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Saving Grace

I've been thinking about the latest manufactured outrage over some right-wing commentator -- Ann Coulter and her theological debate with Donnie Deutsch -- and I have to say I just don't see the big fuss.

I think I'm in a fairly good position to discuss religion. I'm an agnostic, so I feel I can be fairly objective. I was raised Methodist and have had several devout, fundamentalist Christian friends, so I have a "window" into that viewset. I spent several years deeply involved with a Jewish woman, so I've had glimpses into that faith. And as a godless infidel American, I've had ample opportunity to learn just what Islam thinks of and wants for me.

During their discussion, Deutsch turned his focus on Coulter's religious beliefs. And Ann -- who was probably surprised to be asked about such intellectual, abstract matters on the home network of Keith Olbermann -- responded with the standard Christian answers.

One standard tenet of Christianity is the idea that all people would be better off if they converted to Christianity. In fact, it's one of the duties of Christians -- to bring Christ's message to as many people as possible. It's done out of the best of intentions -- they believe that those who do not accept Christ are doomed to eternal damnation, and don't want that to happen to anyone.

Jews have been a thorny issue for Christians for centuries. The core of Christianity is Judaism -- the Jewish Bible makes up about half, roughly, of the Christian Bible. Christianity believes that the Jewish Bible is absolutely valid and accurate. Where they split is whether or not Jesus fulfilled the Jewish prophesies about the Messiah.

So, to the Christians, the Jewish beliefs are perfectly valid -- but incomplete. They need to "perfect" their beliefs to take into account Christ's role as the Messiah.

But they're not too pushy about it. Recently, the Catholic Church announced that their theologians had thought about it and yeah, the Jewish Covenant with God was still valid; they did NOT have to accept Christ to make it into heaven.

The sighs of relief of Jews all over the world were palpable.

OK, that's a bit over the top. The main significance of that was not for Jews' afterlife, but their present one. That little move stripped a lot of people who had used Catholic doctrine to persecute Jews of that particular facade.

Yeah, it's not the most obliging belief. But, really, what does it mean in everyday life?

Not a hell of a lot.

I have a very dear friend who is a very devout, very fundamentalist, very evangelical Christian. And I know that -- in her heart of hearts -- she prays for me to convert to her beliefs, and fears that I'm going to Hell if I die in my current state of grace. (She's told me as much.) But she does not make that the focus of our relationship (which is this strange sort of half big sister, half surrogate mother sort of thing).

One of the ways Christianity differs from Judaism is their attitude towards evangelism. Christians see it as a sacred duty; Jews see it as just plain wrong. One of my favorite oxymorons is "evangelical Jew." They not only don't want to convert you, they don't want you to convert, either; becoming a Jew when you weren't born one is WORK. (Take it from someone who once briefly looked into it; I got as far as the "ritual shedding of blood" and said "no, thanks.")

But back to the point: one of the defining elements of any religion is the belief that your faith is the best, truest way to relate to God. If you don't believe that about your faith, you're really not that much of a believer. And of the Big Three (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, in order of age), the two bigger ones are very much about converting non-believers.

But Christianity has grown considerably less obnoxious about it over the centuries. They no longer actively seek to convert people by force or coercion. Yeah, there are some irritating sorts (Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses come to mind), but if you don't want to be a Christian, then don't be.

And then there's Islam. It's the only faith that is still pushing conversion by the sword -- witness numerous terrorist videos, where hostages are "asked" to convert to Islam. And it's the only one that still punishes apostasy -- leaving the faith -- with actual, temporal consequences, usually death. Witness Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Salman Rushdie.

So, did Coulter really insult Jews by saying she wishes they were "perfected" and brought to Christianity? I don't think so. That wasn't her message, it was her response to a question. She is not actively pursuing it, over their wishes and resistance.

Nope, this is pretty much the next phase of Operation Silence The Right, much in the same vein of the attacks on Rush Limbaugh and the "phony soldiers" contretemps (where the attacks required lifting sentences out of context and a bit of interpretation), Bill O'Reilly and his alleged "racism," Michelle Malkin and her deciding to not simply take Harry Reid's staff's word on the Frost family's status as "SCHIP poster child," and the revival of the horribly-misnamed "Fairness Doctrine."

it's odd. I don't like Limbaugh, I think O'Reilly is a blowhard and a bit of a modern-day P. T. Barnum, Coulter is a bomb-thrower of the first order and should only rarely taken seriously, and Michelle Malkin seems to almost revel in being a lightning rod. But the principles behind the attacks against them -- an attempt to silence folks whose speech makes some people (in my opinion, the "right" people) uncomfortable -- is far, far more abhorrent than anything they have said.

