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Jewish Atheists

For Atheists of Jewish origin and others interested in Jewish history and culture.

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Circumcision

Started by Freethinker31. Last reply by Freethinker31 Sep 19. 4 Replies

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Comment by Alan Perlman on September 6, 2012 at 10:23am

Excellent discussion here, and I would like to participate more in this thread.  My Judaism is a genetic accident and a cultural familiarity (been to many more Seders than Midnight Masses).  That's it. 

I don't hate Jews, but I know they're capable of the same bigotry, sense of specialnesss, and ritual/fantasy engagement as the practitioners of other religions. 

It's heartbreaking to see Israel, founded as a secular stste, slide into religiosity.  I find it profoundly irritating and stupid that the Israeli govt. allows so many of these Orthodox idiots to study Torah full-time and avoid military service or in fact any productive work. 

Mordecai, loved your comment.  You know who you are.

Comment by Mordekhai ben-Yosef on September 6, 2012 at 6:46am

I had a feeling about this, Natalie. And I tell you that I figure I'll spend time mostly in this club. Of course, I'll "shop around" but I recently left Delphi Forums because fundie xtians had pretty much moved in and set up housekeeping.

I'm tired of dealing with people who believe the world is theirs to rule because some demon told them so. It's hard enough , life, without irrational jerks threatening to make me an "un-person" (or worse) because I am in touch with, you know, reality.

As I walk through "their" world, I am damned repeatedly. I am ethnically Ashkenazi and Puerto Rican, politically centrist, a heathen, and I dunno, some sort of dog. But I bite, and I intend to live in dignity. My citizenship is not "conditional", as a human being i expect the same esteem I give to others. Even if they are a bunch of fig bat doodyheads. ;-)

Comment by Natalie A Sera on September 6, 2012 at 4:56am

Well, Mordekhai, I have come across any number of Jew-Hating Atheists here, too. They speak from complete ignorance of the difference between believing in god, and the fact that we are an ethnic and cultural entity just as much as any other people in the world, and don't deserve their scorn and hatred. That's why I have really stopped doing much in other threads, and restrict my participation only to the threads where I have found reasonable people. Just because someone claims to be atheist doesn't mean they don't harbor bigotry.

Comment by Mordekhai ben-Yosef on September 5, 2012 at 7:25pm

Shalom! I have just joined up here and will gradually become more active. Thank god I found other online atheist Jews! Some of the places I've been harbored Jew-hating atheists. Oyvavoy!

Comment by Michael Pianko on June 24, 2012 at 5:40pm

                Comment by Michael Pianko1 second ago           Delete Comment

You have all of your organs. I do not. Abuse is abuse even if you are not comfortable admitting it and you could STILL do Jewish culture if you are intact. Nobody takes off peoples underwear at a klezmer performance or Israeli Independence day celebration and checks to make sure all males have the proper amount of tissue missing. When you hear of someone who is going to have a kid, you really ought to inform them about why they must not let their son get circumcised. This abuse happens because otherwise good people like you refuse to speak up and say anything. The holocause should have taught us that bad things happen when otherwise good people just remain silent. If you think really hard about it, being circumcised is like having a big sign on your body that says, hey everybody, I'm Jewish! Come and get me!

Comment by Natalie A Sera on June 23, 2012 at 6:34pm

Michael, one of the good things about freedom of and from religion is that you are free to do anything you think is ethical as long as it is legal too. If you should have a son, and don't want to circumcise him, it's your right, Mom notwithstanding. To tell the truth, I didn't want to circumcise my son, either, but felt compelled to because of my mother and my husband. So he had an Orthodox circumcision, and *I* cried more than he did (he only let out one little wail, and that was it -- the wine put him to sleep), because I didn't want to see my baby hurt, and I had been looking at that normal little penis when I changed him for 8 days.

What I'm trying to say is that cultural pressure IS strong, but if I had been of stronger mind I would have refused it. But I was a weak little ninny at the time. I once apologized to my son for doing it, and he said he held no grudge and what is done is done, but I ALSO think that this is as much a personal decision for the parent as the choice to abort or carry the pregnancy. I really do believe in freedom of religion, and while I know you are anti-circumcision, and I will never know exactly what you feel, I don't feel comfortable making that decision for anyone else.

Comment by Michael Pianko on June 23, 2012 at 5:31pm

I meant *foot binding*,

Comment by Michael Pianko on June 23, 2012 at 5:29pm

The Shema even says something about how you are supposed to love the lord our god and take these words to heart... and in 2nd paragraph it says, if you don't love god enough he will close up the heavens and it won't rain and the crop won't grow.

Comment by Michael Pianko on June 23, 2012 at 5:25pm

Look, its not that I want to be offensive, but if you are going to do Jewish culture then at least admit that inthe past there was no distinction between religion and culture, and you could still do Jewish culture while being intact, and in case I have a son I should not be allowed to make a decision about circumcision because nobody should be allowed to make a decision about circumcision because the decision should not exist because circumcision should not exist, for the same reason nobody makes decisions about hurting other parts of your kids bodies (because we are only taught to circumcise, not do other abuse). No, I don't specifically think our ancestors or the ancient Jews were better or worse than various other cultures - the chinese did food binding to their daughters and in Mesoamerica they strapped heavy boards to their kids' heads until the age of 4 heads so the heads would be longer in width than the normal shape, different tribes give their members various tattoos or piercings or put sticks of wood through their faces or lips, and yes, a few other tribes do hurt their son or daughters organs also. My worldview was that one of the two following possibilities is true and not both: 

1. There is a god, therefore it is necessary to do every detail orthodox Judaism says you have to do, or

2. there is no god, so I'm free to not do anything Jewish.

 

But I'm tired of my mom, every so often, telling me I might want to go to some Jewish young adult events, and I'm tired of feeling guilty about the possibility of not doing Jewish stuff. Most Jewish men don't know about circumcision or don't want to care, and nobody wants to feel bad about himself for having reduced sex organs. The thing is, most religions do not want you to have that much of a relationship with another person. Most religions want you to take all the romance you would have devoted to another person and devote it towards HaShem or whatever other god. Judaism has the so called family purity laws I thought I was going to have to put up with. I'm not sure what the punishment for ejaculating in Ancient Israel was but I'll find out. Judaism hurt me (because I'm one of the few Jewish men who stepped really far outside the bubble of Judaism and realized what Iam missing). Most of Yiddish culture or modern secular Jewish culture doesn't matter, so for all it matters you could do any of it. That part of Judaism didn't hurt me. The circumcision is the main thing I want eliminated since thats mainly the thing about Judaism that hurt me most.

Comment by Alan Perlman on June 23, 2012 at 2:31pm

In reply to commments/questions on Humanistic Judaism: Yes, it did enable me to maintain Jewish identity without believing BS.  Rabbi Wine insisted on using as examples "real Jews in real time," not Biblical figures.  He and his followers reinterpreted each holiday to purge it of divine involvement.  Services: subject matter consisted of statements/reflections around a certain theme, plus music (secular Jewish/Hebrew).  Then they backslid.  His successor never even acknowledged receiving my book.  I think I know why. They're back to the old stories and midrash, a word Rabbi Wine never used.  And I've moved on, from religious humanist to secular humanist (terminology from Sam Harris). 

 

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