Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's Tough When They Can't Stand Each Other

We noticed recently that Michelle Turner has started referring to herself as a "spokesperson" for the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, where she used to be "president." Now John Garza is referred to as "president."

Seems like a kind of weird thing to do, to change meaningless figurehead titles in the middle of the battle.

But an anonymous commenter here who seems to be a peripheral CRC supporter left this observation:
... the truth is most evangelicals would not want to be active in a group headed by a Mormon. The theological differences have too many practical implications.

We notice that the latest legal action was filed by two of the usual suspects -- CRC and PFOX -- plus an outside group called "Family Leader Network."

Family Leader Network is a spin-off of Meridian Magazine (motto: "The Place Where Latter-Day Saints Gather.") This Mormon magazine recently featured an article (HERE) linking Michelle Turner (who is Mormon) to RoseMarie Briggs, Family Leader Network executive director who lives in Potomac. There's a picture of them and another lady, sitting in what appears to be the MCPS boardroom peanut gallery.

The article notes:
Michelle Turner, RoseMarie Briggs and Martha Schaerr came to the highly publicized school board meeting as leaders.

You will remember that Martha Schaerr, also Mormon, is the PTA president who tried to pull a fast one at Magruder last week, inviting the CRC rep on the citizens committee, Ruth Jacobs -- who is also a Mormon, we have been told -- while telling the school community she had invited "members of the citizens advisory committee." As if they would be getting information about the curriculum.

I know, I know, we didn't think so at first, either.

So here's what it looks like is happening. The evangelicals in the CRC didn't accept the Mormons and wouldn't work under the leadership of Michelle Turner. So they gave John Garza the title of president and then let this Mormon group, the Family Leader Network, join in with them as a third party in appealing to the state board.

Meanwhile, they've got their Catholic doing all the heavy lifting, maintaining the mailing lists, sending out the press releases. Let's see if the Catholic League doesn't sign on to the next lawsuit.

35 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under pressure from homosexual activists, the American Psychological Association (APA) plans to re-examine its policy on therapy for gay men and women seeking change.

At least two homosexual groups--the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute (NGLTF) and PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbian and Gays)—want the APA to get tough on anyone who tries to help gays change.

The groups “came to us and said from their perspective issues related to reparative therapy are still very important issues that affect the well-being of lesbian, gay and bisexual people," Dr. Clinton W. Anderson, director of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual concerns office at the APA, said "They said, 'We think it would be a good idea if you took another look at it.' "

The APA is inviting nominations for a five-member task force to consider the issue.

Anderson said he isn't sure if there will be a panel member appointed to represent homosexuals who have successfully sought change.

"What we will do is look to see who is nominated," he said. "I believe that there will be a strong concern to have on the task force people with substantive expertise about the population you're talking about -- people who know the scientific and clinical literature very well; people who have both research and clinical understanding."

Dr. Warren Throckmorton, associate professor of psychology and fellow for psychology and public policy at Grove City College, said the APA is responding to pressure, not science.

"The reasons they recommended it was for political reasons, not for scientific reasons," he said. "They didn't refer to new research, or new studies -- they referred to new policy statements from other groups."

The APA already stands against therapies that treat homosexuality as a mental illness, Throckmorton said. If the group yields to demands from PFLAG and NGLTF and comes out against reparative therapy, discontented gays will have fewer options.

"What we're talking about is the right of clients who are unhappy with their feeling (of same-sex attraction)," he said. "Those people have the right to seek therapy to help them live the way they want to live -- the way they value."

Alan Chambers, a former homosexual and president of Exodus International, an ex-gay organization, said reparative therapy isn’t harmful. In fact, he said he's all the better for having gone though it.

“What I found in my life is that I had lasting change, a change in identity and something that I don’t feel tempted to be involved in homosexuality at all,” Chambers said. “It took probably eight years for me to find freedom from the attractions and the desires that really held me captive for decades. But I believe that I have a heterosexual identity.”

February 24, 2007 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim

Will try and supply some enlightenment at another time but let me just say while Mormons and Christians aren't members of the same religion, there is no basis for saying "they can't stand each other."

