Monday, October 23, 2006

Jesus Camp

There is a controversial movie currently out in theaters, called Jesus Camp. This movie depicts the indoctrination of born again Christians at a summer camp, in this case run by Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kids in Minstry International. I have not seen this movie, but I have read about what it depicts. Namely, the film depicts the total indoctrination and brainwashing of Christian children. In this film, you see children chanting "Righteous judges!" (re: overturning Roe v. Wade) You see children praying for George W. Bush. You see home schooled kids talk about science revisionism. You see the normal gay bashing, sexuality bashing, etc. My take on this movement is the following... My minimum threshold for religious movements I do not fear is that the religious movement should not advocate head chopping. If said religious movement does not advocate head chopping, then I will not be in as active fear that I am about head chopping faiths. However sick and twisted the children are in the Jesus Camp movie, they do not advocate head chopping. As such, they do not earn the sort of scorn that I hold for the Islamofascists. That said, they are also working against what it takes to fight the Islamofascists. If we hope to win the battle against Islamofascism, we have to outsmart them, and use every weapon in our arsenal. As such, the biggest threat that the Christonutjob movement is to America today is the way in which it is anti-thought and anti-science. If we hope to defeat Islamofascism, the only way we will accomplish this is by cutting the dependence we have on Arab oil. That is the only way. We are literally funding our own destruction when we pay for oil as we do. Now, yes, there is of course the environmental concern about how oil causes global warming. But the oft-ignored problem is that we are funding our own destruction when we buy the black gold. We need to rally the best and brightest from our generation to figure out an alternative fuel source, and the anti-science and anti-thought teachings of evangelicals directly works against this. I have other thoughts about the Jesus Camp kids. I actually am so disgusted with the way Americans are taught lies in the classroom (about Israel, the US), that a part of me trusts Evangelicals to have the gumption to fight the Islamofascists more than I trust fellow atheists/secularists. This is a sad state of affairs. While the Jesus Campers are being brainwashed, the secularists in this country (and the world) are being brainwashed as well, but it is a different sort of brainwashing - it is the sort of brainwashing against this country and Israel that led to the Rachel Corrie phenomenom. I view Rachel Corrie as emblematic of all that is wrong with the secular education that is taught in this country. In short, secularists as well as Jesusists are being taught a web of lies in school! Finally, even if I trust the Jesusists to have the gumption to fight the Islamofascists more than I trust most secularists, I also rue the notion of having to become the United States of Saudi Arabia in order to fight Islamofascism. It would be bitter irony if this is the only way we can fight them. I also do not believe this to be so. I believe that a complete revamping of the American education system is necessary, from top to bottom. Examples of how secularists are themselves indoctrinated to believe lies is found in the website Students for Academic Freedom. I do not view the Jesusists are presenting a great alternative to Islamofascism. They present an alternative which contains no gay rights, Christianity merged with the State, a lack of belief in science, censorship of 'licentious' material, and of course no abortion rights and lack of access to contraceptives. This is not a state I want to live in! Secularists, we have to get our act together and present a united front against Islamofascism, which, if it were to win, would allow the Jesusists to be dhimmis, and would annhiliate us all! We are truly the #1 threat to Islamofascism, because we THINK! The Jesusists may have the gumption to fight Islamofascists, but they in fact share the common goal of creating a religious state! The fact that there are groups such as Queers for Palestine is an abomination! Let's get our act together so that the world is not faced with the choice of Jesusism or Islamofascism. There must be a third choice! Secularism and freedom of thought is necessary to win the war against Islamofascism, but it is also necessary to create a real alternative to the United States of Saudi Arabia. EDIT: I want to summarize my opinion. I view the Jesusists as frightening in what they are advocating and their non-thought. I do not believe this is the way to win the war against Islamofascism, and even if it is, it would be a sad world to live in if we have to appease the Jesusists to win. However, I simply do not trust the secuarlists to fight Islamofascism, and I believe that while secularism is a pro-thought and pro-rationality line perspective, it has been taken over by those who are themselves anti-thought and anti-rationality. They are not true secularists and in fact have sullied secularism by their association with it. These people have a religion of sorts of their own, a twisted and illogical attachment to the religion of anti-Americanism, anti-Israelism, and anti-thought in general. In order to win the war against Islamofascism, we must take back secularism from the grip of these non-thinkers! We must go back to the secularism of the Enlightenment! These secularists claim to believe in freedom of speech, but will squash real thought in the classroom. They pretend to be enlightened while they are doing everything they can to promote Islamofascism. They are Rachel Corrie-izing the youths of the world! And thus, those who value thought and freedom face a battle on three fronts: a) Fighting against Islamofascism; b) Fighting against the Jesusization of this country; c) Fighting the anti-thought and pro-terrorism secularists within our own ranks! We cannot forget how important (C) is. If we hope to live in a world that values truth, justice, and the American way, we have to continually be aware of how important it is to fight those who claim to be spreading truth and justice while in truth they are spreading lies and hatred. This is the mission that all true secularists face today.

