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View Diary: To Those Behind This Ad, Please Respect Our Beliefs and Traditions (136 comments)

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  •  And are the neighborhoods (8+ / 0-)

    specifically Jewish or Muslim, or are they mixed?  And is the message only in these neighborhoods, or in "Christian" neighborhoods as well?  If they are targeting specific religious neighborhoods, well, maybe that's a bit rude... maybe.  I'm not a rude person and I probably wouldn't put up a sign like that right across from a synagogue or mosque, but seriously... isn't it a little bit well, hypersensitive, to be offended by "you know it's a myth... and you have a choice"? Are religious people so insecure in their belief that this offends them?  

    You know it's a myth... and you have a choice.
    Would we even be having this conversation if some Christian group put up some sort of advertisement about Jesus being the only way to God?  Or does freedom of religion mean freedom to prevent your children from seeing anything that might contradict one's beliefs?

    If you know it's not a myth, great - I strongly support religious freedom and people should have the freedom to believe what they want.  But anyone who is offended by the word "God" in the context of such a mild billboard should also stop using US coins and currency, which are filed with offensive references to "In God we Trust".   Isn't it a horrible double standard to complain about that when we have idiots giving benedictions to Congress?  We're drowning in God in this country and it's refreshing sometimes for someone - anyone - to say, quietly, "are you really sure about that?"

    I like and respect you, and your right to believe, but I don't find these billboards rude or excessive.  I would imagine they are probably better than billboards for Vodka that encourage young men who can't get laid to fantasize about sexy robots, for example.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:18:15 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's not the substance of the message... (5+ / 0-)

      that I am calling offensive.  I disagree with them on that aspect, but I fully respect their beliefs and I respect and understand how exactly they came to them.  I once asked myself the same questions, but I came to a different conclusion.

      What I am objecting to is the use of G-d's name in Hebrew, as it violates not only the religious laws of Judaism, but also flies in the face of Jewish cultural practice.  There are plenty of people of Jewish ethnicity that do not believe in G-d or question G-d's existence or have other belief systems, but, nonetheless, write it as "G-d" as a matter of respect for Jewish heritage and tradition.  That is what many are missing here.  This is ultimately about our tradition and cultural practices more than it is about religious practices.

      Preserve sanity in our government. Re-elect and strengthen and recapture. Proud to be a Democrat!

      by Mets102 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:40:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very well said. (5+ / 0-)
        There are plenty of people of Jewish ethnicity that do not believe in G-d or question G-d's existence or have other belief systems, but, nonetheless, write it as "G-d" as a matter of respect for Jewish heritage and tradition.
        It's not that hard to respect that, and it's not unreasonable to ask others to understand this.  I did that even when I was an atheist.

        Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

        by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:51:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You condemn it because... (4+ / 0-)

        ..."it flies in the face of Jewish cultural practice."  Since when is everyone else required to observe Jewish cultural practices?  In addition the omission of letters from words, what other Jewish cultural practices do you want non-Jewish people to observe?

        •  Required to observe? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mets102

          No.

          Is it unreasonable to explain this, and ask others to respect same, though?  Why not?  What's so hard about that?

          Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

          by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:10:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This whole diary is a condemnation of people... (5+ / 0-)

            ...who do not omit letters from words because omitting is part of a specific cultural tradition.  If people are going to be condemned for not omitting a letter, then what else of the cultural tradition are they expected to observe?

            •  It's kind of a paradox. (5+ / 0-)

              While it would have been culturally respectfull for them to have done as suggested, doing so would sort of imply belief in what they are saying they don't believe in.

            •  It is no such condemnation... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Luthien Tinuviel, JDsg

              It is asking for a group to demonstrate some degree of sensitivity, much like many here ask people of faith to display sensitivity to their sincerely held beliefs.  It is defending the right of the group to erect their billboard but simply asking them to have some modicum of respect for those that disagree with them.  It has nothing to do with how other people spell "G-d."  It does, however, have everything to do with a campaign that is using G-d's name, in Hebrew, with the sole purpose to inflame.

              Preserve sanity in our government. Re-elect and strengthen and recapture. Proud to be a Democrat!

              by Mets102 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:42:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is totally a condemnation. (0+ / 0-)

                You are being seriously disengenuous; the billboards are not there to inflame, they're there to try to reach out to already existing atheists in the Jewish community who feel a need to stay in the closet, thanks to things like people demanding the omission of letters in words.