And at the core of all these? The usual suspects. George Soros and his network of interlocking organizations. Moveon.Org. Media Matters For America.

Color me unsurprised.


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Comments (55)

JT, I know you are not a su... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, I know you are not a supporter of faith, but you forgot one important thing. All three faiths have the same root. Abraham. We share the best example of God to man and man to God.

AS far as the point of your piece; when the MSM attackes someone who is on the right, is not news to me. If anything, it is validation of the point of the article. ww

This is a case of projectin... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

This is a case of projecting, except as a Public Relations defense mechanism and not a psychological one.

Your comments are accurate,... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Your comments are accurate, well reasoned -- and completely unnecessary. If the left wasn't outraged at Coulter, it would be directed at someone else.

I've stopped caring about what they're angry about. It's always somebody, and it's always examined, inspected, explained, and generally worked to death in the media and blogs.

Frankly, I see little difference between the thinking of the left and the thinking of radical muslims, give or take a suicide bombing or two. It's like trying to understand the frantic logic of the mentally ill. It's enough to see the mental illness, without trying to explain it.

Color me sarcastic, but I d... (Below threshold)

Color me sarcastic, but I don't write 982 words on something I consider not a big fuss.

Cheers,

Bill

Jews await Messiah. God sen... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Jews await Messiah. God sends Messiah. Jews reject Messiah because He is not exactly what they expected. There is no sugar coating it. Obedient Jews need to accept the Messiah whom God sent. Many have. Let the whiners whine.

Once again, very well said,... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Once again, very well said, Jay. As a Christian, one should believe that is the only way to be, religiously--if one wants to please God and seek salvation--it's what the Bible says.

However, the decision is strictly a personal choice from the heart and brain. No one can MAKE another person be Christian (i.e., prayer in school & other public places). This is the big difference between Islam and Christianity. I'm not sure if Ann expressed this point.

The term I've heard used for Jewish people who convert to Christianity is "completed Jew", as opposed to "perfected Jew". As no one on earth is perfect, completed may be a little less offensive.

It's too bad with Ann's intellect, she can not come up with a better way to get across conservative ideas---I think she hurts "the cause" quite a bit, especially with negative emphasis given to her by the press.

Michelle Malkin's works have been off my list of daily reading for sometime. She has become worse than a woman scorned. If things don't go her way politically (immigration, etc.) Her sarcasm expressed on her website has moved from witty to bitter, nasty, childish remarks--a conservative kos kid. It's a shame, once again, to waste talent.

Jewish friends of mine are ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Jewish friends of mine are not insulted at all. One of them pointed out that she is doctrinally accurate.

The volume of the cacophony is directly proportional to the ignorance.

Hmm, bobdog, U got a point.... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hmm, bobdog, U got a point.

Now let's see, which mental illness is characterized by a spectrum of phenotypes all joined by a fear of abandonment that is generally and disfunctionally dealt with by attacking others, projection and in extreme cases self-mutilation? Where rational thought and ability to learn from experience hampered by emotions that overwhelm? Who have excellent skills at manipulating others and setting up disinformation campaigns? While some higher functioning sufferers hold good jobs, many have difficulty holding any employment for extended periods? The prognosis is poor for most afflicted, though aggressive use of dialectical therapy helps some.

Unfortunately it sounds like either extreme of the spectrum., but I see a wider swath on the Left than the Right.

Islamic fundamentalists have a fixed psychosis. Those types of problems rarely improve with anything but high doses of strong medication with debilitating side effects. Their moderate brethren do resemble our extreme examples above.

You will all recall that ba... (Below threshold)
Mike:

You will all recall that baseball player Ryan Church got in trouble a few years back for saying basically the same thing.

Many of the opinion writers and cultural elites in this country are very liberal, Christian-wary Jews. And really, after centuries of persecution and second-class treatment by European Christians, who can blame them. Therein lies the problem.

Perhaps if Christians historically had been civil to Jews, such animosity would not exist today.

Mike,"Many of the ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Mike,

"Many of the opinion writers and cultural elites in this country are very liberal, Christian-wary Jews."

Many of them are also Torah wary. They not only reject Christianity, but the basic tenants of their own faith. For the ones who don't, we get along just fine.

