Pharyngula

More bigotry masquerading as religion

Read Ophelia’s take on the Israeli ‘modesty buses’. Would you believe certain buses in Jerusalem are set aside to make special accommodation for orthodox Jews?

Women are compelled to sit in the back of the bus.

In the back of the bus. I think they need a Jewish Rosa Parks.

The most disingenuous argument in favor of this discriminatory policy is the excuse that not all the buses are ‘modesty buses’ — that all you have to do is wait a little longer at the bus stop and take a different bus that doesn’t enforce the idea that women must be segregated. As a former commuter on an overcrowded bus and subway system, I know how ridiculous that suggestion is. “Separate but equal” is a policy that always emphasizes “separate”, not equality.

Comments

  1. #2 The Science Pundit
    April 28, 2007

    Yeah, I saw this a while back over at RD.

  2. #3 Richard Harris, FCD
    April 28, 2007

    It astonishes me how some men can want to make women sit away from them. What kind of warped thinking’s going on with these bozos? And before some smartass wise-cracks about women’s chatter, that just doesn’t cut the mustard.

    These religious bozos believe that morality comes from the revelations of their holy books, when in reality, it’s bigotry that’s in the texts. And worse.

    I admire this woman. I deplore those apologies for men.

  3. #4 Blake Stacey
    April 28, 2007

    The link to “Israeli ‘modesty buses’” is broken.

  4. #5 Caledonian
    April 28, 2007

    Another told me that in a society that is democratic and where the buses are subsidised by the government, a minority’s concerns should not override those of the majority.

    But Shlomo Rosenstein disagrees. He is a city councillor in Jerusalem where a large proportion of Israel’s segregation lines operate.

    “This really is about positive discrimination, in women’s favour. Our religion says there should be no public contact between men and women, this modesty barrier must not be broken.”

    Then the bigots are free to stay at home, if public contact between men and women is offensive to them. Why should they have the right to enforce their religious precepts upon others?

  5. #6 kmarissa
    April 28, 2007
    This really is about positive discrimination, in women’s favour.

    In fairness, I know that whenever I try to do someone a favor, I have to beat them until they accept it.

  6. #7 No More Mr. Nice Guy!
    April 28, 2007

    “Bigotry masquerading as religion”… Um, aren’t they the same thing?

  7. #8 Molly, NYC
    April 28, 2007

    Luke R, I’m guessing you’re not Jewish, but I assure you, the Torah does not require that the menfolk act like @ssholes. It’s like any other religion; some members simply are @ssholes, and therefore choose to interprete their religion in the way that best allows their @ssholelichkeit expression, scope and acceptability.

  8. #9 Caledonian
    April 28, 2007

    the Torah does not require that the menfolk act like [deleted]

    What the Torah does and does not require is up to whoever is interpreting it at the time. One site’s cursory examination of gender and [deleted] in Judaism

  9. #10 Luke R.
    April 28, 2007

    Richard and Dr. Badger, thank you for proving my point. If you’d actually taken the time to understand what I was saying, you would have noticed that I nowhere condoned any of the actions of the Orthodox Jews in question. Of course it’s a horrible crime that a woman was attacked, and I don’t agree with segregation, and I never suggested otherwise. But in this forum alone I have seen people who think differently than you attacked with such blanket vehemence that I find it hard to believe that you’re interested in anything other than your own agenda. My point is that you don’t give a wet slap about the woman who was attacked; you’re just upset because religious people did it and you don’t like religious people.

  10. #11 kmarissa
    April 28, 2007

    @30: We get upset because religious people did it and used religion as a justification. And because when people use religion as a justification, they so often get away with it. Case in point: you rushing in here to say that oh no, you don’t condone this at all, but we meanie atheists should shut up about it because we’re not religious and therefore can’t critize without being “bigoted”.

  11. #12 Molly, NYC
    April 28, 2007

    Andyo – Absolutely. I’d hesitate to say that religion-free people are nicer than religionists (although overall, that’s been my experience),

    However, if you were the sort of man who got his jollies by flipping sh|t to some group (women in particular, but also other religions or ethnicities), you’d find it nearly impossible to justify your shtick with secular reasons. But it’s a cinch to do it with scripture. So religion, with its completely fungible rationalizations, has a real attraction for bigots and sociopaths.