            •  No, it isn't. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mets102, JDsg

              It's one person's view and thoughts about a campaign intent on shoving one's views into the face of others.  It isn't right no matter which group is doing it.  Religious or non.

              As someone who has had his child stolen by a cult, I've sure seen pure hatred from the religious side, and this is not it.  Not by a long shot.

              And as a personal friend of the diarist, I can attest to the fact that he has never 'condemned' me (or anyone else I know) in any way, shape or form for my non-belief, at any of its varying levels over time.

              It's about asking for cultural respect.  You're not obliged to do so, but there is no harm in it either, is there?

              Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

              by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:46:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So the billboard is shoving a view... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Carol in San Antonio

                ...in the face of others, but demanding that atheists omit letters from a word isn't shoving specific God-believing behavior on nonbelievers?

                Like many other minority groups, that these atheists dare to stand in the open, they get told to hide themselves so as to continue the environment that results in isolation atheists endure that these billboards were run to break through.

                •  Once again... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Catte Nappe, wiscmass, hester

                  ...it's a cultural practice, not a religious one.  Even as an atheist, I typed the word as "G-d."  I'm far from the only one.

                  And since you went on to minority groups, attacking the cultural sensitivities of a minority group (Jews), in the very place in this country where the heaviest concentration of us are, doesn't exactly make the case that this group (which atheists certainly outnumber observant Jews in the US) is a persecuted minority simply minding their own business.

                  Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

                  by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:22:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's a cultural practice (5+ / 0-)

                    that I personally have difficulty sympathizing with, but that's not why I find it hard to sympathize with the diarist. I grew up in a mainline Protestant household, and the first time I saw my father on his knees for a breadcrumb I was embarrassed for him. That's not humility, that's humiliation. It reminds me of nothing so much as averting one's eyes when the King passes.

                    The billboards may not be as effective as they could be because of this breach of tradition, but their very purpose is to invite people to question whether these traditions serve them, or the other way 'round. I side with the cartoonist drawing Muhammad.

                    into the blue again, after the money's gone

                    by Prof Haley on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 03:14:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So in other words... (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wiscmass, hester, JDsg, Mets102

                      ...you dislike Jewish culture, you "stand up" against it, and you (and your three sad recc'ers) are proud of this?

                      Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure that tolerance is a liberal value.  One I always live by.

                      Once again, I'd argue that attacking the cultural sensitivities of a minority group (Jews), in the very place in this country where the heaviest concentration of us are, doesn't exactly make the case that this group (which atheists certainly outnumber observant Jews in the US) is a persecuted minority simply minding their own business.

                      It's a cultural practice that I personally have difficulty sympathizing with
                      Good to know once again that Jews are a culture against whose cultural practices it's considered acceptable to not 'sympathize with' here.  Have a nice evening.

                      Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

                      by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 04:00:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think we've seen pretty clearly... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hester, JDsg, Mets102

                        ...the last few days in the diaries about the forcible posthumous conversions of Jews to another faith that tolerance isn't a liberal value to quite a few people here so long as the culture being tolerated is Jewish.

                        Do you suppose Republican politicians hate people who work for a living because they've never done it themselves?

                        by wiscmass on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 04:12:32 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  None of the Above (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gsenski, Mariken
                          I think we've seen pretty clearly... ...the last few days in the diaries about the forcible posthumous conversions of Jews to another faith that tolerance isn't a liberal value to quite a few people here so long as the culture being tolerated is Jewish.
                          Please explain to me how I (as a liberal, an atheist, and I like to think fairly tolerant kind of guy), am to be tolerant of these two things:

                          1 - the dead Jewish community's belief they have the right to be left alone.

                          2 - the Mormon community's belief they have been called by god to proselytize the worlds (living and dead).

                          Sorry to say, one can try to be "tolerant" of both views.  But you can't be supportive of both.  Sometimes you you have to choose one or the other or neither.

                          In the Dead Jews vs. Mormons fight, I've chosen "neither".  I can actually see both sides of this issue -- and I think they are both being ridiculous.  So I choose None of the Above.  That doesn't make me anti-semetic, anti-joesmithic, or intolerant.  It makes me an outsider who sees neither side as worth fighting for.