So, take a conservative bom... (Below threshold)

So, take a conservative bomb-thrower who admits that she's not happy until she can write or say something that causes liberals to fly into a vein-popping, spittle-flecked rage, combined with a smug, arrogant crapweasel of an interviewer whose goal was to embarrass and humiliate the conservative bomb-thrower, and what you get? A perfect storm of manufactured outrage.

oops. Make that "tenets".</... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

oops. Make that "tenets".

Lets see what Jews t... (Below threshold)
JFO:


Lets see what Jews think of her comment:

"ADL Condemns Ann Coulter's Comment That Jews Need 'To Be Perfected'

New York, NY, October 12, 2007 ... The Anti-Defamation League strongly condemns Ann Coulter for her anti-Semitic comment that Christians "want Jews to be perfected" in an interview with Donny Deutsch on CNBC's "The Big Idea." During her October 8 appearance, Coulter suggested that Jews should convert, adding that, "we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. ... That's what Christianity is."

Ann Coulter may be a political pundit but she clearly knows very little about religious theology and interfaith issues. Coulter's remarks are outrageous, offensive and a throwback to the centuries-old teaching of contempt for Jews and Judaism. The notion that Jews are religiously inferior or imperfect because they do not accept Christian beliefs was the basis for 2,000 years of church-based anti-Semitism. While she is entitled to her beliefs, using mainstream media to espouse the idea that Judaism needs to be replaced with Christianity and that each individual Jew is somehow deficient and needs to be "perfected," is rank Christian supersessionism and has been rejected by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of mainstream Christian denominations.

Clearly, Ann Coulter needs a wake-up call about the power of words to injure others and fuel hatred. She needs an education, too, about the roots of anti-Semitism and the shared values of Judaism and Christianity. Christians and Jews have worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to overcome the past and to promote a more tolerant and pluralistic vision for the future and especially for America.

Donny Deutsch is to be commended for his immediate and forceful denunciation of Coulter's statements, for calling her remarks personally offensive, and for rightly characterizing her suggestion that Jews are inferior to Christians as anti-Semitism."


Enough said about this miserable nasty spokesperson for the right wing and their beliefs.

Correction:"Lets s... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Correction:

"Lets see what [leftist] Jews think of her comment:"

I expect that one day publi... (Below threshold)
kim:

I expect that one day public spirituality will be confucian in form, private spirituality will resemble buddhism, festivals and public holydays will have a hindu air, and the cults of abraham will be marginalized as too violent.
======================================

Liberals belive in freedom ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Liberals belive in freedom of speech unless it involves conservatives then its okay to send in some goons to try and silence the conservatives frankly next time a bunch of jerks charge the podium i suggest they get sprayed with skunk oil till the stink for a month

Jeff -One point. ... (Below threshold)
Lysander:

Jeff -

One point. The messiah, in Judaism, is not a deity, a part of a deity, or in any way part of a "g-dhead" outside of the connection to deity that all human beings have. So, no, according to Jewish tradition, the messiah has not arrived.

On to the main point. No, I understand that she was speaking doctrinally, not directly intending to cause offense. However, there are ways to say things that will get the concept across without intentionally knocking the table. I can only imagine her reaction were the comments directed at her.

Thank God you landed safely... (Below threshold)
kim:

Thank God you landed safely my p-braned frend.
===============================================

Lysander, when you have a m... (Below threshold)
kim:

Lysander, when you have a mote seer so acute, beam her up.
=============================

Lysander,"...accor... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Lysander,

"...according to Jewish tradition, the messiah has not arrived."

That's the problem. Tradition trumps the Word of God.

"However, there are ways to say things that will get the concept across without intentionally knocking the table."

There is no way to proclaim the gospel without offense. Jesus repeatedly said so.

"I can only imagine her reaction were the comments directed at her."

I don't even know what that means. She has already had far worse said about her. She seems to get as good as she gives and then some.

JFO, you understand nothing... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JFO, you understand nothing and do not have any original thoughts. You spew whatever is posted on the leftist sites. ww

How do Christians respond t... (Below threshold)

How do Christians respond the attitudes of Bin-Ladin an Amadinijad that the world would be a far better place if all Christians became Muslim? Are there people who do not know that they are actually bigots? Mt friends who are Christian clergy do not seem to share the view of Ann Coulter. The view she expressed demonstrated an alaring lack of respect for her fellow citizens.

