Hateful Double Standard

It happens once in a while.  DK is absolutely right in his latest post.  The Jewish Journal discusses

On a Los Angeles FM radio talk show, the following aired recently:

A caller identifying himself as Mohammed said, “I believe that so-called Israel should be annihilated totally, wiped off the map … I hope that Iran has the gall to nuke and exterminate them so they go back to Europe.

“And as long as there is one Palestinian man, woman or child, there will be no peace in Palestine … as far as I’m concerned, so-called Israel should be exterminated from the face of the earth. That’s my personal opinion. They have no right to exist….”

Augustin Cebada, the show’s host, did not interrupt or argue. He let Mohammed finish, then said, “OK, maybe those are your opinions, and there’s probably a lot of people out there who agree with you. We have free speech in this country….”

That’s a nice idea, however the host does not allow this “free speech” to everyone

Cebada later took a call from Dan, who objected to what he’d just heard: “When a caller calls with that kind of hatred, that kind of Nazi rhetoric, that Israel should be wiped off the map, that’s what fuels the fire, and you people did not respond by saying, ‘This is the kind of hatred we don’t need.’ And that’s what’s fueling the hatred, isn’t it?”

This time, Cebada cut the caller off, saying: “There’s a lot of hatred in your voice, Dan, in your tone. This program offers a forum so people can express what they’re feeling….”

While DK’s point is more focused on the Hispanics now getting into Islam, but personally I am sick and tired of the double standard in this country.  If the same action is committed by a Jew and a Muslum the Jew is barbaric but the Muslum is “expressing himself” or “merely different” and we must be tolerant of their views.

This is not limited to the Jews/Muslim issue.  The biggest double standard right now is Republican/Democrat.  Obama makes a special Olympics joke and people are unhappy but aren’t calling for his head.  If Bush had down the same thing there would be protests in the street.  But of course we accept Obama’s apology because he is our hero right?

Democrats go nuts when Rush Limbaugh said he wants Obama to fail (which isn’t what he said btw, he said he wants his policies to fail),  but when James Carville a major Democratic strategist said that he wanted Bush to fail it doesn’t even make the news.  Nice double standard.

I’m not saying one needs to be Republican or Democrat, Jew or Muslim, but what I am saying is that when we have a standard for one we must have the same standard for everyone else.  Its the true meaning of freedom.

Anything else is just hate.

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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.

A Comment on Commenting

For those of you new to the commenting on “The Cheerer” let me be clear on the policies.

All comments, ESPECIALLY dissenting, ones will be accepted.  Personal attacks are not.  If you attack someone else personally (be it me or a fellow commentor) I reserve the right to remove your comment and put you in moderation

If it is your first time commenting you comment will remain in moderation until I approve it (this helps keep the crazies out).  After you first approved comment you will be free to comment at your leisure until a violation of the rules occurs.  (hear that SJ? I don’t moderate every comment till I can respond, only the first one).

Also, self promotion without adding something to the coversation is not allowed.  So, comments like “Check out my latest post” or “Look at what i said here” will not be allowed unless they are being added to a comment of yours to save space, or if you prefer not to reiterate something you already said.  If you are merely trying to gain readership, try adding to the conversation.

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!

The Single Greatest Problem?

Jewish Atheist has decided that he has pinpointed the greatest problem in Orthodox Jewish communities,

It’s because the communities engage in social shunning of anybody who doesn’t fit in…Orthodox Jews have gotten so terrified of exposing their children to anyone who they deem a bad role model that they just kick out everybody who’s not perfect (by their standards.) And they do it to kids, too. In many right-wing communities, if you talk to girls on a Saturday night, you might as well be a crack dealer. They’ll treat you the same way.

This is the biggest problem?  I can probably think of at least 5 more important problems that need to be dealt with.  But since it has been brought up, I will address it.

First of all, I don’t see lot of shunning that you speak of.  It is far from a rampant problem in the Orthodox community because usually when the parents find out they just cover it up because they are so embarrassed.

Second of all, the shunning and sheltering of their children are two totally issues.  Yes while parents do shelter their kids in order to protect them, its not because they feel they will be shunned, but because they don’t want their kids doing it!

Third of all, lets say that the fact that people leaving Orthodoxy is a major problem and it is based on the fact that they are sheltering their kids, what is JA’s solution?

Let them have beliefs that aren’t 100% Orthodox.

Excuse me? So its not the things that we are protecting them from that are wrong, rather it is us for being mad when the kids misbehave?  So kids in certain communities who have a tendency to do drugs or join gangs they kill people…we should let them do a little bit of it?  Its fine if they aren’t 100% law observant!

Show the kids that there are alternatives in life.

Introduce them to drugs! Show them the awesome effects that crack and violence can have on a community.

I do agree that we cannot shun people who act differently, we cannot take the drastic actions that JA calls for.  In fact, the whole kiruv movement, and really the Torah in general, teaches us that our goal isn’t to shun these people but rather to teach them the right way to act.  Sunning someone doesn’t get them to stop doing it, it merely blocks them access to the people who can convince them to change their lives.

However, to change our lives and permit some actions that are wrong or to even allow for the possiblity that its ok not to keep halacha is not ok.  We cannot compromise our beliefs merely because society disagrees with us.  It is at times like these that we must be extra viligent to protect the Torah way of life.

Feel Free to Disagree (but only if you agree)

A problem that is symptomatic of the anti-religious/frum blogs is the double standard that they impose.  A perfect example of this is a recent post of Off The Derech.  He has recently suspended all comments to his blog.  He says,

Just because you can’t handle an opinion that contradicts what your momma told you when you were four years old (and now you’re forty, mind you), it’s not my problem.

Isn’t the very notion of eliminating comments showing that it is you who “cannot handle an opinion”?  Even Kvetcher allows all types of comments as long as they are constructive (and when they aren’t, such as from the infamous “Fran”, he will moderate them).  But to eliminate comments altogether?  Isn’t that like the afformentioned 4 year old sticking his fingers in his eyes saying “La!La!La!” so he doesn’t hear things that might make him unhappy?

Is it possible the arguments against your postings were getting a little too convincing OTD?

America Should be as Civilized as Europe?

I think it’s somewhat ironic that within the first week of publishing this blog I already agree with DK on something. In his most recent post Kvetcher merely posts an article about attacks on Jews in Paris in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.  Without saying a single word of commentary DK brings up a very important issue.  

Constantly I hear from people how civilized Europe is, how we should have no death penalty like them, how we should have government healthcare like them, and so on and so on.  Yet, while those may or may not be things worth striving for (they aren’t), protecting a country’s citizens from attack is a far more important issue then whether or not the government pays for you to see a doctor.  

A country like France that doesn’t allow religious people of any kind to wear religious garments to public school (kippa, kafia, cross necklace) shouldn’t be telling countries like America that have real freedom that we are “immoral” or “backward”.

Try getting your own extremest populations under control, and start protecting your citizens before trying to tell the rest of us how to live.  Oh, thats right, they are only Jews…they don’t matter.