Also, the remark from before was about recruiting support from the local evangelical community not about the personal relationships among CRC's executive committee. No one claimed there was any inner conflict and your theory doesn't have any basis, unless you know something the rest of us don't.

As for Catholics and Protestants, while there are issues, they have become comfortable over the years working with one another on social issues, so this is no longer the issue it once was. Sounds like the new President of CRC goes to an evangelical church, has a Jewish wife and sends his kids to a Catholic school. They've got the major branches of Judeo-Christianity covered.

Again, more later.

February 24, 2007 12:48 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous at February 24, 2007 11:52 AM

Alan Chambers is the most notorious double talker around. When pressed he's admitted he's not heteroseuxal and that he's still same sex attracted. He's also claimed that gays are being used by Satan - he can't be taken seriously or at his word.

February 24, 2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Anon said "let me just say while Mormons and Christians aren't members of the same religion, there is no basis for saying "they can't stand each other.""

Sure, we believe you Anon.

Christian conservative are too much. They can forgive Ted Haggard for purchasing three years of meth addled sex with another man but they can't forgive Rudy Giuliani for supporting equal rights for gays. What strange bedfellows Christian conservatives and politicians make. Now that Ted's been "fixed" so that he's once again considered to be "totally heterosexual" (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5164921), his high and mighty Christian conservative buddies are working on trying to stand each other long enough to find a political leader they can all support, even if they have to use the Ted Haggard insta-cure method of making "the right promises" according to Grover Norquist.

A group of influential Christian conservatives and their allies emerged from a private meeting at a Florida resort this month dissatisfied with the Republican presidential field and uncertain where to turn.

The event was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive club whose few hundred members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Although little known outside the conservative movement, the council has become a pivotal stop for Republican presidential primary hopefuls, including then-Gov. George W. Bush on the eve of his 1999 primary campaign.

But in a stark shift from the group’s influence under President Bush, the group risks relegation to the margins. Many of the conservatives who attended the event, held at the beginning of the month at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., said they were dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next election.

Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, who once denounced Christian conservative leaders as “agents of intolerance,” and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, a liberal on abortion and gay rights issues who has been married three times.

But many were also deeply suspicious of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts; the council has been distributing to its members a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group about liberal elements of his record on abortion, stem cell research, gay rights and gun control. Mr. Romney says he has become more conservative...

“There is great anxiety,” said Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation and an elder statesman of the conservative movement. “There is no outstanding conservative, and they are all looking for that.”

Mr. Weyrich, a longtime member of the council, declined to discuss the group or its meetings. The council’s bylaws forbid members from publicly disclosing its membership or activities, and participants agreed to discuss the Amelia Island meeting only on condition of anonymity.

For eight years and four elections, President Bush forged a singular alliance with Christian conservatives — including dispatching administration officials and even cabinet members to address to secret meetings of the council — that put them at the center of the Republican Party.

But in the aftermath of the stinging defeats in the 2006 midterms, and with discontent over the Iraq war weighing heavily on both the public, some Christian conservatives worry that they may find themselves on the sidelines of the presidential race.

The conservative concern may also be an ominous sign for the Republican Party about the morale of a core element of their political base. Conservatives warn that the 2008 election could shape up like 1996, when conservatives faced a lesser-of-two evils choice between a Republican they distrusted, former Senator Bob Dole, and a Democrat they disdained, President Bill Clinton. Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family later said in a speech to the Council for National Policy that he voted for a conservative third party that year rather than pull a lever for Mr. Dole...

A spokesman for Mr. Brownback said he would not comment on the senator’s presentation to the council, citing its rules about strict confidentiality. Several others who attended his speech said he received heavy applause for his emphasis on restricting abortion and amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But others objected to his support for a temporary worker program for immigrants, and several faulted Mr. Brownback for touching only briefly on the threat of Islamic terrorists, an increasingly central focus of the council and many social conservative groups since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks...