I was raised Jewish.... (Below threshold)
ZS:


I was raised Jewish... Not offended by what she said.

If she meant "..our religions are similar, I think mine's a little better, I think you should sign up for mine", then she is entitled to her opinion... It's not like she was trying to force me to sign up...and even if I may disagree with her, Im not offended by her having that opinion.

I agree with your summation of the attitudes toward conversion concerning the different religions though.

Jews: Are you sure you want to convert? Make sure it's what you really want before you do this; It's a serious matter. If you aren't serious about this, don't do it.

Christians: C'mon...convert! You know you want to! It'll be glorious! It's really the best thing out there!! C'mon!! Do it!! This sale won't last!!

Muslims: Convert... or else. Islam is the religion of peace. If you don't believe us, we'll kill you.

Lysander wrote, "...there a... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Lysander wrote, "...there are ways to say things that will get the concept across without intentionally knocking the table."

Ann Coulter is perhaps our best-known "table kocker" today. That is her schtick. I think liberals and conservatives invite her into their forums praying all the while that she will unleash a verbal onslaught, because with it she will attract a considerable amount of attention.

Jeff -In Judaism, ... (Below threshold)
Lysander:

Jeff -

In Judaism, (whether you want to call it the word of G-d, or Tradition, or something else, no matter) the messiah is not a deity, part of a deity, or anything other than a specially-designated human being. The Nicene Creed, unless I misread it, holds that Christ is divine. Where those two positions are in play, the same individual cannot satisfy both.

That Christianity seeks to build upon Judaism, keeping the liked parts and discarding the disliked parts, sobeit. But don't treat them as two parts of the same thing, since they are not.

Jay Tea,Great post... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

Jay Tea,

Great post, but I have one nit to pick. Please don't ever lump Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses in with Christians. Neither consider Christians to be saved and both use extensively rewritten and/or extended Bibles. Both deny that Christ died on the cross and was resurrected for our salvation. That is a rejection of the central tenant of Christianity.

Lysander,Isaiah 9:... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Lysander,

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and His name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel [God with us].

For those who have ears to hear, the OT clearly indicates Jesus' divinity (which He also claimed for Himself), Jewish tradition notwithstanding.

Jeff - Which translation ar... (Below threshold)
Lysander:

Jeff - Which translation are you using?

I, myself, prefer the Stone Edition TaNaCh, but JPS is pretty good.

Doc Barry, As a disciple of... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

Doc Barry, As a disciple of Christ (one who agrees that Jesus Himself proclaimed that there is NO other way to Heaven, but through Him) I can easily say that if everyone in the world was voluntarily entirely Muslim, or Jewish, or even Bahaists, the world would probably be a "far better place". No religious fighting to get in the way of stewardship matters over the earth. Most likely a one world government would be possible. So words of Bin-Ladin or Amadinijad to that effect don't set me off... make me scream, or create Anti Defamation Leagues.

Of course the issue at stake for mankind would be what happens after a man dies in such a state. What's eternity hold for them? In that aspect I would say that things would be far, far worse for individuals, and humanity as a whole.

The goals of those that follow Christ aren't to create a Christian One World Order, or to even make the USA a Theocracy. Our primary concern is what's the state of our relationship with our Creator God, and then how can we help our neighbors create a relationship with Him as well.

Let's use this as an example: Let's say that everyone who participates in Wizbang are all driving our cars on a highway headed directly west, and the sun is setting and its glare is so blinding that the drivers can't see the signs warning that the only bridge ahead is out and leads to a deadly drop.

Those drivers that happen to be wearing sunglasses can see the signs. Sure, they can stop themselves, and make adjustments to avoid the drop so they are safe. Wouldn't those that are most conscientious want to help prevent as many others as possible from driving off that bridge?

So they stop their cars, and honk their horns, or call out to other drivers trying to use other means to suggest they stop. Even if there are drivers who hear that message, and don't stop (because they believe their cars can fly, or they think the other drivers are mistaken or liars) does it make those who are warning them to stop or change their route bigots?

I think you need a different word. It's not a matter of superiority, it's a matter of practicality. A follower of Mohammed, or of Judaism can speak load and clear that they don't believe my faith is accurate. They can say I'm destined for Hell. It doesn't effect my relationship with God, it simply makes me sad for what I believe is their mistake.

