Over at Jeffrey Goldberg’s blog we find a brief interview with Congressman Henry Waxman about how his Jewish faith informs his political views:
Tali Yahalom: You are quoted as saying that many of your American values are “synonymous” with your Jewish values. Can you talk about that?
Henry Waxman: Jewish values place a great emphasis on compassion and trying to help other people, and the doctrine of tikkun olam, trying to repair the world — this of course is a requirement on individuals but also on the community. One way for people to act in a communal sense and to respond to the needs of the less fortunate is through government.
TY: Do you believe that you are doing tikkun olam through a career in government?
HW: I do believe that I am very close to the ideals of the Jewish religion as well as American values — to try to use my position in public office to better the lives of millions of Americans.
TY: How do you apply your Jewish values to your current legislative initiatives, namely health care?
HW: I take seriously what the objectives are in the legislation and try to keep a clear and disciplined focus on trying to move in the direction of the necessary accomplishments. I think it’s easy for people to get sidetracked and to think that compromise may not be worthy, even though it could produce a move in the direction of helping people.
Apparently Waxman has not heard that the role of religion in politics is supposed to revolve around demonizing homosexuals and single mothers, blocking promising medical research, and supporting economic policies that benefit the rich over the poor.