Patterico's Pontifications

4/11/2011

Politically Correct, Geometrically Ignorant and Other P.C. Insanity

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:14 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Good Allah, what is going on with us?  Just when you thought political correctness couldn’t get any worse, we get this one:

A sophomore at a local private high school thinks an effort to make Easter politically correct is ridiculous.

Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.

“At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that,” Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about “their abstract behavior rules.”

“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay,” Jessica explained. “She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat ‘spring spheres.’ I couldn’t call them Easter eggs.”

Now more than a few people have reacted to the soul-crushing political correctness of it, but let me point out something else: it is geometrically incorrect to call these things…

…spheres.  A sphere is defined, in relevant part, as:

a solid that is bounded by a surface consisting of all points at a given distance from a point constituting its center

Which is a fancy way of saying that it has to be perfectly round.  Which eggs are not.

And seriously, what exactly is the problem with the word “egg?”  I can sort-of understand the annoyance with Easter—that is associated with that forbidden Christ-guy—but who is mad about the word “egg?”

I swear the politically correct types want us to be constantly walking on egg shells spherical husks.

Political correctness is all about not ever offending anyone.  Well bluntly I am offended, not just for bad geometry but by your attempt to remove all offensiveness and color from our culture.  I am offended by your imposed beigeness.

Meanwhile we learn of this latest example of a school usurping parents’ rights:

At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago’s West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.”

Excuse me, but if parents let a student bring junk food to school, how is that your business?  You get to decide what to make children eat, thus vetoing what the parents wish?  Are you going to go home with them at night and make sure they eat their vegetables, too?

There is a certain attitude around these days, most prevalently on the left, that schools should be used to teach children the right beliefs about everything (except faith, naturally), from environmentalism to socialism, to everything.  It’s reason 44,324 why we should have vouchers.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

127 Responses to “Politically Correct, Geometrically Ignorant and Other P.C. Insanity”

  1. That principal reminds me (somehow) of the poor fool of an ed-school graduate who told my father in a parent-teacher conference that “after all, you aren’t an education professional”. My father was, at the time, some twenty years into his career as a Professor of the History of Science and Technology. I didn’t get to see the doubtless CLASSIC scorching he gave her for her empty-headed presumption – I wasn’t there and only heard the rumbles of the aftershocks – but I do know that it involved his marching her down to the principal’s office for her dressing-down, and that she treated me for the rest of that year with the respect one normally accords a live grenade.

    I believe she transferred after that year. I sometimes wonder if she ever recovered.

    *snerk*

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  2. I’m Jewish, and my attitude has changed on this particular issue. I don’t see a problem with referring to Christmas trees, Easter eggs, Christmas cards, Easter outfits, and the like. It’s not “Winter Vacation”, it’s “Christmas Vacation”.

    That said, I still consider it presumptuous for aquaintainces and strangers alike to wish me “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter.”

    aunursa (a2a019)

  3. Yeah, but “Spring Oblate Spheroids” just doesn’t have that ring, yannow?

    Bigfoot (8096f2)

  4. Aaron, you have nailed it. 100% of the point behind political correctness zealots is to have us walking on eggshells. No matter what terms we use in the future, they insist that those terms are wrong, and prove some point about who we are, and thus we should concede something to them. Over and over again, we need to apologize, repair the damage, raise the awareness, etc etc.

    It’s good material for jokes now that we’ve several generations into this process, and life takes on a South Park quality, but it also feels more like an Orwell novel that was too unrealistic to go into print.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  5. I still consider it presumptuous for acquaintances and strangers alike to wish me “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter.”

    Yes, it’s presumptuous, but in the most limited respect. Now, I realize most Jews don’t have a Christmas tree, but so what?

    I still wish you would have a Merry Christmas. It turns out you won’t, and that’s certainly your right, but let’s accept the wish as intended.

    The word presumptuous strikes me as perfect, though. that’s exactly what I’m doing when I wish strangers to share something like that.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  6. Dustin,

    While I agree with you on this, may I suggest that you explore the writings of H.L. Mencken? Especially the Prejudices, but pretty much anything is worth a look. Reading him reminds me that preachy flannel-mothed nitwits are hardly anything new, that “uplift” is an old OLD racket, and that provided honest people are prepared to tell the swine off, all is not lost.

    Mencken and Juvenal are both good for my moral that way.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  7. what if she said okey dokey we can call them spring spheres and right after she gave them out she said hah tricked you guys those are easter eggs hahahahahaha!!

    Just as a thought experiment.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  8. It’s reason 44,324 why we should have vouchers.

    I prefer labor camps in North Dakota for the left.

    Torquemada (fccc6f)

  9. spring spheres

    I know that the story quotes her as saying that, but I remain skeptical it happened like Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show it did. I look forward to hearing a response from the school “that she would prefer remain nameless” after the predictable outrageous outrage.

    Of course, maybe it did, but it feels “too good to check” to me.

    carlitos (00428f)

  10. Are teachers and administrators also barred from bringing lunch from home to school? If not, what is the justification for treating parents of students differently than other adults who happen to work in the school?

    JohnG (8d1b92)

  11. Wow, that reads really awkward. “told the show that it did?” “…how it did?”

    carlitos (00428f)

  12. Can you ban Carlitos because he is offending my sensibilities by wearing red

    /I’am kidding

    DohBiden (984d23)

  13. KIRO Radio … KIRO TV is a sneaker pimps song what my whole life I never understood but it’s a good song

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  14. I prefer labor camps in North Dakota for the left.

    Frankly Torquemada, we’d prefer not. Keep you own lefties.

    DakFarmer (fe5f06)

  15. Regarding the second story, I think the school just wants the extra income.

    Newtons.Bit (b78b37)

  16. And seriously, what exactly is the problem with the word “egg?”

    It’s insensitive to vegans.

    The items should obviously have been called “vernal ovoids”.

    malclave (1db6c5)

  17. There is a certain attitude around these days, most prevalently on the left, that schools should be used to teach children the right beliefs about everything (except faith, naturally), from environmentalism to socialism, to everything.

    Yes, but historically schools have been used to teach children the right beliefs about everything. The only difference is that the content of those beliefs have changed. Back in the first decades of the 20th century, schools, especially urban public schools, were the primary tools of immigrant assimilation. In their way, they still are.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  18. Sudden thought: what are the changes the local school district will end up with vernal ovoid on its face?

