Volume 49 Number 56
                    Produced: Mon Aug 15  6:45:37 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bigoted posting (2)
         [Eitan Fiorino, Mordechai]
Jews and Jewesses (2)
         [Edward Ehrlich, charles halevi]
Separation of Church and State (2)
         [Arnold E. Resnicoff, Nadine Bonner]


From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 10:52:09 -0400
Subject: RE: Bigoted posting

I really owe debt of gratitude to Avi for replying to most of
Mordechai's response to my comments.  It saved me a lot of time and was
written more eloquently (and far less harshly) than I would have been
able to.  Moreover, his commentary was spot-on in explaining the intent
of my posting.  I won't belabor the points Avi has already made.  I will
point out a couple of additional points:

> Please post your evidence that any of the sources I quoted support
> murder of either homosexuals or Jews.  There are none of course.  This
> is nothing more than a bigoted ad hominen attack.

Avi has already pointed out that my comments made no reference to
"murder" of either homosexuals or Jews.  Your attempt to make my
comments seem ridiculous by claiming that I said this group sought to
"murder" might even be seen as ad hominem, a term you seem to apply
liberally to everone who disagrees with you.  Back to the point - you
claim my comments are bigoted and ad hominem.  Bigoted is defined as
"blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion and
intolerant toward others."  Not sure how my statement of easily
verifiable fact (right-wing Christians would like homosexuals and Jews
to become practicing Christians) can be characterized as bigoted.  Ad
hominem is defined as "Appealing to personal considerations rather than
to logic or reason."  Perhaps my bringing the views of right-wing
Christians towards Jews into this could be characterized as ad hominem,
though my intent was to properly characterize the source of your
information as an extremely biased organization.

> Attacking the facts I quote, because you think they come from
> Christians is as racist and bigoted if someone says you can't trust a
> Jew talking about Israel because he is Jewish or an African American
> talking about civil rights.

I actually did not attack the "facts" you quoted.  I attacked your claim
that these data points somehow represent the complete story, given that
they came from an extremely biased source.  I also attacked your main
claim as having been unsupported by the sources you brought; more on
that below.

> There is no such thing as unbiased research.  Much of the medical
> literature Eitan wants to quote is dominated by pro gay activists who
> won't allow an opposing position to be published.  Unbiased in the
> secular academic world means pro gray.

OK, once again, we find you engaging in the very tactics you accuse
others of.  So now the entire medical literature is not to be trusted
because it is "dominated by pro-gay activists" but your right-wing
Christian sources are, of course, free of bias.  I am a physician, I
spend an enormous amount of my professional life immersed in the medical
literature.  While academic biases at any individual medical journal may
indeed limit what is published in that journal, on the balance the
number of publications in most fields is so large that claims of
systemic bias across the system are quite untenable, in my view.
Studies conducted with rigor will find a place to be published even if
their findings challenge the status quo.  Some journals relish in
challenging the status quo.

This is a little beside the point.  The fact is the papers you cited
indirectly in your paraphrasing of the Family Research Council website
were published in the very medical literature you call "dominated by pro
gay activists."  The point is - if you care about what people who study
this issue say, you should not be relying on the commentary and
editorialization of people who are extremely biased. And if you do rely
on it, don't expect that kind of argumentation to get a warm reception

I would point out that in your posting you did not offer any reply to
the substance of my assertion - that you claimed that homosexuals tend
to be pedophiles, yet you offered no evidence to support that claim.
Instead you offered evidence supporting a different claim, that
pedophiles engage in same-sex molestation more commonly than
non-pedophiles engage homosexual behavior.  I asserted that one cannot
use the demographics of pedophiles to draw any conclusions about broader
populations.  In my opinion, the fact that the vast majority of them are
men cannot be used to make claims about men in general, and the fact
that a substantial minority of them molest boys cannot be used to make
claims about male homosexuals in general.

shabbat shalom,

From: Mordechai <mordechai@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 19:26:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Bigoted posting

Avi writes
>To your point in the first paragraph, Eitan did not say that the Christian
>far right wants to kill all the Jews and homosexuals. They want to convert
>all the Jews and they want to "fix" all the homosexuals, and in that
>manner they will have eliminated the Jews and homosexuals. That is how I
>clearly interpreted Eitan's comments.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why a halachic Jew would oppose
any non violent way of "fixing" individuals who practice homosexual
behavior so they no longer commit this abomination.  For those concerned
my language is hate speech, it is the Torah that condemns male on male
relations in that tone.  If religious Christians support this, they are
advocating the same ideas that we do.  I can't understand why we would
use this as an attack on my statement.  It's like condemning a supposed
Xtian source because s/he believes in G-d.  True Xtians to believe in
G-d, but thats a good thing.

The organizations I quoted are not far right.  They represent the normal
mainstream of America.  I will remind my fellow list members, that the
drive to legalize homosexual marriage has been defeated in every state,
including the extreme far left California, where the voters have had a
say.  The only progress the radical extreme gay activists have had in
the United States is through the court system.  The pro gay ideology is
the extremist viewpoint.

In terms on language the gay activist community frequently compares
critics of homosexuality to Nazis.  They frequently state their critics
wish to kill them.  Leftist Jews often use the same language to falsely
accuse authentic Christians of supporting killing Jews.  I will let
Eitan respond for himself as to the intention of his posts.

I will point out that I have refrained from attacks on people, rather
than focusing on their statements and facts (or lack thereof).  While
people have criticised my sources, they actually have not presented any
of their own to refute my factual statements.  Instead I have had people
criticise my alleged lack of critical training (even though they know
nothing of my academic background) when discussing the nature of
homosexuality in history.  To attack the person rather than statement is
both poor neitquite and poor debate.