Mr. Norquist, a member of the Council for National Policy, said he remained open to any of the three candidates who spoke to the group or, for that matter, to Mr. Romney. He argued that with the right promises, any of the four could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex.

“It’s called secondary virginity,” he said. “It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/us/politics/25secret.html?hp

February 24, 2007 3:59 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Whatever disagreements there may be on theological questions between members of different religious communities, the bigger divide is really on how people implement their religious convictions. This item from yesterday's Washington Post is interesting:

SAME-SEX UNIONS

Bishop Defends Blessings

Three days after the Episcopal Church was asked to stop authorizing formal blessings for same-sex unions, Washington's bishop issued a strongly worded refusal yesterday, saying Christians have just begun repenting for the historic persecution of gays and lesbians.

Bishop John Bryson Chane is among Episcopal leaders who have expressed alarm since Monday, when a meeting of global Anglican leaders called for the Episcopal Church--the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion--to bar gay men and lesbians from becoming bishops and to stop official blessings of same-sex unions.

Christians have persecuted, stigmatized and denied "the dignity of God's gay and lesbian children," Chane wrote, calling it "agonizing" to see Anglican leaders "call upon us to remain in our sins."

Some Episcopalians believe there is a loophole in the Anglican leaders' demand that would allow priests to offer blessings on their own authority. "Under no circumstances will I enforce a ban on the blessing of same sex unions," Chane wrote, "if that, in fact, is what the Primates are asking us to do."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/22/AR2007022201805.html

February 24, 2007 4:00 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

Meanwhile, they've got their Catholic doing all the heavy lifting, maintaining the mailing lists, sending out the press releases. Let's see if the Catholic League doesn't sign on to the next lawsuit.

Jim, how about giving the link, the real link (you know, the U*R*L) to the Catholic League, rather that to an outfit started by a certifiable fibber (well, either he was lying when he wrote the hatchet job on Anita Hill, or he was later when he disavowed what he wrote...now that he has come out of the closet he started a media monitoring group - I guess since he cannot really operate as a bonafide journalist any longer), David Brock?

Oh, and here is the genuine link to the Catholic League,

http://www.catholicleague.org/

If you want to put up other links so as to expose the so-called vight-ving conspiracy that is fine, but putting a tag in Catholic League that directs the curious to another web site strikes me as deceptive. And isn't that what you are always complaining about Jim?

February 25, 2007 1:22 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Oh, and before I go to bed...

I was raised LDS, and growing up I had no shortage of fellow students, teachers, and even a school bus driver that attempted to save me on behalf of evangelical christianity.

Now that I am Roman Catholic, I have a different perspective on this sectarian infighting. It does exist, though for the most part I would say it is coming from evangelical christians that have a tough time parting with petty religious prejudices. Still, I have encountered similar prejudices from fellow catholics towards evangelicals.

And about Rudy...I don't care for him, esp. as relates to the social issues. However, watch the Democratic Party self-destruct and nominate a Dem from the McGovernite wing of the party, and I would vote for Rudy in a heartbeat. Much like with the Cold War, this War cannot be left to those that cannot or will not take it seriously. And I would set aside all sorts of misgivings about Giuliani on the social issues if I thought he would continue the fight.

Survival has a way of focusing one's mind on the task at hand...

February 25, 2007 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, watch the Democratic Party self-destruct and nominate a Dem from the McGovernite wing of the party, and I would vote for Rudy in a heartbeat."

It'll happen, Orin. Already, Hillary is under attack by Democrats for being too moderate. A moderate Republican will likely be the next President.

February 25, 2007 3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It does exist, though for the most part I would say it is coming from evangelical christians that have a tough time parting with petty religious prejudices. Still, I have encountered similar prejudices from fellow catholics towards evangelicals."

Hey, can you give some details about the prejudices you've observed?

February 25, 2007 3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh Orin. If you followed the last link Jim provided to the Media Matters article, you'd know that the very first link in that article ("Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights") takes you to www.catholicleague.org/faqs.htm, which is the ABOUT page of the catholicleague.org website at the U*R*L you provided.

