Why do theists come to this forum?
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02-04-2016, 03:56 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(01-04-2016 11:34 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 11:11 AM)morondog Wrote:  So... is kosher and all that stuff necessary too? What *is* necessary in order to be Jewish?

All that's necessary to be Jewish is to be born to a mother who is Jewish or to convert to Judaism. We don't have the luxury of denying affiliation with Jews that we disagree with. We're stuck with Bernie Madoff and David Berkovitz. They're True Jews™ whether we like it or not.

I think it's good because it forces us to address the issues in our community instead of just pretending that the bad elements don't count.

I don't follow. I've just converted to Judaism. Poof. There. Done. Now I'm a Jew? Even though I don't believe in God and have no idea what Judaism entails, but since all of it is seemingly optional, I'm now Jewish?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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02-04-2016, 04:02 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 03:56 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 11:34 AM)Aliza Wrote:  All that's necessary to be Jewish is to be born to a mother who is Jewish or to convert to Judaism. We don't have the luxury of denying affiliation with Jews that we disagree with. We're stuck with Bernie Madoff and David Berkovitz. They're True Jews™ whether we like it or not.

I think it's good because it forces us to address the issues in our community instead of just pretending that the bad elements don't count.

I don't follow. I've just converted to Judaism. Poof. There. Done. Now I'm a Jew? Even though I don't believe in God and have no idea what Judaism entails, but since all of it is seemingly optional, I'm now Jewish?

Don't you know? Options are optional.




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02-04-2016, 05:38 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 05:42 AM by julep.)
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(01-04-2016 07:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 07:14 PM)julep Wrote:  I think if I were an atheist born to a Jewish mother, I would have a big, big problem with people insisting on defining me as part of their group or community, no matter of my own preferences, no matter what steps I had taken to find a different community to which I wanted to belong, just because of my birth mother. That comes off as very off-putting and disrespectful towards the individual.

I can understand that. I'd be annoyed if someone insisted that I was a Mormon just because they baptized me by proxy. I totally understand the annoyance.

Maybe a good way to explain it is like citizenship. You don't choose where you're born, but if you're born in America, you're American whether you like it or not. Even if you denounce your citizenship and move to China, some people are still going to view you as being American.

Some people in both the US and China would view you as American, and some people would not. The folks who would insist on calling you an American, regardless, would seem to be trying to negate/belittle what had been an important decision. You seem to find it more akin to affirming that a serial killer is still a human being (I think), but I am not sure that the effect of this kind of a practice is as benign. There seem to be strong elements of coercion as well as solidarity, which is what troubles me.

Are people who convert to Judaism for a while and then convert to something else also considered irrevocably Jewish? Say my mother (a couple of cultural identifiers: Norwegian immigrant parents, raised Lutheran Christian) converts to Judaism for a year or two in her twenties, then meets my father, renounces Judaism, becomes Baptist, has me for a child…either of us Jewish?
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02-04-2016, 06:06 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 06:30 AM by carol.)
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(01-04-2016 07:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 07:14 PM)julep Wrote:  I think if I were an atheist born to a Jewish mother, I would have a big, big problem with people insisting on defining me as part of their group or community, no matter of my own preferences, no matter what steps I had taken to find a different community to which I wanted to belong, just because of my birth mother. That comes off as very off-putting and disrespectful towards the individual.

I can understand that. I'd be annoyed if someone insisted that I was a Mormon just because they baptized me by proxy. I totally understand the annoyance.

Maybe a good way to explain it is like citizenship. You don't choose where you're born, but if you're born in America, you're American whether you like it or not. Even if you denounce your citizenship and move to China, some people are still going to view you as being American.

It has always pissed me off that people have to have a Jewish mother, not a Jewish father. I am an atheist, and so are some of my friends and my family members. I am a child of a completely Ashkenazi Holocaust survivor. The friends and family members that are atheists who have a Jewish mother are considered to be Jewish. The friends and family members who are like I am, who have a Jewish father are not considered Jews, even though our families died in just the same ways, even though we have the same Ashkenazi culture, and even though we all have the same relatives and genomes. This has made some of my family Jewish, and some of my family not... It just seems so unkind. All mischlingers- ( half-Jews by Nazi standards) were killed regardless. Christians rejected them as Jews, regardless, but the Jewish people would not accept them. I was told by Christians that I was Jewish, however.

Being atheist did not seem like an issue to the rabbis I talked to...the issue was that my mother was not Jewish. It even did not matter to the rabbi that our family had been forced to convert to Christianity, many Jewish families did to save their lives. The only thing that mattered to him was that my mother was not Jewish..... Go figure.Big Grin I would have to convert to a religion that had already caused my family members to be killed, that my grandparents and relatives and father already are but I was not good enough to be...due to the sex of a parent...a stupid and cruel determination. Religion is filled with such nonsense.

