Church burnings

Postby Hortmage on Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:48 am

So, lesse, a Jewish religious symbol is ok...but Christians have to make do with the Christmas tree, which the Supreme Court has determined to be a 'secular symbol' (in actuality, it's a pagan symbol originally) because a Nativity Scene is 'too strong an image'.

...I'm reminded again of the NYC schools currently under lawsuit because they wouldn't allow a Nativity scene but set up a menorah and a Islamic star & crescent...or other NYC schools that put Hannukah and Ramadan on their calendars but changed Christmas to 'Winter Holiday'...


No argument here. I've always disagreed with "reverse discrimination", which is simple discrimination. I've never advocated blocking Nativity scenes but putting up menorahs, etc. All I've ever advocated was that if you're going to put up a Nativity or Christmas tree, that you ALSO include a menorah as well.

Nor do I ask for "parity" in church versus synagogue burnings (a weird concept in and of itself). I personally would have lumped them all together to consider this an act of anti-religion, but since some in this thread are only concerned with anti-Christian acts, y'all have fun and play with the statistics any way you want....


Calbeck resurrected the following from the dead:
Hort, your entire point revolved around whether or not someone out there might find justification for church-burning in the history of Christianity. There's no other reason to bring up the Inquisition or any of the other crimes that were committed by people now centuries dead. That's just plain being too specific.

Why would someone attack a Presbyterian church in 2005 over an act committed by the Spanish branch of the Catholic Church in 1610? That's simply not happening. It's an overall antipathy for Christianity as a whole that drives such actions, not "payback" for any specific historical crime.


Calbeck, you're missing the point entirely. As a non-Christian, I (as do many other non-Christians, but I don't speak for them, only myself) lump all Christians together. You all seem to have the basic premise the same: that Jesus was the Messiah. Everything else appears to be how y'all practice his message.

I'm sorry if bringing up history to explain why historically non-Christians feel alienated by Christians bothers you. And I apologize that while my ancestors were being placed on the rack in Spain, or driven from their homes in Poland and Russia, or burned at the stake in England and France, we didn't stop and ask which brand of Christianity they were, so that a couple of hundred years later, we wouldn't make the mistake of being frightened by the wrong type of Christian.... :roll:

BTW: If you could speak to your Christian bretheren, though, and ask them to PLEASE stop persecuting Jews for somehow being responsible for Jesus' death 2000 plus years ago, I'd much appreciate it. And before you get all hostile... I have personally been called a "Christ Killer." :x I am no more responsible for that event (which, had it not occurred, might mean that Christianity itself would never have been created) than British Christians were responsible for the Spanish Inquisition...

This is a very divisive issue with many diverse opinions...I speak only for myself, and not for the rest of Judaism, Heathanism, or Aetheism.
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Postby MikeVanPelt on Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:44 am

Hortmage wrote:BTW: If you could speak to your Christian bretheren, though, and ask them to PLEASE stop persecuting Jews for somehow being responsible for Jesus' death 2000 plus years ago, I'd much appreciate it. And before you get all hostile... I have personally been called a "Christ Killer." :x


An alleged Christian attacking you on this basis is something that I find absolutely breathtaking in its cluelessness and stupidity. (I'm not disputing that there are alleged Christians that clueless and stupid, alas.)

In order to be this clueless, the alleged Christian would have to be almost completely ignorant of the faith that they claim to belong to -- that their Messiah was a Jew, that the entire Bible the claim to have gotten their alleged faith (except for the Acts and the Gospel of Luke) was written by Jews, etc.

For those people, I suspect their "Christianity" is just culture or ethnicity, with no relationship to any actual faith. They probably never darken the door of a church, beyond weddings and funerals.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:07 am

Hortmage, now that you've confirmed your position, I'd like to affirm my respect and liking for you. Were it in my authority to do so, I would apologize on behalf of misled, malevolent Christians.
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Postby ChronicMisadventures on Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:16 pm

Hortmage wrote:No argument here. I've always disagreed with "reverse discrimination", which is simple discrimination. I've never advocated blocking Nativity scenes but putting up menorahs, etc. All I've ever advocated was that if you're going to put up a Nativity or Christmas tree, that you ALSO include a menorah as well.

Nor do I ask for "parity" in church versus synagogue burnings (a weird concept in and of itself). I personally would have lumped them all together to consider this an act of anti-religion, but since some in this thread are only concerned with anti-Christian acts, y'all have fun and play with the statistics any way you want....