                          •  How about this? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JDsg, Mets102

                            On the dead Jews' side, we just want to be left alone, without having anyone impose their religion on us. Kind of like we just wanted to be left alone every single fucking time some group of antisemites decided that the superiority of their faith gave them the right to impose it on us.

                            On the side of the Mormons who are posthumously converting us, they decided that their faith is superior and gives them the right to impose it on us. Kind of like someone like Rick Santorum thinks the superiority of his faith gives him the right to impose it on all of us.

                            And yet I bet you have a problem with it when Santorum does it. Tell me, is that because liberal values dictate that when some asshole tries to impose their faith on others, that's unacceptable? Or is it only because now he's fucking with something that could affect you personally?

                            And if you want to claim that we Jews are trying to impose our faith on Mormons by telling them to stay the fuck away from our dead, then congratulations -- you'll be making the exact same argument Santorum makes when he says his religious freedom is abridged by giving women access to contraception.

                            So maybe you personally aren't an antisemite. But you don't have the first fucking clue what you're talking about either.

                            Do you suppose Republican politicians hate people who work for a living because they've never done it themselves?

                            by wiscmass on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 04:30:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I Don't Believe (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gsenski
                            we just want to be left alone, without having anyone impose their religion on us.

                            I don't see anybody imposing their religion on you.

                            The point is, I don't believe that Mormons (or anybody for that matter) can actually impose any religion on the dead.  They pretend to offer baptism to the departed (not just Jews but everybody).  They are, of course, delusional.

                            The only way I could see that they were "imposing their religion on" anyone would be if I believed their actions actually had any affect.  I don't.

                            To sum up.  As an outsider:

                            1 - I think Mormon proxy baptisms for the dead are silly at best, but mostly delusional.

                            2 - I think anyone, of any religion or culture, getting upset over somebody else's delusions is also silly at best, but delusional if they think there's anything to it.

                            Can the practice be seen as offensive?  Sure.  Do you gain a special right to not be offended because you're Jewish?  I don't think so.

                          •  Ah, I see (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JDsg, Mets102

                            You don't see it as a problem, so it's not a problem. Somehow when I studied physics I missed the lecture about how the world revolves around you.

                            Thanks for clearing that up. I'm so glad that so many non-Jews are such experts in what Jews are allowed to be offended by.

                            Do you suppose Republican politicians hate people who work for a living because they've never done it themselves?

                            by wiscmass on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 04:45:58 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Tolerance is as Tolerance Does (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Prof Haley, gsenski
                            You don't see it as a problem, so it's not a problem. Somehow when I studied physics I missed the lecture about how the world revolves around you.
                            Of course the world doesn't revolve around me.

                            You said I was intolerant.  That made this little section of this tiny tread about me.  So I was explaining how I see this particular skirmish.  I can see the Jews being offended, and Mormons wanting to preach their one true faith.  I say go for it!  Jews be all offended.  Mormons preach your one true faith.

                            Personally, I see my position as pretty damn tolerant.  (Obviously, you do not.)

                            Now it's your turn, show the Mormons some tolerance.  Go on.  You can do it.

                          •  Will "do it"... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wiscmass, MBNYC, Mets102

                            ...once you show Jews some tolerance, and once you stop disingenuously using one faith to justify your hate against another.

                            User 311892, who I'm sure is not a zombie trolling Jewish diaries here.

                            No, not at all sir!

                            Eye roll...

                            Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

                            by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:25:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What's next? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MBNYC, Mets102

                            You going to tell all the womenfolk to apologize to Rick Santorum for being intolerant of his efforts to impose his faith on them?

                            No, you're not intolerant at all. Except at a minimum toward Jews.

                            Do you suppose Republican politicians hate people who work for a living because they've never done it themselves?

                            by wiscmass on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:34:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What offends you is up to you, of course (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            koseighty

                            The First Amendment means the government can't stop us from offending each other. Again: I see stuff that offends me every day. I understand I have no right to object. Why does your being offended [by spelling, let's remind ourselves] weigh more?

                            into the blue again, after the money's gone

                            by Prof Haley on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:16:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ??? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            wiscmass, Mets102

                            "I understand I have no right to object."

                            No, you do have a right to object, actually.  That's the other end of the free speech thing.  If you can't understand that, that's your problem.

                            Nobody, and certainly not the diarist, is making that claim.

                            And also, once again, what's so wrong about asking others to respect one's culture?  I never got an answer on that, perhaps you can provide one?