The biology of mind bridges the sciences - concerned with the natural world - and the humanities - concerned with the meaning of human experience. Eric Kandel
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02-04-2016, 06:16 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(31-03-2016 01:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  If you're born Jewish, the Jewish people consider you to be Jewish for life. If you convert to Judaism, and then later return to secularism, then you're still Jewish for life.

emphasis added

There is confusion because Jewish is an ethnic identity as well as a religion. It makes sense to me to say that somebody like David Silverman is Jewish when talking about his cultural heritage. When the context isn't clear then it is disingenuous to simply say he is Jewish and let the equivocation imply something that is not true.

In the case where somebody converted to Judaism and then later recanted, as in the bolded part above, it is just pure arrogance to still count them as Jewish.

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02-04-2016, 06:24 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 06:06 AM)carol Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 07:57 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I can understand that. I'd be annoyed if someone insisted that I was a Mormon just because they baptized me by proxy. I totally understand the annoyance.

Maybe a good way to explain it is like citizenship. You don't choose where you're born, but if you're born in America, you're American whether you like it or not. Even if you denounce your citizenship and move to China, some people are still going to view you as being American.

It has always pissed me off that people have to have a Jewish mother, not a Jewish father. I am an atheist, and so are some of my friends. I am a child of a completely Ashkenazi Holocaust survivor. The friends that are atheists who have a Jewish mother are Jewish. The friends who are like I am, who have a Jewish father are not considered Jews, even though our families died in just the same ways, even though we have the same Ashkenazi culture, and even though we all have the same relatives and genomes. It just seems so unkind. All mischlingers- ( half-Jews by Nazi standards) were killed regardless. Christians rejected them as Jews, regardless, but the Jewish people would not accept them. I was told by Christians that I was Jewish, however.

Being atheist did not seem like an issue to the rabbis I talked to...the issue was that my mother was not Jewish. It even did not matter to the rabbi that our family had been forced to convert to Christianity, many Jewish families did to save their lives. The only thing that mattered to him was that my mother was not Jewish..... Go figure.Big Grin I would have to convert to a religion that had already caused my family members to be killed, but I was not good enough to be...due to the sex of a parent...a stupid and cruel determination. Religion is filled with such nonsense.

If you are an atheist, then why do you care? I don't understand. If I found out today that I was considered jewish due to one of my ancestors down the line I would be pissed off. It is not that I hate jews, it is that I hate religion and what it does to people. I am an atheist and proud to be one. I am not Lutheran which is the branch of Christianity I was baptized against my will into. It was indeed against my will, because it was done to me when I was too little to comprehend more than a couple words or even be able to speak any words. If I found out I was on some kind of list of religious people, I would start with sending certified letters to have myself removed. If that failed, I would bring a lawsuit against whomever I had to in order to have myself removed.
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02-04-2016, 06:35 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 06:39 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 06:16 AM)unfogged Wrote:  In the case where somebody converted to Judaism and then later recanted, as in the bolded part above, it is just pure arrogance to still count them as Jewish.


In the same vein, you shouldn't count the victims of the Holocaust as Mormons, even if the Church of Mormon has spent decades baptizing the dead into their church. Yes, they really did get a hold of partial records of the Nazi's 'final solution' and had been using them to this end.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/03/us/jew....html?_r=0

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02-04-2016, 06:36 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 06:16 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(31-03-2016 01:54 PM)Aliza Wrote:  If you're born Jewish, the Jewish people consider you to be Jewish for life. If you convert to Judaism, and then later return to secularism, then you're still Jewish for life.

emphasis added

There is confusion because Jewish is an ethnic identity as well as a religion. It makes sense to me to say that somebody like David Silverman is Jewish when talking about his cultural heritage. When the context isn't clear then it is disingenuous to simply say he is Jewish and let the equivocation imply something that is not true.

In the case where somebody converted to Judaism and then later recanted, as in the bolded part above, it is just pure arrogance to still count them as Jewish.

The only reason the religions keep lists of members is to make themselves seem like a larger voting block, so they can get what they want out of government.
Also, jew is not an ethnic indentity. If you are jewish, you are white just like me. If I could decide tomorrow to do what I need to join that religion, then it is not a race of people. Just like to hate islam for what it does is not racism. I could join islam too if I so chose to. If I ever seriously talk about joining any religion, especially islam someone please put a bullet in my head. I am fine with being dragged off to church by my wife, but if I ever decide to join it will be that they succeeded in brainwashing me. I doubt it will happen though. After all, if god exists he is lazy as can be. I know exactly what would convince me. If god existed, it would be possible to do exactly what is needed to get me to believe.
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02-04-2016, 06:37 AM
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 06:24 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:06 AM)carol Wrote:  It has always pissed me off that people have to have a Jewish mother, not a Jewish father. I am an atheist, and so are some of my friends. I am a child of a completely Ashkenazi Holocaust survivor. The friends that are atheists who have a Jewish mother are Jewish. The friends who are like I am, who have a Jewish father are not considered Jews, even though our families died in just the same ways, even though we have the same Ashkenazi culture, and even though we all have the same relatives and genomes. It just seems so unkind. All mischlingers- ( half-Jews by Nazi standards) were killed regardless. Christians rejected them as Jews, regardless, but the Jewish people would not accept them. I was told by Christians that I was Jewish, however.

