Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Yeah, That’s What Jesus Would Do

The New York Times has an article about the situation in Indian River, Delaware where a Jewish family has filed suit over a long list of instances of Christian intimidation of their children. Some of the examples are absolutely stunning.

Mrs. Dobrich, who is Orthodox, said that when she was a girl, Christians here had treated her faith with respectful interest. Now, she said, her son was ridiculed in school for wearing his yarmulke. She described a classmate of his drawing a picture of a pathway to heaven for everyone except “Alex the Jew.”…

A homemaker active in her children’s schools, Mrs. Dobrich said she had asked the board to develop policies that would leave no one feeling excluded because of faith. People booed and rattled signs that read “Jesus Saves,” she recalled. Her son had written a short statement, but he felt so intimidated that his sister read it for him. In his statement, Alex, who was 11 then, said: “I feel bad when kids in my class call me ‘Jew boy.’ I do not want to move away from the house I have lived in forever.”

Later, another speaker turned to Mrs. Dobrich and said, according to several witnesses, “If you want people to stop calling him ‘Jew boy,’ you tell him to give his heart to Jesus.”

Yep, that’s just what Jesus would do, bully an 11 year old boy over his religion.

Comments

  1. #1 richCares
    July 31, 2006

    the religious right is not only dangerous but they are very evil and they are in power

  2. #2 matthew
    July 31, 2006

    sounds like a bad episode of South Park

  3. #3 Skip Evans
    July 31, 2006

    but I’m sure the Alliance Defense Fund and American Center for Law and Justice will sweep in to help the family, won’t they? After all, aren’t they opposed to religious discrimination?

  4. #4 Prup aka Jim Benton
    July 31, 2006

    Glad to see the NYT picked up this story. However, like Haditha, the blogosphere was there first. The best coverage I’ve seen on it is on the “Jews on First” website:
    http://www.jewsonfirst.org/

    I would particularly call your attention to the updates and this bit of info:
    “One of the bloggers writing about our story discovered that a religious right website, StopTheACLU.org, had posted the home address and phone number of the Dobriches, the Jewish family who fled Sussex County because of threats and harassment after it filed suit against the school district. The group was encouraging visitors to its site to harass the Dobriches because they believed (erroneously) that they were represented by the ACLU.

    Richard Bartholomew, who writes the Salon-hosted blog Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion broke this aspect of the story.”

    In fact, the page is still up (despite the fact that the Dobriches have already moved) with the following comment
    “This case is a good time to introduce our “Expose the ACLU Plaintiff” project and here’is how it goes. When an individual, group or even church (yes, there are churches that support the ACLU) is using the ACLU (or similar groups like Americans United, People for the (Anti) American Way, Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Atheists) to facilitate removal of a cross, the 10 Commandments or other religious symbols or the ceasing of prayer from a school or government entity, we want the community to know about it. We will start with the Dobrich family which is largely responsible for this case being taken. We are offended that the Dobrich’s want to impose their atheism at the expense of the vast majority of community members who aren’t offended. We will let all of Delaware know who used the ACLU to sue this school district.

    For our first case, we will leave the information here where the Dobriches reside. Here it is, according to Switchboard.com.”

    Cite:
    http://www.stoptheaclu.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=54&Itemid=2

    Scary folks indeed. There were several aspects of ‘classic’ fascism, that lack of which I’ve always used as evidence against those companions of mine on the left’s claim that America was heading in that direction. One of the strongest was the lack of appeals to extra-legal mob violence — of the Coughlinist stripe, at least. While I still think we are not even near Orcinus’ ‘psuedo-fascism’ this is one argument I’m less comfortable using.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    July 31, 2006

    Wow, one thing I hadn’t noticed about that idiotic screed from Kareiva is that he calls the Dobriches atheists. They are, of course, Jewish. So much for that “Judeo-Christian” nonsense, eh?

  6. #6 DragonScholar
    July 31, 2006

    EdBrayton,

    Not an uncommon behavior. In earlier centuries different Christian sects labeled each other as satanists. Deciding someone’s slighty different beliefs are wholesale rejection is not uncommon in our history.

