sábado, 21 de maio de 2011

The Argument Against "Judeo-Christian" | TATTOOS & SEX IN THE JUDAISM

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By evangelical's understanding, the Bible was dictated by G-d and every word and number carries a spiritual significance. A "Born Again Christian" minister noticed that particular numbers appeared in the Bible at the same time particular themes are discussed.
The number 5, a evangelical scholar concluded, equals "atonement." Ten is "completeness." Seventeen means "heaven." He patiently explained how he reached his conclusion on Rapture for May 21, 2011 AD.
"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."
The minister then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days - the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.
Next, the pastor noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.
Then he realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.
Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.
"Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," he said. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved.
"I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," the fundamentalist preacher said.
James Kreuger, author of "Secrets of the Apocalypse - Revealed," has been studying the end of times for 40 years and is familiar with apocalyptical believer Harold Camping's work.

While Kreuger agrees that the rapture is indeed coming, he disputes Camping's mathematical method.
"For all his learning, Camping makes a classic beginner's mistake when he sets a date for Christ's return," Kreuger wrote in an e-mail. "Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:36, 'Of that Day and Hour knows no Man, no, not the Angels of heaven, but my Father (Poppa/Daddy) only.' "

'It is going to happen'

Camping's believers will have none of it.
Christian Rick LaCasse, who attended a Camping's September 1994 AD bad prediction service »
  • Prophet Harold Camping proclaimed the Messiah's return would
    be in 1994 AD!
  • Harold Camping now proclaims the Kyrio's return
    will be on May 21, 2011 AD! Today!
  • Harold Camping teaches that the world will end in
    fiery destruction on October 21, 2011 AD!
  • Evangelical Harold Camping (owner of Family Radio) has aired Mormon
    , said that 15 years later, his faith in Camping has only strengthened.
"Evidently, he was wrong," LaCasse allowed, "but this time it is going to happen. There was some doubt last time, but we didn't have any proofs. This time we do."
Would his opinion of Camping change if May 21, 2011 AD (today!!!), ended without incident?
"I can't even think like that," LaCasse said. "Everything is too positive right now. There's too little time to think like that."
E-mail Justin Berton at jberton@sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page C - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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Tattoos are things of permanence. They are static while everything else changes. Judaism is a philosophy of growth and change, of the natural cycles of life and the humility of accepting that nothing in this world lasts forever.

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To get a tattoo is to tacitly claim that what one wants today is what one will always want, that what one believes today is what one will always believe. In a sense, it is a vow, a promise, things a Jew is not supposed to make because to be human is to be fallible and so there is no vow a person can keep with complete certainty.

The Argument Against "Judeo-Christian"

By msarko on 4/7/11 AD

For a long time now, people have used the catch-all term "Judeo-Christian" to describe broad strokes of social and philosophical ideas in Western society. This term is absurd, reductive and offensive, not to mention self-contradictory. This would be evident to anyone who has a proper understanding of the stark differences between Judaism and Christianity, both as cultures and as religious philosophies. The use of "Judeo-Christian" is an indication of ignorance and the willful marginalization of an entire people, while simultaneously suggesting some rather awful and incorrect ideas about many other religions and cultures.
So, what does "Judeo-Christian" mean in the modern context? Plainly, it is a term meant to represent a set of values that are supposed to be the foundation of the majority of Western society, especially in America. There are two problems with this assumption. First, the term suggests that the values espoused in Jewish philosophy are functionally identical to those espoused by Christian philosophy, which is incorrect. Second, it implies that values of other cultures are different enough to not even be mentioned.
While Judaism and Christianity have a lot of ideas in common, they differ from one another significantly in a number of vital ways, not the least of which is their disagreement concerning the sanctity and purpose of secular law. For a brief tangent on this subject, secular law according to the teachings of Protestantism (the most common form of religion in the United States) is divinely ordained because God is assumed to be perfect and active in the world, thus no state law could possibly be against the will of God. Law, as stated by Martin Luther, only needs to exist because there are those who do not accept Christianity, so it is a means to influence Christian behavior in a mixed society. Judaism, on the other hand, views secular law as something rising out of secular thought independent of God and subject to the same thoughtful examination as anything else in life. In Judaism, if a law is unjust according to Jewish philosophy, Jews should strive to correct it.
But these complex arguments seem immaterial when considering the exclusionary implications of "Judeo-Christian" as a concept. Not only are Judaism and Christianity fundamentally opposed on many philosophical issues, the term also implies that no other religion shares enough values with Judaism and Christianity to be included in the concept. It implies that, for instance, Islam, a natural outgrowth of Judaism and Christianity, is too different in its core values to be included in that social idea. This despite the fact that the core values of Islam involve belief in one God, acts of charity and study of the Bible. I'm not suggesting that the phrase ought to be changed to "Judeo-Christo-Muslim", as that would suffer from the same inaccuracies as the original term, just that it's insulting and incorrect to imply that the core values of other major faiths differ greatly enough from those of Judaism and Christianity to be excluded from the idea of fundamental social values.

