October 12, 2005

Southern Baptist Bunk

You may recall that at the end of September I wrote about my displeasure with the Southern Baptists and their lack of respect for Jews and others who do not agree with their theology. It raised the hackles of many people and generated a fair number of comments.\

The president of their group is a man named Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. He recently penned a response that is demonstrative of why they just don't get it.

"The real enemy of Judaism is not Christian evangelism, but the corrosive secularism that has so poisoned American culture."
I'd like him to explain why and how this is a problem for Jews. Because I am at a loss to understand why upholding the Constitutional direction for a separation of church and state is dangerous.
"Jewish protests against this prayer guide ring hollow when a majority of American Jews no longer express belief in a personal God. "
It is not his place to say this nor his business to determine that they can be obnoxious and offensive because they do not believe that enough Jews believe in G-d. That doesn't excuse what they are doing.
"While sharing an impromptu breakfast at (of all places) the U. S. Supreme Court, an attorney for one of the most influential Jewish organizations told me that he had the right to expect that his young son would never be exposed to the Christian gospel. That is not the American vision of religious liberty. That is a balkanized America where the First Amendment has been cancelled."
This is more claptrap and nonsense. I have been told by a number of people that they believe that their First Amendments rights are being subjugated because their children cannot have bible study at a public school. That is clearly a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

The First Amendment does not give you carte blance to say/do whatever you want. There are limitations upon it. Religious liberty is not defined solely by being able to share it, it is also defined by being able to find places without it, or without it becoming an overbearing presence.

I could go on about this, but this man really does make me sick. Foolish words from a foolish man.

14 comments:

dorothy rothschild said...

I remember Elizabeth Dole remarking--and I believe this was at some point during the 2004 election--something about how in this country we have "freedom of religion, not freedom from religion."

I thought that was chilling.

Jack's Shack said...

That is chilling.

Z said...

I live in a heavily Catholic area which is guided by the mentality of the Southern Baptist and in fact, just today at lunch I was asked what our (Jews) problem was and did I actually mean not ONE person in my congregation celebrated Christmas?! WTF? There is a woman I work with, whom I am friends with, who teaches CCD and attends church every week. People say she is so morally upright and such a good, Christian mother. Pan over to demonized me. The good Jewish mom who carts her kid to Sunday school AND Hebrew school and teaches Sunday school in the meantime. I attend services. But we're not a church. And if we're not Christian...then obviously we don't believe in G-d do we? I am so sick of this shit. There was another woman in the 'hood who volunteered to read to a kindergarten class in public school. She chose a Christian book about a lamb. The teacher stopped her. This woman took it all the way to the media and the Surpreme Court....it was her right to share her faith.

I want to know where exactly that is written. I certainly don't want my kid sermonized or evangelized. He has every right to hear Jewish stories if the kid next to him has the right to hear Catholic stories...but that's not the issue is it? Would they want their kids immersed in evil Judaism? We missed the boat remember. Sure they'd pay it lip service and say it's the foundation of their own beliefs but when all is said and done...and we're reading Isaiah...just what does "the cornerstone" REALLY mean???

Stephen Newell said...

I think Dr. Mohler would be surprised to see you refer to him as the SBC president when he is merely a seminary president. That's okay--it's not the first time that's happened nor will it be the last. Just so you know, the current SBC president is Bobby Welch.

I am at a loss to understand why upholding the Constitutional direction for a separation of church and state is dangerous.

Because there is no such Constitutional direction, for starters. And in practice, this principle is, at least today, blatantly anti-religion and is becoming more and more blatantly anti-Christian. It's more okay legally for a Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, or even a Jew to evangelize than it is for a Christian, and that is at the very least inconsistent, and at worst a violation of the 1st Amendment.

It is not his place to say this nor his business to determine that they can be obnoxious and offensive because they do not believe that enough Jews believe in G-d.
Yet he isn't the one who stated this. People within your own religion are saying this. Alan Dershowitz--whom Mohler quotes--even says Jews may disappear because of secularism, and therein lies the danger.

And no, Mohler is not saying they can do this because of a disbelief in God, he is saying that it is inconsistent and possibly even hypocritical for them to protest religion when they themselves are agnostic or atheistic. You are putting words into Mohler's mouth.