Aye, on this we can agree. 'Reverse discrimination' is one of the stupidest terms in the lexicon at present. It's discrimination regardless of who's doing it. And I have no problem with putting up a menorah along with the Nativity scene in a public display.

Hortmage wrote:BTW: If you could speak to your Christian bretheren, though, and ask them to PLEASE stop persecuting Jews for somehow being responsible for Jesus' death 2000 plus years ago, I'd much appreciate it. And before you get all hostile... I have personally been called a "Christ Killer." :x I am no more responsible for that event (which, had it not occurred, might mean that Christianity itself would never have been created) than British Christians were responsible for the Spanish Inquisition...


I can't speak for other branches of Christianity, however, regarding the Catholic Church position on this, a quote from Wikipedia's entry on the Vatican II Council (1962-65) (rather than dig through the numerous Vatican II documents myself for the relevent quote) :

One of the most controversial documents was Nostra Ætate, which affirmed, as did the documents of the 16th century Council of Trent, that the Jews of the time of Christ, taken indiscriminately, and all Jews today are no more responsible for the death of Christ than Christians (see Catechism of the Council of Trent, Article IV). From Nostra Aetate[1]:

"True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone."


And from another article:
In March 2000, Pope John Paul II went to Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Israel and touched the holiest shrine of the Jewish people, the Western Wall in Jerusalem. He placed in the Western Wall a prayer that read, "God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your name to the nations. We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who, in the course of history, have caused these children of yours to suffer."


So as far as Catholics at least, I can say such actions are those of individuals rather than official Church policy/teachings (I went to Catholic school from approx 1983-1992 (K-8), and can honestly say that not a single one of our teachers taught the 'Jews are Christ killers' line to us).

...there are some using the name of Catholics that split from the main Church post-Vatican II over this and other issues, however. And as I said, I can't speak for the teachings of the various Protestant faiths.
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Postby Hortmage on Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:45 pm

Just to give another example of "reverse discrimination" that I found distasteful enough to break from Organized Jewish Faith many years ago....

My temple's youth group was planning a ski trip retreat. I was talking about it at public school with a friend who was also a member of our youth group. A 3rd friend...a young lady who was basically closer to me than my sister...came up and gave some advice about skiing to us two novices. She indicated she'd love to come, just because so many of us were her friends. I said I'd find out.

I called my youth group and asked if it was OK. During the conversation, it came out my lady friend was non-Jewish. I was told in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that she was not welcome. Out of loyalty to a friend, I pushed the issue (I'd been to some of these youth retreats in the past, and there is a lot of non-religious secular stuff going on; also, what harm could it be to expose someone to what being Jewish was all about?)

Well, not only did my local group get hostile about this...but they reported me to the state youth group officials, who all called me over the next several days to ball me out for even THINKING about bringing a non-Jew to our event.

I asked my rabbi for advice. What if some group had made such a big deal to ban a Jew from some event? I asked. All my rabbi said was "Well, first you must admit that you were totally in the wrong for even considering this...."

That was the last time I was ever a full member of any Jewish organization or synagogue. I still consider myself Jewish, but I don't speak for the rest of Jewish society...or let them speak for me.
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Postby Earl McClaw on Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:40 pm

Hortmage wrote:...ball me out for even THINKING about bringing a non-Jew to our event.

While I don't have a problem with groups that want to to hold "closed" events, I have to wonder if...
1) ...the youth group allowed non-members to participate that were Jewish? (Even if they were adults?)
2) ...the retreat was used as a recruiting effort?
3) ...there was any religious activity during the retreat?
4) ...the sponsoring temple discouraged gentiles from exploring Judaism?
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Postby The JAM on Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:18 pm

In Mexico, I don't think I ever met a Jew in person (a few times, and only near the US border), much less heard the term "Christ killer" (except in a Spanish movie, which I saw when I was 25, I think). Maybe there aren't that many Jews around here to begin with (Inquisition, anyone?) to actively discriminate against?
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Postby TMLutas on Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:09 pm

ChronicMisadventures wrote:
Hortmage wrote:No argument here. I've always disagreed with "reverse discrimination", which is simple discrimination. I've never advocated blocking Nativity scenes but putting up menorahs, etc. All I've ever advocated was that if you're going to put up a Nativity or Christmas tree, that you ALSO include a menorah as well.