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  19. “I think the school just wants the extra income”

    The school and the lunch workers union. And how is it a good thing to make them eat at school, when they won’t eat what’s offered. You can lead a horse to water and etc. The foolishness never ceases.

    PatAZ (d09837)

  20. And when we talk of people urging others towards a course of action, should we say they are vernally ovoiding them?

    (Don’t worry, I’ll quite now while I’m behind.)

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  21. Am I lucky or what, local supermarket was selling a dozen extra large spheres, for a buck 29, this past weekend.

    JP (c4988c)

  22. As to the Chicago lunch Nazi’s, one young man was terribly disappointed, as his mom packed his favorite dessert, Banana’s Flambe..

    JP (c4988c)

  23. I still consider it presumptuous for acquaintances and strangers alike to wish me “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter.”

    How odd ! I guess you don’t look Jewish enough for them to tell and avoid annoying you.

    They used to have these yellow star things so people could tell.

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  24. JP, love that photo. I can actually smell it.

    Is that your blog?

    Dustin (c16eca)

  25. Our middle school food is absolutely disgusting, if it was ever mandated that the students had to eat it, there would be a revolt…I can’t believe this will be allowed to stand at this Chicago school…

    Ellen (a13e9f)

  26. Comment by Mike K — 4/11/2011 @ 5:45 pm

    (Speaking from experience)
    They do it even when you’re wearing a yarmulke with Hebrew writing on it….

    The only possible response is to smile and thank them. Speculation on their schmedrik quotient must remain strictly internal, and is often unwarranted. They mean well, they simply have never apparently thought to stop and wonder if perhaps some people would prefer not to be wished Merry Christmas and Happy Easter.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  27. There is a certain attitude around these days, most prevalently on the left, that schools should be used to teach children the right beliefs about everything (except faith, naturally), from environmentalism to socialism, to everything. It’s reason 44,324 why we should have vouchers.

    Look, the fact of the matter is, if parents hadn’t been asleep on the job (too busy, too disinterested, too self-consumed) and had been resisting these strong-arming attempts by the government all along, the government today would never be so freely able to bypass parental authority in children’s lives and make outrageous decisions like prohibiting parents from sending a homemade lunch to school with their child.

    Simply put, the more parents abdicate their responsibilities to an entity more than willing to take over the job, the more ground parents will lose. It’s been happening incrementally for decades and will continue because most parents are just glad they don’t have to mess with it.

    Dana (9f3823)

  28. How odd ! I guess you don’t look Jewish enough for them to tell and avoid annoying you. They used to have these yellow star things so people could tell.
    Comment by Mike K — 4/11/2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Yes, you would think that my Star of David necklace would give them a clue.

    Then again, I’m also annoyed by those people (mostly on Facebook) who assume that all of their friends and acquaintances share their personal political perspectives. If you lived in the Bay Area, you would understand.

    aunursa (a2a019)

  29. Actually, Dana, your comment reminded me of the title of a horrifying book: “It Takes a Village.”

    Because what it takes to raise children, with all due respect to HRC, is parents who do their jobs. None of us are perfect, but we can try to do right by our children. And government doesn’t know best.

    The Left is so schizoid on this. They don’t think the government knows best when it is run by Republicans, after all. It’s “Animal Farm,” over and over again.

    Simon Jester (12f0da)

  30. Anursa, I guess I don’t have your world view. When my Jewish friends talk about Passover and other religious holidays in their own faith, I am not offended. Nor am I offended when someone assumes I am Jewish.

    When I wish someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter or whatever, I am not proselytizing. But your mileage may vary. I’m sorry that someone wishing you well, in the context of their own faith, is mildly insulting.

    On the other hand, I used to be offended when Catholics would not share Communion with non-Catholics. Then I realized that that was their belief system, and there was no point in arguing theology and history with them. I just wish them well.

    Simon Jester (12f0da)

  31. Dustin, yep that’s moi. lol.

    JP (c4988c)

  32. I’m also annoyed by those people (mostly on Facebook) who assume that all of their friends and acquaintances share their personal political perspectives.

    Heh. Yes, I can see why you’d compare this to the Merry Christmas wishes (I’m not being sarcastic).

    Life’s full of people trying to be social and friendly, and it sure is odd many times, if you’re not in sync. Most of the time people cheer something political, they mean well, just as they do when they hope their Jewish friends enjoy Christmas or that new pork chop club sandwich (my Jewish friend orders this all the time to be ironic).

    Dustin (c16eca)

  33. JP, that’s a great blog. You’re going to make me fatter and more sure of my politics.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  34. ‘That said, I still consider it presumptuous for aquaintainces and strangers alike to wish me “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter.”’

    I’m lucky. I consider myself to be both a Jew and a Christian, so I don’t get offended by any holiday greeting from a Jew or Christian.

    For that matter, I wouldn’t get offended if Muslims wish me a happy Ramadan either. I’d just be grateful that they didn’t want to go splodey-dope on me for being an infidel.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  35. JP, that’s a great blog. You’re going to make me fatter and more sure of my politics

    Umm, thank you. OH and I’m sure Michelle would abhor, both of those..BUT she does agree with the “lunch Nazi’s”.

    JP (c4988c)

  36. ‘“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay,” Jessica explained. “She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat ‘spring spheres.’ I couldn’t call them Easter eggs.”’

    I can understand that. If they don’t do that, then some atheist is going to file a lawsuit. It’s happened about a million times before, and I suspect that the desire to steer clear of using the word “Easter” is primarily motivated by a simple desire to avoid trouble.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  37. Simon Jester,

    I’m not offended when my Christian friends talk about Christmas or Easter or Jesus with me. I’m not offended when a Christian witnesses to me. I’m not offended when someone includes pork or shellfish in a potluck dish for work. I’m not offended by Christmas parties. I’m not offended by Christianity per se.

    When I wish someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter or whatever, I am not proselytizing.

    No, of course not. But you are making an assumption.

    Nor am I offended when someone assumes I am Jewish.

    Do you live in an area where a majority of residents are Jews?

    aunursa (a2a019)

  38. Dave Surls: How would you feel about an occasion that celebrates Christians who have converted to Judaism?

    aunursa (a2a019)

  39. Spring spheres, they really ‘jumped the Octo shark’
    with that one, words fail to capture the pure cosmic idiocy, of that phrase,

    narciso (8a8b93)

  40. hmmmm- no one was outraged at the sugar she was going to feed those unsuspecting 3rd graders in those eggs that are not easter eggs?

    nacho475 (9dc93d)

  41. “Do you live in an area where a majority of residents are Jews?”

