Dr. Laura, who very publically embraced Orthodox Judaism a few years back, has just as publically debraced it. One commentator cited in the article accepts Schlesinger’s defection fairly readily, saying: “Let her be just a garden variety, anti-choice conservative.”
What’s interesting about this story is that it seems that Dr. Laura–the family values and religious faith moralizer–has been incapable of fitting in with other Jews. Despite her incessant badgering of people to do as she does (or at least as she says she does), she just wasn’t accepted. As a Jew, yes–even as she publically renounces Judaism and considers the smorgasbord of “very loving, very supportive” Christian faiths out there, the Jews interviewed in the article insist that she is still a Jew. But she wasn’t accepted into any sort of community, complaining that “From my own religion, I have either gotten nothing, which is 99% of it, or two of the nastiest letters I have gotten in a long time. I guess that’s my point — I don’t get much back. Not much warmth coming back.”
I guess this is not surprising, even to people who know little of Dr. Laura’s schtick. Today’s conservativism, it seems to me, is very much about the individual over the community, about ignoring the problems around you except as they impact your own condition, usually in terms of your financial situation. “I’m not paying taxes so some homo can get free AIDS medicine”, that sort of thing. It’s easy to be Jewish, or Christian, or anything else, and hold these sorts of views, but if it’s “warmth” you’re after, some sense of communal togetherness, I just don’t see how they’re compatible.