The truth is that people in our society use the term "Judeo-Christian" to mask their true intentions. The "Judeo" part of it is meant to employ a sense of plurality to the unnamed values in question, to soften the idea of Christian values enough to make them seem universally accepted in countries like the United States. In doing so, the term reduces a nuanced philosophy to a footnote in our culture's dominant religious force while building a wall around the majority to exclude the very thoughts and ideas of the myriad minorities.

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Jewish sexual laws are rather progressive even by today's standards and were incredibly forward-thinking for the time in which they were established. Sex in Judaism still revolves around the concept of marriage, but there are several reasons for that beyond the inherent conservatism of that perspective. Mostly, Judaic sex laws aim to create as much harmony and equality between couples as possible.

To understand the Jewish perspective of sex one must first understand the concepts of Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Ra. These terms translate, respectively, as "impulse of good" and "impulse of bad". Desires that fall into one category or the other are not considered inherently good or bad, merely compelled either by selfishness or the good of others. Desires that originate in natural urges, such as hunger, thirst and the desire for sex, are under Yetzer Ra because they inherently involve the immediate urges of the individual. These desires can be balanced by appealing to Yetzer Tov, saving them from being selfish and potentially harmful. Just as it would be sinful to hoard food all for one's self, it is sinful to engage in sex with no regard for the desires of one's partner.

This is why sex in Judaism is limited to marriage. A Jewish marriage is, by all accounts, a legal partnership. It is based on a signed, witnessed agreement. As such, a married couple have certain obligations to the health and happiness of one another, including sexual gratification. Both in the Torah and later expanded in the Talmud there are rules about how often a married couple is obligated to have sex with one another independent of any attempt to procreate. The majority of the burden of this obligation is traditionally placed on the husband. He is actually bound by law to meet the sexual needs of his wife as she expresses them. Furthermore, he is strictly forbidden to ever force his wife to engage in any kind of sexual behavior.

By the same token, both parties in a Jewish marriage are not permitted to use sex or the lack thereof as a form of manipulation. It is a sin to withhold sex from one's partner or to compel it as currency or punishment. The Talmudic sages even created a rough framework for how frequently a man is obligated to have sex with his wife based on the travel and freedom related to his occupation.

Loving sex between a married couple in Judaism is considered a great mitzvah because it strengthens the bond between the couple and celebrates one of the pleasures of being alive. It is especially encouraged on the sabbath and other holidays. This is because sex is viewed as an act of creation, even when it doesn't or can't produce a child. The creative act is instead the creation of joy, love and cooperation.

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If your brothers in Christ were to describe you in one word, what would it be?
In many old letters, I noticed several friends wrote down that when they think of me, they get the word: “happy”. Warmed my soul.
It reminded me of a statement that an old roommate made about me last year: “I can’t ever imagine you depressed.” It floored me, because I wasn’t always like this. I spent a lot of my youth just generally bummed out about life. And then in my 20s, I was always lamenting whatever I didn’t have.
However, something about my 30s has filled me optimism. I wish I could tell you what it is, but I simply determined to enjoy my life. I want to be happy. I seek out happy things, and miraculously happiness seems to find me.
Pastor and author Joel Osteen is famous for speaking up for happiness and the importance to practice it every day. You can’t wait for circumstances to get better. You have to create your own good fortune. So look for ways to be happy every day.
“Seek and ye shall find.” Read the follow-up blog: What Makes You Happy?
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