    I do.

    I live in America. Most people here are either Jewish style Jews or Christian style Jews.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  42. When I wish someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter or whatever, I am not proselytizing. But your mileage may vary. I’m sorry that someone wishing you well, in the context of their own faith, is mildly insulting.

    It’s not insulting, at least for me. It’s just that most of the time these people extend their holiday wishes under the belief (apparently) that everyone celebrates (or should celebrate) the holiday. The idea that some people don’t seems to have never entered their brain (or whatever entity they have in substitution thereof).

    There are some people who give these wishes because they want to share their feelings of joy and goodness with everyone, but demonstrate the knowledge that it’s their holiday and not mine. Those people I have no problem with.

    I have an account on Livejournal, which has people from all over–mostly the US, but there seem to be people on there from all Anglophone countries, and more (Russia has the most, because LJ was bought by a Russian outfit about two years ago.) LJ faithfully observes US holidays (Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, etc.) but not national holidays of other countries. The Canadians (but not the Brits or Aussies) regularly object to this, on the grounds of insensitivity.

    Speaking of Livejournal, the following is completely OT, but might be of interest:
    Last week, Livejournal suffered a sustained DOS attack. The belief is that this attack originated with the powers that be in Russia, with the aim of limiting independent blogging platforms for Russians. (There is of course no way to check on the accuracy of that idea.)

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  43. “Dave Surls: How would you feel about an occasion that celebrates Christians who have converted to Judaism?”

    O.k. by me. Seems kinda pointless, but any excuse for a party works for me.

    As long as you’re not doing something wicked and evil, I’m down for a celebration.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  44. I live in America. Most people here are either Jewish style Jews or Christian style Jews.

    Um, no. The definition of a Jew has remained the same for nearly 3321 years: someone born of a Jewish mother, or who was converted by a legally competent authority. The vast majority of Americans fit neither category. Claiming to be Jewish is no more effective than claiming to be Martian. You may as well say that a billion Chinese are USA citizens because they really really want to be.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  45. Milhouse, Dave doesn’t mean via heritage, but rather that be believes to be a follower of Moses and Elijah’s religion, even if that includes the messiah already having come.

    It’s implied in his comment that he’s not talking about being one of the people chosen from all the nations to be God’s treasured people, but rather probably recognizes a different covenant.

    I think the Jews were chosen for a purpose, and that purpose was served, which rather than diminishing the Jewish, elevates everybody.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  46. Comment by Milhouse — 4/11/2011 @ 6:52 pm
    There is the idea that Christianity is essentially a schismatic Jewish sect.
    And of course the parallel idea that Islam is a schismatic Christian sect. So to Dave’s classification we might want to add “Muslim style Jews”.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  47. Hey, if someone wants to invite me over from Seder, I’m there, along with my appetite.

    You want to celebrate freedom from slavery, I’m your boy. If you’re tossing in a free meal, along with the celbration, then wild horses couldn’t keep me away.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  48. It’s not insulting, at least for me. It’s just that most of the time these people extend their holiday wishes under the belief (apparently) that everyone celebrates (or should celebrate) the holiday. The idea that some people don’t seems to have never entered their brain (or whatever entity they have in substitution thereof).

    Ditto. Some people simply don’t get the whole “different religions” thing. They assume that if you’re religious then of course you believe in Jesus, and your theological differences can’t possibly amount to much more than those that divide the various Protestant churches. Far from being objectionable malice, it’s a kind of innocence that I can’t help but wonder at. There also exist people who completely innocently and honestly think Jews have horns, and ask to see them. Getting offended at this would not only be boorish but also useless.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  49. Whoops, I meant invite me over FOR Seder, not from.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  50. “Um, no. The definition of a Jew has remained the same for nearly 3321 years: someone born of a Jewish mother, or who was converted by a legally competent authority.”

    Your definition…not mine.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  51. Milhouse, Dave doesn’t mean via heritage, but rather that be believes to be a follower of Moses and Elijah’s religion

    […]

    There is the idea that Christianity is essentially a schismatic Jewish sect.

    Yes, yes, I get all that. But that’s just my point: believing in the Jewish religion does not make one a Jew, any more than believing in Liberty makes one a USAn. Being Jewish is not, and never has been, a matter of belief.

    You want to celebrate freedom from slavery, I’m your boy. If you’re tossing in a free meal, along with the celbration, then wild horses couldn’t keep me away.

    Just be aware that the meal doesn’t come till several hours after the seder starts, and that isn’t until at least dark. You might want to eat before you go. Also, when the matzah and bitter greens come out, don’t fill up on them; the meal is coming in about 20 minutes…

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  52. Milhouse, Dave doesn’t mean via heritage, but rather that be believes to be a follower of Moses and Elijah’s religion, even if that includes the messiah already having come.

    I’m confused: How can one follow both Judaism and Christianity?
    Is Jesus simultaneously God and not God?
    Does atonement simultaneously require blood and not require blood?
    Is a virgin birth simultaneously a messianic requirement and not a messianic requirement?
    Is God simulateously a Singular Unity and a Tri-Unity?
    Is Moses simultaneously the greatest Prophet of all time and not the greatest prophet of all time?
    Is the New Testament simultaneously the Word of God and not the Word of God?

    aunursa (a2a019)

  53. Your definition…not mine.

    No, the definition. You have no more power to change it than you do to change the definition of USA citizenship. Now I’m going to ask you to imagine how you would feel if a Frenchman were to tell you that he is really just as much a USAn as you, because he too believes in Lady Liberty and what she stands for. And that the 14th amendment is only your definition, which is no better than his or anyone else’s. Would you find that offensive?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  54. One of my students told me a story about Christmas. She said her mother told her when she was 16 that they were not going to celebrate Christmas any more. She said, “We’re Hindus. We don’t celebrate Christmas !” Her daughter was not very happy about it.

    My feeling is, “Who cares ?” If people wish me Happy Chanukkah, maybe they remember me from when I was a member of the “Young Men’s Jewish Council” of South Shore in Chicago in the 50s. The YMJC had a basketball court and the YMCA didn’t. I was recommended for membership by a guy named Winkie Gorman.

    I guess that’s diversity. We just weren’t touchy about stuff like that.

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  55. The YMJC had a basketball court and the YMCA didn’t.
    Which reflects the fact that basketball was once a sport in which Jewish players were, if not dominant, at least very prominent.