February 25, 2007 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

"A moderate Republican will likely be the next President."

It's nice to see Anon's hedging his bets these days by inserting the word "likely" in there.

"...I would vote for Rudy in a heartbeat. Much like with the Cold War, this War cannot be left to those that cannot or will not take it seriously."

It's nice to see Orin's pinning all his hopes on a pro-choice, pro-gay GOPer as long as he's deadset on craming democracy down the throats of religious fanatics in the Middle East who don't want it.

Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family later said in a speech to the Council for National Policy that he voted for a conservative third party that year rather than pull a lever for Mr. Dole...

Ah yes, the radical right wing of the GOP... They'd never vote for a GOPer who supports gay rights or any Democrat at all so that means their votes (if they don't stay home) go to the spoiler.

01-20-09 will be the end of an error.

February 25, 2007 8:38 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Orin, the link I provided is more informative than linking to the Catholic League's web site. This guy Donahue is a certified nut, and that's what makes the idea plausible that they'd join the next lawsuit. Every time he opens his mouth he says some ridiculous thing -- there are sites with quote after quote from him. He demonstrates, personally, that Catholics can be just as bad as the weirdest, most hateful Protestant.

You wouldn't have understood that, looking at their web site, but the link I provided jumps in with a couple of quotes right from the start, so you get the idea.

Under his leadership, the Catholic League is exactly the kind of group that would ally with CRC and the Family Leader Network -- of course, the CRC evangelicals won't consider Catholics to be actual "Christians," any more than the Mormons are, but they might trust one to manage their email lists for them, and they might let them lend their name to a lawsuit.

Jim

February 25, 2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Jim.
You are hysterical.

There is no infighting going on. The title swap was at Michelle's request. She was concerned she would be able to donate enough time right now.

And I don't think Ruth is a Mormon - I am not sure what denomination she is. We hardly ever talk about what church affliations we have or don't have, and we most certainly don't fight about it.

Theresa

February 25, 2007 11:58 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Orin,

Thank you for the Catholic League website. Browsing through it, I came upon its Advisory Board list. It includes Alan Keyes. www.catholicleague.org/faqs.htm

Enough said.

David

February 25, 2007 12:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Good to hear that, Theresa, I'm glad you all are so happy.

Good luck with those email lists, too.

JimK

February 25, 2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teresa, this is a small community, and people hear a lot of things that are going on. Let's just say it's a funny time to put Johnny in charge of a "pro-family" organization. Nnice try.

February 25, 2007 3:48 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, I was surprised to hear that Ruth is LDS, but I have heard it from a lot of independent sources. If that's wrong, let me know, and I'll edit the post accordingly. It's not important to understanding the recent changes.

JimK

February 25, 2007 4:14 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Anon writes, in response to my remark,

"It does exist, though for the most part I would say it is coming from evangelical christians that have a tough time parting with petty religious prejudices. Still, I have encountered similar prejudices from fellow catholics towards evangelicals."

Hey, can you give some details about the prejudices you've observed?

Sure, in attempting to get Catholics and Evangelicals working a little more closely here I have attempted to get staff at other parishes around town to coordinate with the crisis pregnancy center here, run by those of the evangelical persuasion. In one instance I was told point blank that because this CPC was "stealing" Catholics they would not offer assistance. And that is just one example...

Needless to say I think this is regretable, and I view the work I do as an attempt to bridge the gaps of misunderstanding.

The gap between Evangelicals and LDS is much greater, with deep undercurrents of suspicion and mistrust, going both directions. Again, regretable, IMO.

February 25, 2007 5:44 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Fair enough, Anonymous...wish I could blame it on that beer I had, but alas just a set of tired eyes.

Anonymous said...

Duh Orin. If you followed the last link Jim provided to the Media Matters article, you'd know that the very first link in that article ("Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights") takes you to www.catholicleague.org/faqs.htm, which is the ABOUT page of the catholicleague.org website at the U*R*L you provided.

