Posts Tagged ‘intolerance’

I read this morning that nearly half of the American people believe it is acceptable to use torture if it yields actionable information. I find this utterly abhorrent.

For you 50% I pray that you don't know the definition of torture.

Many or you who fall into this category call yourselves "Christian" and I ask you this: Would Jesus – "Mr. turn the other cheek" – ever condone imposing excruciating, unspeakably horrible, unending pain on another human being? Would Jesus ever say there is a proper time to connect a woman's labia to electric current or to deny sleep to a prisoner between sessions of waterboarding? If you answer "yes" then I suggest you find a way to unbaptize yourself because your view of Jesus is clearly different from Jesus' view of Jesus.

Some of you may not call yourself Christian – or even religious – and I want to speak to you also.

Can you not at least consider a moral code that respects the right to exist of every member of our species? Can you not acknowledge each human as worthy of being left without unspeakable pain? Can you not imagine yourself drowning, being slammed against walls repeatedly, having your genitals mutilated, being kept awake for days on end, being stoned to death, having your fingernails pulled out, and realize that such unspeakable acts inflict pain of which you cannot even conceive – and that a worldview that condones such acts in not even human?!?!

I hate terrorists as much as any American. I love America at least as much as most of you. I even waver in my support – and lack thereof – of the death penalty when I hear of the horrors that we humans can inflict in others. I want those who harm others to be punished. But there is a line beyond which nothing can pass – no moral system, no twisted ethics, no religion, no belief system – and that line is the purposeful infliction of excruciating pain – physical, mental, or emotional.

When half of our country is willing to cross that line then we are perhaps a state no better than the Islamic one called ISIL This can't possibly be the case. The greatest experiment in a society of liberty can't possibly have degraded to the level of one that accepts torture and denies the sacredness of the Geneva Conventions.

If you really believe that torture is acceptable then I beg you to reconsider. We have taken steps backward but surely not so far back as barbarism!!!

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There are 2 things that make me angrier than almost anything else in the entire universe. They are disrespecting military personnel killed in the line of duty and expressing anything other than outrage at the killing of children.  I do not understand the Westboro Baptist Church’s stance on homosexuality but, I suppose I could accept that their view differs from mine. What I can not respect, will not sanction, and believe to be among the most evil acts known to humanity is the ridiculous picketing that they do at military funerals and that they threatened to do at the funerals of the children murdered in Connecticut, just over a week ago. These people are the absolute embodiment of evil. If I believed in a “hell”, I would want them sent there en masse. Since I don’t, the best I can do is to help eradicate them. What all of us can do toward than end is to sign the “We The People” petition at whitehouse.gov and to have them declared, by the US government, as an utter menace to our way of life. In reality, they are within their first amendment rights to say and do what they do. That is the downside of a free society. None the less, we need millions of people to stand against their divisive, hateful, reprehensible, and evil ways. So, to all my followers, I want to urge you to stand for unity; diversity; unconditional respect for human life; and, if you believe in a God, a God who is benevolent. Join me in standing against the evil of the Westboro Baptist Church and their insanity.

Sign the petition here –  http://wh.gov/RI5h

Dear Sid,

Thanks for the “gift” of a free copy of your book. I want to tell you how much I appreciate it.

This is how much I appreciate it: I DON’T appreciate it at all.

In fact, I don’t really appreciate anything from anyone who thinks they are doing me a favor by telling me about those Jews who were “blessed” enough to have seen Jesus. You are not doing me a favor. You are not doing the great religion and culture of Judaism a favor any more that Thomas Torquemada did our people a “favor” during the inquisition by torturing them until he was sure they’d really become proper Christians. You are not doing us a favor any more than any other person in the history of the world who has tried to destroy Judaism.

You see, Sid, we have thousands of years of history. We have a great rabbinic tradition that teaches us exactly what we need to know to live as Jews. We have a history and culture that allows us to think, to question, to discuss, to doubt, and to daily wrestle with our relationship with the divine. We even have a tradition that teaches us all we need to know about the Messiah and the Messianic age. And, one of the coolest things about that is that our Rabbis, our Teachers, our Prophets, and our God, even allow us to wrestle with that. We don’t need to adopt your conception of messianic salvation. We don’t need to accept your Christian eschatology while we pretend to still be Jews. We have our own eschatological perspectives and, in exchange for respecting yours, we expect ours to be respected.

Please understand, Sid, that I have nothing against Christians. They are entitled to their beliefs as much as we, or anyone else, are entitled to ours. Most of the people I know are Christian and virtually all of them are fine human beings. I’m not even going to tell you that you are wrong. Because, how would I know. I don’t actually care. I do have a big problem with you accepting Jesus as the messiah AND calling yourself a Jew. But, I won’t even complain and I’ll acknowledge that this is my problem of acceptance more than your problem of belief. You see, I may not agree with you, I may not like you, but I respect your freedom to believe what you want to believe. That’s the difference between you and me. I don’t like your beliefs but I won’t ever try to change them. You don’t like my unwillingness to accept your beliefs but you’ll try to change me by sending me a free book. Worse yet, you’ll call your book “They Thought for Themselves” under the false pretense that you are promoting independent thinking or, for that matter, thinking at all.