    Basketball is a sphere with grooves. Does this mean we’ve worked our way back to the original topic?

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  56. I’m confused: How can one follow both Judaism and Christianity?
    Is Jesus simultaneously God and not God?

    Oh, it confuses me too. I’m not the right person to be an authority on this stuff. I probably annoy most Christians as much, if not more, than I’m annoying any Jews with this.

    I just think I see where Dave’s coming from, and I certainly don’t think there’s a reason to be bothered.

    I’m with Mike K. No use being touchy.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  57. Mathematically, a sphere isn’t a solid, it’s just the surface: a collection of points that are equidistant from a fixed point. The interior of a sphere is a “ball,” the volume enclosed by a sphere.

    And technically, depending on what sort of geometry you’re working with (or more narrowly, what distance function or metric tensor you define), you could have a ‘sphere’ that wouldn’t look “round” in Euclidean space. For example, given the proper distance function, a square would meet the definition of a circle (i.e., a 1-sphere; a ‘normal’ sphere is a 2-sphere, since it has a fixed radius), and thus a square, a sphere.

    Although, I suspect that even if you designed some freaky geometry, the 3-space ‘cut’ of the sphere that we would perceive would probably have to be symmetric, which the ellipsoid eggs are not.

    CliveStaples (0ce71e)

  58. clive

    you lost me in the middle of the second paragraph. heh.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  59. I worked in fast food management for years and never had a weekend off but it never bothered me when someone wished me a good weekend.

    I am not Christian but it certainly doesn’t bother me when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. If they say they will pray for me I thank them and welcome the spirit of their blessing. If they ask me to pray for them I must politely decline, usually with an explanation, but I certainly would not be offended.

    Frankly, to find people “presumptuous” because they are not aware or schooled on your faith and it’s practices seems a bit arrogant or at least self centered. They are not asking you to observe their practices, they are just sharing a blessing with the best of intentions. I wish I saw more of it from all faiths or beliefs.

    It’s amazing what effect an unexpected smile or kind word can have on people who cross one’s path daily. The only times I can think of that people took offense were when I opened a door or called a woman “Ma’am”. They thought I was presumptuous not to know they were militant feminists. They may be right, but I am incorrigible. The good is too valuable to give up over the occasional bad reaction. I hope your friends continue to be presumptuous and wish you well.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  60. #57,Comment by CliveStaples — 4/11/2011 @ 7:46 pm

    I think he was correct to define a sphere as these are hollow so they can be filled with treats, as opposed to a solid ball.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  61. Comment by Machinist — 4/11/2011 @ 8:14 pm
    Perhaps they were simply upset that you didn’t consider them young enough to warrant being called “Miss”?

    In the ecumenical spirit, I will note that I will be using numerous vernal ovoids in my Passover baking. They just won’t be dyed, is all.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  62. “I’m confused: How can one follow both Judaism and Christianity?”

    Well, I don’t see how one can be a true Christian unless they’re first a pious Jew.

    Judaism isn’t about who your mother was, Judaism is about keeping your side of the Covenants. It isn’t about being a blood relative of Abraham, or being born in Judea, or getting some rabbi to agree that you’re part of the club…it’s about living a certain way, and that’s pretty much all it’s about.

    You say that one can’t be both a Jew and a Christian? I say you can’t be a Christian unless you’re first a Jew.

    At least that’s my belief, and I’m sticking to it until God tells me otherwise.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  63. I say you can’t be a Christian unless you’re first a Jew.

    Does that mean that Christians have to be circumcised? Or that Jews don’t?

    CliveStaples (0ce71e)

  64. I’m sticking to it until God tells me otherwise.

    …and I’m eating shrimp until God tells me not to. To each his own. :)

    carlitos (00428f)

  65. Bugs!

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  66. “No, the definition”

    No, just one definition. Karaites, for example, don’t accept your definition…and neither do I.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  67. Mathematically, a Jew is defined as a collection of points whose mother wishes would have become a doctor or a lawyer like his cousin.

    CliveStaples (0ce71e)

  68. it’s about living a certain way, and that’s pretty much all it’s about.
    Quite true. That way is called halacha, and includes such things as keeping kosher, not working on the Sabbath and festivals, observing ritual impurity in connection with corpses and menstruating women, praying the set prayers three times a day, fasting on Yom Kippur and certain other days of the years, and a whole bunch of other things, to the number of 613 (that’s the traditional number of commandments in the Torah). Even Reform Judaism makes at least ceremonial obeisance to this idea.

    Of course, not being Christian, I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that Christians have taught that Christians don’t need to do any of these things since the time of the apostles, as documented in the part of the New Testament called Acts.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  69. Dave Surls:

    Judaism isn’t about who your mother was, Judaism is about keeping your side of the Covenants. It isn’t about being a blood relative of Abraham, or being born in Judea, or getting some rabbi to agree that you’re part of the club…it’s about living a certain way, and that’s pretty much all it’s about.

    You are confusing being a Jew with following Judaism. Being a Jew is about who your mother was, being a blood relative of Abraham, or converting to Judaism. By contrast, Judaism is about keeping a Covenant, living a certain way, and accepting certain beliefs.

    You say that one can’t be both a Jew and a Christian? I say you can’t be a Christian unless you’re first a Jew.

    I didn’t say that one can’t be both a Jew and a Christian. I asked how can one follow both Judaism and Christianity?

    At least that’s my belief, and I’m sticking to it until God tells me otherwise.

    Did God tells you in a specific Bible passage that one’s mother has no bearing on one’s status as a Jew?

    aunursa (a2a019)

  70. “…It’s not insulting, at least for me. It’s just that most of the time these people extend their holiday wishes under the belief (apparently) that everyone celebrates (or should celebrate) the holiday. The idea that some people don’t seems to have never entered their brain (or whatever entity they have in substitution thereof). ..”

    Actually, kishevi, you made several assumptions there. To be honest, when most people say “Merry Christmas,” they aren’t assuming anything about you at all—they are being polite and wishing you well during a season that they believe should bring out the best in one another (“good will toward men,” despite the sexism).

    Which is why your last sentence is a bit disconcerting and ironic; the people who seem to irritate you so don’t feel that way toward you, at all. You don’t find these people insulting, yet you feel free to deal an insult toward them?

    I’m not trying to pick a fight. It sounds more like a Scrooge thing than a religious thing, to me. But to each their own. Just please don’t refer to people saying something they consider to be kind and polite as having no brain. You know?

