Ex-Atheist Larry Darby Accepts God and Jesus. Jews? Not So Much:

Larry Darby — who got 43.5% of the Democratic primary vote for Alabama Attorney General, though I hope because of voters' lack of knowledge rather than enthusiasm for the views I describe below — seems to have had a conversion on the road to Malibu.

His views about Jews (also Zionists and Israelis, but in the context of his statements about Jews, it seems hard to deny that the criticism of Zionists and Israelis is pretty closely linked to his views about Jews) seem the same as before:

Whether the [9/11] attacks were planned or caused by Muslims or, as some evidence and logic suggest, by Israelis and disloyal Americans in high positions of government, the motivation for the attacks surely had a religious nexus ....

[I]nsidious forces are at work destroying the remnants of the Framers' Republic and even our national memory or history of our forefathers and their achievements. Currently, these societal forces or their work product are variously referred to as political correctness, cultural diversity or multiculturalism, all of which are ways to describe the foreign ideology (or its effects) that has always threatened our nation. This ideology is now popularly called Neo-Conservatism and is primarily advocated by Zionists, including Christian Zionists or evangelicals who promote the interests of Israel to the detriment or destruction of the United States and the influence of the posterity of the Framers.

Neo-Conservatism is an outgrowth of a form of Communism called Trotskyism, named for Leon Trotsky, the alias of Lev Bronstein, who was one of the several Jewish masterminds of the 1917 October Revolution that led to the establishment of the Soviet Union. Communism employs socialist ideas of another Jew, Karl Marx, who is known as the founder of modern Communism. The related terms of Marxism, modern Communism, Neo-Conservatism and Zionism are rooted in the Old Testament and Talmud, wherein Jews are deemed to be the master race and to whom Gentiles are to be submissive.

Every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter effectively has made Jewish Supremacism a rule of law by way of "Education Day" proclamations that are based on congressional resolutions that advance the Noahide Laws, Jewish laws that subjugate Gentiles to Jews; Carter also began the tradition of the lighting of the United States "National Menorah" even though Jews allegedly comprise a very small percentage of the U.S. population. Such actions impose foreign ideology on citizens as a matter of law and usurp the authority of the U.S. Constitution.

Other aspects of Jewish Supremacism advanced by powerful government officials or condoned by the federal government that were challenged by the Atheist Law Center include the placement of Jewish idolatry in government buildings and the reciting of prayers to a [nameless] god or moments of silence in government schools, all of which are consistent with the de facto establishment of Judaism as our national or state religion.

Regarding Jewish idolatry, the Atheist Law Center consistently spoke against Chief Justice Roy Moore's efforts to maintain a monument to Jewish law in the rotunda of the Alabama judicial building in Montgomery....

Consistent with its activism in opposition to Communism or Neo-Conservatism and Jewish Supremacy, the Atheist Law Center also challenged the taboo in Alabama and the United States that thou shalt not question the marvelous or incredible tale that Six Millions Jews were systematically exterminated by Adolf Hitler or the German Third Reich, 1933-1945....

The Atheist Law Center hosted [David] Irving at the Prattville Holiday Inn on July 6, 2005. Attendees heard first-hand from the foremost authority on the Third Reich and author of "Hitler's War." Mr. Irving is a genuine historian in that his works are based on original research of documents and interviews with persons who actually knew and worked for Adolf Hitler or the German government or otherwise had first-hand knowledge of the subject matter, as opposed to the recycling of oft-unverifiable assertions put forth as history and recycled by conformist historians that serve the preeminence of Jewry in the United States and elsewhere.

Agents of Judeo-Marxism or enforcers of the politically correct version of the Holocaust and other Jew-related taboos ....

Contrary to expectation, many atheist member organizations or many groups that allegedly represent free thinkers were quick to jump on the Judeo-Marxist bandwagon and dissociate themselves from me, simultaneously demonstrating hypocrisy or rejection of principles of freedom of religion and freedom of speech or freedom to criticize the religion of Judaism. To put it another way, those groups hold that it is OK to criticize Christianity but not Judaism or its influences on American society. The Atheist Law Center held no such sacred cows or taboos....