24 comments:

MechanicalCrowds said...

The thing is secularism lacks that strong and blind belief that religion provides. Secularism is based on skepticism so it'll be harder to unite these people.

You bring up the question of whether kids should be taught (or make believe) religion at a young age or not. It is a valid question but I don't think the world is ready for it yet. I can imagine that maybe 100 years into the future, teaching non-science to kids will be a crime.

Red Tulips said...

MechanicalCrowds:

I didn't bring up the question re: whether children should be taught religion at a young age, but now that you bring it up, I do think that teaching religion at a young age is a form of brainwashing. However, I do not believe that teaching non-science should be a crime.

The problem with secularism today is that while it originally is based on doubt and skepticism, those who preach secularism today are disproportionately NONSECULAR! They have such a fervant belief in the evil of America and Israel, that that itself has become a religion of sorts.

The struggle today is one which involves taking back secularism from those who are only pretending to advocate it. The struggle today is to bring back the secularism of the Enlightenment. The struggle today is to encourage thinking worldwide.

Jason said...

I can't tolerate anything other than complete hatred for christers.

Red Tulips said...

Jason,

I think that is a very incomplete look at the Christers.

As I explained, the one important thing to remember about the Christers is that they are unwavering in their desire to fight Islamofascism. Secularists are less unwavering. And lest we forget, if the Islamofascists win, they would not just take away any and all gay rights - they would instead hang every gay person and kill every Jew.

Thus, while I am no friend to the Christers, I do not have total and complete hatred of them, because I know the Islamofascists are worse.

Jason said...

""""As I explained, the one important thing to remember about the Christers is that they are unwavering in their desire to fight Islamofascism. """"

I don't need the help of such garbage.

Red Tulips said...

Jason,

I fear we need all the help we can get, given we are not getting it from a very large percentage of secularists.

As such, while I am no fan of the Jesusists, I save my 'garbage' condemnation for those who are far worse. (the Islamofascists)

Steven said...

How long before they actually start murdering people saying "God is Great".

Jesus camp is disgusting.

Thats all I have to say.

Red Tulips said...

Steven,

Don't get me wrong. I am absolutely terrified by the hate that is indoctrinated into the minds of the Jesusists.

I guess what I am struggling with is the fact that many secularists are taught a brainwashing in schools across the nation, and it is brainwashing against Israel and the US. (NOTE: I didn't say 'most,' but it is clear this is a widespread phenomenom.)

There must be an alternative to the total nonthought and brainwashing exhibited by the Jesusists.

Steven said...

Just to add:

This camp has done serious damage to hundreds of youth. I am anti-Hate, and hate is exactly what these kids are taught. I believe this is wrong and this is what I dedicate my life to fighting.

We have to win this war, but we must not turn into our enemies in the process. What sort of "win" will it be if we adopt the type of ideology we are supposedly fighting?

I am not anti-religion but I am pro-thought.



Being pro-thought also happens to be a Jewish value! This is science, not blind belief:

"If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word
that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it." -- Deuteronomy (18.22)

There you have it. If it doesnt proove true it is not true. You can't get more scientific than that. This law prevents even someone claiming to be the Messiah from being given blind faith. Imagine what that means for Rabbis. This is why at the top of Judaism there is not a coherent leader but a group of debating Rabbis.

It is slightly different from the Christian interpretation of blind faith as revealed in the story "Doubting Thomas".

So... Scientific observation = good. Blind faith = bad. Blind faith + hate education = very very bad.

Steven said...

Red:
"There must be an alternative to the total nonthought and brainwashing exhibited by the Jesusists."

I agree there has to be something to fight this idiology, and I place that hope in Judaism - or atleast Jewish values.

But I am bias!

Red Tulips said...

Steven,

Very, very well said. You are so damned articulate, and I am so glad you came back. :-)

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Umm, Jewish values?

I guess you are talking about traditional values that existed centuries (millenia?) ago.

Honestly, when someone says jewish values, I think of the ACLU, Alan Dershowitz, Lawrence Tribe, Gloria Steinham, Gloria Allred, Chuck Shumer, the Jews mentioned in that excellent article about anti-jewish jews, about idiot jews who support gun control, which was used so successfully against jews leading up to Krystalnacht, and by Stalin. I think of US Jews complaining about our Christmas trees and Christmas cards in public places.

