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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

When Good Technology Goes Bad

Sorry for the lack of updates, Dear Reader, but my broadband provider has been having some major network issues over the past two days. Internet access is available, and then all of the sudden it's out for several hours. So I have to take the opportunity now to post before the network goes down (again).

Before today I had never heard of the American Family Association and its online publication, the AFA journal. The group is right-wing Christian, and since I'm not Christian (or right-wing), I don't think I'd ever have any reason to check them out. But in looking at some articles online today (in the few minutes I've been able to get online) I caught at article from AFA called Homeless by Choice.

It's a great read. No, it's not, it actually creeps right up to anti-Semitisim. The author of the piece basically implies that a Jewish upbringing is just a step away from a life of crimes and drugs.

Writing about a man named Keith Wasserman, who operates a ministry program for the homeless, author Randall Murphree states, of Wasserman:

"The Athens, Ohio, man grew up in a Jewish home and developed a hostile attitude toward Christ. As a teenager, he used drugs, sold drugs and accumulated quite a juvenile crime record. But after a high school friend persistently witnessed to him, Keith accepted Christ during his junior year in high school."

Isn't that heartwarming? So, I guess if you grow up in a Jewish home, hating Christ is bound to turn you to a life of crime. Something Christian proselytyzers do not understand are the complicated implications of someone Jewish becoming Christian.

Right away you lose the Right of Return, which allows any Jew to live in Israel. In fact, once you become Christian, you are no longer considered Jewish: you are not counted for a minyan and you lose the right to a Jewish burial, among other things. Maybe that sounds harsh, but one cannot be Jewish and worship Christ. Sorry. It's like saying you're Christian but follow the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. I think in that situation you'd be considered a Muslim, not a Christian.

I realize many Christians probably do not think there are consequences for someone Jewish to become Christian. There are, and Rabbi Tovia Singer's Outreach Judaism is a great web site that offers up the Jewish perspective as it relates to Christian proselytizing, while proving some background on the Jewish faith and what we believe.

Now, lest you think I'm anti-Christian, I'm not. But I'd never presume to try and pressure a Christian to give up their faith for another faith. And we Jews deal with proselytizing a lot; some Christian groups even actively seek out Jews for conversion, as the Southern Baptist Convention did in 1995.

Let's face it, it's difficult enough being Jewish in America (as this offensive tract from Jack Chick illustrates) or around the world, for that matter. Many Christians still hold to the belief that Jews are guilty of deicide in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and of course most Middle Eastern countries would like to see Israel wiped off the face of the map.

Look, let me deal with my own afterlife. You may think I'm hellbound, which is fine, that's your belief, but it's not mine, and I wouldn't presume to convince you otherwise.

Thus concludes tonight's sermon.

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