IFAS | Freedom Writer | August 1996 | profile.html

A CTIVIST P ROFILE
Morton Metersky

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is something wrong with the Religious Right. Every day, more and more people are awakening to the threat posed by those religious political extremists.

Retired scientist Morton L. Metersky, Ph.D, likes to listen to WWDB, a Philadelphia talk radio station. Paul W. Smith, the morning host, is, according to Metersky, "a very balanced Republican," and one of Metersky's favorite hosts. "Then one day Rush Limbaugh came on," Metersky said.

It was through Limbaugh that Mort Metersky first heard of the Christian Coalition. "I looked into their agenda," he told Freedom Writer, and put two and two together. If you look at their strategy taking over school boards, library boards that's how the Nazis started in Germany!"

Then Mort obtained a copy of the 1990 Christian Coalition recruiting tape, "America at a Crossroads." "Basically it said, 'we're going to take over everything!' Although I am a rocket scientist, I didn't have to be one to figure it out. Their goal is not what they state; they have a theocratic agenda for this country."

While nothing in his background pointed to a career in political activism, Dr. Metersky's passion for fighting religious political extremists has taken off like a rocket.

Years ago, while at Georgia Tech, Mort founded the student chapter of the American Rocket Society. He went on to become an operations research analyst in air anti-submarine warfare. In Pasadena, California, he worked for the Navy developing a torpedo-carr ying rocket fired from a destroyer.

Today, at 61, with a wife, three grown children, and four grandsons, Mort is very "pro-family." He is active at Old York Road Temple Beth Am in Abington, Pennsylvania, where he serves as vice president for community affairs.

Since his retirement two years ago and since learning about the agenda of the Radical Religious Right, Mort has formed a social action committee at his synagogue called the Committee for the Separation of Religion and Politics.

Metersky's study of the Christian Coalition's literature and recruitment videotape convinced him that the organization's goal is to eliminate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which guarantees separation of church and state and then to establish a Christian theocracy which reflects Christian fundamentalist ideology, including teaching creationism in public schools, banning books, and prohibiting abortions.

"This is not a Jewish problem," Mort says. "It's an American problem. And it's not an issues problem it's a threat to the Constitution."

"Soon it was evident," Mort said, "that we couldn't fight this fight alone." His committee reached out to involve about 20 more synagogues and a number of churches. The group is called the Interfaith Coalition for Religious Pluralism.

Then Mort learned of the Interfaith Alliance. Shortly after becoming involved with that group, he became a member of the steering committee of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Interfaith Alliance.

The groups with which Mort is involved conduct a number of activities to educate the public, including research on Religious Right candidates, monitoring school board meetings, and holding forums. Also, Mort speaks on the Radical Religious Right whenever the opportunity presents itself. This fall, he is organizing a black, Muslim, and Jewish dialogue group.

In a article in the summer 1996 issue of Reform Judaism, Mort called for more Reform Jews to become involved in countering the Radical Right. "It only takes one person in each congregation to make a difference," he said.

For more information call Morton Metersky at (215) 672-4598, or email him at metersky@aol.com.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.