Most damning of all, I think of the parents of the characters Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza. Ug.

I am not big on bible literalism, but the part about the Jews losing their way, I believe that bigtime, your religion has lost it's bearings.

Jews (Abraham Foxman, ADL comes to mind also) and athiests have been working hard to push Christianity in the US underground, and I think that makes extremism like this case more common.

Steven said...

Mr SMY:
"Umm, Jewish values? I guess you are talking about traditional values that existed centuries (millenia?) ago."

I am talking about the Torah. The Torah is Judaism.

If you are interested, the Torah was probably written during the 3rd Century CE in Persia. The stories set before the 3rd C are not consistent with history; they are metaphors.

"Honestly, when someone says jewish values, I think of the ACLU, Alan Dershowitz, Lawrence Tribe, Gloria Steinham, Gloria Allred, Chuck Shumer, the Jews mentioned in that excellent article about anti-jewish jews, about idiot jews who support gun control, which was used so successfully against jews leading up to Krystalnacht, and by Stalin. I think of US Jews complaining about our Christmas trees and Christmas cards in public places."

Er, right...

Jews often don't live up to Jewish values, and that's OK because all that is necessary is that we try our best.

To clarify on one point:
There is nothing Jewish about demanding people to take down their Christmas trees. I love Christmas trees! I have never celebrated Christmas, but Christmas trees are pretty, and we get good sales in January! I don't think it makes sense to complain about someone else's religious beliefs unless they are dangerous in some way.

Do you think the Jewish president of Israel is acting according to Jewish values? Well he isn't!

So, what is your point exactly?

"Most damning of all, I think of the parents of the characters Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza. Ug.
I am not big on bible literalism, but the part about the Jews losing their way, I believe that bigtime, your religion has lost it's bearings.
"

It is a big mistake to confuse Judaism and Jewish values with what you read about Jewish celebrities.

In case you did not realise, Judaism is quite complicated. It is an ethnicity, a political movement and a religion... then the Jewish religion is broken up into different groups.

Saying someone is Jewish is not really enough for them to be used as an example of Jewish law.

"Jews (Abraham Foxman, ADL comes to mind also) and athiests have been working hard to push Christianity in the US underground, and I think that makes extremism like this case more common."

Some Atheists want to push all religion underground - but not to be rude or anything: you are imagining things if you think the ADL cares about Christianity enough to try and "push it underground."

Religion in America:
Christian 78%
- Protestant 52%
- Roman Catholic 24%
- Mormon 2%

Jewish 1%

We have enough on our plate without trying to suppress the largest religion in America you doof-ball!

And on that note:
Jewish people, unlike Christians and Muslims, do not care if you are not Jewish.


To clarify my position on Jewish Values:

The Torah is Judaism. The Torah commands that Jewish people be scientific. Judaism is also a religion with moral values. It is science and ethics rolled into one package. When I talk about Jewish values I am talking about the Torah.

Just to underline my point about the scientific nature of the Torah I want to give you more on that previous quote:

"Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable."
-- Deuteronomy (18.18-29)

So, let's back-track:

If something does not prove true then it is not true and don't worry about it - if it does prove true you must listen or be held accountable. No intellectual dishonesty allowed!

You really can't define science much better than that.

We need something to fight Islamic Fascists, and I do not think Christian Fascists are the answer. I do not think Secularists are the answer. We need people who think, but not people who open up so much that they fall into the moral loophole.

I think we need moral truths, not moral relativism, and as Judaism encompasses morals and science I have started to put my faith in Jewish values; aka. the Torah, to lead us into a brighter future.

That is just my opinion though.

----------

Mr. SmarterThanYou:
What do you think is the best ideology we should use to fight Islamic Fascism?

Steven said...

For Mr. Smarterthanyou

On another note, I have no qualms about Christians but as you said:

"I am not big on bible literalism, but the part about the Jews losing their way, I believe that bigtime, your religion has lost it's bearings."

...I want to explore some Christian theology:


If you are Christian, you have to accept the Torah; which proves to be a huge problem. You might notice that the Bible is not consistent with the Torah. Even quotes are not reproduced correctly.

For example:

"I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable."
-- Deuteronomy (18.18-29)


Is misrepresented as:

"Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the [chosen] people.'"
-- Acts (3:20-22)

Read it yourself.

This should raise a red flag almost immediately when you bear in mind the following:

"If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it."
-- Deuteronomy (18.22)

If it does not prove true, its not true. That is the Jewish stance.


