Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Defeat ‘holy’ superior orders, or just following veil orders, the Nuremberg defense

Understand how to argue religious bigotry

1. In the court cases of the leading Nazi Germany leaders in Nuremberg, the defendants infamously claimed blamelessness because they were just following orders. Blame their superiors. Hitler was dead.

The judges rejected this defense. If you follow an immoral order, you are guilty. This was in 1948 established for all eternity for all of humanity.

Command responsibility is a concept that was established too. It jives finely with the idea of actor’s responsibility.

2. But what if you claim that G^d ordered it? Typically, people will say that the religion forces them or that they believe this is G^d’s will.

If you’re hearing voices commanding you, you are innocent by insanity. But otherwise, tough luck for your religion. You can’t murder someone (also not emotionally) and get away by claiming that G^d wanted this.

By the way, no god is immoral. Maximally, human misinterpretation may make god come out vile. But for argument’s sake, let’s say He issues an immoral decree. Then He Himself wants you to reject it. Abraham does not agree to slaughter his son, Heaven forbid. He’s just calling His bluff.

3. Self-proclaimed religious people have no legal defense to be immoral ‘because G^d demands it’ of them. Any devote person, especially any religious leader or teacher, who spews bigotry, needs to be prosecuted and pay for the damage s/he caused, including emotional suffering.

Rabbis who demeaned homosexuals or discriminated against them (a form of racism) need to face lengthy jail sentences to help them reconsider their perceived heterosupremacy. There’s no other way.

Legally and morally, there is no difference between religious leaders who call upon the religious to murder homosexuals or to ostracize them.

Society (and any decent religion) must demand protection of the weak.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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