Is a Jew ever permitted to go into a Reform temple?
If he is a plumber, he should ask a shailah first and then go in. Otherwise, without a shailah he shouldn’t go in because a Reform temple is worse than a church. That’s not what I say – there’s no question that a Reform temple is worse than a church because a Reform temple is a place of atheism. The rabbi is an open atheist. He doesn’t believe in Hashem. He says, “Yes, I believe in a God; but not that He spoke to anybody, not that He ever does anything; He doesn’t interfere in anybody’s business.” In other words, He’s not existent. For business purposes he still has Him on his letterhead, but that’s all.
The Rambam says that an atheist, a min, is worse than an oved avodah zarah; it means the Reform temple is the worst. The same is with Der Arbeter Ring place; a Workmen’s Circle place is worse than a church because it’s a place of atheists. The same is the Mapai and Mapam places in Eretz Yisroel or the labor Zionist places here. All the labor Zionists are out and out atheists.
And if we’ll get down now to brass tacks, a college is exactly the same. A college is a headquarters of atheism. So if you’ll ask, “Is it permissible to go in a college just to steal out a diploma from them; there’s a diploma on the dean’s desk and you want to get it. So you can’t out and out steal it – you have to sit there and work for a little bit. Is it permissible to go and get a diploma?” So go to some adam gadol and get a heter. I don’t pasken shailos.
TAPE # 135 (August 1976)