Sunday, December 13, 2015

Is Jeffrey Salkin Mormon?

It may seem an idiotic question if you are familiar with Jeffrey Salkin's blog Martini Judaism. After all, Judaism is right in the title. However, if you use the same logic of a few of the posts he's put out  over the past week or so it makes sense. It seems that any individual he happens to like the work of can be proclaimed Jewish. His short piece "Woody Allen, Jewish despite himself" at least has some superficial merit. Woody was raised in a Jewish family. He himself is actually an atheist. He is not a practicing Jew and can only be called a Jew in a flimsy cultural sense of the term. His more recent piece, "Was Sinatra Jewish?", is just nonsensical crap. Sinatra never had even a vague affiliation with Jews beyond those that anyone else with friends or acquaintances who happened to be Jewish would have.

In both instances Salkin does a lot of cherry-picking to force the careers of these two men into a mold of his own warped logic's devising. It's as sad as it is pathetic. With both pieces he could have used a few of the vague associations to discuss and examine the whole idea of Jewish identity. There's always been a bit of debate over whether Jewishness is a matter of faith, ethnicity, culture, or a mixture. Just as there have always been questions about to what extent the previous question matters. It is a very interesting topic well worth thinking about. It's too bad Salkin's writing more closely resembles that asinine Mormon practice of "baptizing" individuals as Mormon after they are dead whether they expressed any interest in Mormon faith while alive. It's stupid, dishonest, arrogant, and disrespectful.

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