  7. #7 Matthew
    July 31, 2006

    I forget Delaware exists sometimes.

  8. #8 SharonB
    July 31, 2006

    I am absolutely appalled that anyone who could possibly call himself Christian could possibly offer any defense for these christianist goons in DE.

  9. #9 Wacki
    July 31, 2006

    “the religious right is not only dangerous but they are very evil and they are in power”

    Although I am agnostic, I grew up in a Roman Catholic household. I do not know a single person from my church that would call these people christians. Roman Catholics do not believe Jews, or people of any other religion, are condemned to hell. I honestly look at people who make comments like yours as very similar to those who are described in the featured article.

  10. #10 David Heddle
    July 31, 2006

    Wacki,

    Roman Catholics do not believe Jews, or people of any other religion, are condemned to hell.

    You are joking, right? I could easily disprove this statement.

    Catholic dogma has been and remains that a saving faith in Jesus Christ is required for salvation. Some Catholic theologians speculate that some “good people” of other religions may be saved by a faith in Christ in spite of the fact that they reject him–but this is not the teaching of the magisterium.

  11. #11 wacki
    July 31, 2006

    “You are joking, right? ”

    Not really no. The next time I see my priest (again I’m not religious but I do occasionally go to church with my parents) I’ll ask him for details. People say that lying is a huge sin but it’s really “bearing false witness against thy neighbor” which is very different.

    Also, people tend to say creationism is a science when even the Vatican newspapers disagree

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0600273.htm

    Stuff gets unfairly twisted by both sides all the time.

    That being said I still agree there are plenty of religious psychos out there. I just don’t see them in Indiana. I’ve never even met someone who didn’t believe in evolution. My sister (who is an doctor) meets TONS of people who don’t believe in evolution in Ohio hospitals though. Maybe I just happen to live where people have better genes. :-p

  12. #12 GH
    July 31, 2006

    Catholic dogma has been and remains that a saving faith in Jesus Christ is required for salvation. Some Catholic theologians speculate that some “good people” of other religions may be saved by a faith in Christ in spite of the fact that they reject him–but this is not the teaching of the magisterium.

    David,

    I agree with Wacki, I have met more than a few Catholic theologians who speculate hell exists but is and will remain empty. A testament to Gods love.

    It is very logical view as Jesus paid the price. In some ways having to believe he did it is a work that is not necessary if he actually did what you believe he did, that is pay the price for your sin.

    It’s essentially like needing to believe in Santa to get the gift you see under the tree, the gift is still there whether you believe Santa did it or not. If you have to believe the gift is there to get the gift perhaps the gift isn’t real.

  13. #13 Uber
    July 31, 2006

    Some Catholic theologians speculate that some “good people” of other religions may be saved by a faith in Christ in spite of the fact that they reject him–but this is not the teaching of the magisterium

    So, he said Catholics. I personally know very few Catholics who think people are going to hell. It may not be the magisterium but who cares, a Catholic once told me the church is not the magisterium but the people who fill the pews. I would venture a guess more than a few in the magisterium believe it either. It’s a j-o-b. Some doubtless don’t even believe.

    So Catholics can and do take this view, whether it’s ‘official’ or not hardly matters. A large group is certainly not uniform in all facets although sometimes people like to pigeon-hole Catholics that way.

  14. #14 David Heddle
    July 31, 2006

    You can find Catholics that believe just about anything for which you want to demonstrate Catholic support. However, the Catholic Church is fairly unique in that it precisely defines what its official, infallible, ex cathedra teachings are . And Catholic dogma unambiguously teaches that lost people go to hell and suffer eternally.

    There is a hell, i.e. all those who die in personal mortal sin, as enemies of God, and unworthy of eternal life, will be severely punished by God after death.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia.

    See : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm

    1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
    1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,” and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!

    The Catholic Catechism.

    See: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a12.htm
    (BTW, I am not Catholic.)

    So you need to be clear–it is true that individual Catholics might dispute that hell exists, but in doing so they are disagreeing with the official teachings of their own church.

