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View Diary: "Freedom of Religion" in America: How the Argument, Not the Protection, Has a Long History (71 comments)

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  •  WTF is this? (5+ / 0-)
    What about followers of the Old Testament who would have wanted to stone their children for a small indiscretion, or other followers of that text that might have wanted to inflict death on their friends and family for any number of perceived misdeeds?
    Jews you mean?  We've been in the US a loooong time - and we don't have a habit of stoning children or other members of the community for "perceived misdeeds."  

    Once again, Christian misreading is assumed to be the standard other people use... nice way to ruin a good diary.

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:38:45 PM PST

    •  I don't think she means Jews (19+ / 0-)

      She means literalists.  Anyone who would apply those parts of the Old Testament literally even though society generally now considers them archaic .  I highly suspect she is referring to Christians fundamentalists since that is the thrust of the diary. However the same could be said about anyone including Jews who would do the same.  

      If you had bothered to understand the next sentence you would see that she even excludes the "people of The Book" from such literal use.  

      The (civil*) law upholds old debts and requires individuals to pay them, even though Christianity and Judaism espouse the Jubilee doctrine - a recurring period where all debts are forgiven and all prisoners are freed.
      The jubilee isn't a very good example though because I believe it was never really implemented.  Maybe the part about the duty to kill an unruly child would be more appropriate.  For instance, I believe Mike Huckabee is a parent and it's very unlikely that he raised a batch of kids without somebody talking back to him at some time.  That just part of growing up.  Now according to "The Book" Mike is obligated to kill his child.  So did we miss the obituary?    

      *Added by me for clarification.

      A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

      by YellerDog on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:03:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is the same bullshit as the other night (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, aargh, Rogneid, Batya the Toon

        Christianity is assumed to be THE context and reference of the writings of another culture.  Fuck that.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:51:40 AM PST

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        •  Don't feel bad (8+ / 0-)

          They cherry-pick the New Testament too. They're equal opportunity in their misinterpretation.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:51:59 AM PST

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          •  I really dislike it (0+ / 0-)

            when people who should know better - Kossacks who have been repeatedly told the actual context - prefer to spread misinformation.

            The way to combat cherrypickers is to repeatedly, constantly shove it in their faces how wrong they are.  With the correct information.  Not to just shrug and join in on it.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:40:18 AM PST

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            •  What? (5+ / 0-)

              "The actual context?"

              Shut up. Just because you know and use religion in its "actual context" does not mean everyone does that. A state representative from Arkansas, JUST THIS FALL, opined that perhaps we should bring back the death penalty for kids who disrespect their parents.

              No one is "joining in on it." You have completely missed the point of this diary, yet trudged down the road acting like you understand what I've written.

              The point is that the "freedom of religion" defense can and has been used repeatedly as an argument against policies that we now understand as making perfectly good sense or perfectly moral sense.

              "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

              by Grizzard on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 03:20:42 PM PST

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              •  Calm is hard when you feel attacked (0+ / 0-)

                on a subject with opinions so strongly held.  You've made a really great case in this piece as you have in your other pieces.  I recommend your diaries.  But I do want to point out that you could do yourself a favor if you could take a moment to calm yourself before replying.  You replied:

                ....."Shut up. Just because you know and use religion in its "actual context" does not mean everyone does that. A state representative from Arkansas, JUST THIS FALL, opined that perhaps we should bring back the death penalty for kids who disrespect their parents."....

                If you had only left off the "shut up" part of it.  And maybe even replied that in New York the Orthodox Jews are having problems with protecting their children from within their own community, then it gives more to think about and redirects the reader.

                You are a great talent.  You are young and have a wonderful future.  I understand all of us get frustrated and fly off the handle once in a while, myself included.  I got so sick of the pie wars here some years ago and left the community for that reason.

                Please do not take this as discouragement.  Just the opposite.  I want you to gain readers in number and spread your messages, which always give the reader so much to consider and reflect.  Which is why I so want your responses to be as thoughtful as your diary.  Keep people engaged thoughtfully.

                Wishing you the best life and career and looking forward to more thoughtful diaries from you for the years to come.

                Peace

            •  Please read again... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Grizzard

              The diarist is NOT spreading misinformation about Jews, or anyone else for that matter.

              The point, IMHO, is that the freedom of religion in the first amendment has been abused by some who, to further their own agenda, have cherry-picked what they believe it should mean to forward their own world views.

              In arguing that some of their stances are ridiculous by showing how absurd it would be that any religion could, of their own choosing, decide which U.S. laws were applicable to them is neither denigrating nor insulting.

              Maybe a chill pill wouldn't hurt right about now :-)

              •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                I even included the following:

                Imagine that - a prominent religious figure torturing the unspoken inferences of the Bible to come up with an interpretation to match popular bigoted opinions held by people of his day.
                I think the above commenter got all pissed a few sentences in and failed to grasp the thrust of the argument.

                "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

                by Grizzard on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:51:22 PM PST

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      •  "never really implemented"? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd, Kiterea

        What do you base this on?  The Jubilee is based on the every-seventh-year shmita count, which was definitely implemented historically and still is today.

