Joined: 24-August 04
From: In your daughter's bedroom, chanting lines from the Necrololicon
Member No.: 526
After spending more than a week in the holiest [and most disputed] place on earth, I can honestly say that I have an even greater disdain for organized religion than I did before I left to go there. A close examination of Israeli society reveals not only an irreconcilable rift between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but also between Orthodox and secular Jews. See, in Israel, there are no Reformist, Conservative or Reconstructionist sects of Judaism. You're either Orthodox/Hasidic, or you're secular. And in Jerusalem in particular, there is a lot of resentment within the secular community because of special privileges that the Orthodox Jews routinely get. First off, they get to live tax-free, and have most of their activities subsidized by the government. While Israel has ostensibly mandatory military service for all citizens, most of the Orthodox young men get deferments so they can attend Yeshiva [the Jewish version of Seminary, for those who don't know], study Torah for a living without contributing one bit to the country's economy, and manage to perpetuate this insular, sheltered existence even though most of them don't even vote. They simply happen to have a large number of 'friends' in Knesset [parliament] who consider them indispensible to maintaining Israel's identity as a Jewish state. So essentially, the majority of Israeli youth have to routinely put their lives on the line to protect the rights of a small minority that gives little to nothing in return. Many are fed up with this, including those working to draft the country's official Constitution [yes, a 60-year-old state has managed to last this long without one]. And because of this sad state of affairs, a country that ostensibly has one of the strongest national identities in the world is on the verge of internal collapse [no exaggeration] as a result.
Joined: 12-September 05
Member No.: 22,739
It is true that there are many internal problems in Israel. In fact, if they didn't have arabs attacking them all the time, Israel would probably have collapsed already. Ultra-Orthodox Jews can decide to not join the military and do intensive study in a Yeshiva instead, because they believe that the most important thing is Torah study; if Israel was maintained, but no one was learning Torah at that level, they would consider it worse than if Israel fell but the intensive studying managed to go on. The problem is the severe difference in priorities among the two groups. There is an option the ultra-Orthodox can take, where they do their years in the military, but every other year or so study in Yeshiva, thus managing to do both; I don't think this is very often used though.
Anyway, whatever problems Israel has (however extraordinary they may be), if Israel failed as a state, it would not mean the failure of Judaism. Some Jews-- and some non-Jews-- think that if you don't support Israel you aren't really Jewish. That isn't true at all, and Israel is not necessary for the continuation of Judaism, and nor is it really the center of the Jewish religion; in my mind, at least, that would be scripture. Actually, the Jewish nation as discussed in the Tenach is supposed to be a monarchy; not like Israel at all.
I think my point in that rather long rambling-- other than just finding it very interesting-- was that the state of Israel is not organized religion; it's an organized religion trying to double as a government, and that will always be rather sketchy. The idea of organized religion-- or Judaism at least-- is community, and I don't believe Israel is providing that at the moment. So don't think badly of the Jewish religion just because of what happens when something very new and weird is attempted with a government and they don't know exactly what they're doing.
And, on a side note, I still don't think that Pascal's Wager is true believing. You may act as if you believe in it, but true believing is actually BELIEVING in God or whatever your religion is, and you can't fake that.
Joined: 26-March 07
From: Tornado Alley
Member No.: 45,709
I am an agnostic theist- Christian to be exact. I know, I'm peculiar. My kind seems to be the rarest, since I haven't met any other agnostic theists yet. I grew up in a Christian family, and even though I've always been a scientist at heart, it's hard to let go of the beliefs you held true while growing up- although I'm still growing as of now^-^;;
We have met the enemy, and he is us. -Walt Kelly, Pogo
Joined: 9-January 07
From: The middle of nowhere, South Dakota
Member No.: 43,729
I'm a devout Lutheran - whatever that means - but I can say I hold plenty of disdain for my own church. Many of the people in my church are such hypocrates, nodding as the pastor talking about loving everyone and forgiving people, and then they turn around and condemn Muslims and condemn homosexuals and condemn this and condemn that, etc., etc., etc. The problem is that the religions aren't the problem, it's just the institutions. I am devout in my religion, and I take what I can out of the sermons, but when they start saying a certain people are bad or misguided or taking down a path we don't want, I just kind of close my eyes and take a nap.
Joined: 11-October 07
From: Colorado, USA
Member No.: 52,106
As stated on my Profile page, I'm a Hermetic/Pantheistic Latter-Day Saint (i.e. Mormon). However, I, myself, am a little disguisted by my own religion...well, not my religion in general, but the people in it! Sad to say, 'pride' has started to corrupt my religion, and more and more Mormons (there's a difference, actually, between 'Mormon' and 'Latter-Day Saint') have become, in technical terms, hypocrites (I can honestly say, with all do respect, that Mitt Romney needs to shut the hell up.)
My religion was started by a man that prayed to God and asked a simple question. He got an answer and continued asking God for knowledge. Nowadays, in the Mormon world, if something like that happens to you (i.e. uncovering more history and whatnot regarding the Church, etc...), then you're shunned and considered a 'nutjob', forever ignored by your fellow Mormons. Because I study mysticism and the occult, I've been called a 'witch' by some Mormons and so forth while my parents (thank God) support my beliefs.
Because I hold a high regard for the Jews and so forth, I'm partially shunned, especially since I'm pretty much the only one who doesn't go around trying to convert every man and his dog to our religion. I don't believe that you should try to invade on other people's beliefs, especially if they're extremely devoted to them; if they want to join, they'll want to join and they'll ask you for information.
*sighs* Still, I have faith in my religion; just not the hypocrites that have started to corrupt it. (My apologies to any Mormons that might be lurking this thread)
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Joined: 24-July 07
Member No.: 48,225
Gender: Not Telling
QUOTE(Fujihakama @ Jan 1 2008, 09:07 PM)
My religion is having no religion, and that's my religion.
I tried being christian..I truly did but every church I went to said women where less than men, and Im basically going to hell for being someone in the female gender that stands up for herself..go figure..now I kind of have my own beliefs...I think Im happier this way sadly..