You said:
"I am not big on bible literalism, but the part about the Jews losing their way, I believe that bigtime, your religion has lost it's bearings."

The Bible says the Jews lost their way, however that very claim is made with an incorrect quote from the Torah. Nice!

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Steven, it seems you are much more knowledgable on the biblical matters than I, so I will not try to refute the points related to that. The idea of huge technical errors between the Torah and the Bible do not suprise me at all.

However, Yes, there is an effort by many jews to supress Christianity, and in large part, it has been successful.

Abraham Foxman of the ADL recently complained that fundimentalists were trying to "Christianize" the US.

Well guess what buddy, we are a Christian nation. But the ADL, and the overwhelmingly jewish ACLU and "Americans for the separation of church and state" have been very successful at removing 10 commandment monuments (yes, I know Jews value this also), crosses on public land, public prayers, and even Christmas trees, nativity scenes and even Christmas cards hung on walls in schools and workplaces and gov't buildings.

Seems this 1% is having a huge effect, and are pissing off a bunch of Christians.

off topic, but did Jews and Jewish organizations attack Christianity in 1920's, 1930's Germany? I've always wondered how so many people in Europe could have supported the Holocost. Perhaps the feeling that their religion and culture were under constant, and effective attack by Jews was part of it? I know I feel that way, and most people in the US feel that way about these organizations, although most don't see it as religious, yet.

Red Tulips said...

Mr. Smarterthanyou:

Let's examine what you are saying in greater detail...

off topic, but did Jews and Jewish organizations attack Christianity in 1920's, 1930's Germany? I've always wondered how so many people in Europe could have supported the Holocost. Perhaps the feeling that their religion and culture were under constant, and effective attack by Jews was part of it? I know I feel that way, and most people in the US feel that way about these organizations, although most don't see it as religious, yet.

Given you earlier advocated the total annhiliation of all Palestinians, I would have to assume that by this statement, you are saying that you could see a justification for the Holocaust, because Jews were "attacking Christianity" in Europe.

That point of view is appalling and also ridiculously untrue.

Let's examine the other totally outlandish and utterly unsupported statement that you made...

However, Yes, there is an effort by many jews to supress Christianity, and in large part, it has been successful.

You 'prove' this by saying...

Well guess what buddy, we are a Christian nation. But the ADL, and the overwhelmingly jewish ACLU and "Americans for the separation of church and state" have been very successful at removing 10 commandment monuments (yes, I know Jews value this also), crosses on public land, public prayers, and even Christmas trees, nativity scenes and even Christmas cards hung on walls in schools and workplaces and gov't buildings.

Let's look at each and every example of the 'proof' that Jews are suppressing Christianity...

a) 10 commandment monuments - last I checked this is a Jewish as well as Christian belief. Moreover, a monument is not a religion. Whether or not a monument exists has nothing to do with whether or not Christianity is allowed to be practiced. The placement or lack thereof of a monument on public land does not affect anyone's ability to worship Christianity as they please. Hence, this is NOT 'suppressing Christianity' in any way.

Moreover, Ten commandments are NOT barred on public lands. It is okay if it is part of a general religious display. (rather than seen by itself)

Next example:

b) Crosses on public land. Well, first of all, there is a little thing called the FIRST AMENDMENT. Our Founding Fathers were Deists, and not religious Christians. A cross on a public land signifies an association that the nation has with Christianity, when in fact this is a religiously pluralistic nation. Furthermore, the placement or lack thereof of a cross on a public land has nothing to do with your ability to worship Christianity. Of course, you could be an idol worshipper and need the cross to worship. But if you are, you most certainly are going against the very tenants of Christianity.

c) public prayers: Again, we are not a CHRISTIAN nation. We are a nation with a Christian heritage that is religiously pluralistic. Public prayer moves towards establishing an official religion, and is against the first amendment. But moreover, last I checked, you are not forbidden from praying in private. This is not evidence of suppression of Christianity.

d) Christmas trees: Sorry buddy, but you are wrong. Christmas trees are allowed across the nation on public ground.

e) nativity scenes: Again, you are somewhat wrong about the nativity scene. Allegheny County v. ACLU held that a creche scene with the words 'Glory to God in the Highest' staged by itself on public grounds is an impermissable establishment of religion. But the Supreme Court did not say all creches on public property is illegal.

f) Christmas cards: That is totally legal. You are going to have to cite a court case to back up this wild accusation that Christmas cards cannot be displayed.