[Various incidents of] yellow journalism and malicious attacks [details omitted -EV] are just a few examples of how the media or press really works, as described in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion (Marsden translation from the Russian of Nilus, 1934): "[The press] serves to excite and inflame those passions which are needed for our purpose or else it serves ends of parties. It is often vapid, unjust, mendacious, and the majority of the public have not the slightest idea what ends the press really serves." ...

But here's the kicker, in the last paragraph:

I no longer categorically deny the existence of God. My views have changed based on experiences or understanding of the world around me. I appreciate the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson who, in the Declaration of Independence, spoke of the laws of nature and of nature's God. I agree with moral precepts put forth by Jesus of Nazareth and I am Christian in a sense that Jesus of Nazareth would approve.

I should certainly hope that Jesus of Nazareth would not approve of some of Mr. Darby's quite vocally announced moral precepts, though I regret to say that there are some who do not share my view. Thanks to David Weinstein for the pointer.

The human comedy is an endless source of amusement. If Larry Darby didn't exist, we'd have had to invent him. Oh, wait -- I shouldn't have said that ....

Tracy Johnson (www):
The content of your study on Legal Scholarship may want to use the argument described therein as a anecdotal reference. If only the internet coud be used and only one web site per citation could be used in a bibliography source, what would be the percentage of citations devoted to the Holocaust as having happened versus the percentage of websites devoted to the Holocaust as having NOT happened? All things being equal, if the sources are judged on an equal basis without regard to reputation or without outside the internet contextual investigation, who would win out? (As libraries toss out printed historical books year after year and replace them with online or electronic information, will revisionists eventually win?)
8.8.2006 3:38pm
Captain Holly (mail) (www):

I agree with moral precepts put forth by Jesus of Nazareth and I am Christian in a sense that Jesus of Nazareth would approve.

The screamingly obvious irony of that statement is that Jesus of Nazareth was an Orthodox Jew...
8.8.2006 3:50pm
I realize, Captain Holly, that you are kind of joking, and I certainly don't want to associate myself with anything that Larry Darby says, but it is inaccurate to describe Jesus of Nazareth as an Orthodox Jew. First, the Talmud didn't exist at the time Jesus was alive. Second, it seems clear as a historical matter that Jesus led a movement among Jews that rejected the Jewish legalism that eventually found expression in the Talmud a century or so after his death. Third, as a technical matter, Orthodoxy didn't exist as a separate denomination until the 18th century or so, when it could be defined in contradistinction to Reform and later to Conservative Judaism.

Jesus is best described as (among other things!) an observant Jew, observant, that is, to the demands of the Torah as he understood them.
8.8.2006 6:51pm
Burt Likko (mail) (www):
As an atheist lawyer, I cannot help but hang my head in shame if the Atheist Law Center of which this nutjob speaks so cooingly really did sponsor David Irving.
8.8.2006 9:47pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
It did -- but aren't you pleased about Darby's conversion? Throw a party!
8.8.2006 10:13pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
wm13 is correct.

Also of note, claiming to be a Christian in a sense that Jesus would approve can only be a statement of arrogance or of vacuity. Arrogance, because Jesus's standards and expectations so far exceeded what regular folk are able to accomplish (See Matthew chaps 5-8) that we've been looking for loopholes ever since, or vacuous, in the modern American Lite Gospel that suggests that Jesus taught to Love and Be Nice.

Either way, don't assign this guy to say the invocation at your graduation festivities.
8.8.2006 11:43pm
Captain Holly (mail) (www):

Jesus is best described as (among other things!) an observant Jew, observant, that is, to the demands of the Torah as he understood them.

You're correct. I used the term "Orthodox" in the sense that He practiced a type Judaism that Larry Darby would find quite odd and even stereotypically "Jewish".