    I think that civility is an important lubricant for civilization. Too many of us (not you) confuse honesty with tactlessness, and wit with humor.

    Simon Jester (12f0da)

  71. Yeah, it’s a lot more presumptuous to suggest the person wishing Merry Christmas is stupid than to suggest someone would benefit from celebrating Christmas.

    I sense a bit of stubborn ‘My religious dogma is right because it says it is’, once again.

    By all means, think that way, but if you expect anyone else to care, that’s only going to make you miserable, when really, you should be having a Merry Christmas or Easter or Nowruz.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  72. In the ecumenical spirit, I will note that I will be using numerous vernal ovoids in my Passover baking. They just won’t be dyed, is all.

    Of course not; that’s for Lag Ba`omer! *

    * There exists what seems to be a very obscure custom, to have coloured eggs on Lag Ba`omer; I grew up with this, and have met others who did too, and I’ve even read of it, but every family I know of that has this custom seems to come from the same town. I wonder whether it was really local to that one town, and unknown elsewhere.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  73. “But do you think you could get 32% of Americans to support the intentional murder of any three month baby?”

    Actually, I’m willing to bet you could get at least 32% of lefties to support it, provided you could prove the child would grow up to be a Republican.

    5th Level Fighter (dd5bcf)

  74. This post is badass

    The dictionary has two terms for badass i’am using the 2nd definition.

    DohBiden (984d23)

  75. —they are being polite and wishing you well during a season that they believe should bring out the best in one another

    Yes. But some people understand enough to say “Happy Holidays”. Which is what I tell people at those times of the year (or, more often, “Enjoy your holidays”). And people who say it in a way that means “I hope you enjoy this holiday even if it’s not a holiday you personally celebrate” or who say it in a situation where it’s not obvious that I’m Jewish–they don’t annoy me. It’s the ones who seem to think that it is a holiday I celebrate that annoy me. And it doesn’t take anything more than a superficial knowledge of Judaism to know that Jews don’t celebrate Christmas–which is why I think it’s fair to call those people stupid. Apologies if I offend with that.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)


  76. “…It’s the ones who seem to think that it is a holiday I celebrate that annoy me…”

    You seem to have genuine telepathic skills, sir. I myself I am not so able to divine the intention of others walking down the street. I find it curious that you just know that kind of thing, and find insult in it, when I sincerely (and I do not mean insult with this) doubt you have that ability.

    Regardless, it didn’t stop you from describing people wishing you well as stupid. That was surprising to me.

    Simon Jester (12f0da)

  77. Judaism isn’t about who your mother was, Judaism is about keeping your side of the Covenants.

    Dave, you don’t have a side in this covenant. You’re not a party to it.

    If I were to keep your side of your marriage contract, would that mean I got to address your wife as if I were her husband? What do you think she’d do to me if I tried that? What would you do?

    In any case, being a Jew is no more about keeping Jewish law than being an USAn is about keeping USAn law. Anyone born on US soil is an American, even if he fights for al Qaeda. Anyone not born in the USA or of USAn parents, and who wasn’t naturalized according to law by a person authorized to do so, is not a USAn, no matter what he believes or how he behaves.

    No, just one definition. Karaites, for example, don’t accept your definition…and neither do I.

    Neither the Karaites nor you get to change reality. There is only one definition, there has never been another one, and nobody has the authority to create another one. Or do you think I have the right to ignore the 14th amendment and come up with my own definition of USA citizenship? (In any case, I believe you’re wrong about the Karaites. Not that it matters what that tiny schismatic cult believes, but to the best of my knowledge they use the same definition, and merely differ on what constitutes a valid conversion.)

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  78. Milhouse: probably very local. My grandfather was from that general area (north of Minsk) and I’ve never heard of it before.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  79. And you might describe someone wishing you “Merry Christmas” as presuming things about you. But you are doing pretty much the same thing.

    I’m sorry that the folks saying “Merry Christmas” to you are vexing. I do not believe that they mean insult to you when they do so. I think they are wishing you well during a season they cherish.

    Perhaps they should know you better, and you them?

    Simon Jester (12f0da)

  80. If I were to keep your side of your marriage contract, would that mean I got to address your wife as if I were her husband? What do you think she’d do to me if I tried that? What would you do?

    In any case, being a Jew is no more about keeping Jewish law than being an USAn is about keeping USAn law. Anyone born on US soil is an American, even if he fights for al Qaeda. Anyone not born in the USA or of USAn parents, and who wasn’t naturalized according to law by a person authorized to do so, is not a USAn, no matter what he believes or how he behaves.

    Except that it’s not all about birthright. I can be a Jew without being born to a Jewess. I can convert to Judaism–to use your marriage metaphor, I can marry your wife, too.

    CliveStaples (0ce71e)

  81. Comment by Machinist — 4/11/2011 @ 8:14 pm

    This was a most excellent comment.

    JD (4a42c9)

  82. Except that it’s not all about birthright. I can be a Jew without being born to a Jewess. I can convert to Judaism

    Yes, just as the 14th amendment says you can be a USAn without being born one; by being naturalized. But you do need to do that; you can’t just wake up one morning and declare you’re a USA citizen, and thereby become one. Nor can you be naturalized by any random person; it can only be done by someone authorized by law, and the ceremony must be conducted according to the law.

    –to use your marriage metaphor, I can marry your wife, too.

    Well, not so long as she’s married to me, you can’t! But my point is that even in a polyandrous culture, to be her husband you would have to marry her and thus become a party to our marriage contract; it would not suffice to simply start keeping my side of the contract, which is what Dave imagines is all he has to do.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  83. Simon–no telepathy needed. But people tend to phrase it in a certain way, that’s all. If you remember, next December observe for yourself the many different ways people offer holiday greetings and wishes. (At least around here, people explicitly wishing other people a good Easter seem to be very much in the minority.) If you do, I think you’ll see what I mean here. And as I said, I’m not annoyed if they can’t tell I’m Jewish. I don’t normally go around wearing a skullcap, etc, so it’s not necessarily obvious I’m Jewish. I don’t expect them to be telepathic.

    And I don’t think it’s not civil to view a certain type of behavior as stupid. It would however be not civil to say they’re stupid out loud–and I never do. As I said before, I smile and thank them and tell them to enjoy their holidays.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  84. BTW, I use the term USAn rather than American because Mexicans are Americans. But that doesn’t get them into the USA.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  85. I’m sorry that the folks saying “Merry Christmas” to you are vexing. I do not believe that they mean insult to you when they do so. I think they are wishing you well during a season they cherish.

