Freedom of Religion (for those who agree with him)

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads as follows,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Apparently according to Kvetcher when the amendment says “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” it meant only the stuff that he finds sensible.  DK, despite the fact that you find chalov yisroel products “inferior” and have “inflated costs” (which there is substantial proof to back up that claim), it does not mean that people should be allowed to make that part of their religious observance.

He claims that it is

a terrible thing for the U.S. government to be subsidizing these idle haredim who are so “pious” they can’t trust gentile farmers to be delivering cows milk.

but then in the same breath claims that

Maybe the Agudath Israel should teach its people the value of work, and stop “educating” the government on how to treat their degenerate constituency with ever-greater coddling and “sensitivity.”

If these people are not trusting non-Jews for their milk then it must be Jews making the milk.  Is that not good enough work for you?  I see, they should spend their days in front of a computer insulting people who merely express their religion differently then him, because that is good honest American work.

Moreover, just because they have different views in this case it makes them degenerates? Excuse me?  How dare you call them that merely because they believe something you don’t.  Its not like they didn’t go about this the right way.  Do you have any proof that they did something illegal or inappropriate to get the government to agree to this prevision for chalav yisroel?

This is a dangerous line to cross people.  At what point do we draw the line because we find something silly or too stringent?  Soon those “silly Jews” with their “silly specific ways of killing cows” or their “silly rules of kosher”.  While DK may be ok with this i would say all orthodox Jews (not just the silly ones with the hats) would have a problem with this.

Yet again I am forced to ask.  Merely because they want to do something different religiously then DK , and ask for governmental allowance the same as anyone else with a different religious belief, that gives them a “dark heart”?  Taking it a little far are we?  But thats our good friend David Kelsey, always on the forefront of hating other Jews.

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I Feel So Stupid

I have always been told that Orthodox Judaism is the sect of Judaism that refuses to allow people with different beliefs have their own say.  I have been told time and again by SJ and his whole group of friends that other movements allow opposition and treat dissension with respect.  Even OTD has this viewpoint about orthodoxy.  Well, since Conservative Judaism is so open and willing to hear other opinions I was shocked to read the following in the bible criticism section of Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary published by The Rabbinical Assembly of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism,

Many of us naively assume that the Torah that we use today is an exact copy of one original text, but there are many versions of the text of the Torah.

It goes on to talk about different version of the translations of the Torah, not the original hebrew version mind you.  The argument made in this section is that since there are different translations it can be the same book.  Huh?  There are different translations of Beowulf, Don Quixote and various other ancient documents but no one doubts their accuracy to the original text. Whatever.  Moving on.

Beyond that I feel so stupid! I have been so naive!  It’s so nice of the Conservative movement to point this out.  Never-mind the fact that a bible sitting in the pews of a Synagogue has a section with bible critism, I am all for talking about the issues people have but to have a whole section in the book itself? Just plain silly.  The constitutions people carry around don’t have a section ripping the founding fathers for letting slavery stay or having gun ownership as a right, nor is the standard Shakespeare sold with criticisms of his work.  Those are sold in special volumes unto themselves, NOT in the standard print edition.

What really annoys me is that it doesn’t say “some believe” or even “there are some who think that” the Torah is the same.  But rather it is naive to believe otherwise!  How dare I, based on an unbroken chain since the giving of the Torah, KNOW that the Torah is virtually the same document (there is some issue with some LETTERS, just letters, not words, and certainly not content).

This is typical of people who are not as religious as others.  They scream for the rooftops “how dare you try and force me to believe what your believe!? Its my right to believe what I want!“, but then when I believe something different? I’m naive or stupid or any number of insults.

Its very common…”You can believe whatever you want, as long as it’s what I believe.”

UPDATE: It seems that I was mistaken over DK on this, so I have removed his name above.  See, unlike some other bloggers (SJ) I am willing to admit when I may have made a mistaken.

RE: Two Mosholim Part One

A blogger (who has changed his name over and over again because he keeps changing his mind about how he feels about Observant Judaism) recently wrote a post that offers two examples and asks what we (the reader) would do.  Disclaimer: the examples are obviously written in such a way to beg a specific answer.  When doing so he distorts things, makes things into facts that are theories, and ignores things that have been proved, as I will show.  Lets just do the first one today:

Your friend tells you that a super natural being exists. You check up on that, and it turns out nobody has ever seen this being, or has any good evidence that the being exists. The whole thing seems to be entirely fantasy.

Obviously I (in this example) haven’t done a good job checking up on it.  Not only is there a document that is attested to be true at the time by over 2 million people, but this book has an unbroken chain since that time with little to no questioning of differences in the existing text since (besides additions).  It is little to no different from when we are told there was a civil war, or a holy roman empire or even a holocaust…eye witness testimony.  Somehow the Torah is no longer an eyewitness testimony! If we find a Native American document from the exact same time talking about an event no one will question that accuracy of it.

