Friday, August 27, 2010

Keeping Up with the Jones

Keeping Up with the Jones

Several days ago (August 10) I wrote about Terry Jones, the Gainesville, Fl. pastor who is sponsoring Burn the Koran Day on September 11th. Today I listened as he explained to Chris Matthews on Hardball (MSNBC) that the purpose of Burn the Koran Day is to send a message to Muslims that America is opposed to Sharia positions such as killing people who are homosexual simply because they are homosexual.

Good for Pastor Jones! I too am opposed to such horrendous anti-homosexual laws, and that is why I want to add a sacred text to Pastor Terry’s Burn a Koran Day. I want to burn Christian Bibles as well, and in so doing send a message to Christians that America is opposed to their homophobia.

And just as Paster Jones rightly points to the barbarism of stoning in some Islamic countries as reason why Americans should fear American Muslims, I will point to the bill written by Christians in the United States and soon to be passed in Uganda, a nation whose population is 84% Christian, that makes it legal for the state to kill homosexuals, as reason to fear and oppose all things Christian here in the United States.

If we are to fear Muslims bringing Islam–sanctioned murder of homosexuals to our shores, and I agree we should; we should be no less fearful of Christians bringing Christian sanctioned murder of homosexuals to our shores as well. And make no mistake, the Ugandan leaders are acting from their faith, and are backed by the Christian extremist and politically powerful group known in this country as The Family, who, one can only assume, would like to see their good work in Uganda become the norm here in the United States. Indeed, the Ugandan President said that his country is only doing what any God-fearing country would do. The United States, he opined, is loosing its faith by not killing its homosexuals.

If Pastor Jones is correct that burning Korans will send a clear message to Muslims, then I urge those who, like Pastor Jones, wish to protect the lives of homosexuals, to burn Christian Bibles and send a similar message to Christians everywhere: we Americans don’t want your laws in our land.


Old Lady said...

Vengence is mine sayeth The Lord...
Romans 12:19-21

Old Lady said...

Leave it to me to misquote God...

My Muse and Me said...

Rabbi, while I understand your sentiments I am sad that you have chosen to add fuel to the fire of religious hatred.

I am, as I think you are, concerned about religious extremism and scriptural fundamentalism both Moslem and Christian. I abhor these traits within my own faith community Catholic)as well an anybody else's. And I am sickened when anyone of any faith preaches murder in the name of (their view of)God.

I think I am right in assuming that your tone is sarcastic, but your sweeping rejection of Christian laws in a country that was basically founded on such is somewhat disturbing. And, let's be honest, there have been "haters" among the Jewish community who wanted nothing more than to wipe
out the gays among them. In July of this year a formal statement rejecting such hatred was published by a group of Orthodox rabbis. The fact that this needs to be written today reveals the strength of the anti-gay attitude in contemporary Orthodox Judaism.

It would be inappropriate, however, for anyone to assume this anti-gay stance was typical of all Jews, any more than such an attitude is typical of all Christians.

Eruesso said...

I wonder if God prefers cooking with gas or charcoal?

Be Grillin' tonight!!!

Rabbi Rami said...

Just a short note to My Muse. Yes, I am being sarcastic. And yes homophobia is present among Jews. But I am curious, when you mention my "sweeping rejection of Christian laws in a country" is that country Uganda? 'Cause I'm talking about Uganda. Is Uganda a good example of what a country under Christian law would be?

It isn't hard to see what living under Sharia would be like, and one only has to look at aspects of Israeli life and pockets of ultra orthodox Jews in the US to see what life under a Jewish theocracy would be like, and, honestly, I'm opposed to all of it. And if Uganda is the ideal of a nation founded on Christian law, well I can do with out that as well.

My Muse and Me said...

...burn Christian Bibles and send a similar message to Christians everywhere: we Americans don’t want your laws in our land.

I was referring to this sentence. I certainly don't see Uganda as an ideal or typical "Christian" country. Whatever that means in actuality.

andrea perez said...

