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Latest Activity: 9 hours ago
Started by Rogi Equality Riverstone Apr 7, 2012.
Started by Mark Peterson. Last reply by Jennifer Reynolds Mar 25, 2012.
Started by Brad Feaker. Last reply by Jennifer Reynolds Mar 25, 2012.
Oh, another example: people condemn the "Abrahamic" faiths because of the damage that Christians and Muslims have done to the other peoples of the world. Well, Judaism is an Abrahamic faith, but Jews were decidedly NOT involved in the persecutions, murders, inquisitions or forced conversion, except as victiims. An example is that, in the entire history of slavery in the US, there exactly 3, count 'em THREE Jewish slaveholders. There were a significant number of Jews in the country at the time, but the majority didn't go in for slavery. The word "Abrahamic religion" paints with too broad a brush.
I need to talk about something that is bothering me, and I finally figured out that this might be the best place, because I've been reading Hemant's blog for quite a while, and he is truly the most "Positive Atheist" I've seen.
I've been appalled by the extreme hostility I've seen expressed, mostly toward Christians, but also toward Muslims and Jews, based on a limited, rigid, hide-bound reading of their scriptures. The authors of this nastiness don't distinguish between Islamists and Muslims, Christianists and Christians, nor Judaists and Jews. They view religious scriptures as if these ancient documents which were written in their own cultural context, and in the metaphors and language of their own time, are the literal codex of how modern practitioners of these faiths think and behave. I thought only Fundies did that!
I am going to concentrate on the antisemitism I've witnessed, because I'm most knowledgeable about Judaism, having been born into that ethnic group and having been fairly well educated in its history as well as modern Reform Jewish beliefs.
There have been a number of offensive things pushed HARD by several members of AN. One is that the early Jews were genocidal (and by implication, that they still are). They ignore the fact that there were LOTS of tribes in that land at that time, and they were ALL duking it out, and when history was written by the winners, it tended to be exaggerated. Jews were no more genocidal than anyone else in the area at the time, and there are different reasons for why those tribes are no longer with us, the primary one being Christian and Muslim forced conversion. And Jews are not genocidal at this time, either. Yes, there IS a war going on in the middle east, but it is 2-sided, which these authors conveniently ignore. For example, one of them made an analogy to the immigrants who came to the US and took Native American land. But the difference is that it is well proven archaeologically, linguistically and genetically that the Jews originated in that land, and it was not THEIR fault that they were driven out or killed by the Romans, and those who were left were ALSO subject to the pressure of Islamic forced conversion. Even so, there was always a small Jewish presence in the land.
Another offensive argument is that Judaism is merely a religion, and to be scorned along with the rest of them. Well, I and many other born Jews do not believe in the god of the Jewish writings, but that does not make us any less Jews. Our community regards us as Jews, and we regard ourselves as Jews. Hemant was born into the Jain community of India -- I'm sure he still has connections with it, if only to enjoy the food and music and dancing, while still not believing in their religious ideas. But the authors of the extremist posts do not want to grant to Jews the same right that they grant to other ethnicities. It's OK to go to a Japanese Obon dance while not believing in Amaterasu Omikami; it's OK to celebrate Las Posadas while not believing in Jesus, but it's NOT OK to celebrate the New Year of the Trees (Tu b'Shvat) because it's a Jewish, and therefore "religious" holiday?
The antisemitism that I've seen expressed (those are only the 2 examples that come to mind at the moment), makes me not want to be here -- I had hoped that the AN would be a community that I could feel like a part of, but I just don't see it that way. Please tell me I'm wrong!
He probably got banned for spamming various groups.
I got an e-mail notifying me of a post by Chris Volkay on this page but I'm not able to see his post here and am unable to go the website he advertised in the post (which was replicated in the e-mail). I also cannot find him among our members. What gives?
I'll check out your website Chris. Thanks for the link.
I'm just trying to promote critical thought!
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