    Perhaps they should know you better, and you them?

    You’re mostly correct in all the above, and I’ll leave it there.

    kishnevi (5bbe9b)

  86. The term American refers to people from the United States, not Mexico. North American refers to people from this continent.

    In the English language, without a qualifier (such a ‘North’, or ‘Latin’), the word means USA.

    This is as true a law of language as the idea that the word ‘Jew’ cannot include a Mongolian Christian. It’s very interesting seeing this logic flipped.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  87. Still, USAn is more precise, and thus avoids irrelevant arguments.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  88. Still, USAn is more precise, and thus avoids irrelevant arguments.

    LOL. May as well go USAian. Reads better.

    carlitos (00428f)

  89. thus avoids irrelevant arguments.

    I’ll give you that.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  90. “You are confusing being a Jew with following Judaism…”

    No, I’m not the least bit confused.

    I simply don’t share your point of view when it comes to defining what a Jew is.

    “Did God tells you in a specific Bible passage that one’s mother has no bearing on one’s status as a Jew?”

    Sure, I see all kinds of passages in the bible that tell me that…

    “I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;”

    “I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.”

    “I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;”

    “and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

    I believe that means all peoples will be brought into God’s covenants and become Jews (that’s the blessing) through the work of God’s chosen, that any man or woman who keeps the covenants is a Jew, that anyone who refuses to do so is in deep trouble, and that it matters not one iota who your mother was.

    You can believe what you want to believe. If you want to be believe that you are amongst the chosen, just because your mother’s name was Sarah Finkelstein, and that you can blow off the Commandments and still be a Jew in the eyes of God…don’t let me stop you.

    It’s not me you’ll have to answer to, if it turns out you’re wrong.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  91. USAn. Pronounced “you essan”. Easy to write, easy to say. USAian is clumsy. Even clumsier than Texian, which became extinct because of its clumsiness. I mean, really, “you ess eh ee an”? Five syllables?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  92. shirley you can’t be serious.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  93. Yes, just as the 14th amendment says you can be a USAn without being born one; by being naturalized. But you do need to do that; you can’t just wake up one morning and declare you’re a USA citizen, and thereby become one. Nor can you be naturalized by any random person; it can only be done by someone authorized by law, and the ceremony must be conducted according to the law.

    The most important part of marriage is not the ceremony, nor the officiator; it’s the relationship between the spouses-to-be.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the most important part of having a right relationship / community with El Shaddai–‘kinsman redeemer’ and all that–has precious little to do with the ceremony, and more to do with the individuals involved.

    If I remember my Old Testament course correctly, didn’t God offer rebukes to those who observed the letter of the law, but whose hearts were unchanged? Hopefully I’m not mixing my OT/NT up…

    CliveStaples (0ce71e)

  94. Dave, that “you” in there is one specific person. “Covenant” is old-fashioned English for “treaty”. And you don’t get to be party to a treaty by wishing, or by unilaterally keeping its terms. The treaty you refer to was made between God and Avraham, and nobody else. By its terms, his descendants were also parties to it. By the terms of the treaty God concluded with the Jews 430 years later, at Sinai, foreigners could become naturalized into the Jewish nation, and share its fortune and fate (Numbers 9:14). But those who aren’t born into it and don’t join it are not parties to any of the treaties. All the peoples of earth may be blessed through the Jews, but they are not themselves Jews.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  95. The most important part of marriage is not the ceremony, nor the officiator; it’s the relationship between the spouses-to-be.

    And yet without an actual marriage the parties are not married, no matter how they feel about each other. Emotions may be more important than formalities, but without the formalities emotions are meaningless. Law can’t deal with unmeasurables like feelings or loyalty or faith; and a covenant, a treaty, a contract, is fundamentally a legal matter.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  96. PS: And once married, the parties stay married even if they grow to hate and despise each other, unless and until they are legally divorced. If a wife strays five minutes before the divorce she’s an adulteress; five minutes after, and she’s a free adult enjoying herself, even though her feelings about her husband haven’t changed at all in those ten minutes.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  97. ‘Dave, that “you” in there is one specific person.’

    It’s pretty unlikely that God is going to make a specific person into a great nation, though I guess he (or she or whatever) could, seeing as how God is all-powerful.

    The “you” is a group of persons, not a apecific person.

    IMO, the covenants are between God and all persons who will follow the terms of the covenants, but, it’s o.k. if you don’t believe that.

    What you believe won’t change anything.

    Dave Surls (31554d)

  98. I believe she transferred after that year. I sometimes wonder if she ever recovered.

    My best friend drove our very liberal, very earnest AP US History teacher right out of the profession after our senior year. We had some students transfer out or graduate early after the first semester, and she started giving out ridiculous assignments like vocabulary lists and group jeopardy trivia games. We did maybe 2-3 practice exams the whole second semester. My friend responded by refusing to do any homework, and in a fit of spite that we still joke about in a semi-horrified way, wrote out a whole assigned research paper and then refused to turn it in.

    She was probably on her way out anyhow, but I give his antics the credit for giving her that final push. I’ve never seen anyone act so passive-aggressive in my life. Oh, and her laziness came back to haunt her when half the students didn’t pass the AP exam (why yes, my friend and I did get the highest exam scores in the class, why do you ask?).

    Funny thing is, he votes Democrat.

    Another Chris (4ba18c)

  99. And yet without an actual marriage the parties are not married, no matter how they feel about each other. Emotions may be more important than formalities, but without the formalities emotions are meaningless. Law can’t deal with unmeasurables like feelings or loyalty or faith; and a covenant, a treaty, a contract, is fundamentally a legal matter.

    What does it mean to be married? Are a man in a woman, in a monogamous, loving, and committed relationship on a desert island, less married than two drunk partiers who get married on a lark in Vegas?

    The formality is merely the outward observance/acknolwedgement of the unseen truth–the relationship between husband and wife, man and God. A community of people with no ability to see, hear, or speak can still have a meaningful relationship with God that is not diminished for lack of ability to properly carry out ceremonies.

    CliveStaples (0ce71e)

  100. “In any case, I believe you’re wrong about the Karaites.”

    I’m sure you do. You seem to believe all sorts of odd things.