Now, I’ve admitted that I don’t like you or your beliefs. I also admitted that some of that is my own intolerance. I know full well that, according to your belief system, you are only trying to “help” me. But, I want you to understand why I take issue with it. You see, every Jew who forsakes our Jewish heritage by turning to Christianity, diminishes our culture by the amount that they otherwise would have contributed to the Jewish community. That is their choice and I can be saddened by it, but I can’t say it’s “wrong”. But every Jew who forsakes our teachings, our concept of God, our Rabbis’ teachings about the characteristics of the messiah and the messianic age, and our scripture but STILL CLAIMS to be a Jew, not only diminishes the community but dilutes the beauty, the spirituality, and the integrity of Judaism. You can’t have it both ways, Sid. You can be a Jew and wrestle with your beliefs; but you can’t be a Jew and accept teachings that are antithetical to Judaism.

So here’s the deal. I was going to toss your book into the barbecue. But it left a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t want it to leave a bad taste on my dinner too. So, your book is in the recycle bin. That way, perhaps it will be recycled into something useful.

Please, Sid, remove me from your mailing list now. I love and respect my Christian friends. But, my Torah is quite rich enough for me and I don’t need anymore “help” from you. Just leave me alone. I’m sure you’re not a bad guy. But, an intrusive guy, good or bad, is still a guy who can’t accept others purely for the sake of respecting humanity. So, hey, leave me out of the party. I’m holding out for my guy.

Have an awesome afterlife, dude.

I admit it – I’m scared.

In 1773, Rev. Isaac Backus, a prominent Baptist minister said: “when church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued.”

In 1797, through the Treaty of Tripoli, President John Adams proclaimed that the United States government was SECULAR. The treaty states, in Article XI: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

In 1822, in a letter to Edward Livingston, James Madison wrote: “Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.”

In 2012, YESTERDAY, Rick Santorum said: “What kind of country do we live in that says only people of nonfaith can come into the public square and make their case?… That makes me throw up….. I don’t believe in an America where the separation of Church and State is absolute“.

LISTEN UP, my friends. Rick Santorum does not represent America. Rick Santorum does not follow in the footsteps of our founders. Rick Santorum does not support individual personal liberty. Rick Santorum does not support civil liberties for anyone except fundamentalist Christians. Rick Santorum does not believe in equality. Rick Santorum does not agree that Americans have a right to pursue happiness. Rick Santorum CANNOT secure the support of independent voters.  An election pitting Rick Santorum against Barack Obama will result in a landslide victory for Obama. If you want 4 more years of an Obama presidency, get Santorum to Republican nomination; I know lots of people who want an easy election for Obama. But, if you cast your vote for Santorum, know this: Rick Santorum represents unadulterated intolerance and a value system in direct opposition to American values. That is what you get when you vote Santorum, and it scares the hell out of me.

For the record, Rick, I WANT you to have your chance to make your case to the public. I want every religious person to have that chance. I want every person, no matter their belief system, to have that chance. What I don’t want, and what  anyone who values individual rights should also oppose, is allowing the religious foundation for your case to become America law. We are a country devoted to diversity and you want to step into the oval office expressly to trample that. THAT is not America. and you are the most dangerous candidate in memory.

Here are some examples of the kind and compassionate comments that were posted on the FOX News Facebook page after Blair Scott, Communications Director for American Atheists, appeared on FOX News a while back. These are taken from from the American Atheists website but I first found them on Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” Blog.

I’m not an atheist and atheism is not my point. My point is that these same people would walk into a church and say that others should ask the question “What would Jesus do?” And… advocating shooting the people you don’t agree with is NOT what Jesus would do. (Of course, I’m no expert, but that New Testament book sure does spin him as a bit more tolerant than these guys).

I also want to be clear in saying that I don’t think this represents Christianity. Most people I interact with every day are Christian and even the fundamentalists with whom I most disagree would find this appalling. Not only that but I’ll also acknowledge that we Jews have our wackos too, and Islam has theirs. So, this is certainly not a “Christian-thing”. But it is certainly sad to see these comments from people who would say that they understand “God’s love”. THAT just kills me.

So, check these out:

I guess the point that I really want to make is this: If we don’t learn to live for tolerance, to preach tolerance, to teach tolerance, and to love our neighbors with tolerance, then the world will just continue to deteriorate until people like this have enough power to destroy the American vision of equality and acceptance. This represents a small (but arguably growing) minority. Still, it is a horror and it does represent a segment of the American psyche. It’s bad and it must stop if the human race plans to continue.

And… what about having tolerance for people like those who have posted these comments? Well… I suppose there are limits to everything – because, I don’t.