Being atheist did not seem like an issue to the rabbis I talked to...the issue was that my mother was not Jewish. It even did not matter to the rabbi that our family had been forced to convert to Christianity, many Jewish families did to save their lives. The only thing that mattered to him was that my mother was not Jewish..... Go figure.Big Grin I would have to convert to a religion that had already caused my family members to be killed, but I was not good enough to be...due to the sex of a parent...a stupid and cruel determination. Religion is filled with such nonsense.

If you are an atheist, then why do you care? I don't understand. If I found out today that I was considered jewish due to one of my ancestors down the line I would be pissed off. It is not that I hate jews, it is that I hate religion and what it does to people. I am an atheist and proud to be one. I am not Lutheran which is the branch of Christianity I was baptized against my will into. It was indeed against my will, because it was done to me when I was too little to comprehend more than a couple words or even be able to speak any words. If I found out I was on some kind of list of religious people, I would start with sending certified letters to have myself removed. If that failed, I would bring a lawsuit against whomever I had to in order to have myself removed.

There is no list. No records. No secret registeries. If you have a qualifying Jewish ancestor, and you found out that you were Jewish, no one would know unless you told them. If you told them, they won't tell anyone else.

No one is ferreting Jews out of the woodwork. No one is reaching out to lost Jews. No one is even looking.
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02-04-2016, 06:48 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 07:20 AM by carol.)
RE: Why do theists come to this forum?
(02-04-2016 06:24 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 06:06 AM)carol Wrote:  It has always pissed me off that people have to have a Jewish mother, not a Jewish father. I am an atheist, and so are some of my friends. I am a child of a completely Ashkenazi Holocaust survivor. The friends that are atheists who have a Jewish mother are Jewish. The friends who are like I am, who have a Jewish father are not considered Jews, even though our families died in just the same ways, even though we have the same Ashkenazi culture, and even though we all have the same relatives and genomes. It just seems so unkind. All mischlingers- ( half-Jews by Nazi standards) were killed regardless. Christians rejected them as Jews, regardless, but the Jewish people would not accept them. I was told by Christians that I was Jewish, however.

Being atheist did not seem like an issue to the rabbis I talked to...the issue was that my mother was not Jewish. It even did not matter to the rabbi that our family had been forced to convert to Christianity, many Jewish families did to save their lives. The only thing that mattered to him was that my mother was not Jewish..... Go figure.Big Grin I would have to convert to a religion that had already caused my family members to be killed, but I was not good enough to be...due to the sex of a parent...a stupid and cruel determination. Religion is filled with such nonsense.

If you are an atheist, then why do you care? I don't understand. If I found out today that I was considered Jewish due to one of my ancestors down the line I would be pissed off. It is not that I hate jews, it is that I hate religion and what it does to people. I am an atheist and proud to be one. I am not Lutheran which is the branch of Christianity I was baptized against my will into. It was indeed against my will, because it was done to me when I was too little to comprehend more than a couple words or even be able to speak any words. If I found out I was on some kind of list of religious people, I would start with sending certified letters to have myself removed. If that failed, I would bring a lawsuit against whomever I had to in order to have myself removed.

The Ashkenazi culture is close-knit- and the difference is having many relatives, neighbors, and friends who would help with life and be our friends too. My relatives who are Jewish had help with getting jobs, babysitting, taking their kids places, just an entire community of people who were willing to help them. I would have had to convert- even though I am related to those people as well.
Think of it this way- my cousin had most of her college tuition paid for through extended family members, an apartment secured, jobs helped with, moving helped with, people offering support and help all of the time while I did not have that unless I converted, even though I was related to them too. My own grandparents who seemed to love me wouldn't visit me because my mother was not Jewish, and spent their time with the grandchildren who were. They seemed to love me, but they rejected my mother. The distant relatives did not even acknowledge me at all...I did not exist as a family member because I did not convert- some of them have never even met me.
That is a lot of family rejection due to religion. The same thing happened by Christian relatives- my grandmother absolutely hated Jewish people. I am an atheist- I do not care about religion, but I do care about family. I have a very small extended family because most of them do not acknowledge members who are of a different religion. Even though my extended family was not religious, they always married other Ashkenazis. My father did not, so he was punished , and so were we.

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