    Dave Surls (fcaa5b)

  101. That seems to be a transliteration of the Spanish term, ‘estadounidense’ which was kind of joke in ‘Barcelona’ because the antihero kept saying, ‘does
    that mean we’re dense’

    narciso (8a8b93)

  102. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom).”

    An educator speaks in this way? “It’s about ….” I think she means, “We ensure students will eat our food (and provide guaranteed jobs for our unionized cafeteria workers) by eliminating other food sources.”

    Why are we supposed to listen to vague assertions such as “It’s about the nutrition?” What is about the nutrition? What about nutrition?

    We have now begun to hire incompetents to manage our schools.

    Anonyma (e5eb3e)

  103. Aunursa, I hope you grow a bit more psychologically and spiritually and will be able someday to recognize the good will and the hope of sharing happiness that lie behind “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter.” Perhaps there is a country or neighborhood where you could live that would ensure you won’t be insulted in that way.

    Or do you just want Christians to walk on eggshells because non-Christians such as yourself exist?

    I have never been offended by a Jewish person offering a greeting or blessing in Hebrew whether or not it is related to a holiday. I understand that it is the wish to share joy that prompts their action and I certainly cannot be offended that.

    Anonyma (e5eb3e)

  104. USAn. Pronounced “you essan”. Easy to write, easy to say. USAian is clumsy. Even clumsier than Texian, which became extinct because of its clumsiness. I mean, really, “you ess eh ee an”? Five syllables?

    Comment by Milhouse — 4/11/2011 @ 10:11 pm

    I used to have to use this in Spanish for reasons forgotten to me. It’s a lot harder and it’s seven syllables – estadounidense. I’m not a fan.

    And no one is ever going to say “you essan.”

    carlitos (00428f)

  105. ‘Dave, that “you” in there is one specific person.’

    It’s pretty unlikely that God is going to make a specific person into a great nation, though I guess he (or she or whatever) could, seeing as how God is all-powerful.

    The “you” is a group of persons, not a apecific person.

    Um, have you read it? God is talking to one person: Avraham. Not to anybody else. And it’s in the singular, not in the plural. “I will make you a great nation”, not “youse” or “you all”. “Thee”, in 17th-century English.

    And how can you claim it unlikely that that Avraham would become a great nation, when you know with the benefit of hindsight that it happened? I could understand skepticism at the time; indeed Avraham himself had a moment of doubt about it, since he was so old and still childless. But over 3700 years later, when you can see that it came true, how can you still call it “pretty unlikely”?

    IMO, the covenants are between God and all persons who will follow the terms of the covenants, but, it’s o.k. if you don’t believe that.

    What you believe won’t change anything.

    And I ask you again, how can someone who is not a party to a contract follow it? Is it only this treaty that you think this applies to, or do you apply the same standard to all treaties and contracts? Do you think anyone can unilaterally join any treaty or contract they please, just by adhering to its terms?

    Dave, if you really want to be a Jew you can easily become one (but you’d have to start keeping all the laws, and give up on Jesus, so it’s not likely). But so long as you don’t, you have no right to the title. By claiming to be a Jew when you are not one, you are committing exactly the same offense as those who falsely claim to be veterans, or to have fought in a specific war, or to have earned medals. Or the same offense that would be committed by someone who falsely claimed to be some woman’s husband.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  106. And how can you claim it unlikely that that Avraham would become a great nation, when you know with the benefit of hindsight that it happened?

    ?

    Pretty sure Abe is dead. Other people, alive today, constitute whatever nation you think might be his embodiment. I hear they have Arab Muslims on their parliament, too.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  107. What does it mean to be married? Are a man in a woman, in a monogamous, loving, and committed relationship on a desert island, less married than two drunk partiers who get married on a lark in Vegas?

    Of course they are. Marriage is a legal status, not a matter of feelings. A couple who love each other dearly, and are committed to stay with each other forever, are still single until they get married; if one of them should stray with a single person before that moment, they have not committed adultery. And a married couple who grow to hate and despise each other are still married until they get divorced, and if one of them should stray with a single person before that moment, they will have committed adultery. It’s really that simple. God said “don’t commit adultery”, and prescribed a harsh penalty for doing so; He didn’t every say “don’t cheat on someone who loves you”.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  108. Pretty sure Abe is dead. Other people, alive today, constitute whatever nation you think might be his embodiment.

    Huh? What language are you speaking there? Of course he’s dead; nobody ever said he’d live forever (though 175 years ain’t bad). What has that got to do with his having become a great nation, exactly as God told him would happen?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  109. What I’ve learned from catching up on this thread…

    This December, I should be careful to wish everyone I meet a “Happy FestiHannuRamaKwanzMas” (Festivus, Hannukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Christmas) in order to avoid offending anyone.

    malclave (1db6c5)

  110. No, malclave, as an intelligent human being you should inform yourself about other people, and if you know they’re not celebrating something you should feel silly greeting them for it, just as you’d feel silly wishing someone a happy birthday if you knew their birthday was months away. But if you greet anybody, for any reason, in obvious good faith, that person has no call to take offense. They may find it annoying that you are so ill-informed or clueless, but that’s a different matter. Good wishes, however ill-timed, can hardly ever be offensive.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  111. Good Allah.

    JD (29e1cd)

  112. They may find it annoying that you are so ill-informed or clueless, but that’s a different matter.

    Jeez, you sure could use some perspective on life.

    someone isn’t stupid or clueless just because they don’t care that you’re a Jew who doesn’t celebrate Christmas (many do celebrate Christmas, as do so many non-Christians of other backgrounds). Many Jews are Christians, and even non Christian jews should realize Christmas is less a religious practice than a cultural tradition.

    You are ‘annoyed’ at the cluelessness of kindness?

    I think you really could use a good Christmas. I’m not recommending that to you out of my cluelessness, but rather to help remedy yours.

    I have a pal who is Jewish who will simply wish me a happy hannakuh when I wish him a merry christmas. Is he a moron? No. He just doesn’t bother himself to investigate people to determine the multicultural politics of recognizing my practices. This stuff is only complicated to those who insist on making it that way.

    But thanks for the grace of not being offended that people were kind to you.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  113. Easter is that single day of the year when all Americans come together as one to celebrate chocolate and pastels.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  114. No, malclave, as an intelligent human being

    Kind of presumptuous there, aren’t you? 😉

    malclave (1db6c5)

  115. You are ‘annoyed’ at the cluelessness of kindness?

    No, I’m more likely to be charmed, or else simply to wonder at it. But I’ve never personally been asked to show someone my horns; I’ve merely known people to whom it has happened. Surely you can see how someone might find it annoying, especially the 127th time he encounters it.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  116. It seems to me that Americans celebrate chocolate a good deal more often than once a year. As they should, considering how wonderful it is.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  117. “Um, have you read it?”

