(CNSNews.com) - More than 850 Jewish clergymen say former Gov. Mitt Romney is “a dangerous homosexualist” – and are calling on churches and church leaders in South Carolina to examine the records of the Republican candidates on homosexuality and on social values.
“America’s fate will likely be determined in the South Carolina presidential primary, Jan. 21,” the rabbis said in a news release.
“The man who the voters choose will probably become the Republican presidential nominee, the man charged with defeating President Obama and reversing the moral and economic freefall he and his allies have encouraged.”
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Jewish clergymen, said the rabbis see the South Carolina primary as America’s “Nineveh” moment.
“The famous story in the Bible of the prophet Jonah, who received a prophecy and he went to Nineveh, he told them – ‘In 40 days you are going to be destroyed because of your wickedness,’ because of your evil, because of your good old-fashioned immorality. And the people repented – that’s the story of Jonah,” Levin told CNSNews.com.
The Orthodox Jewish religious leaders, members of the 70-year-old Rabbinical Alliance of America, are calling on South Carolina churches to reject Romney.
“In a recent televised Republican presidential debate, Gov. Romney, a dangerous homosexualist, boasted that he will continue to pander to the lowest elements of American society in many areas, including appointment to the (Supreme) court,” the rabbis wrote.
“This bodes very ill for those with future Supreme Court appointments in terms of the militant homosexual agenda. And basically, what we perceive at this point – the New York Orthodox Jewish Community – to be a very, very much anti-religious, anti-traditional values bent of the courts system. This could impact upon us literally for decades to come.”
On Jan. 8, during the NBC News-Facebook debate, Romney had the following exchange with Andy Hiller, a reporter for the NBC affiliate in Boston:
MR. ANDY HILLER: Governor Romney, I'd like to remind you of something you said in Bay Windows, which is a gay newspaper in Massachusetts, in 1994 when you were running against Senator Kennedy. These are your words: “I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party, and I would be a voice in the Republican Party to foster anti-discrimination efforts.” How have you stood up for gay rights and when have you used your voice to influence Republicans on this issue?
GOV. ROMNEY: Andy, as you know, I don't discriminate. And in the appointments that I made when I was governor of Massachusetts, a member of my Cabinet was gay. I appointed people to the bench, regardless of their sexual orientation, made it very clear that, in my view, we should not discriminate in hiring policies, in legal policies. At the same time, from the very beginning in 1994, I said to the gay community, "I do not favor same-sex marriage." I oppose same-sex marriage, and that has been my, my view. But, but if people are looking for someone who, who will discriminate against gays or will in any way try and suggest that people that, that have different sexual orientation don't have full rights in this country, they won't find that in me.
MR. HILLER: When's the last time you stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights?
FMR. GOV. ROMNEY: Right now.
The orthodox rabbis, meanwhile -- who say they are speaking as individuals, not as a group -- complained that the news media, even conservative media, have ignored the social positions of Romney and other candidates
“The scary part is not that Romney ‘came out of the closet’ politically, but that the (Sean) Hannitys and (Rush) Limbaughs failed us by not discussing the implications of Romney’s stance,” Levin said. “Endless defense of ‘Capitalism’ for days on end; nary 10 minutes about morality and Supreme Court nominations. FOR SHAME!”
Levin and his fellow rabbis called on South Carolina to reject Romney.
“If America is to regain G-D’s grace and rebuild our ruined economy, it is crucial that South Carolina actively reject Governor Romney’s previous record and future aspirations. Choose the right man. The man who has lived and shares our Biblical values, the moral man with the uncompromising moral positions who will thus bring G-D’s blessings, once again, to our society.
“America is on the brink of collapse economically and morally,” the rabbis said. “Capitalism alone can not save it. No amount of financial tinkering can save a country which is morally bankrupt-that is what we learn from the decline and fall of the great empires of history.
“America became great, because it acknowledged G-D in every aspect of its public life-on the dollar bill, on public buildings, and in the schools-G-D as the author of America’s liberty and national success. G-dly values comprised the public and private moral code of America and Americans.
“And G-D blessed this nation with an abundance of wealth and greatness unparalleled in human history.
“But, over the last 50 years, secular libertines have succeeded in gradually excluding G-D and His moral code and value from the public square-from our schools, from our law, and from our public institutions.
“It is up to the religious leaders and followers of South Carolina and other primary states to elevate the moral records of the candidates to the “primary” position of importance. Heed the message of Nineveh: We do right by G-D, He will do right by us!
“The time is short. We are being judged. Will we choose wisely?”
Calls and e-mails to the Romney campaign for comment over a two day period yielded only one brief telephone response asking CNSNews.com to e-mail the national campaign spokesperson. No response has been forthcoming.