It's not a matter of being "better" than someone else. In fact those Christian that believe in the integrity of the New Testament would agree with the Apostle Paul that we are the "greatest of all sinners" as we have experienced the truth, and God's grace, yet we still sin. I know I do.

For those who have ears ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

For those who have ears to hear, the OT clearly indicates Jesus' divinity (which He also claimed for Himself), Jewish tradition notwithstanding.

I see Jeff digs on Coulter's Christian chauvinism. Too bad you have to ignore a lot of other passages in the OT to come to your conclusion about Isaiah's prophecy. For instance:

Psalm 82:6 - I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Are they all messiahs? Also, the OT is replete with characters whose names had some sort of God meaning. Gabriel and Elijiah for instance. In fact the prefix "El" means god in Hebrew (from Elohim), and many names begin with El. It is not an unreasonable interpretation to think that Isaiah was merely speaking of the messiah's name, and not describing him as specifically divine. But apparently those who believe that don't "have ears to hear."

It is the Christian chauvinism that Coulter was advancing in her answer that has always been at the root of antisemitism. The reason it rubs people the wrong way is not so much because this is a view unique to Christianity (it's not), but because the long history of oppression and genocide of Jews has it's fundamental basis in the belief that such people are flawed.

What I find interesting is that more Christians aren't offended by the fact that Coulter is extremely selective in what Christian beliefs she espouses.

How do Christians ... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:
How do Christians respond the attitudes of Bin-Ladin an Amadinijad that the world would be a far better place if all Christians became Muslim?

Well, obviously, we don't agree. But we're not running around caterwauling about how "insensitive" and "offensive" such views are. And, speaking for myself, I can at least have some respect for such forthrightness, whereas I have none for weaselly lefties who don the mantle of "inclusivity" and "tolerance for all views" while at the same time attacking my faith every chance they get.

Mantis, are you suggesting ... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

Mantis, are you suggesting that the original Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written can't differentiate between the word gods and the name of the Lord God? I'd say that's pretty poor scholarship on your part.

As for chauvinism, I'm afraid you'll also need to find a different word.

There's no hate represented in stating that there's only 1 way to God, whether that's stated by a Jew, Christian or Muslim.

It's also not a declaration that one group of people are superior to the other.

What OregonMuse said.... (Below threshold)

What OregonMuse said.

"What I find interesting is that more Christians aren't offended by the fact that Coulter is extremely selective in what Christian beliefs she espouses."

Why should they be? Those of us who grew up in evangelical churches (many Christian churches are not) *might* find predestination offensive and Sunday social clubs sad, but we've always known that people in other Christian churches are likely to hold a profound belief that *our* Christian church has missed the mark and everyone (except for a few lucky sorts, who might have got saved by accident) are going to hell.

We got over it a very long time ago, and frankly, can't understand the purpose behind getting all out of joint because someone thinks our religion is wrong or that we need to be saved. Other people's opinions don't matter.

"I can only imagine her reaction were the comments directed at her."

I can too. Same ole, same ole. There are so many Christian churches who believe that *they* alone have rightly understood scripture and that they *alone* are preaching salvation, that he undoubtedly *has* had comments like that directed at her. Christians are used to it. They don't CARE.

It's a sad thing that the doctrine of inclusivity and tolerance is actually an iron-clad doctrine of exclusivity and intolerance and the only people who seem to be able to see it are believers. Not just Christian believers. ANY believers. Because the ONLY religious belief that is ACCEPTABLE is the watered down insipid one. The one that makes no difference in a person's life. The one that no one actually believes in. The one without any consequences whatsoever. No one is allowed, under this tolerance doctrine, to believe that Truth even exists. They are supposed to go to church for the feel-good social support and belonging of it.

Religion, the acceptable sort, is put on the same level as a Moms and Tots support group.

Mantis, are you suggesti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, are you suggesting that the original Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written can't differentiate between the word gods and the name of the Lord God?

No, I'm saying it does differentiate, in that Isaiah calls the Messiah El Gibbor (Mighty God), and that he specifically refers to that as his name, as opposed to referring to him as God (Elohim). El Gibbor is used in other books of the Tanakh, such as:

Ezk 32:21 - "The strong among the mighty (Heb. El gibbor) shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword."

Ezekiel is clearly not speaking of the Messiah in this passage.

In any case, I'm suggesting that the Tanakh can, and does, differentiate "between the word gods and the name of the Lord God." That's why the Jews are not persuaded by Isaiah 9:6 in claims to the Messiah's divinity. They believe that the Messiah will be son of man, descendant of David, and this belief is supported by scripture.