I want to add that the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State stand againt all religions being tied with the government. The Allegheny case I earlier cited was in fact litigated by the ACLU, this supposedly 'Jewish' organization that you are so opposed to. This was a two part case, whereby the ACLU was against the public display of a creche and a menorah. In fact, the ACLU has gone after public displays of ALL religions. They also back the cases of freedom of religion - and will represent Christians, Jews, and Muslims in their drive towards freedom of religion.

You have not proven one iota of a supposed 'Christian bias' by these organizations. Not one iota. You have also not proven that America is a Christian nation. Yes, America is primarily Christian. But it is NOT a nation RULED by Christianity. THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT GREAT!

And most illogically of all, you are saying that somehow the ACLU/ADL/etc have been 'very successful' in their attempt to drive Christianity from the nation. Well, how exactly have they been successful if this nation is 95% Christian? This sounds like they have not exactly suppressed Christianity. What is a better measure of 'success' or 'failure' than the numbers of Christians in this nation? And given Christianity is on the RISE in this nation, I would say that if you defined the ACLU's goal as suppressing Christianity, then they have been incredibly UNsuccessful in that goal.

One final point. You bring up the ADL/ACLU/Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and say three completely untrue statements about these organizations. You simultaneously say that these organizations are opposed to all forms of Christianity (as opposed to other religions), that they have been successful in their goal of driving Christianity from the nation, AND that they are Jewish organizations that represent Jews in any way.

The ACLU is an organization of secularists from all persuasions. My problem with it is that they often pick stupid, senseless, and symbolic cases that only serve to anger people, and do not further any real goal. They also will defend freedom of ALL religions, including Islamists. So yes, I have a problem with the ACLU. But to claim that they have some sort of agenda of driving Christianity from the nation and that they have an anti-Christian bias (as opposed to other religions) is flat out untrue. Go to their website. Look at the cases they have taken up. You will see they FREQUENTLY take up cases on behalf of Christians seeking freedom of religion.

http://www.aclu.org/religion/index.html

Do your homework prior to making these wild accusations.

Finally, let's look at the board of directors on the ACLU:

http://www.aclu.org/about/staff/index.html

The Executive Director of the ACLU is Anthony Romero - a Hispanic, and not a Jew!

http://www.hispaniconline.com/magazine/2005/march/Features/drivenbylib.html

Are Jews disproportionately driven to the ACLU/Americans United for the Seperatio of Church and State? Yes. Do those organizations have some sort of secret Jewish cabal running them? Absolutely no. Implying otherwise, and that somehow Jews are secretly running this country, is one of the oldest forms of anti-semitism in the book.

There is absolutely no Jewish 'conspiracy' to drive Christianity into the ground. The cases you cited are either totally made up or flat out do not prove anything. This country, in any case, is not a 'Christian' nation, and last I checked, there was no religious test for office.

You ought to recheck those facts of your's next time you make wild and baseless accusations.

Steven said...

Mr. Smarterthanyou, thank you for posting your thoughts on Jewish people trying to supress Christianity in America. It is good to have these things in the open. :)

I won't repond here because Red has taken up the mantle, but for your one comment:

"I've always wondered how so many people in Europe could have supported the Holocost. Perhaps the feeling that their religion and culture were under constant, and effective attack by Jews was part of it?"

Spot on. This is what propaganda is for, to make people feel that a group of people who are doing no harm are actually trying to harm you... the result will make ordinary people try to "defend" themselves against this innocent group.

There is a good post on the subject here. :)

The reasons used to justify anti-Semitism are actually just weak wexcuses.

A lot of this has to do with politics and the values in the Torah.

I hope this gives you some extra insight into it.

Right now you can see the same libels being spread, take the ambulances in Lebanon as an example.

"I know I feel that way, and most people in the US feel that way about these organizations, although most don't see it as religious, yet."

People may feel that Jewish people are tring to supress them or what-not, but it is a myth designed to make you feel threatened. Don't let it work. Please.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

The US was founded based on Christian principles of morality and law. Some folks seem intent on changing that. I'm going to save detailed response for the thread started in my "honor"

Bint Alshamsa said...

This conversation is very interesting to me. I think it is related to some of what has been discussed on other recent threads. Mr. Smarterthanyou said

Honestly, when someone says jewish values, I think of the ACLU, Alan Dershowitz, Lawrence Tribe, Gloria Steinham, Gloria Allred, Chuck Shumer, the Jews mentioned in that excellent article about anti-jewish jews, about idiot jews who support gun control, which was used so successfully against jews leading up to Krystalnacht, and by Stalin.

This is what happens when people look at the actions of individuals within a group and then use this to formulate their view about the entire group. Though some people would not find this a logical strategy for arriving at facts when it comes to the group that they belong to, they have no problem making the same sort of statements about other groups that they do not belong to. Of course, when there are large groups of people who cling to their own ethnocentrism, it's rather difficult to convince the rest of the world that only their ethnocentrism is valid.