  12. #13 Mark Borok
    April 28, 2007

    On the other hand, the Orthodox also beat up men who refuse to grant divorces to their wives. So there’s beatings all around!

  13. #14 Stanton
    April 28, 2007

    Luke R, your point is dead wrong.
    The people of this blog are angry that there are people in Israel who are curtailing the rights and privileges of other people in Israel solely for the sake of appeasing God. Something tells me that you’re not aware that the alleged appeasement of God has been among the most popular, if not the most popular excuse anyone has used in order to curtail the rights and privileges of other people.

    If you’re not actually a Jesus-troll, please enlighten us.

  14. #15 kmarissa
    April 28, 2007

    Silly Matthew and Mnemosyne, modest women don’t want to put themselves, uh, forward like that. So you’d actually be insulting the women to imply that they want to sit in front of the men.

    Or something.

  15. #16 Dan
    April 28, 2007

    Luke R:

    But in this forum alone I have seen people who think differently than you attacked with such blanket vehemence that I find it hard to believe that you’re interested in anything other than your own agenda. My point is that you don’t give a wet slap about the woman who was attacked; you’re just upset because religious people did it and you don’t like religious people.

    It’s interesting that you’d talk about a woman who was attacked by god-bothered patriarchs with the phrase “wet slap.” It sounds to me like you’ve got a bit of a misogyny problem to work on, too. That could be why you’re so desperate to apologize for a bunch of hard-line god-bothered misogynists.

    Also, please don’t pretend that everyone else is as petty, shallow and superficial as you are. The fact that you can’t think of any reason why someone might dislike religious people other than “RULIGIZ PPPLS SUXX0RZ” is not proof that there aren’t any.

  16. #17 Luke R.
    April 28, 2007

    Wow. After trying to raise some questions, I’ve been called misogynist, petty, shallow, superficial, Jesus-troll, dead wrong, confused, shortsighted, and “New Agey.”

    Clearly I have stumbled across an enlightened, open-minded forum where people are willing to honestly and humbly engage in intellectual debate.

    It’s been fun, folks. Have a good night.

  17. #18 386sx
    April 28, 2007

    But in this forum alone I have seen people who think differently than you attacked with such blanket vehemence that I find it hard to believe that you’re interested in anything other than your own agenda.

    Do you find it hard to believe that god is interested in anything other than god’s own agenda when god attacks people with blanket vehemence and puts them straight to hell when they pass on, right at the moment when they finally find out for sure that there really is a god who indeed will put them in hell? Do you condone the actions of such gods? I didn’t think so.

  18. #19 Anton Mates
    April 28, 2007

    Wow. After trying to raise some questions, I’ve been called misogynist, petty, shallow, superficial, Jesus-troll, dead wrong, confused, shortsighted, and “New Agey.”

    In your first post on this thread, you called the other posters bigots. You now proceed to ignore all the answers they returned to your questions.

    Now you’ve been called a hypocrite as well.

  19. #20 Stanton
    April 28, 2007

    Do realize that anyone and everyone can become intensely stupid when they use BECAUSE GOD SAID SO to excuse their every action.

  20. #21 Dan
    April 28, 2007

    Luke R:

    Wow. After trying to raise some questions, I’ve been called misogynist, petty, shallow, superficial, Jesus-troll, dead wrong, confused, shortsighted, and “New Agey.”

    Clearly I have stumbled across an enlightened, open-minded forum where people are willing to honestly and humbly engage in intellectual debate.

    For someone who started the day by calling all of us bigots for not getting off on a bunch of religious assholes beating up a woman for the crime of thinking she was fully human, you certainly have a lot of nerve getting all huffy because nobody feels like being nice to you.

    You know, I had you pegged as a self-absorbed, sanctimonious asshat from the get-go. Obviously, I was right.

  21. #22 Dustin
    April 29, 2007

    (this is not an unrealistic example, in America many aspects of Jim Crow were upheld by businesses, churches, etc. without formal legal sanction).