As for chauvinism, I'm afraid you'll also need to find a different word.

Why? It's the most descriptive word for it.

There's no hate represented in stating that there's only 1 way to God, whether that's stated by a Jew, Christian or Muslim.

Chauvinism doesn't mean hate.

It's also not a declaration that one group of people are superior to the other.

Of course it is. Coulter puts it perfectly by describing Christians as perfect and Jews as imperfect. How can that not mean that Christians are superior?

Lutheranism is criticized f... (Below threshold)

Lutheranism is criticized for wallowing in self-depreciation. (To the tune of Mighty Fortress, "I am but a lowly worm, step on my Lord and watch me squirm.") All evangelical churches teach that we are sinners and lost and unable under our own power or our own virtue to ever EVER be saved.

Most evangelical churches teach that Jews are G-d's chosen people. He simply *likes* them better than he likes me. He chose them. The Bible says he loves them, particularly, as a group more than other groups.

Again... how would a Christian respond to a similar (to Coulter's) remark implying someone else was superior? (dumb blond mode) Golly... I don't know because I'm sure it's never happened.

For all those that are "out... (Below threshold)

For all those that are "outraged" at Coulter's statement I would only have one question:

There are multitudes of Muslims who have proclaimed with no uncertainty that Islam is the culmination of Judaism and Christianity and thereby the final word of God which makes Muslims the most perfect of all and that all should perfect themselves by becoming Muslim. So, how's their "outrage" over that going?

It's not Coulter's religious persuasion that they're so pissed about. It's that she's a provocative conservative, so anything she identifies with verbally is vilified simply because "she" said it.

It's not Coulter's relig... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

It's not Coulter's religious persuasion that they're so pissed about. It's that she's a provocative conservative, so anything she identifies with verbally is vilified simply because "she" said it.

Didn't we already have that thread?

How can that not mean th... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

How can that not mean that Christians are superior?

While I took most of the Coulter/Deutsch exchange as somewhat darkly comedic, this is the one aspect that bothered and gnawed at me about the whole use of "perfect": the superiority of it. It would be almost laughable, if I didn't think she was semi-serious when she said it.

Without getting into a protracted theological discussion, but as a Christian, that "perfect" comment, or that Jews are somehow "imperfect" compared to Christians, makes me uncomfortable and is wrong. It's not something I ever learned or was taught in my two years of being a Catechumen, nor have heard preached since my conversion.

Must be an evangelical thang?

Christians: C'mon...convert! You know you want to! It'll be glorious! It's really the best thing out there!! C'mon!! Do it!! This sale won't last!!

Funny! But again, not in my experience. Mine was more along the lines of:

Jews: Are you sure you want to convert? Make sure it's what you really want before you do this; It's a serious matter. If you aren't serious about this, don't do it.

Quite a serious undertaking, and not to be done lightly--no matter what religion one is converting to.

OysterAgain... how... (Below threshold)
DB:

Oyster

Again... how would a Christian respond to a similar (to Coulter's) remark implying someone else was superior? (dumb blond mode) Golly... I don't know because I'm sure it's never happened.

She said perfected not superior.

In the OT God chose the Jewish people and provided a way for them to have salvation. Through them he would send a way for all to be saved both Jew and Gentile. Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise. Does that make the jew inferior to the Christian nope just we see them as a first step in the promise.
So to answer your questions most Christians would say she is correct.

Jew would she is not correct because they do not believe that the Messiah has come and the God promise is not complete.

Chauvinism (IPA:/'ʃoʊ.vəˌnɪ... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

Chauvinism (IPA:/'ʃoʊ.vəˌnɪzm̩/) is extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of a group to which one belongs, especially when the partisanship includes malice and hatred towards a rival group. A frequent contemporary use of the term in English is male chauvinism, which refers to the belief that males are superior to females. A similar concept discussed by a few misandry researchers is female chauvinism, or the belief that females are superior to males.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauvinism

Does Isaiah use El Gibbor more than once in his book, Mantis?

I came in here late - and I... (Below threshold)
Candy:

I came in here late - and I'm the fundamentalist friend referred to in this post. It has been a pleasure to be friends with Jay Tea over the past decade or so, and I truly believe that it is not my job to SAVE anyone, including him. I witness, I do not save. Many of my brothers and sisters have already done a fine job of laying it out. I was not raised Christian. Life began for me the day I accepted Christ and it's been a true transformation.