He also said "I am not big on bible literalism, but the part about the Jews losing their way, I believe that bigtime, your religion has lost it's bearings."

This reminds me of the same thing that someone else said on another thread regarding Muslims. If I said that a particular group should accept whatever some from the outside thinks their goals should be, then it's just a matter of time before someone starts telling me that I should accept their views about what my goals should be and whether or not the goals I've set for myself are worth pursuing. To me, more is accomplished (in the way of improving the ethical state of the world) by trying to understand why groups see themselves as they do and why they believe their goals are worth holding onto. Then if we really believe that the goals we'd like them to switch to are better than the ones they have, we can at least have a shot at convincing them. As long as someone shows they are only capable of misrepresenting the actual views held by another group or individual (due to ignorance or lack of in-depth studying), then no logical conclusions can be drawn even if the goals you wish for that group because the premises aren't factual.

You wrote:Jews often don't live up to Jewish values, and that's OK because all that is necessary is that we try our best.

Though the traits or behaviors that are valued by a particular Jew might be identical to those held by someone who does not consider themself a Jew, any values held by Jewish people are Jewish values and it certainly doesn't seem necessary for Jews to try their best to live up to their values. If it were necessary, then an individual's Jewishness would cease to exist unless they did actually try their best to live according to their values. Were you just referring to the religious precepts of Judaism?

I don't think it makes sense to complain about someone else's religious beliefs unless they are dangerous in some way.

Well, unfortunately not everyone agrees with you. However, even if everyone did agree with you about what it makes sense to complain about, we'd still have a lot of disagreements because people define "dangerous" in many different ways.

It is a big mistake to confuse Judaism and Jewish values with what you read about Jewish celebrities.

I agree completely. It is a big mistake. However, it is the sort of mistake that even some Jews commonly make. It would be just as problematic to conflate Judaism and Jewish values with what one may read about Jews in America or Jews in Ethiopia or Jews in Israel.

Saying someone is Jewish is not really enough for them to be used as an example of Jewish law.

It is enough for someone to use that person as an example of Jewish values though it would be illogical to claim that this particular set of Jewish values are the ones held by all Jews or even the majority of them.

Some Atheists want to push all religion underground - but not to be rude or anything: you are imagining things if you think the ADL cares about Christianity enough to try and "push it underground."

If you think that your determination regarding what every person in the ADL thinks is logical, then wouldn't it also be logical when someone like Mr. Smarterthanyou makes similar pseudo-psychic claims to know what other people (e.g. Jews) care about? Personally, I think that it's illogical for anyone to try and speak for an entire ethnicity of people as if one individual could possibly know what every person in the group believes and cares about and wants. How could anyone ever determine this factually? At best, such statements only reveal what the wannabe psychic would like to believe about the group they are referring to.

Judaism is also a religion with moral values. It is science and ethics rolled into one package.

No. This is incorrect. A religion is not science. Science is based on facts. Religions have no obligation to be based on anything. Religion, Judaism included, does not adhere to the established standards of science.

If something does not prove true then it is not true and don't worry about it - if it does prove true you must listen or be held accountable. No intellectual dishonesty allowed! You really can't define science much better than that.

To the contrary, science can be explained much better than that. Not being intellectually dishonest isn't even nearly enough to make something scientific. Furthermore, this verse from Deuteronomy that you quoted does not establish any scientific standards nor is what it says in line with science. Being a prophet and saying something doesn't establish a scientific fact. In fact, science rejects the idea that an individual's claims matters more than what the data proves.

We need people who think, but not people who open up so much that they fall into the moral loophole.

I'm curious about who the "we" that you mention here actually refers to. Does it refer to all those who do not agree with fascism? Does it only refer to Jewish people who don't support fascism?

That is just my opinion though.

There's the rub. With a world full of differing and often mutually-exclusive opinions, we can't unify as one unless there is something we are unified about. Logic is universal so it could accomplish that if people were willing to allow it to. If history is a good judge, as long as people think that logic is too dangerous and scary, human beings may very well continue to cluster around their opinions and wag "pious" fingers at those who dare to think differently.

Red Tulips said...

bint,

I am not speaking for every member of the ADL/ACLU/Americans United for the Seperation of Church and State. I also never claimed to speak for everyone. I am speaking about the actions of these organizations.

The actions of these organizations do not reflect a desire to drive Christianity underground, or elliminate Christianity in every way. I also see no evidence that this has been 'successful' according to any definition of success.