    That is exactly what I told her. She’ll just tell you that you’re wrong, won’t support that statement with anything other than her own bloated sense of self-importance, and then she’ll say something like:

    But equally important is the recognition that we need space in which to swing our fists, and if people stick their noses where they don’t belong, they deserve to be struck.

    Both the noses and the fists require boundaries which may not be transgressed. The people here like that their noses are protected by boundaries, but don’t want there to be any boundaries their noses are not allowed to cross.

    And that’s why she’ll tell you that you’re wrong about the Jim Crow thing. It’s because she thinks the arguments used to prop the Jim Crow system up were just peachy.

    I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on her. This thread is the first time I’ve ever seen her take the moral stance on something of consequence, and that has to count for something. I doubt it will last.

  22. #23 Matthew
    April 29, 2007

    “Both the noses and the fists require boundaries which may not be transgressed”? I was going to say that this was unbelievably silly, but actually, I think it’s a depressing view of the world. Where I come from, it’s not like we divide the world up into “fistspace” and “nosespace”; instead, you can generally swing your fists around anywhere there aren’t noses, put your nose anywhere there aren’t swinging fists, and everyone is expected to take some precautions and make accommodations when the two might come into conflict. All seems much more civilized.

    It’s the same sort of hyperlegalistic thinking that seems to be causing the whole segregated bus thing in the first place. Rules in Leviticus like that take perfectly natural values like cleanliness (let’s face it, people generally dislike anything that comes out of bodies), and in the effort to codify them, create a huge mass of rules and regulations, put moral and supernatural weight behind the rules, and so on, until what could be solved with a bit of give and take requires restructuring daily life around it instead.

  23. #24 Azkyroth
    April 29, 2007

    Dustin: I seem to recall Caledonian having identified themselves as male in at least one point in a previous thread; I may be mistaken. I assume you are actually under the impression Cal is female, rather than using the feminine appellation as an insult?

  24. #25 Roman Werpachowski
    April 29, 2007

    Marcus Ranum:

    “It has amazed me to no end that The Holocaust is treated as anything other than a bunch of Christians ganging up on another religion and trying to wipe its members out. It wasn’t about “race” at all”

    It was. The Nazis didn’t kill religious Jews only. They killed atheist Jews, they killed Jews who converted to Christianity. It was all about their confused “racial” criteria listed in the Nuremberg Laws.

  25. #26 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    Nazi ideology was essentially old-school Jewish ideology, inverted and turned against the Jews.

    Hence the idea that one ‘race’ was chosen by God to rule territory, the idea that bloodlines were all-important, the idea that other competing bloodlines had to be wiped out, a return to traditional religion, etc.

    It would have been a LOT better if the ancient Jews had ditched the Maccabees and paid more attention to the Greeks, but here we are.

  26. #27 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    rather than using the feminine appellation as an insult?

    I dunno, Askyroth. Viewing femininity as a derogative seems entirely in-character for Dustin.

  27. #28 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    Or you could just compare one set of crackpot ideas with another and look for commonalities. Lots of overlap on key concepts suggests a possible relationship.

    There are only so many memes that can be used to inspire an aggressive people to define themselves genealogically and wipe out competitors, of course, so it could simply be coincidence.

    Hitler didn’t originate the idea that inheritance determined group allegiance, of course, nor the idea that it trumped socialization.

  28. #29 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    there have been more than a few threads around here where you are whining about poor kids detracting from your music appreciation classes

    I retract my earlier comments: you are very confused about who’s who.

    I neither teach nor participate in music appreciation classes, and if I did, I would be one of the “poor kids”. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I’m pretty sure that you’re not at this point.

  29. #30 Dustin
    April 29, 2007

    Caledonian:

    Our school systems are too busy giving extra aid to the worst students to give bright students music appreciation and theory classes.

  30. #31 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    In fact, you know I don’t, but misrepresentation and disingenuity seem to be two of your favorite hobbies.

    Misrepresentation? Yes, I cleverly said ‘worst students’ while my psychic InnuendoBeam caused you to perceive ‘poor students’. It was all part of my elaborate setup to make you look like a fool months later.

    And indeed I DO know that you don’t consider the worst students to be the poor ones, because you didn’t conflate the two at all. Just more effects of the Beam.