Religious liberty is not defined solely by being able to share it, it is also defined by being able to find places without it, or without it becoming an overbearing presence.
Yet you and I do not have the right to remove religious speech from the public sphere just because "I don't want to hear it." You and I have a right to choose to listen or not, and we also have the right to tell people publicly. The street preacher--however annoying he may be--has just as much right to do this as anti-war or pro-homosexual demonstrators, whether you and I want to hear them or not.

But come on, what is really making you sick--Mohler or the words he is using? He seems to be more caring in his commentary than you do about the religious state of Jews. (I fully expect a tempest to come of this here remark, but hopefully you catch my drift.)

Jack's Shack said...

Z,

I have had people say the same thing to me. Just senseless drivel.

I think Dr. Mohler would be surprised to see you refer to him as the SBC president when he is merely a seminary president.

My mistake. His bio says that he is the president of the flagship school. This still means that he has influence, authority and is a leadership figure.

Because there is no such Constitutional direction, for starters.

It is patently false to claim that there is no Constitutional basis for the separation of church and state.

Read the first line:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,

If that is not enough for you there is a wealth of information out there that supports this.

And in practice, this principle is, at least today, blatantly anti-religion

No, it is not anti-religion. That is a term that people use to try and affect change based upon emotion and not fact or logic.

It's more okay legally for a Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, or even a Jew to evangelize than it is for a Christian,

Again this is false. Try offering some substance here. The law states that all religions are to receive equal treatment. I am not interested in seeing a menorah or a creche or any sort of religious paraphenalia within the public confines such as gov't buildings.

Private establishments are a different story.

People within your own religion are saying this. Alan Dershowitz--whom Mohler quotes--even says Jews may disappear because of secularism, and therein lies the danger.

So what. Dershowitz is an attorney. He is a very smart man, but that doesn't mean that what he says is valid or applicable. I am guessing that Mohler is referring to this book
But that doesn't mean that it is accurate information. Nor does it really look at Judaism as a whole, just American Jews who are not Orthodox. That leaves out a lot of people.

And no, Mohler is not saying they can do this because of a disbelief in God, he is saying that it is inconsistent and possibly even hypocritical for them to protest religion when they themselves are agnostic or atheistic. You are putting words into Mohler's mouth.

There is nothing contradictory in asking the laws of the land be followed. It is common sense stuff.

Yet you and I do not have the right to remove religious speech from the public sphere just because "I don't want to hear it."

There is some truth to that, but the public sphere needs to be defined. Public schools, courthouses,agencies, parks etc are all covered by the law and should be places where religious items are not located. They should follow the law and be neutral.

But come on, what is really making you sick--Mohler or the words he is using? He seems to be more caring in his commentary than you do about the religious state of Jews.

He doesn't care about Jews. He cares about turning us into little unthinking automatons who just accept what he says as the truth.

It is because I care that I write about this. It is because I care that I support antimissionary organizations.

It is because I care that I ask that the gov't uphold the law and not allow it to be distorted and peversely twisted to meet the agenda of people who are not acting in my and other Jews best interests.

Don't you ever wonder why so many Jews get upset. Didn't it occur to you that there is probably something there if there is so much opposition.

Of course you may respond as others have done by accusing me to be in league with the devil.

Just out of curiosity. What do you think is going to happen to me when I die?

VM said...

Brother Jack, I think Brother DJ is hanging around trying to befriend you so that he can witness to you. I've noticed that he has posted comments on your non Southren Baptis' posts. And I can assure you that he thinks you're going to hell when you die because you haven't been "saved."

Jack's Shack said...

VM,

That could be. He can try all he wants. I have friends of all stripes and colors. But none of them are going to make me rethink my position here.

Just as long as everyone understands the ground rules.

Stephen Newell said...

You're also forgetting the second line of that amendment "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Christians are the target of the first line more often than they are allowed to do the second. This is not an emotional argument--this actually is going on. There are lots of stories about Christians getting fired from jobs, removed from schools, ostracized in their professions, etc. due to this practice.

Also, "separation of church and state" is a Jeffersonian concept, not a Constitutional one, and it was in reference to Christian (Baptists, ironically) concern that the government would interfere with religion. Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptists that the government would in no way impose upon religion.

I am not interested in seeing a menorah or a creche or any sort of religious paraphenalia within the public confines such as gov't buildings.
Nor are we--that's not the point, and I think you know this.