Nor do I ask for "parity" in church versus synagogue burnings (a weird concept in and of itself). I personally would have lumped them all together to consider this an act of anti-religion, but since some in this thread are only concerned with anti-Christian acts, y'all have fun and play with the statistics any way you want....


Aye, on this we can agree. 'Reverse discrimination' is one of the stupidest terms in the lexicon at present. It's discrimination regardless of who's doing it. And I have no problem with putting up a menorah along with the Nativity scene in a public display.


My only problem with menorahs is that they're too abstract and simplified in these days of religious ignorance. I view the sort of unadorned, unexplained menorah that usually goes up as the equivalent of putting up a 'nativity scene' without the baby at the center, what's the point?
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Postby TMLutas on Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:12 pm

The JAM wrote:In Mexico, I don't think I ever met a Jew in person (a few times, and only near the US border), much less heard the term "Christ killer" (except in a Spanish movie, which I saw when I was 25, I think). Maybe there aren't that many Jews around here to begin with (Inquisition, anyone?) to actively discriminate against?


As somebody from E. Europe, I can testify that one can be an antisemite without ever having actually met a jew. I've met this sort of person in the past.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:22 am

True, you can (and probably with greater ease) hate Jews without meeting any. But their presence in the vague vicinity, especially with a half-earned reputation of disproportionate influence, does increase the chance that people will talk about them, which may explain the JAM not hearing anti-Semitic talk locally. There could be a prejudice against Pacific Islanders where I live, but who would bother publicizing it?
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Postby Hortmage on Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:49 am

Earl McClaw wrote:
Hortmage wrote:...ball me out for even THINKING about bringing a non-Jew to our event.

While I don't have a problem with groups that want to to hold "closed" events, I have to wonder if...
1) ...the youth group allowed non-members to participate that were Jewish? (Even if they were adults?)
2) ...the retreat was used as a recruiting effort?
3) ...there was any religious activity during the retreat?
4) ...the sponsoring temple discouraged gentiles from exploring Judaism?


1. Possibly from other synagogues in the state. I never knew enough people to be sure who was an actual member or not.

2. No. More to affirm our own faith than recruiting. Unlike many religions, Jews do not try to convert people...in fact, a rabbi will go out of his way to talk a potential convert OUT of converting.

3. Absolutely. IIRC, there were prayers before and after meals, a short Shabbat (Sabbath) service, etc., as well as games and activities to explore different facets of Judaism. I thought my friend would benefit from this.

4. Yes. See number 2.

*******************

All that being said...there are some truly wonderful people in the world. Where I live in southern Indiana, Jews are less well represented than in other parts of the US. My job entails that I work with the farmers in the community, all of whom are Christian of one denomination or another.

At one of the first farm meetings I attended 20 odd years ago, they had a pork chop lunch for the farmers and speakers. Not being able to eat pork, I sat there quietly and ate salad. A couple of the farmers noticed this and asked why wasn't I eating the chops, donated by a local farmer. I explained I was Jewish and couldn't eat pork. The entire group relaxed and smiled...."We thought you were one of them VEGETARIANS!" they said. And at the next meeting...while everyone was eating pork chops...the farmers had cooked several pieces of bbq chicken for me, without me having to ask or anything! :D

These are a great bunch of people I work with! :D
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Postby Earl McClaw on Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:41 pm

Hortmage wrote:
Earl McClaw wrote:
Hortmage wrote:...ball me out for even THINKING about bringing a non-Jew to our event.

While I don't have a problem with groups that want to to hold "closed" events, I have to wonder if...
2) ...the retreat was used as a recruiting effort?

2. No. More to affirm our own faith than recruiting. Unlike many religions, Jews do not try to convert people... in fact, a rabbi will go out of his way to talk a potential convert OUT of converting.

I was thinking more of recruiting for the youth group than for the Temple.

Your answers do suggest that this was considered a "closed" Jewish event, so I can understand their reaction. But to have so many people contact you on it... (I presume you were young at the time. One person sitting you down and explaining this would have been plenty.)

It's almost easiest to develop a prejudice against people you don't meet, because all you're getting then is the claims of others with no way to test them.
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Postby Jace on Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:30 am

I can understand if they wanted it 'Member's only', so to speak, but to say 'you were _wrong_ to even think of this' is just ridiculous and possibly even bigotted.
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