        It is also a gross misrepresentation, albeit an extremely common one, to characterize the rebellious son as an "unruly child."  "Rebellious" is a poor translation to begin with; "insubordinate" or "anarchist" might be better.  The text is not talking about everyday disobedience or chutzpah; it's talking about a complete rejection of the concept of parental authority, and by extension any authority.

        It is an even worse misrepresentation to say that it is the parent's duty to kill the child.  The parent's duty is to bring the child to the court.  Where the burden of proof is on the accuser -- to the extent where the accused can only be found guilty if two unrelated adult male witnesses give entirely identical testimony about the accused's misdeeds, including testimony stating that the accused was publicly warned of the nature of his misdeed and the nature of the punishment, and that the accused acknowledged the warning and understood it.

        If you just take your kid out and kill him because he mouthed off at you, by Biblical law that is murder.

        •  they don't care about actual context (0+ / 0-)

          just ways to make other people look shitty. sigh

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:46:02 AM PST

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        •  Two unrelated adult MALE witnesses? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure that makes it much better.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:56:13 AM PST

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          •  Believe me, I have issues with that too. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mortifyd

            Boy do I ever.

            But it does make it that much more difficult to wrongly convict the innocent.  Or the guilty, for that matter.

            (Also disqualified as witnesses, incidentally: anybody related to the accused, anybody related to the accuser and/or victim, anybody related to any of the judges, any two witnesses related to each other, usurers, merchants who sell shmita-grown produce, slaves, professional gamblers, the High Priest, and the King of Israel.  I may have forgotten some.)

        •  unlikely they actually forgave debt, freed slaves (0+ / 0-)

          I don't doubt the shmita was and is used.  I simply find it inconceivable that people back then actually would forgive their debtors, free their slaves, etc.  At best, I can imagine them doing it because they were confident that absent any fundamental change to their society, their former debtors would wind up right back in debt and their former slaves would wind up right back in their homes and on their farms for lack of options ... much as former slaves in the South went right back to work for their former masters as tenant farmers and sharecroppers.

          Bronze Age Jews were still only human.

          Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

          by Visceral on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:00:35 PM PST

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          •  you just don't get us, that's not our fault (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon

            You are again looking at things from a modern western perspective - that has zip to do with the actual context of the culture that practices it.  Note that was present tense, not past.

            Debts can be forgiven during shmitah years as well - I had a debt that was forgiven in 5768.  That would be 13 Sept 2007 - 29 Sept 2008 for those of you on the English calendar.  Wasn't a huge amount like a house note or anything - but it was over $1000 and I have been making payments - and the person who released me wasn't wealthy, he could have used the money as much as anyone else.  The importance of shmitah outweighed his desire for payment.  

            The next one is 25 Sept 2014 - 13 Sept 2015.  We just do things our way because they have meaning to us - your modern understanding has no bearing on it.  We are a family, a tribe - it benefits us to have the shmitah, even when it can be a personal pain in the ass.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 12:23:06 PM PST

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          •  If you don't think people would free their slaves (0+ / 0-)

            it might be because you're thinking of slavery as it existed in the US, or even as it existed under the Romans.

            A slave under Judaic law could not be compelled to do any labor other than that which he practiced professionally prior to becoming a slave; could not be mistreated or beaten; and was entitled to the same quality of housing, clothing, and food as the slaveowner enjoyed.  If you as a slaveowner cannot afford two decent-quality beds, the slave gets the good bed and you get the pile of straw, not the other way around.  If you kill your own slave, you are guilty of murder.

            Did people break these laws?  Of course they did, because they were only human, and there are always people who break laws.  But the law gives you an idea what social expectations were.

            (My mother-in-law gave a class a year or two ago about slavery in ancient Israel.  These practices were written about by the Romans, who considered it deeply weird and potentially dangerous.)

    •  i think the diarist is explicitly (8+ / 0-)

      talking about American fundamentalist Christians, who are well known for their cherry-picking of both Old and New Testaments.

      just a little bit bored.

      by terrypinder on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:35:03 AM PST

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      •  then call them on it. constantly (0+ / 0-)

        Don't reinforce the out of context cherry picking by accepting it's validity - hammer home every time you hear and see it that it's just plain wrong.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:41:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong according to what, though? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Farugia, BYw, Sychotic1

          I've found that someone can make the Bible say and mean whatever they want and can, in their own mind, consider themselves correct about it. I'm not sure how you combat that.

          just a little bit bored.

          by terrypinder on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:00:24 AM PST

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          •  here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

            Jesus - that man Christians are all into - was a JEW. The Torah is the book of the JEWS.  So there was a whole context that Jesus the Jew lived in that modern Christians have no expertise in because they have no CONTEXT.

            Context renders things like "eat shimp - go to hell" laughably stupid.  Context explains why Jews don't stone their kids for being chutzpadik - despite following all those laws in the Torah.  Stop allowing fundamentalists to mark out the playing field.

            You make them doubt their "understanding" by consistently hammering them every single time they bring it up with CONTEXT.  That little worm of "what if they are right about that?" will eat away at them every single time they are bitchslapped with CONTEXT everywhere they go.  Stop letting the idiots run the asylum.  Stop letting the ignorant define the words.  The only last words the willfully stupid should have on the subject is "I don't want to talk about it anymore."

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:24:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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