There is nothing contradictory in asking the laws of the land be followed. It is common sense stuff.
What laws have been broken? Enlighten me. Where is it written that Southern Baptists can't pray for Jews nor witness to them? Seems it is common sense not to make a law against this, as it's a violation against that same 1st Amendment.

He doesn't care about Jews. He cares about turning us into little unthinking automatons who just accept what he says as the truth.
Never mind that you don't have a shred of evidence for this, this is just plain silly. You can't rebut the man's argument, so instead you attack his character. Sad. Furthermore, you travel in circles by making an emotional argument to make your point ("This guy makes me sick," etc.) and then saying my argument is invalid because you think it's emotional.

Why do I think Jews are so upset? I don't know. I understand that they feel Christianity is an affront to them, but that doesn't explain their (and your) unreasonable reaction to it. I'm starting to think you guys are afraid. And that's upsetting to me, because the last thing you have to feel about us is fear. What do you have to fear about Christianity, especially in a society of religious liberty?

I don't know what makes you think that I would stoop so low as to equate you as in league with Satan. Is your opinion of Christians that low? That's even sadder than fearing us.

Where do I think a Jew will go when he/she dies? You've pretty much nailed it. Jesus said that the only way to God was he himself, and that means--for the Christian--any other way to Heaven is fundamentally flawed and in error. Are we to be demonized for that belief? Are we to be demonized for sharing that belief with others? Common sense and religious liberty say no, yet that's exactly what's happening here. Judaism makes similar claims of exclusivity, yet I don't see anyone getting upset about "thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Continued attacks on my character and that of Christians in general simply for adhering to their beliefs is a poor way to make your point, makes the commenter the one who shows actual intolerance, and only serve to inflame. It is this reason why I originally stated that people within Judaism (and any religion in general, furthermore) who do this only give the faith a bad name.

Jack's Shack said...

You're also forgetting the second line of that amendment "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Christians are the target of the first line more often than they are allowed to do the second. This is not an emotional argument--this actually is going on. There are lots of stories about Christians getting fired from jobs, removed from schools, ostracized in their professions, etc. due to this practice.

You didn't give a single example of this. Most of the time what we hear about are the complaints about not being able to witness in specific places, not being able to offer a religious blessing at public events, things that are not available to any religious group, not just Christians.
Also, "separation of church and state" is a Jeffersonian concept, not a Constitutional one, and it was in reference to Christian (Baptists, ironically) concern that the government would interfere with religion. Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptists that the government would in no way impose upon religion.

It is far more than that. There is a direct tie in and correlation to the Constitution that has been found to the correct ruling by the UNSC.

Where is it written that Southern Baptists can't pray for Jews nor witness to them? Seems it is common sense not to make a law against this, as it's a violation against that same 1st Amendment.

You tried to make the case that non-Christians have more rights than Christians. It is another straw man argument that is based upon emotion and not upon fact.

There is no law saying that you cannot do this, just as there is no law saying that the Klan cannot assemble, or that the Nazis cannot march.

The reality is that a lack of a law prohibiting something is not indicative of that action being smart, courteous or something to be lauded and protected.

You can't rebut the man's argument, so instead you attack his character. Sad. Furthermore, you travel in circles by making an emotional argument to make your point ("This guy makes me sick," etc.) and then saying my argument is invalid because you think it's emotional.

You know I could say the same thing about what you write. The reality is that there was very little fact to try and rebut. To claim that secularism is the biggest enemy of Judaism is patently false. If anything secularism in conjunction with dedicated missionary movements such as your own are threats to Judaism.

His claim that a majority of American Jews do not believe in God is an allegation and not a fact and consequently doesn't require a rebuttal.

Here is another example of story telling with no fact to support it.

"While sharing an impromptu breakfast at (of all places) the U. S. Supreme Court, an attorney for one of the most influential Jewish organizations told me that he had the right to expect that his young son would never be exposed to the Christian gospel. That is not the American vision of religious liberty. That is a balkanized America where the First Amendment has been cancelled."

Where are the facts there. They do not exist. This is just him complaining but he is not using substance to make his complaint.

Why do I think Jews are so upset? I don't know. I understand that they feel Christianity is an affront to them, but that doesn't explain their (and your) unreasonable reaction to it.