Jim writes,

Orin, the link I provided is more informative than linking to the Catholic League's web site. This guy Donahue is a certified nut, and that's what makes the idea plausible that they'd join the next lawsuit.

"Certified nut"...what's that? Is it like an almond, a walnut, a pecan (one of my favorites) or just a garden varity peanut? Or, does it simply mean that you strongly disagree with him?

Every time he opens his mouth he says some ridiculous thing -- there are sites with quote after quote from him.

Every time? How about this press release here,

http://www.catholicleague.org/newsreleases.htm

and dated 1/5/07? Or the one dated 1/11/07 and titled, "NOBEL PRIZE WINNER IS MORE THAN ANTI-SEMITIC".

Or how about this one,

from an entry dated 2/6/07, "JOHN EDWARDS HIRES TWO ANTI-CATHOLICS"?

And yes, both those bloggers are gone now, though no thanks to the Edwards campaign (the lesson? that some bigotry is acceptable, as long as it is directed against groups commonly alligned on the conservative side of the political spectrum.

Oh, and this one has to be my favorite, dated 2/22/07, CATHOLIC BASHER HONORED BY CATHOLIC DEMOCRAT. Now I don't particularly care for or think that this overheated rhetoric is necessary or helpful, but think of the Catholic League as you would any advocacy group like People for the American Way, the ACLU, or Americans United for a Separation of Church and State. I have received mailings at one time from all of these groups and talk about demonizing the opposition! The nature of advocacy work is to not just preach to the "choir", but to get the "choir" to write, make phone calls and send in money to further the work they do.

He demonstrates, personally, that Catholics can be just as bad as the weirdest, most hateful Protestant.

He is dogged, over reaching at times (certainly Alan Keyes falls into that category...really now, want to go after anyone, go after him...even I think he is a nut! lol), but his job is to champion an orthodox understanding of catholicism. Catholics for a Free Choice...who could be against that??? And then a Catholic goes to a site like this,
http://www.condoms4life.org/
and thinks, "huh, I didn't know the Church had changed its position."

As a Catholic I am glad and thankful there are folks willing to do the work to expose the wolves amongst us.

February 25, 2007 6:33 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

David writes,

Thank you for the Catholic League website. Browsing through it, I came upon its Advisory Board list. It includes Alan Keyes. www.catholicleague.org/faqs.htm

Enough said.


Ok, ok...as I have said already, but I will say it again, a nut case. Ok? What is sadder still is his rejection of his lesbian daughter. I certainly would never want his finger on the nuclear trigger.

February 25, 2007 6:39 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Orin,

I find Donohue to be the mouthpiece for some of the vilest homophobic, transphobic and anti-Semitic garbage in the media today.

February 25, 2007 8:35 PM  
Blogger digger said...

When PFOX first put up their website, they had a statement of "Doctrine" that was essentially the Nicene Creed, with the codicil that people who unapologetically profess being LGBT can't be Christians (long since removed from the website). Many of the posts to the PFOX website have a conservative Catholic source. I think Reginia Griggs is Catholic.

rrjr

February 25, 2007 9:24 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Anon,

what are you talking about? Reparative therapy is BS- and there is no political issue about it. Where is your silly quote from?

However, I totally go with the three week intensive minster program- Ted Haggard was never homosexual - some ministers said so. Having sex with a male prostitute is just "acting out"- yeah, acting out being homosexual.

February 26, 2007 12:54 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Dana writes,

Orin,

I find Donohue to be the mouthpiece for some of the vilest homophobic, transphobic and anti-Semitic garbage in the media today.


Surely you can do better than string together 21 words that add up to little more than an epithet?

"Anti-Semitic"? That is difflicult to believe given his defense of a nationally known jewish author, speaker, and syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager, found here,

http://www.catholicleague.org/newsreleases.htm

then go to the press release dated 12/5/06 and titled "Smearing Dennis Prager". BTW, Prager wrote one of the seminal books on Antisemitism currently in print, "Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism". This book has been in print since 1983, btw...

I suspect the "antisemite" label comes from historically jewish groups who now primarily worship the God of Liberalism than the God of the Hebrew Bible.