THAT answer is just for starters…but lets more on

When you tell your friend this, he has a conniption fit, and tells you that nobody has ever proven that this being does not exist either.

That is an argument made by people who don’t really believe in G-d and merely want to believe in G-d.  No rational G-d fearing Jew who is worth his weight in gold actually uses that argument.

You think your friend is nuts. But then your friend tell you that not only does this being exist, but it wrote a book, and he shows you the book. You look at the book, and it looks like a typical collection of far fetched miracle tales, and out of date laws and moral values, very similar to many other ancient books.

Except for a great number of distinctions. 1) This is the ONLY book that claims that G-d appeared to more than 1 person at a time, certainly the only one that claims a revelation to 2 million people.  2) I love how liberals all believe that moral values can be out of date.  If they are moral values they should be a constant 3) This “typical collection of far fetched miracles” is only typical because all the other major western religions based their stories off of ours.  Its not typical if everyone stole our version!

Certainly there’s nothing about the book which would make you think a super natural being wrote it.

This is a HUGE fight to be had but let me take a stab at one example.  According to World Wildlife Fund report mentioned in Discovery magazine more than 1,068 new species have been discovered since 1997.  Imagine how many have been discovered since the giving of the Torah over 2,500 years ago.  Especially since at that time we had not discovered 98% of the world including entire continents.

In the Torah it specifically lists by name all the animals that have split hooves but don’t chew their cud, and chew their cud but don’t have split hooves.  BY NAME.  If you are a human and are writing a book you aren’t stupid enough to mention then by name! You give the rule and move on! Don’t be stupid enough, especially with 98% of the world undiscovered, to give specific names!  And yet, since the giving of the Torah not one, NOT ONE animal has been discovered beyond the list given in the Torah that has one and not the other. That is way beyond coincidence or good luck.  That’s divine.

In fact the book itself doesn’t even claim that.

Wrong.  Just flat out wrong.  Over and over it says “the rules that I have given you” the book that “I wrote”.  Anyone you speak to who knows anything will tell you that it isn’t talking about Moshe (especially when it says this book that i gave to Moses.)  Or maybe he had multiple personalities.

Anyways, you take the book to your local university for fact checking and it turns out half the book is completely impossible and much of it is plain wrong.

I recall when people say killing 6 million people is impossible.  I remember that West Point doesn’t study any of the Israeli military victories in their military history class because its impossible to win those wars.  I could go on but I wont.  The very idea behind a miracle is that it’s impossible.  And just plain wrong?  I don’t see any sources for this..try listing one and we can go from there.

Also, linguistic scholars show you that the book was written in different dialects corresponding to different time periods, and they also point out numerous contradictions, omissions, and obvious signs of tampering.

If you are talking about Tanach then yeah of course they were written at different times! It says that!  Omissions? All of a sudden there is a missing book? Like some kind of Oral Torah that would explain the omissions?  Again we agree.  Obvious signs of tampering? See above while I wait for a source that says there is tampering because there is no one I ever heard who says that, even the people who doubt the Torah

You tell this to your friend but he absolutely insists that a super natural being wrote almost every word of it, and anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t know what they are talking about. You think your friend is really nuts. Then he tells you that you must adhere to all the laws in the book, including some very strange ones, and if you don’t, the super natural being will punish you in some way. What do you do?

Well if someone told this to me, i would argue the same way I have, and then he would come up with some made up excuse like “that’s not good enough” and walk away.  Additionally i never claim anyone who believes otherwise “doesn’t know what they are talking about”.  I merely disagree with them.  Can’t you live with someone else disagreeing with you?

What do I do? Look at the facts and realize that the Torah is true and anyone who has done the research would realize it too.  But if he wants to live in state of denial? It’s his life.

No One is Forcing You

Am I the only person who has read the constitution?  I honestly feel like it some days, like today.  A Death in the Ballroom put out a call to all Atheists to take action against the US currency.  The problem that they have is with the words “In G-d We Trust” on the back of the money.  Didn’t notice it? Well, that’s understandable since no one is forced to read the money when they use it, or believe what it says.

The problem with the rallying of Atheists against the words on the back of the money is the misreading of the constitution.  There is nothing in the constitution that forbids the use of G-d in our government.  There is nothing that forbids people’s ability to have religious views.

However, the first amendment that requires freedom of religion for all people, is specifically about an established government religion.  In other words: the government can’t require you to be Jewish, Christian, or believe in any G-d.

This is the same problem I have with forbidding public school prayer.  No one is forcing anyone to pray.  It’s up to the individual whether they want to pray or not.  By forbidding it in school that is a violation of the first amendment because it is preventing someone free exercise of their personal religion.

By having the word “G-d” on the back of money it doesn’t require anyone to believe in the words.  By the same token I should rally against FDR being on the quarter since I think he was a terrible president.  By having FDR on the quarter they government is forcing me to believe that he was a good president (which he clearly wasn’t).

How is this any different Atheists?  Really…explain this to me!