Christianity is not an affront to Judaism. I don't care what you do as long as it does not harm people.

You do realize that there is about 2000 years of antisemitism that was fueled by the church. I am not saying that every Christian is bad or hates Jews, but there is a long history that you have to deal with.

I am familiar with antisemitism. It has been directed against me. So of course I am going to be wary of things that could turn badly.

You may think that this is unreasonable, but do you really think that the Jews in Germany and Poland thought that their neighbors would try and kill them.

Look at the Sudan, look at Kosovo, look at Rwanda. People are capable of doing the most inhumane things and it is not completely paranoid nor far fetched to be concerned about how others refer to you and view you.

I'm starting to think you guys are afraid. And that's upsetting to me, because the last thing you have to feel about us is fear. What do you have to fear about Christianity, especially in a society of religious liberty?

Look, I don't fear you or any other Christian. But I stay aware of what happens around me. I pay attention to how people speak about me. You said that political Jews make us look bad. That is the kind of categorization that causes problems.

I don't really believe that America is going to be the scene of pogroms, but on the other hand things still hand.

Buford Furrow shot people at the Jewish community center I went to as a kid. He may be a minority, but there are others who think like him and part of my job is to try and get people to open their minds up and consider what they are saying and how their words impact thoughts and ideas about people.

I don't know what makes you think that I would stoop so low as to equate you as in league with Satan. Is your opinion of Christians that low? That's even sadder than fearing us.

DJ,

I have been told twice by people who were trying to witness to me that Satan was preventing me from hearing their words.

I don't think that they are representative of everyone, but I am not the only person that has had this experience.

Where do I think a Jew will go when he/she dies? You've pretty much nailed it. Jesus said that the only way to God was he himself, and that means--for the Christian--any other way to Heaven is fundamentally flawed and in error. Are we to be demonized for that belief? Are we to be demonized for sharing that belief with others? Common sense and religious liberty say no, yet that's exactly what's happening here. Judaism makes similar claims of exclusivity, yet I don't see anyone getting upset about "thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Here is the deal. Judaism does not make the same claim of exclusivity. Follow the Noachide laws and you can go to heaven. Be a good person and good things will come.

Your position doesn't allow for that. You can be an amazing person. You could dedicate your life to working with the poor and indigent. You could be a teacher or doctor and do nothing but help people. Yet according to your beliefs all of this is for naught because if we do not agree then we are going to be punished eternally.

It is arrogant and it is offensive. I understand that you don't like hearing that, but....


Continued attacks on my character and that of Christians in general simply for adhering to their beliefs is a poor way to make your point,


I don't know what attacks on your character you are talking about, but I am not going to accept the argument about you trying to adhere to your beliefs. Again this is a straw man argument that suggests following your beliefs absolves you of all wrongdoing.

I don't buy into it.

Stephen Newell said...

So, your explicit statement that Mohler is a fool, implicit statements of racism on my part, charges of intolerance and hatred by you and commenters on this page, and veiled aspersions as to my intentions and character are not attacks on character? Incredible.

You consistently decline to debate points, saying they are invalid arguments or irrelevant arguments, cast shadows on those who disagree with you, and posit emotional reactions against perceived enemies. And you wonder why someone like Mohler says you're inconsistent and mistaken. No, I take that back, you don't seem to wonder, you get offended and claim intolerance.

I hate to say this, but I am starting to think you are just as intolerant , disrespectful, and offensive as you are accusing us.

Anne said...

That's it. My kids are going to day school. I don't care if I do have t sell a kidney to afford it.

Jack's Shack said...

I hate to say this, but I am starting to think you are just as intolerant , disrespectful, and offensive as you are accusing us.

I am intolerant of evangelists who use religious terror and subterfuge to try and convert others.

I am not hiding anything.

To all who read this. If you take issue with anything I have said I encourage you to say so here.

dorothy rothschild said...

Say friend, have you heard the Good News? The Good News about the Flying Spaghetti Monster: http://www.venganza.org/

The Flying Spaghetti Monster's knocking at the door of your heart, Jack. Won't you let him in?

Ever' head bowed, ever' eye closed. Just as I am...

Stacey said...

Your problem, deaf jedi, is that you are blind. You are arguing and denying actions that are lauded and freely admitted within the SBC.