Monday, October 27, 2008

28 Tishri 5769: Navy Day/Cranky Co-Workers Day


Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. “Saudi king to attend November UN interfaith dialogue”: I sincerely believe that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia really does support “interfaith dialog”—as a means of cover for the gross lack of religious freedom in his country. His last interfaith effort was in Spain. This next one will be in New York City. If he were actually serious about religious tolerance, he would not bother with such conferences but instead guarantee the religious freedom of all people in Saudi Arabia, including non-Muslims. Saudi Arabia is infamous for lack of religious freedom.
  2. “Former-Iranian president urges Christians and Muslims to work together”: Mohammad Khatami may be trying a similar stunt.
  3. “Asia, world leader in religious freedom violations”: Both Saudi Arabia and Iran are offenders.
  4. “Why McCain's 'Judeo-Christian values' should worry the Jews”: There has never ever been a “Judeo-Christian tradition”. What Jews and Christians share is the Hebrew Bible, which they do not even call by the same name, Jews preferring “Tanakh” and Christians preferring “the Old Testament”. They do not even agree even on the same version of the Hebrew Bible, the number of books in the Hebrew Bible, which books are in the Hebrew Bible, or the ordering of the books in the Hebrew Bible. Jewish and Christian styles of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible are also radically different. Jewish exegesis puts the simple meaning of the text first and foremost. The New Testament, however, in its efforts to argue for the Messiahship of Jesus, tends to cite the Hebrew Bible out of context, sometimes even getting the very text of the Hebrew Bible wrong; as such, Christians are forced into an interpretation of the Hebrew Bible that deviates considerably from the Jewish interpretation and the plain meaning of the text. The two religions cannot agree on what the Hebrew Bible means, with each religion’s interpretation fundamentally unacceptable to the other. And with different interpretations naturally come different values. To Jews, all the commandments given in the Torah are binding, even ones that in contemporary America seem downright weird. Christians, on the other hand, have relied on the New Testament to gerrymander what is and is not binding. Even what Jews and Christians agree on being binding (e.g., prohibitions on polytheism and idolatry, the Sabbath, prohibitions on murder and adultery, the concepts of usury and the bastard) are inevitably interpreted differently. Given the differences, the “Judeo-Christian tradition” is a completely ahistorical concept. Expect anyone invoking it to be up to something dishonest.

    For the record, there is no such thing as the “Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition” either.
Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “The anatomy of the first video game”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.


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