1. Jack's Shack January 23, 2005 at 7:33 am


    In concept I agree with everything you are saying. It is sensible, reasonable and theoretically something that I want to support wholeheartedly. And it is a reminder that we are not doing as good ajob of teaching our children to love Judaism as we could be.

    I am not asking for or looking for anyway to rewrite the Constitution, free speech, freedom to practice religion are important and I’ll fight for them.

    But I take issue with witnessing. I take issue with the missionary work that is done by groups that target Jews, especially those who are less educated, children and do so by promising fire and brimstone to those who do not accept their way.

    The Baptists are among this group and that is part of why my hackles were raised. Did the pastor do anything illegal? No he did not, but he still engaged in an activity that I think is damaging and I find it somewhat distasteful to conduct foxhole conversions which are done under unusual stressful situations.

  2. Doctor Bean January 23, 2005 at 6:10 am

    (sorry, that second comment was a duplicate.)

  3. Doctor Bean January 23, 2005 at 5:21 am

    Jack: we’ve had many friendly exchanges on your blog and on Treppernwitz, so I hope you know that even when I disagree strongly, I do so with respect. I think you also know that I’m a religious Jew (modern orthodox, for what it’s worth).

    I read the article. I don’t have the slightest problem with the pastor’s behavior. The article suggests no coercion at all. If the pastor somehow approached a Jewish soldier and coerced him into conversion (I’m not sure how that could even happen) I would be very upset, but the article states that the soldier came to the pastor asking about Jesus. I am upset that the Jewish soldier didn’t have a strong enough Jewish education to know the Jewish response to suffering, fear, and death, but most American Jews have no Jewish education, so I’m not surprised.

    If a secular Jew found no meaning in Judaism and turned to Christianity to find G-d, that’s not the Christian pastor’s fault. That’s the soldier’s parents and the Jewish community’s fault. Christianity sees itself as a universal religion. It has, fortunately, gone through the Reformation, so they no longer feel like they have to kill us to save us. But they do believe that they have a duty to present us with the option of Christianity. I know why I live Judaism. It isn’t because I was born a Jew (though I was). If I thought Christianity or Buddhism or Islam were closer to the Truth I would have converted. I am trying to communicate to my children not just how to be Jewish, but why. If you or Stacey can’t handle competition from other religions, then you don’t belong in America. Here freedom of ideas rules. If you think Judaism can’t make it in a free marketplace, you should move to Israel where there are fewer options. Stacey: I’m disappointed in the soldier, but if the soldier went to the pastor asking about Jesus, and the pastor didn’t preach Christianity to him, I’d be disappointed in the pastor.

    Do we have what it takes to build a community that raises kids who are confident in their Judaism so strongly that it would carry them through war and death? I think we do. If not, we should crawl back into our ghettos where Judaism is all our kids will see.

  4. Stacey January 23, 2005 at 3:25 am

    Disgusting. Makes me blood boil. I think he needs to be relieved of duty.

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