Moreover, when I speak of Palestinians, I do not claim to speak for every Palestinian and have said on multiple occasions that I know the Palestinians are not some monolith. I never said that Islam is violence or must be violence is or is a monolith, either.

But what I am saying is that there is a value in being able to live a life of quiet peaceful coexistence. There is a value to science, progress, freedom, and justice. These are normative values that I ascribe to. Now, I realize that in some ways these norms are made up and yes, this means I am telling Palestinians 'you should believe in justice because it is good for you.' I realize that. But I also believe that these norms are the result of a little belief that I hold in universal human rights. If one values the dignity of all people, then the dignity is held in believing in these things. Not everyone believes in this, but I fervantly know that society is better off with these beliefs. Compare Saudi Arabia to the USA. Or best yet, DON'T, because the two nations are so far apart as to be on different planets.

As far as what Steven said...Judaism is not a science. It is a belief in science. Perhaps he did not phrase things well.

As far as religion being 'dangerous'...well...I define danger as a threat to my life or the lives of those I love. Will you disagree with me and say that Islamofascism (not Islam itself, but the fascist al queda version of it) is NOT a threat to my life and the lives of those I know?

Sadly, al queda and extremist Islam is also a threat to Muslims, more than any other group of people. More Muslims are killed by Muslims than anyone else. According to any norm that one would ascribe to, extremist Islam is a threat to the world.

Your thought that somehow we could switch these people into believing something else is very misguided. It assumes they listen to us. It assumes they actually want dialogue. Where have you seen one shred of evidence that they want dialogue?

The only thing we can possibly hope to achieve is to prevent the spread of extremist Islam. That is our only hope. We have to marginalize and make irrelevant the Bin Ladenites of the world.

The only way to do this is to have a radical reconfiguration of world politics, because as it stands, these groups are being actively funded by many governments, chief amongst them Iran and Saudi Arabia. Maybe you are saying that you hope we could talk Saudi Arabia and Iran out of funding these groups. I can assure you I have read of multiple accounts of the State Department attempting to get Saudi Arabia to change the textbooks that teach the Protocols of Zion as fact. This has been met with little success.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Regarding the ADL, The leader of it made the statement that Fundimentalist Christians were trying turn the US into a Christian nation, to paraphrase. He speaks for the group.

You have posted that jews are 1% of the US population. WOW. I would have guessed 10% at least, from the visibility that the human freakshow that I mentioned have. For 1% of the population, Jews have a HUGE leftist/"secular progressive" and anti-Christian value impact.

I cannot help to think, when I hear all these treasonous, communist jews speak on TV, read what they write, that something is wrong with modern jews. True, I really like the folks at Jewish World Review, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Rights, etc. But the main voices behind the moral decay of our country seem to be jewish!!! WHY is my big question.

Red, to me, the actions of these groups speak louder than words, and their actions are to attack Christians at every turn, while at the same time they support Muslims!!! They think that the enemy of their enemy(Conservative Christians) are their friend. I think part of it too is the jewish guilt/cowardice thing, where they suck up to their real enemy (Islamic nutjobs) in order to not "make trouble" or "make things worse".

Steven said...

:)

Heya Bint,

Just wanted to respond to this:

As far as what Steven said...Judaism is not a science. It is a belief in science. Perhaps he did not phrase things well.

Perhaps I did not pharase things well, but I did not say Judaism was a science; rather I said that Judaism commands Jewish people to be scientific.

I will quote myself:
If something does not prove true then it is not true and don't worry about it - if it does prove true you must listen or be held accountable. No intellectual dishonesty allowed!

You really can't define science much better than that.


Naturally you will not agree with Judaism because you are athiest, but it is clear that Judaism demands that people think.

The reason I mentioned Judaism here is because we need an idiology that can fight Islamic Fascism. I reject Jesus Camp and I reject Secularism which dictates that morals are man-made. So, thats just my opinion.

On an interesting and slightly unrelated note: when someone comes up with a scientific theory, the theory is assumed true until someone can show that it is false. Under science things are generally true until they are prooven false.

You must be aware that athiesm is a religion. You can not proove that God does not exist; you believe that God does not exist. ;-)

Tc.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Ordinary non-denominational Christianity can defeat it, and it is the only thing that can, with the possible exception of the sort of acts that communist countries like China, or new fascist countries like Russia can do.

By mno-denominational, I mean not aligned with big churches. Big organized religion is inherently corrupt, just as big gov't is.

Jews are not going to solve this problem, too many choose to capitulate.

Steven said...