    Yes, I have. The covenant is between Abraham AND his descendants and God. Like it says in Genesis…

    “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant…”

    It’s not one man who will be made into a great nation, it’s the descendants of Abraham who will be made into a great nation. One man does not a great nation make.

    “I will make you into a great nation”

    The you in that particular verse means Abraham and his descendants (that would be us, we’re the great nation and/or the multitude of nations God is talking about in Genesis).

    “Dave, if you really want to be a Jew…”

    I already said that I consider myself to be a Jew, so I don’t have to want. Whether I really am or not is up to God to decide…not you.

    “you have no right to the title.”

    No one has a right to it, my friend.

    It’s a task and a duty to be performed, not a hereditary privilege God gives you ’cause you’re just so special.

    That’s why I believe that if you won’t follow the Commandments…you’re not a Jew, no matter who you’re Mommy and Daddy was. You don’t live up to your side of the bargain, you won’t perform the tasks that God set you…then, the deal is off.

    Conversely, if you do live up to the bargain…you’re a Jew, irrespective of who your ancestors were, what you think, I think, or some panel of rabbis thinks.

    Maybe that’s right and maybe that’s wrong…but, that’s what it looks like to me.

    “give up on Jesus”

    I think not. That might be a commandment from the great and prideful Millhouse, but it isn’t a commandment from God.

    Dave Surls (7f8e4e)

  118. Anyway, that’s enough theology for me, for awhile.

    I do appreciate people taking the time to respond to my somewhat unorthodox views.

    Hearing some responses and arguments helps me test them to see if there is a fundamental flaw somewhere, and that, in turn, helps me out in my quest for truth and meaning.

    So, thanks to all.

    Dave Surls (7f8e4e)

  119. Dave, the “you” in that quote is singular, not plural. It’s addressed to one person. You can’t escape that. Unless you’re OK with just making up whatever shit you feel like, aka lying.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  120. The you in that particular verse means Abraham and his descendants (that would be us,

    Are you one of his descendants (by blood or adoption)? Either you are, or you aren’t. And if you aren’t, then you’ve just admitted that you’re not a party to the treaty.

    Not to mention that you don’t exactly keep its terms anyway, do you? Even if it did include anyone who kept the Law, you don’t. So how do you presume to the right to include yourself in my family?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  121. Like I said…that’s enough theology for me, for now.

    I enjoyed hearing other people’s ideas, though.

    Dave Surls (7f8e4e)

  122. Surely you can see how someone might find it annoying, especially the 127th time he encounters it.

    Alright alright. I took your comments as a lot harsher than they were intended, clearly.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  123. 113.Easter is that single day of the year when all Americans come together as one to celebrate chocolate and pastels.
    Comment by happyfeet

    feets, I think your definition is closest to current reality. I don’t remember bunnies mentioned in either the Old or New Testaments unless you include them by implication in Genesis in Creation and the Flood.

    So much strife over attempts to be friendly. I guess we should make it a law that a person can say “hello” in greeting, but nothing else.
    -Don’t say “Good morning”, because maybe it isn’t, or maybe your idea of a good morning is different than my idea of a good morning, so please don’t tell me to have a morning like you would like to have.
    -Don’t ask, “How are you?” or “What’s up?” or “Whassup?” because even if you do care, you don’t have time to listen and it’s a bad time for me to talk.
    -Of course, if I looked up the origin of the word, “hello” maybe we couldn’t agree on that either.

    I do know that when I was in 7th grade and new to a school I wanted to be friends with some kids who talked about going to Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitvahs and couldn’t play on Saturdays because they seemed like nice kids. I didn’t know much about what is was to be Jewish then, of course I really didn’t know what it meant to be Christian then either in any kind of intellectually meaningful way.

    Eventually I went to college and learned about bagels and what the historical/intellectual understanding of being a Christian is (in part from CliveStaples namesake). I’ve known people who are Jewish Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructed, by cultural/ethnic heritage and arreligious, but never anyone personally who was orthodox. I have been to a Jewish family Sadar (not Orthodox or conservative), but never to a Purim party (yes, I know, not very important compared to Yom Kippur, kind of like going to an easter egg hunt but not a celebration of the Resurrection- actually Purim is based on Scripture and history- best guess would be E. eggs have more to do with pagan fertility rites).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  124. Everything you ever wanted to know about Easter eggs…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg

    East Europeans take this Easter Egg thing seriously. They don’t just dye them, they paint works of art on them.

    Dave Surls (d6bf51)

  125. Are you one of his descendants (by blood or adoption)? Either you are, or you aren’t. And if you aren’t, then you’ve just admitted that you’re not a party to the treaty.

    Not to mention that you don’t exactly keep its terms anyway, do you? Even if it did include anyone who kept the Law, you don’t. So how do you presume to the right to include yourself in my family?

    Because God can choose to extend the treaty to whomever He pleases. Kind of the whole point of the New Testament, eh?

    And proselytes needn’t actually become part of any Jewish family unit to convert to Judaism.

    CliveStaples (29c184)

  126. Because God can choose to extend the treaty to whomever He pleases. Kind of the whole point of the New Testament, eh?

    But isn’t it the Christian view that God did not extend the treaty to new people, but that instead He came up with a whole new one? That is after all the actual meaning of the phrase “New Testament”–new covenant.

    Your second point is true. In fact, technically a proselyte belongs to no family. So if a son of a Jewish father by a Gentile mother officially converts, he is in some views not considered his father’s son, and takes his Hebrew name like all other proselytes in the form of X ben(son of) Avraham. Or X bat (daughter) of Sarah in the case of women.

    As for Purim parties, there is the Adloyada tradition in Israel. Although it seems to have become much more children oriented in recent years, in the 80s especially it had a sort of Mardi Gras flavor.

    kishnevi (b40a74)

  127. And proselytes needn’t actually become part of any Jewish family unit to convert to Judaism.

    They don’t automatically become part of any particular Jewish family unit; they do, by definition, become part of the Jewish family. That’s what conversion is: naturalization into the Jewish nation; adoption into the family of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov. The religious aspect is a necessary condition of that naturalization, but it’s not what it consists of.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)


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