Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued a statement in response to Glenn Beck's February 22 comments comparing Reform Judaism to "radicalized Islam." From Rabbi Yoffie's statement:
Reform Judaism, a proud and venerable religious tradition, does not accept Mr. Beck as the arbiter of what is spiritual and what is not, of who has faith and who does not, of what constitutes real religion and what does not. We respect his faith and demand that he respect ours. Our members, who - like others in North America - apply their religious values to the problems of the broader society, are happy to have Mr. Beck disagree with us on any position that one or more of us may take, but not to make pronouncements and sweeping condemnations that he has neither the right nor the knowledge to make.
We are particularly incensed that Mr. Beck chose to compare Reform Judaism with "radicalized Islam." While noting that Reform Judaism is not about "terror," he implied the opposite - or, at the very least, that the religious faith of the largest segment of North American Jewry is extremist and fanatic.
Dismissing the heartfelt religious beliefs of millions of North Americans is offensive. Mr. Beck should be ashamed of his comments, and we hope that he will have the good sense never to repeat them.