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View Diary: Why do so many folks here use the term "Old Testament" as code for barbarism? (265 comments)

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  •  You don't get to tell me what term o use. (3+ / 0-)
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    millwood, CherryTheTart, ciganka

    I call them "OLd Testament CHristians" becuase ignore almsot all of the New in favor of the narrowest parts of the Old.  They ignore the parts that require them to DO something, and if you go after them with soem of the points you made--about when life begins, for example, or stoning women--they  tell you THAT part was superceded by the New. But when you tell them WHERE int he New it says life begins at conception or where in the Gospels it says gays are evil...it screws them up.

    ANd I think the term fits--they are about punishment and rules and disliking those who worship a different god or speak a different language--which is a BIG part of the Old Testament.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:24:24 PM PST

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    •  To be clear: Jews don't buy into a lot of that (3+ / 0-)
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      millwood, davis90, CherryTheTart

      The Evangelical and Catholic position on abortion is not well rooted in the Torah or any other part of the Hebrew scriptures.

      The traditional Jewish view on abortion (which the rabbis knew about -- the Greeks and Egyptians both used abortifactents) is that harm to woman is a serious thing, but harm to the fetus is a property issue; see Ex. 21:22.

      The main problem here, I think is that Jews interpret their scripture with a spirit of leniency (as Muslims have historically interpreted the Qur'an, as well), but Christians, who have this extraneous concept of grace, like to think of G'd as a nasty bastard who without Jesus' protection will go totally medieval on your ass, and sent you to an eternity in a place of fire where the sun don't shine.

      Well, us Jews are not responsible for the parody that most Christian denominations make of what was originally an Iron Age collection of scrolls.  You can find wisdom in any number of places, or you can look at the same sources as bloody minded and intolerant bastards, and you will find plenty in the Hebrew scriptures to float your depravity.  As goes with many portions of the Qur'an.  But historically, both Jews and Muslims have figured out how to read their scriptures and make that more humane and measured judgment.

      Christianity, as what what started out as a Jewish heresy on one end, and merged with the state religion of the Roman empire, which had fought two major wars with the Jews, and a serious uprising of them in Alexandria as well.  Ragging on Jews was a lot safer than ragging on Romans, since the Romans had killed lots of Jews and removed most of them from their own country.  Christian interpretation of Hebrew scripture diverged early in Christianity's history (google Justin Martyr for a fairly early and egregious example).

      Jews are not responsible for the travesty many Christians have made of the Hebrew scriptures.  That many Christian sects interpret these texts in ways completely foreign to the Mishnah, Gemarah (collectively, the "Talmud") or the Midrash is not the fault of the Jews.

      As a Jew once said, "let he who is sinless cast the first stone".  Would that more Christians actually understand what that Jew said.  Or believed.

      As for the atheists and pagans who are commenting here... there's an old joke about a Jewish guy who washes up on a deserted island.  Five years later, when he's finally rescued, he's gone a little off, and his rescuers notice he's built three huts.  One is obviously where he lives.  So they ask him about the other two huts.  He says:  "that one's my shul (synagogue).  And that one... that's the shul I wouldn't be caught dead going to."

      Well, remember when you talk about religion, that for most of you, Christianity is the shul you wouldn't be caught dead going to.  The religion you reject for most of you was first and foremost a Christian religion.  Well, speaking as a non-Christian, I and my fellow non-Christians are not accountable for what in many cases are specifically Christian deficiencies.   Christianity is in many respects the very weirdest of the Abrahamic religions.  Virgin birth, three part deity, amalgamation of a messianic Jewish sect and Roman state religion.  And a notion of the deity as a vicious, Unforgiving Bastard who will condemn you to eternal fire if you look at Him wrong, or G'd forbid, don't believe in the Son God to save you from the Wicked Father God.  You might only think otherwise because it is more familiar to you than modern (i.e., Rabbinical) Judaism or Islam.  But if you do, you think wrong.  Most Jews read their scripture (as most Muslims read theirs) in a much more reasoned, measured way.  And not at all the way many Christians have elected to read the Hebrew scriptures.

      Again, as that Jew said almost two millennia ago, let he who is sinless cast the first stone.  And that bit about the mote in your neighbor's eye, and all that.   If you have a problem with how Christians have misappropriated Hebrew scripture, take it up with the Christians.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 09:36:52 PM PST

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      •  I thought about mentioning that the Jews I've (0+ / 0-)

        known interpret scripture very, very differently from the way Christians I've done some reading, having been a librarian in a very heavily Jewish neighborhood with a good collection on Judaism, including Torah and commentaries. . But I figured I'd allow Jews to raise this issue since it's their bone to pick. I know that they're not literalists and that  the Torah is considered only half of the revelations--the other half being the commentaries which Christians frequently don't even know about.  Plus Jews aren't trying really, really hard to make everything fit with the New Testament by twisting prophecies into pretzel shapes your average Cirque de Soleil acrobat couldn't achieve.

        I actually am NOT a Christian though I was raised as one at age 20, 43 years ago, I left Catholicism (after ending  up with a minor in theology). I know how Catholics think, and after living in the SOuth for a total of 15 years with a high exposure to right-wing CHristians, I know how THEY thinkand beelive. I like to read theology and comparative religion. And as a WIccan in the Deep South, it's also a case of know your enemy.

        Just ot ake it clear. My comment about Old Testament Christians had nothing to do with what Jews beelive in any of the communities--but was aimed at right-wing CHristians who have a very selective reading  of both Old and New Testaments (when they talk about women being submissive, they leave out Ruth and Deborah and Judih and Jael--strong women, but, I guess allwoed to be since they were widows) with an emphasis on fearing God's wrath while maintinign at all tiems that  their god is a loving one, only  he lieks to send anyone who disagrees to hell.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:38:09 PM PST

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