    And I so disingenuously pointed out what was NOT you misrepresenting my statements because I like to play ‘gotcha’. I like it so much that I use my psychic InnuendoBeam constantly so that I can cleverly trick you into attacking points of view I’m not actually forwarding.

    It is indeed totally all my fault. By saying things and using the Beam, I’m manipulating you into being so filled with hatred that you’re able to neither comprehend the points being advanced, nor respond to them reasonably, nor even identify what they are.

    Moreover, I’m supporting outrageous, invalid concepts, like providing music education in schools, because there’s totally no evidence whatsoever that such classes are not only desirable but increase overall academic performance. I’m such a brute! You have every right to take umbrage!

  31. #32 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.

    And God granted it.”

    - Voltaire

  32. #33 Chris
    April 29, 2007

    No, I think he’s saying Hitler borrowed the idea from the Christian churches, who got it from the Old Testament – itself supposedly a history of the Jews’ ancestors in their glory days, when they apparently committed genocide on a weekly basis themselves. But don’t take my word for it, it’s right there in the Torah.

    It probably really isn’t anything Samson wouldn’t have done if he had had more than the jawbone of an ass to work with. Sometimes our species is just a bunch of tribalistic, violent, bloodthirsty, vicious apes – Hebrews neither more nor less so than anyone else.

    I think #85 has a point, though. It’s not really a concept that requires invention. “My tribe is better than your tribe” is a common idea. So is “My tribe has a god that watches over it.” Put those two together and what do you get? “My tribe’s god wants us to conquer/enslave/kill all the other tribes because we’re the greatest.”

    When a given idea seems to be built into the brain like that, the fact that it appears in two places is not proof of any connection more direct than the commonality of human psychology.

  33. #34 Roman Werpachowski
    May 1, 2007

    Caledonian: “But the people who convert just become honorary Children of Israel.”

    In what way were they treated differently than other Jews?

    “Matrilineal descendents of Jews were still automatically considered Jews.”

    Geez, just like descendents of US citizens automatically become US citizens and I would have to wait a long time before the US would grant me citizenship (if ever). How disgusting and Nazi-like.

    “Atrocities? How about the ones committed in the OT? Slaughtering entire nations, abandoning wives that weren’t Children of Israel, etc. etc.”

    First of all, treating OT as a history textbook is naive. Second, it’s not as if other ancient nations were above such things. It was rather “slaughter or get slaughtered kind of thing”. Comparing this to the XXth century Europe, where ethnic cleansing was an abomination, not a standard, is silly or aimed to diminish Nazi crimes.

    bernarda: “The goal [of Zionism] was always to ethnically cleanse the region for this European colonization.”

    Cite your sources, Ma’m.

  34. #35 bernarda
    May 1, 2007

    Werpachowski, I see that you are not willing to accept historical reality.

    “Ad hominem. You probably ride on a cow and your breath probably smells with manure ;-)” smile if you like.

    But “The fact is that until the Arab-Israeli war there was no ethnic cleansing done by the Jews. They coexisted with the Arabs — willingly or not.” Really, it wasn’t for lack of trying as the quotes show.

    The zionists were unwanted European invaders, period.

    “I am not an enthusiast of the current policy of the state of Israel towards the Palestinians (however, the choices the Israeli have are limited), but I see your position as very much anti-Israeli and one-sided.”

    Zionists often say such things, but don’t really mean them. You are not one-sided at all, are you?

    Of course I am anti-Israel. I am rational and anti-racist and anti-fascist.

    “However, the war of 1948 was a failed attempt on the Arab side to cleanse Palestine of the Jews.” Zionist mythology.

    “The site you’re linking looks like propaganda one”. So, what is incorrect in what is said? The quotes are from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. I gave a couple, but you can look up dozens of others.

    Naturally, for you, the zionists today don’t make any propaganda. Have you looked at the revisionist history on the Israeli government site or the site of the ADL?

    The Jewish Virtual Library is a bit more, but far from entirely, objective.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/israel.html

    BTW, May 1st. Ein ez Zeitun Massacre.

    http://sabbah.biz/mt/

  35. #36 Roman Werpachowski
    May 2, 2007

    Caledonian:

    I agree. In what way is it a peculiar Jewish trait?

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