I love that an agnostic has chosen to spend a number of Christian holidays at our home. Apparently we are doing something right, because if we were shoving it down his throat and/or up his keister, he's take a better offer I'm sure.

Jay outside of you comments... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Jay outside of you comments on the left...I agree with you.

Ann C. is attacked for the same reason Michael Moore is attacked.

We have become a nation of automatically attacking the messenger. After all that is easier then listening to them.

My personal attitude toward Ann C. maybe the same as your attitude toward Michael Moore.
But to deny both give a voice to millions of Americans is to deny reality.

All Ann C. did was to say out loud what millions of Christians believe. She was NOT wrong in expressing this.
I do not think she did this as part of her outrageous persona. There are plenty of other topics that cover this. She simply reflected her religious belief.

It is B.S. for those to say it is ok to think it just don't say it as it is B.S. for others to condemn her Religious views as hate.

Candy! It's so cool to (so... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

Candy! It's so cool to (sort of) meet you! I've been praying for you and your family, and thanking God for your involvement with J!

It way too often feels like most people don't really know any followers of Christ, and simply judge us by the acts of what is portrayed by the media.

It makes me sad that perhaps too many of our brothers and sisters are becoming seclusionists, acting like salt refusing to come out of the shaker.

Veeshir, I tried so many wa... (Below threshold)

Veeshir, I tried so many ways to explain better the point I was trying to get across and I've deleted it over and over. So we'll just settle with the fact that what I did say maybe should have belonged in another thread. But there was a much larger point I really wanted to get across and I failed.

Ah, a wikipedia cite (with ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ah, a wikipedia cite (with an "especially when" caveat). Good show. How about we just look at the dictionary?

1. zealous and aggressive patriotism or blind enthusiasm for military glory.
2. biased devotion to any group, attitude, or cause.

Good, now that that's cleared up...

Does Isaiah use El Gibbor more than once in his book, Mantis?

Yes he does, at 10:21. Keep in mind I'm not arguing that the Jewish interpretation is correct (or the Christian interpretation), but rather that both are plausible. At 10:21 he is clearly talking about God, but at 9:6 this is not clear at all. The use of "El" is very common throughout the Tanakh, and must be considered in context. The naming of a child, as Isaiah is describing, is a much different context than when speaking directly of Yahweh. Linguistic and historical context do matter. For that matter, but do you know what the name of Hezekiah, King of the Jews, means? It's pretty close to Mighty God. Did you know that Isaiah 9:6 is written in the past tense, and that Isaiah was alive for his reign?

D. - glad to "meet" you as ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

D. - glad to "meet" you as well. The media has done a number on Christians alright. I remember being a typical secular teenager and seeing "Footloose", and my reaction to the dad in that film was "PSYCHO!"

Actually, I still believe the character in that movie was a nutjob. Our pastor gave an amazing sermon yesterday where he talked about biblical teaching vs. "legalism". For example, how the bible does NOT teach against drinking alcohol, but of becoming drunk. He said "I'm a teetotaler because I choose to abstain from alcohol, but I will not stand up here and preach against DRINKING alcohol, but of OVERDRINKING, because it's not biblically sound teaching to say that drinking alcohol is sinful"

Folks, there are Christians who are good witnesses for Christ and bad ones. Try to avoid the bad ones - they are usually pretty easy to spot, because they are either two-faced or legalistic to the point that they will continually point out your shortcomings looking past their own. My personal favorite was a very legalistic pastor who informed me that women who wear pants to church "are not right with God."

When in doubt, read the bible. You don't need any man or woman to tell you what's right and what's wrong - just read it on your own. I'd suggest an NIV (New International Version) because you won't have to trip over the "thees" and "thous". Need it real simple? Not my fav, but "The Message" breaks the bible down to simple everyday language. My husband loves it. Walmart carries several bibles and they are very affordable.

Off my soapbox (finally).

Have a good night! Back to the trenches to teach Excel *sigh*

Both you and I use the word... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

Both you and I use the word chauvinism, yet both of us associate something different (perhaps slight) to it's use.

It's a perfect illustration to show that proper hermeneutics would have us favor using the known and understood words of the original author, to help understand the meanings of the words or phrases that could be more vague.

