Trump & the Evangelicals

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I’ve been trying to get into the head space of what draws the uber religious voter to Republican nominee Donald Trump. This week we will glimpse into the world of Evangelical Christendom via the words of Shiksaism’s FIRST GUEST WRITER the  fabulous social worker and all-around gal about town: Casey Burke.

   I have been asked to pen a post for Shiksaism, as I am one of the only “evangelicals” The Ex-Shiksa still knows. I use the quotes, because I no longer consider myself an evangelical. But I know that world, and what motivates people there, and can, though I cannot relate, understand why people for this section of society would stoically vote Republican despite the nominee.
From childhood, we are told to be in the world, but not of the world. That blessed are the persecuted, so much so that we might create our own persecution. One of the first things you realize when you leave the church’s bubble is that the world is not a dangerous place. People who are different are not bad, and one can be good without being a Christian. One doesn’t need to believe in the divinity of Jesus to know that he was a good guy, a prophetic voice, and someone to be heard.

I get very sad when I think about the fact that many evangelical Christians in the U.S. appear to ready to support Donald Trump to run their supposedly Christian nation. One simple passage in their Bibles will tell them that this man is not a Christian. That he uses the moniker only out of convenience, to get votes, to sow fear. To win over James Dobson. I can lay down some Beatitudes. A little Greatest Command. A little justice, a little mercy, a little humility. Jesus even speaks directly to how you should treat refugees, and prisoners, and the poor.

I try my best to be objective in all things. My training as a social worker has taught me how  to listen without judgement and it is my nature to find the good in everyone. I want to understand people and their motivations and what has led them to their present day. And can most times accept what they tell me and move forward. But I cannot abide by the current stances of the Republican Party. Driven by fear and paranoia, you find a reason to ban refugees, most whom are women and children traumatized by decades of war, from your borders because one them might be hiding hatred for the United States. But you have sown the seeds of that hatred with your actions driven by fear and paranoia. You shout down people who are only shouting to begin with because your bigotry has kept you from hearing them when they have tried to speak. You turn a blind eye to the incarceration and killing of young black men with your war on drugs and your war on crime, but cannot see that this is a war of your own making. Shouting about how people must suffer the consequences of their actions, when really they are suffering the consequences of your actions.

 I am also a very hopeful person. I have “hope” and “love” literally tattooed on the inside of my arms. I know people can change and believe that the world can change. If we would all just shut up for a moment–just one–and listen to each other. Stop calling each other names and acting all a fool. Take a class. Read a book. Watch a documentary. Turn off your phones and your computers and talk to someone. Take a chance that something or someone out there might quiet your mind and give you peace.

by  Casey Burke.










Jesus Christ Super Adjective

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Through the writing of Mary Daly (who suggests we call G-d—“The Verb’), black feminist Doris Williams and Alice Walker I’ve deepened my understanding of Jesus Christ this week in my Women & Religion course. Continue reading “Jesus Christ Super Adjective”

Ready, Set Go!

Aaaaaaand the second set of summer courses has started! I am taking “Women and Religion” and a computer course (there is a 2 class limit). It’s only day one and I’ve been assigned to write a 2-page paper on the definition of a “woman”, reading the two creation stories in Genesis and a 3-4 sentence definition of the term “religion” through the lens of an additional assigned reading. Continue reading “Ready, Set Go!”

Ruth the YouTube Star

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 9.47.50 AM This year I spent Shavout eating vanilla ice cream (I sadly had a difficult time procuring cheesecake) under the stars of rural northern Maine. I read the Book of Ruth from the comfort of my cabin and afterwards indulged in finding how she is represented in the digital world.  Continue reading “Ruth the YouTube Star”

The Tale of Two Seders

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on strike

I’ve been on strike from resuming to “normal life” since I returned from my adventures in Israel. Having said that I am reminded on a daily basis how dire in need I am of a routine in order to be my most proactive self. Routine…I wish I could say it was overrated but the ADD begs to differ.  Two weeks ago I applied for re-admittance to a college as this appears to be the perfect time in my life to resume my studies and finally finish my BA. I found out I was accepted this morning and feel like this is perhaps the clarity I prayed for at the Kotel last month. I was hoping the clarity would be found more in the area of romance… Sigh. Maybe it has and I just don’t want to accept it.  Continue reading “The Tale of Two Seders”

Who is the Real Hero of Purim?

Israeli SuperHero
Israeli SuperHero

As I read from the Book of Esther (from the comfort of my couch) last night I found myself asking “why is the focus not more on Mordechai as the real hero of Purim vs. the much celebrated Esther”?
Put aside for the moment that he pimped out his adopted daughter to the King and focus on the fact that because of him we still have a peoplehood. Continue reading “Who is the Real Hero of Purim?”

Happy Tu B’Av!

I’ll admit, I had never heard of this holiday until just recently. It peaked my interest due to it being called the “Jewish Valentine’s Day”.  According to the Talmud, single women would dress in white and dance in the vineyards on the 15th of Av and the eligible bachelors would join them…never a dull biblical moment.

The day also celebrates a variety of other events from intermarriage to burying the dead. 

Check out these links for more information:



Yom Ha’atzmaut

Prior to the start of my conversion to Judaism, I never gave much thought about Israel asides from it being a place of great Biblical importance and a place where bombings seem to be common place. Continue reading “Yom Ha’atzmaut”