The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Richard Samuelson wrote a great essay for Mosaic discussing how American liberals have increasingly abandoned their former strong support for religious liberty, especially when such liberty conflicts with antidiscrimination laws, and the danger this poses for American Judaism. In my response, I elaborate on some of Samuelson's points, and then discuss whether the very cordial relations that have existed for decades between the American left and American Jews can survive a time when, if present trends hold, Orthodox and especially ultra-Orthodox Jews (whose population growth rate, I note, is currently an astonishing 5.5 percent per year) will be an increasingly large percentage of Jews who practice Judaism (as opposed to individual with Jewish ethnic heritage but who are of no, or another, religion). Orthodox Judaism, I note, can't survive if various sorts of "discrimination" that are intrinsic to the religion are banned. I humbly think it's worth reading the entire essay, but here's the conclusion:
In short, the left is still mostly at peace with the American Jewish community because the latter is predominantly irreligious, socially liberal, and politically progressive. A few decades from now, the majority of affiliated Jews may well be predominantly religious, socially conservative, and a significant "reactionary" force in politics, especially in New York where Ḥaredim [ultra-Orthodox Jews] are concentrated. This is unlikely to occur without a significant rise in anti-Jewish sentiment on the left, bringing with it potentially dire consequences for the community's religious liberty.