    And it does matter, if just for the sake of clarity. Saying the Catholic church is OK with birth control or OK with abortion is simply not true–at most you can say that individual Catholics go against the teachings of their church and support birth control and abortion. The same is true of the doctrine of hell, and that salvation is only through Jesus Christ. If it doesn’t matter what is official, as Uber stated, then there is not point in identifying such people as Catholics.

  15. #15 Uber
    July 31, 2006

    And Catholic dogma unambiguously teaches that lost people go to hell and suffer eternally.

    David your correct but that doesn’t mean that it won’t change in the future as there really are alot of Catholic theologians having difficulty with this concept. In my view they should. It is an abhorent and disgusting belief.

    One of my favorite quotes:
    ‘Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it, the lowest rungs are for those who believe in it because they would go there if they did not.’

    If it doesn’t matter what is official, as Uber stated, then there is not point in identifying such people as Catholics.

    That is patently false. A person who disagrees with the church policy on BC is still a Catholic. Likewise masturbation, divorce, abortion, etc. They are still Catholic just as an agnostic jew can still be a jew. One can belong to a group and find it wrong on a great many things. Now certain Catholics currently at the top may believe this way but that is all they are, a few fellas at the top.

  16. #16 Monimonika
    July 31, 2006

    Referring to Prup aka Jim Benton’s post.

    Guh? The STACLU guys put the information back up? I recall going to the supposed link (not sure if this is the same link or not) and seeing a message saying that STACLU decided, on the advice of some lawyer or something, to take down the address and phone number to avoid potential legal issues. They also adamantly added that the removal was NOT due to pressure from anti-STACLU forces and, moreover, definitely NOT to be considered a “win” by ACLU-lovers.

    Guess they decided to forgo the chance of doing something even remotely semi-decent.

  17. #17 David Heddle
    July 31, 2006

    Uber:

    That is patently false. A person who disagrees with the church policy on BC is still a Catholic. Likewise masturbation, divorce, abortion, etc. They are still Catholic just as an agnostic jew can still be a jew.

    Only up to a certain point (and the comparison to Jews is faulty–given that being a Jew can be an ethnic or a religious designation–not so for Catholics.)

    I’m a Calvinist. If I deny predestination, then I can still jump up and down and claim to be a Calvinist–but to what end? If you deny some unspecified percentage of the Catholic Church’s infallible teachings–then at some point you simply are not a Catholic regardless of your claim to the contrary.

  18. #18 Uber
    July 31, 2006

    can be an ethnic or a religious designation–not so for Catholics

    Thats true and false all at the same time. All one has to do is venture into my old neighborhoods up north to know that it is as much a culture designation as a belief system. I would venture a guess that 90% of them couldn’t tell you what the church thinks on alot of things. They think for themselves and attend mass(sometimes)

    Tell me why exactly how a jew sitting in a room with other non-jews would be different ethnically minus his culture. Simply he wouldn’t. Unlike an African American or hispanic.

    And I would argue you can claim Catholism whether you agree with it or not, in fact most do. You can accept the rituals and practices while thinking the church errs in areas. I think this happens in all religions. People think for themselves and attend what they are used to.

    By your defintion it comes down to percentage, if I think 1 doctrine is wrong I’m still a Catholic but not if I think 5 are? Illogical and silly. You mistake the reason the majority belong to any religion in the first place. Birthplace, parents religion, and the prevailing religion of the culture. It has little to do with doctrine or ones agreement therein.

  19. #19 nicole
    August 1, 2006

    Tell me why exactly how a jew sitting in a room with other non-jews would be different ethnically minus his culture. Simply he wouldn’t. Unlike an African American or hispanic.

    Well, the Jew might be more likely to carry the mutation that results in Tay Sachs, for one.

    But I don’t think the question makes much sense on another level. The gentiles in the room, maybe one is Polish and the other is Italian. How are they “different ethnically minus [their] culture”? What I mean is, though these groups certainly still retain some minor genetic distinctions, why are we subtracting culture from the equation? Culture does not equal religion. Religion may be a part of it, but if the Polish and Italian gentiles are both Catholic, we still wouldn’t think they were of the same culture or ethnicity. So why, likewise, would a Jew be just, I don’t know, “blank” if he were secular?

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