Has there been a country that is run by a theocracy that hasn't turned to burning or stoning or killing someone? Please don't bring that crusader nonsense to our shores,Tea party, conservative, whatever you are, busybodies!
Just one comment: If it is a minority opinion, and an "extremist" one at that,about burning Korans or supporting Prop 8 or whatever hater dialogue is going on: then where are the rest of us! This stuff is happening right under our noses and we think it's going to disappear because it sounds so nutty? Where is the big rally of equal rights, etc in order to support each other? If I'm not for myself, who will be for me? If I'm only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? Where is the pro-humanity movement? I'm frustrated!

Julie said...

I still think it boils down to our deeply rooted fear of our sexuality. And there is no better place to hide from it than in any fundamental religion. Created in the image of god... created equal, those are man made ideals, noble no doubt, but it doesn't seem they can hold up to sexual fear. Men loving men, women loving women, well that can be the image of god. How much kinder could we all be if we removed the man made angry male figure and instead lived a spirit of compassion, kindness and mercy. The stones would then have no better use than to build housing for the homeless.

Barry said...

Kudos to you, Rabbi Rami. And to you, My Muse and Me: this country was not Christian-based, but was specifically set up to allow for differences in opinion about religion. The Catholic Church has a long history of hatred of Jews and a more recent hatred of gays (up to support for Prop 8 in California in 2008). While the recent Orthodox statement about gays and lesbians is woefully inadequate, I haven't seen anything even that tolerant from the Catholic Church.

In all of these cases, the holy book is not the problem: it is the interpretation. At least in Judaism, there is no one who literally follows The Old Testament.
Not all, but many Christian churches are haters, and there are verifiable links between American pastors and the proposed death penalty for gays in Uganda.

For the record, I was married to another man in a Reform Jewish and California-legal ceremony on November 1, 2008. My husband is a Reform rabbi. I defy anyone to show that my marriage has harmed them.

Eruesso said...

Rabbi, I'm assuming you've heard about the arson attack at the construction site for the new Murfreesboro Islamic Center. Oh oh, if you write about it for your next post can the title be, "Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?"

Hmm, on second thought that might not be witty enough for your readers or the pop culture reference might fly right over their heads. Ah never mind.

Rabbi Rami said...

I don't have the details on this. It wasn't in the paper, and I missed the tv news.

Eruesso said...

There's been little mention in the national news (from what I've seen) but there are a couple videos on Youtube here and here.

And it's also been reported that nine shots were fired near the property a day after the fire.

The article also mentions a candle light vigil tonight (Monday) on the steps of the Rutherford County Courthouse. I hope the attackers don't show up again this time with buckets of water.

Old Lady said...

To say that our country's laws are based on Christian Law is grossly incorrect. Our Laws are based on Judaic Law. 10 commons Laws that make up the Law of most lands. These Laws are very precise and close to being perfect. They have withstood the annals of time. Christianity is derived from Judaism and Islam is derived from Judaism. Not too sure about Hindi and Buddahism, but the kernels of all religion go back to the formation of the monotheistic religion devised by the Jews. It is time for all to realize that God, Allah, Abba are one in the same, man has devised and revised his belief to suit his needs.

Rabbi is very clever in pointing out the contracdiction of "our" righteous indignation and cruel punishments for those that do not follow all laws, particularly the moral laws, no matter what religion we espouse. No one religion is better, no God is different. The only thing I believe we can be sure of is this...when we die, we will know all.

Peter Schogol said...

Old Lady, assuming that by "the 10 common laws that make up the Law of most lands" you mean the 10 Commandments, it would be nice if there was such a neat, concise, mini-scripture. Actually, the Ten Commandments appear in three places in the Bible: in Exodus 20, Exodus 34, and in Deuteronomy 5. All three versions differ, and no version conveniently lists the commandments from one to ten. "The Ten Commandments" is a biblical soundbite, not a law carved by God in stone.

Keeping it real,