                            Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

                            by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:31:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And I'm sure you take the same stance... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mets102

                            ...toward women who object to Rick Santorum trying to impose his idea of religious freedom on their reproductive organs?

                            Why does your utter cluelessness and lack of empathy and basic decency weigh more?

                            Do you suppose Republican politicians hate people who work for a living because they've never done it themselves?

                            by wiscmass on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:37:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Pretend vs. Reality (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gsenski
                            And yet I bet you have a problem with it when Santorum does it.
                            See the difference here is that Santorum wants to impose his beliefs on actual people, here an now.

                            The Mormons are pretending to be able to offer something to those who are dead and gone.

                            See -- one is real, the other is pretend.

                            When the Mormons oppose Gay marriage, here and now, on actual real people, YOU BET I OPPOSE IT.

                            If they were trying to divorce dead guy couples, I'd pretty much just laugh it off.

                            Come on, my 2 year old niece understands the difference between pretend and real.

                      •  Respecting the right to beliefs (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        koseighty, gsenski, tytalus

                        does not mean respecting beliefs. Prohibition against spelling the word "god" in full goes against my notion of human dignity, but I'm not telling anyone they can't prohibit themselves whatever they choose. It looks like superstition to me, and to a lot of people. I recognize that I have no right to object to, much less legislate, someone else's superstition. Doesn't mean I have to find wisdom in it because they do.

                        I never said I "stand up" against Jewish culture. That's a willful misconstruction of my story of witnessing my Dad's communion. But I see stuff that offends me every day. I tolerate it, in fact. Don't we all have to?

                        And whether this community accepts my lack of sympathy for the spelling business is out of my hands - that comment could have sunk like a stone or been hydrated to oblivion.

                        into the blue again, after the money's gone

                        by Prof Haley on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:09:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Sure I do. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          wiscmass, Mets102

                          I see stuff that offends me every day and, just like the diarist, whenever the topic is broached I explain why too.

                          And just like him, I don't argue for it to be illegal.

                          What I don't do, is argue endlessly against the cultural sensitivities of those who are offended by the actions I take.

                          Which said actions I never take, in fact.  I've never done anything to offend an entire culture.  It's not really a hard thing to do, to not offend hundreds of thousands of people...

                          I can sure say this accusation has never been leveled against me; and if a certain group is being singled out as practicing bigotry against them, this just might be something they'd want to think about.  Just sayin'.

                          And your repeated use of "superstition," is also offensive to many.  Though not me.  Yet once again, I say - if you're proud of your intolerance (also known as bigotry), good on you.  Just don't ever say that you're a liberal.  Because you're not.  Intolerance is never a liberal value.

                          Soon to be JayinPhiladelphia...

                          by JayinPortland on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:32:44 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  There are, of course, atheist and non-atheist Jews (0+ / 0-)

                    who don't adhere to this practice, as well.

                    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 12:21:12 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  I can see your point (3+ / 0-)

        Although through another lens.  The Mormon practice of posthumous baptism of Jews pisses me off, not because it actually has any effect at all, but because it is disrespectful.  If using the fully spelled-out name of God was disrespectful in Hebrew, then I suppose it does cross a line.  

        But you also mentioned that these billboards were in Arabic.  As far as I am concerned, it is possible to question the existence of god in Arabic.  To place that off limits is an intolerable abridgement of freedom of expression, as well as freedom of religion.

        My wider complaint is that religion gets way too much of a pass in our society.  Advertising companies have refused to print billboards that simply say "You don't need God to be moral" and other similar messages, merely because our society cannot tolerate any questioning of religion.  That leads us to the sort of America we live in today where the Catholic Church can claim religious freedom(!) as an excuse to limit contraception to non-Catholics.  It's BS and while I don't want to insult religious, orthodox Jews who just want to live their lives and their religion, it's just not OK for religion to enjoy a double-standard in which it can engage in politics but expects to be free of criticism.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:46:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In "Christian" neighborhoods as well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102, ivorybill

      They've been doing it a couple of years now. But they didn't see the necessity of doing it in any language other than English in those neighborhoods, so far as I know.

      from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:21:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  have you ever been to an Atheist neighborhood? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, gsenski

      Me either. They are in every neighborhood, there is no collective atheist neighborhood. Atheist's are offered no special courtesy by anyone but are expect to give it?

      Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry Truman

      by temptxan on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:20:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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