Jesus rejected the narrow scriptural interpretations of the Sadducees and the nitpicking legalisms the Pharisees, but He wasn't a revolutionary in the sense that He didn't reject the Levitical code that made the Jews a "peculiar people". His opposition to the Pharisees was because their emphasis on strict observance of the minutae of the Levitical code crowded out the broader spiritual goals of the law itself.
8.9.2006 1:40am
Steve Rosenbach (www):
wm13 - you are mostly right - but what we think of today as Orthodox Judaism has it roots much earlier than the 18th century. In a sense, Orthodox Judaism grew out, or you might say is, "Rabbinic Judaism," which developed starting about 200 BCE with the beginning of the compilation of the Talmud (completed around 600 CE.)

You may be thinking of Chasidism, founded by Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, the "Ba'al Shem Tov" (may his memory be for a blessing).

Also, you may be thinking of "Modern Orthodox", a movement largely started by Rabbis Azriel Hildesheimer (1820-1899) and Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) - (may their memories be for blessings) in Germany.

As to Darby referring to "...Noahide Laws, Jewish laws that subjugate Gentiles to Jews..." - what an idiot! He obviously dosn't know what the Noahide Laws are and what they signify. The writeup here at Wikipeida is decent - the bottom line, greating simplified, is that Jews believe that Gentiles who follow the (7) Noahide Laws are guaranteed entry into Heaven. It's much harder for Jews, who are obligated to observe all the 613 commandments (mitzvot) of the Torah
8.9.2006 8:57am
I suppose the real question is whether God or Jesus accept Larry Darby? They must have some standards.
8.9.2006 1:48pm
Yankev (mail):
Captain Holly,

Steve Rosenbach is right, though in fact the Talmud was well in the course of development by the time of Jesus of Nazareth. The Talmud comprises the Mishneh and the Gemorah, which — in "Orthodox" Jewish belief, are both part of the Oral Law given to Moses at Sinai. The mishneh is a compilation of those statements collected, edited and redacted by Judah the Prince (or Rebbi)about 1800 years ago. Many of the sages quoted in the mishnah are pharisees who lived at the time Jesus of Nazareth was reputed to have lived.

The Gemarah explains and elaborates on the mishnah, often with the aid of the baraisa — parts of the oral law that Rebbi did not include in the mishnah. The Gemarah was completed over the next three centuries.

By the way, the much maligned pharisees were the rabbinic sages of their day, and the carriers of the tradition that is now called Orthodox Judaism, aka Rabbinic Judaism aka Torah Judaism (or, until the emergence of Reform at the time of Napoleon, just plain Judaism). That's why some people get very touchy when they hear "pharisee", "pharisaic" or "talmudic" used as insults.

8.9.2006 2:27pm
plunge (mail):
"Jesus rejected the narrow scriptural interpretations of the Sadducees and the nitpicking legalisms the Pharisees,"

Well, yes, Christians certainly called them all sorts of names and vilified them as such, but this portrayal seems not only a little unfair, but inconsistent with all the other historical sources we have on these guys.

I've always found fantastically bizarre, btw, to be lectured on the "narrow scriptural interpretations" and "nitpicking legalisms" of the Jews by people who otherwise proclaim themselves to be strict literalist Christians. I'm not saying that you are: I've just encountered this a lot. This bizarre position is, it seems, made necessary by the fact that Jesus was certainly not sinless by Torah standards (breaking many laws and doing things that made him unclean) and failed to actually fulfill the messianic prophecies. So even people that are biblically strict in one sense are forced to be elaborately intentive and dismissive of Scriptural law in another sense.
8.9.2006 11:20pm
lucia (mail) (www):
I particularly like this:

... [M]any atheist member organizations or many groups that allegedly represent free thinkers were quick to [... ]dissociate themselves from me, simultaneously demonstrating hypocrisy or rejection of principles of ... freedom of speech ...

I thought groups criticising him or expressing disagreement were just exercising their freedom of speech. But no, they are clearly rejecting the principle of freedom of speech. (Silly me.)
8.10.2006 1:38pm