February 27, 2007 11:39 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Well, Orin -- Jews who are not fundamentalists (and some who are, btw) consider Prager to be a bigot of many stripes -- sex, gender, color, religion. I will not stand for anyone to call me less of a Jew than Dennis Prager or anyone else because of my political beliefs.

As for Donohue, I don't have the time to document his slurs. Here is one for starters, from Rabbi Shmuely Boteach, an orthodox rabbi (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/158/story_15826_1.html) See below.

Others have also done so. He considers any Jewish person who is to the left of his religious zealotry to be worthy of slander and defamation. To his credit, he doesn't deny his words. He's a proud bigot, and revels in using vile language. Making a case based on religious dogmatism is not enough, he needs to broadbrush everyone who doesn't agree with him as evil.

Dana

Bill Donohue's comments in his debate with me on MSNBC's Scarborough Country last week have proven deeply shocking to decent Americans everywhere. Not that it didn't take a while. When the president of the Catholic League said on national television that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular," it was I who was initially criticized for calling him and my other Catholic assailant on the show Jennifer Giroux (who was saying that the Jews killed Jesus) "ignorant peasants."

But after a few days, the pit of press hell opened for Donohue. First there was the Daily News article on Wednesday that said, "Jewish viewers are still agog over Catholic League President William Donohue's comments on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" the other night." Then Frank Rich of the New York Times attacked Donohue for his anti-Semitic diatribe with the words, "For Shame," and Jon Stewart replayed the debate as a lead-in to his Daily Show and called Donohue an expletive.
For my part, I invited Donohue, with whom I normally share a warm and friendly relationship, onto my radio show twice, affording him the opportunity to retract the offensive slander. Sadly, he chose to defend and explain the accuracy of the comment instead.

Christians throughout the United States had better get used to the idea that much of what they say and do scares the hell out of Jews. And people like me, long defenders, apologists, and admirers of religious Christians, are losing our ability to convince the Jewish community that evangelical Christians are our brothers with whom we should work to create a more moral America.

Certainly, it does not help that evangelical Christians, who so love and support the State of Israel, also believe that Jews who lead exemplary lives but don't believe in Jesus are going to hell. It also doesn't help that all-too-many evangelicals are extremely vocal about this offensive belief, which utterly dismisses the Jewish faith as spiritually useless. Of course, every religion is entitled to its beliefs, and people should be judged by their actions rather than their dogma. But increasingly, since President Bush's election, religious Christians are showing an insensitivity to Jews and Judaism that is causing further distance between the two communities.

February 27, 2007 2:47 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Judaism is not a static religion so "worshiping the God of the Hebrew Bible" seems more of a Christian concept of Judaism than a Jewish one. Judaism has been shaped and changed over thousands of years- even within the orthodox community.

February 27, 2007 4:38 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Dana writes,

Well, Orin -- Jews who are not fundamentalists (and some who are, btw) consider Prager to be a bigot of many stripes -- sex, gender, color, religion. I will not stand for anyone to call me less of a Jew than Dennis Prager or anyone else because of my political beliefs.

Task, tsk...you don't get off that easy. Names?

As for the "I will not stand" comment...I understand such sentiments as I have seen those that claim a loyalty to catholicism while at the same time denying the core beliefs of the faith. At what point does such an alleged allegiance become either hypocrisy or mere sentiment.

Religion...as opposed to milquetoast spirituality...makes demands upon those that claim that particular faith as their own. The religious faiths that actually stand for something...I think you call them fundamentalist...are the ones that are attracting a devoted following. Is that what scares you?

February 27, 2007 4:45 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

It gets to the crux, doesn't it? Yes, it scares me. It leads to war in Iraq, in Israel, in Bosnia, in Nigeria. It is the most intractable cause of war these days, and the state of mind that produces it, including fundamentalisms as superficailly diverse as communism and Nazism, is the greatest threat to the survival of our species. In my mind there is nothing of sufficient value in religion to offset the carnage created in its name and that which could be potentially incurred in its name.

