do we really need these new weapons? The country can't afford healthcare or education. What does this say about our priorities?

Is it ethically appropriate for the national media to devote so much -- or any -- attention to the Casey Anthony case? Why should she receive national attention when there are regularly similar cases going on throughout the country? Are we unnecessarily dragging Casey's parents through a media circus? Is this tabloid journalism?

The MN state government was shut down Friday because Dem. Gov. Mark Dayton and the Rep. Majoriy leaders of the House and Senate could not reach agreement on funding. Gov. Dayton feels it is necessary to provide protection for MN residents who would otherwise suffer under Rep. Cuts to the State budget by asking wealthy residents to pay their fair share - currently the wealthiest MN's pay a lowere % of their income than other residents. Can you please give your opinion on a solution?

Would the U.S. be a more moral country if the government were greatly reduced?

LAST QUESTION: A house of the Dutch parliament this week passed a new law requiring the use of modern sedation methods before slaughtering livestock. This, of course, contradicts traditional Jewish and Islamic methods, which were designed, in their time, to be as humane as possible. Do you believe that use of a technologically superior method of humaneness should absolve the religiously observant from requiring the use of methods from an earlier, less scientifically advanced, era?

In This Chat
Brad Hirschfield
Brad Hirschfield is the president of Clal - The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. He writes the For God's Sake blog for The Washington Post. A regular on Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network. he appears frequently on NPR, PBS, and CNN, and is routinely listed as one of America?s "most influential rabbis." His most recent book is You Don't Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.
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