Bint:
"Though the traits or behaviors that are valued by a particular Jew might be identical to those held by someone who does not consider himself a Jew, any values held by Jewish people are Jewish values and it certainly doesn't seem necessary for Jews to try their best to live up to their values. If it were necessary, then an individuals Jewishness would cease to exist unless they did actually try their best to live according to their values. Were you just referring to the religious precepts of Judaism?"

Response:
I can see where you are coming from, but just because Jewish people may do something does not make it Jewish.

What makes something Jewish is the Torah.

Bint:
"Even if everyone did agree with you about what it makes sense to complain about, we'd still have a lot of disagreements because people define "dangerous" in many different ways."

Response:
Agreed.

Steven:
"Saying someone is Jewish is not really enough for them to be used as an example of Jewish law."

Bint:
"It is enough for someone to use that person as an example of Jewish values though it would be illogical to claim that this particular set of Jewish values are the ones held by all Jews or even the majority of them."

Response:
No, it is not. The Torah is Judaism; I can not press upon that point enough. People who do not follow the Torah but are Jewish will certainly have their own moral values but they do not represent "Jewish values". You have to go to the Torah for that.

What you are misunderstanding is this: "It would be illogical to claim that this particular set of Jewish values are the ones held by all Jews or even the majority of them".

You are assuming that what the majority of Jewish people think makes up what Jewish values are.

The truth is quite different, it is the Torah that describes Jewish law. There are millions of Jews do not follow the Torah; they are still Jewish; but they are not representative of Jewish values.

Bint:
"If you think that your determination regarding what every person in the ADL thinks is logical"

Response:
Your mistake, there is nothing special about my determination about what Jewish values are; and I have certainly made no assertion about what every person in the ADL thinks.
The ADL is an organisation built to fight anti-Semitism, not suppress Christianity.

Bint:
"then wouldn't it also be logical when someone like Mr. Smarterthanyou makes similar pseudo-psychic claims to know what other people (e.g. Jews) care about?"

Response:
Well, for one thing your premise is false so there is no argument; but even so... Mr. Smarterthanyou was saying that the ADL is trying to suppress Christianity; which is so foolish I feel sorry for him. When it comes to this level of insanity I do not know what to say to people; hence I did not even try.

Bint:
"Personally, I think that it's illogical for anyone to try and speak for an entire ethnicity of people as if one individual could possibly know what every person in the group believes and cares about and wants."

Response:
Bint, get a hold of yourself!

Judaism is the Torah; it is extremely simple.

I make no claims that all Jewish people follow the Torah or have Jewish values; quite the contrary. Just because someone is Jewish does not make their every belief and action Jewish.

Even if a majority of Jews do something or think something, it doesn't make it Jewish. What makes something Jewish is the Torah.

A short while ago the majority of Jews supported Spurs football club. There is nothing Jewish about that though. (I support Arsenal who also happen to be their bogey team. - Yes, Spurs suck!)

Bint:
"At best, such statements only reveal what the wannabe psychic would like to believe about the group they are referring to."

Response:
Bint!

There are no mind-reading skills required because it does not matter what the majority of people think!

Clearly there are Jewish customs; traditions; other books etc etc. But when it comes down to it - Judaism is the Torah. There are no two ways about it.


Steven:
"Judaism is also a religion with moral values. It is science and ethics rolled into one package.

If something does not prove true then it is not true and don't worry about it - if it does prove true you must listen or be held accountable. No intellectual dishonesty allowed! You really can't define science much better than that.
"

Bint:
"To the contrary, science can be explained much better than that. Not being intellectually dishonest isn't even nearly enough to make something scientific. Furthermore, this verse from Deuteronomy that you quoted does not establish any scientific standards nor is what it says in line with science."

Response:
What it says is extremely clear; you can always take a Torah class though.

Essentially what the text says is that you must test a person saying they are a prophet using scientific means and accept the results.

In other words it says:
"Test a prophet scientifically. If what they say is not true then disregard the information, if it is true you have to accept the words."

That is science; there is really no point in trying to find argument here.

I don't understand what is so difficult for you to understand.

Bint:
"Being a prophet and saying something doesn't establish a scientific fact. In fact, science rejects the idea that an individual's claims matters more than what the data proves."

Response:
YES! Yes yes yes!

Thank goodness.

Spot on; and that is exactly why the Torah says that people should reject what a prophet says unless it is proven.

Read it again.

Bint:
"I'm curious about who the "we" that you mention here actually refers to."

I refer to humanity - which means everyone.

"Does it refer to all those who do not agree with fascism?"

It includes everyone.

"Does it only refer to Jewish people who don't support fascism?"

It includes every single person on this good earth and currently orbiting it!