In other words, use Don's words to understand what Don's trying to say, and use Mantis' words to figure out what Mantis is saying. Using my definition of "chauvinism" to understand what you are trying to say, would shade it into a discussion about malice and hatred between 2 groups. In this case, that would be wrong, you didn't intend that at all.

I'm not saying that Isaiah couldn't be using the same phrase to mean 2 different things. However, given the type of book Isaiah is, I think it's highly likely, and that the ball is on the other side of the court, to prove otherwise.

Did the Jewish people in the day of Christ's birth view Isaiah 9:6 as prophetic words about their awaited messiah?

"But Christianity has grown... (Below threshold)
Tom Sheepandgoats Author Profile Page:

"But Christianity has grown considerably less obnoxious about it over the centuries. They no longer actively seek to convert people by force or coercion. Yeah, there are some irritating sorts (Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses come to mind), but if you don't want to be a Christian, then don't be. "

On the other hand, when you say "no" to Jehovah's Witnesses, they go away. Alas, they may come back another time, but even then, it's just words. They don't, through legislative means, try to maneuver governments to FORCE others to live their way. Viewed that way, right wing Christians are considerably more "obnoxious" and "irritating" than are Jehovah's Witnesses, at least to those who hold different values which they would like to exercise in peace.

WOW Jay what are you trying... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

WOW Jay what are you trying to do start a HOLY war!? lol

Ann's the target...forget trying to debate the subject matter..

Soros and the loony left want her and any other visible conservative silenced..end of story.
MSM wants us/public to listen and watch Al Gore, Mikey Moore, Rosie...and yes we bitch about their crap. Then when it comes to a conservative, OHH NO they can't say THAT...blah blah blah.
Double standard hypocritical asswipes.

1st Amendment for everybody, if NOT exercise the 2nd Amendment!!!

Odd sheep&goats, I must hav... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Odd sheep&goats, I must have missed that legislation that was proposed. The one that made Christianity, fundie style Christianity, the state religion if the USA.
Or maybe you're just full of shit.

Ann Coulter is a bit over t... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Ann Coulter is a bit over the top and a poseur. I would take her more seriously if she didn't make it a point to be provocative with her dress and mannerisms. Believing is one thing, but saying blunt, reactionary things just to kick up dust and sell a book seems like a waste of air time.

I give more credence to real efforts in communication when it comes to problem-solving. An example would be an open letter sent by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders. Not, "We're right and you're wrong," but "Let's find a way to work this out."

"The letter, which is entitled A Common Word between Us and You, says: "Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world's population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians."


SCSIwuzzy:Whether ... (Below threshold)

SCSIwuzzy:

Whether I am full of shit or not is immaterial. And the name is Sheepandgoats, not Sheep&goats!

"Fundie style Christianity" is consistantly trying to write their morality into law. Ban on gay marriage, for example. Ban on abortions & so forth. Why are you not aware of this?

Whether I agree with these positions or not is as immaterial as my being full of shit. The point is that JWs pose no threat to those who they disagree with. Fundie Christianity does.

Tom: "Fundie style Chris... (Below threshold)
Jim Price:

Tom: "Fundie style Christianity is consistantly trying to write their morality into law. Ban on gay marriage, for example. Ban on abortions & so forth." - Is it surprising that a Christian would take seriously the duty he/she has to the political process in this country? Government is not a man made concept, it is God ordained; and as such, Christians have an obligation to be involved in accordance with their conscience.

WildWillie: "All three faiths have the same root. Abraham." Wrong. The root of Christianity is explained perfectly in John 3:16...For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe on Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. Everything else comes after that.

Candy: Good to read your thoughts; I agree...the media almost never portrays Christians accurately, either picturing them to be total nut jobs...or worse yet, liberally sticking the label "Christian" on anyone 1) whose parents went to church or 2)have a Bible on the coffee table or 3)went to church once or...well you get the point. Even white supremicist fools label themselves as "good Christian folk" but that doesn't make it so.

Jeff Blogworthy: Well said, on everything. I'll have to spend more time reading your blog.

Sheep, there are valid, non... (Below threshold)

Sheep, there are valid, non-religious reasons for opposing abortion and gay marriage. One need not turn to faith to find legitimate grounds to resist both.

You'd have a better argument if you'd cited "Blue Laws" or -- as in place in most Muslim countries -- religious tests for public office or mandatory tithing or laws against blasphemy.

J.

Okay. Consider them cited.<... (Below threshold)

Okay. Consider them cited.




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