So, yes, Orin, it scares me.

As for Dennis Prager, just off the top, there was his bigoted screed against Congressman Ellison, and then this statement:

"If you want to predict on which side an American will line up in the Culture War wracking America, virtually all you have to do is get an answer to this question: Does the person believe in the divinity and authority of the Five Books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah? ("Divinity" does not necessarily mean "literalism.")

I do not ask this about "the Bible" as a whole because the one book that is regarded as having divine authority by believing Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Mormons, among others, is not the entire Bible, but the Torah. Religious Jews do not believe in the New Testament and generally confine divine revelation even within the Old Testament to the Torah and to verses where God is cited by the prophets, for example. But "Bible-believing" Christians and Jews do believe in the divinity of the Torah.

And they line up together on virtually every major social/moral issue."

But as has been pointed out ad nauseum, there are 613 mitzvot, or "commnadments," in the Torah. Most fundamentalist Jews routinely ignore a significant plurality, and can't help themselves with many of the others. As for fundamentalist Christians, well, the only commandment these days they seem to be fixated on regards homosexuality. Even abortion is not considered a sin in the Torah -- inducing a miscarriage demands a fine, not an eye for an eye.

February 27, 2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Dana writes,

As for Dennis Prager, just off the top, there was his bigoted screed against Congressman Ellison, and then this statement:

Cite?

February 28, 2007 5:31 AM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

Screed against Congressman Ellison:
http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/DennisPrager/2006/11/28/america,_not_keith_ellison,_decides_what_book_a_congressman_takes_his_oath_on


this statement:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2006/12/27/the_culture_war_is_about_the_authority_of_a_book

February 28, 2007 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

The Constitution specifies in Article VI, clause 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

February 28, 2007 7:57 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

With regards to the 1st URL,

Prager writes,

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

2nd URL,

Prager writes,

This divide explains why the wrath of the Left has fallen on those of us who lament the exclusion of the Bible at a ceremonial swearing-in of an American congressman. The Left wants to see that book dethroned. And that, in a nutshell, is what the present civil war is about.

There is more to this...the Left hates the Right because those that are religious on the right (as opposed to those on the Left that are religious) actually believe the Bible as an authority that is external to the Almighty Self. The Left, a la the Spong School of Biblical Revisionism, see little more in the Bible than a text to morally and theologically validate any number of their favored contemporary social, cultural or political prejudices that run the range from an absolute right to destroy nascent human life to same-sex "marriage". This is a big part of the reason that the Episcopal Church in the United States is but a shadow of what it once was...

And finally,

The Constitution specifies in Article VI, clause 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

And that is *exactly* the reason that Prager was wrong to state that Ellison should not be allowed to take the oath. Still, it was rather disingenuous of Ellison to borrow and use Thomas Jefferson's copy of The Quran; I have a copy of the Quran as well, not to mention the Quotations From Chairman Mao, Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, The Book of Mormon(not to mention a copy of the Queen Jane's Version, The Holy Bible for Adults Only, by Douglas Rankin). Just because I have them in my library does not mean I necessarily hold them in high regard. Given that Jefferson had produced his own New Testament sans miracles, the fact that he had a copy of the Quran probably only reflected the fact that as one of (if not THE) brightest, most intelligent and well-read individual's of his day, he realized The Quran as the seminal book for understanding the muslim faith.

February 28, 2007 9:49 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Wow, Orin, you can really get insulting at times, can't you? The "Almighty Self"?

Be careful what you wish for. The separation of church and state is primarily for religious individuals such as yourself, not for those on the "left."

The Bible is not an authority in this secular culture. Try to impose it, and you will lose everything you hold dear. History has shown us that over and over again.

March 01, 2007 11:01 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Orin, a truly moral person supports gays right to equal marriage. The idea that any straight couple is going to make decisions about their marriage based on whether or not the gay couple down the street gets married is absurd. Clearly same sex marriages cannot in anyway harm heterosexual marriage, they merely make gay lives better and making better individual lives makes for a better society.

March 02, 2007 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:23 PM  

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