All I ask in this debate is that we focus on issues.  I understand this
is an emotional topic.  Most important topics are emotional.  We all
know that interesting as debates over whether to say Brei Shemai or how
to respond to kedusha in a shul with a different nusach, it really
doesn't matter that much, so therefore we can discuss it without
emotin..  Whether society starts writing marriage contracts for two men
(which puts us morally lower that Sodom) will have a major effect on the
way society views family.  That affects us and our children in the most
basic manner.  So I understand the emotion and ask we all think before
pressing Enter.


From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 18:54:06 +0300
Subject: Jews and Jewesses

Yeshaya Halevi wrote:

> The late Harry Golden Sr. (author of "Only in America" etc.)  was very
> much against using the word "Jewess." He pointed out that nobody ever
> called anyone a "Christianess" or a "Protestantess" or "Catholicess."
>Using "ess" at the end of "Jew" was a way to dehumanize us. Ogres had
>ogresses, lions had lionesses etc.

The first time I heard my South African born mother-in-law use the term
"Jewess", I was shocked. It sounded like something out of "Ivanhoe".

In some English speaking cultures, "Jewess" is simply the correct way to
refer to a female Jew. There is nothing implicitly or explicitly
derogatory about the word. A little familiarity with different cultures
can sometimes prevent unnecessary hurt feelings.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel

From: charles halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 11:19:09 -0500
Subject: RE: Jews and Jewesses

Shalom, All:

[Responding to Ed's posting above]

How about non-Jews being sensitive to **OUR** culture and not using the
word "Jewess?"

In American English, it used to be correct to say that somebody "Jewed"
somebody down on a price. That never made it right.

Kol Tuv,
Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi

[I do not follow your logic here, as I would interpret Ed's post to say
that Jewess was the accepted term within the Jewish community of some
non-American English speaking cultures. "Your" culture may not equal
"Our" culture for the full set of "Our". Mod]


From: <resnicoff@...> (Arnold E. Resnicoff)
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 22:33:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Separation of Church and State

> The reality is that "In God We Trust" on our money and "One Nation Under
> God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are absolutely an establishment of one
> (or two) religions over the rest.  The only reason they haven't been
> removed is that the public outrage by people who are adherents of those
> religions is too great.

I think it is positive to take a passionate position on important
issues, but it is not helpful to make statements like this one that
indicate that one's own position is "absolutely" the only correct one,
and the only reason that others disagree is cowardice.  Many
constitutional lawyers -- AND supreme court judges -- clearly disagree
with this posting.  What does or does not constitute "establishment of
religion" in the constitutional case is NOT clear.  One Jewish
perspective that we might bring to the debat is the difference between
l'hatchila and b'deavad, an understanding that there is a difference
between adding new references to God at this point, and removing ones
that the courts have (so far, at least) recognized as passing tests such
as the "ceremonial deism" test, which includes both a "historical" test,
as well as the perception of the "reasonable person" test, where that
perception would be in a case such as the ones cited, that the words
have evolved to the point where they now could be perceived as adding a
heightened sense of importance or "solemnity," rather than an attempt to
establish or endorse religion.

Clearly, there is room for debate--and disagreement.  But I think that
anyone who argues that they "clearly" violate constitutional
limitations, and remain only because of cowardice, not only does a
disservice to our courts, and not only discounts the intelligent and
reasoned views of many constitutional lawyers who would disagree, also
discredits his or her own position in terms of understanding the
complexity of issues that are involved.

Arnold E. Resnicoff 

From: Nadine Bonner <nfbonner@...>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 14:23:53 -0400
Subject: Separation of Church and State

I've been following this thread, but I'm not actually sure how it
pertains to anything we've been discussing. I would like to make two
points, however.

First, any student of US history realizes that the founding fathers had
no intention of erecting the "wall" between church and state that exists
today.  They had a more simple goal--to prevent the situation that
existed in their mother country, England. In England at that time, the
king was the head of the Church of England and everyone had to pay a
tithe to that church no matter what their private religious affiliation
was. Jefferson, Franklin et al believed they were creating a Christian
country that tolerated other religions and did not financially support
any particular church--they never could have anticipated the religious
mosaic that exists today nor the anti-religious sentiment that permeates
much of the public square.

Second, whether the so called "religious freedom" that we have here has
been good for the Jews is debatable. While it may indeed have been good
for Jewish economic welfare and social prominance, for most of American
Jewish history this country has been a desert as far as Torah is
concerned. Because Jews were not persecuted for their religion and were
able to live almost anywhere they wished, for most of the 17th-19th
centuries, they soon assimilated into the comfortable fabric of
America. At the time of great immigrations of the late 19th and early
20th centuries, Jews were given a choice between factory jobs or keeping
shabbos. Most of them choose their jobs.And later they, too, prefered to
blend into the melting pot. How many of us come from families that chose
Torah observance over the American lifestyle? Very few, I imagine.

The reputation of America as a G-dless nation caused many frum Yidden to
reject emigration as Hitler gained power and they were still able to
leave Europe.  Instead they perished.

So called religious freedom has always been a two-edged sword. The first
Lubavitcher rebbe chose to pray for Tsar Alexander to defeat Napoleon,
even though Bonaparte offered Jews civil equality under French law. He
believed that such civil freedom would lead them to abandon Torah.

The current rebirth of Torah in this country is less than 50 years old
and is more due to the social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s and the
kiruv movements that were born in those days than to any protection from
the Constitution. Even the laws later enacted to protect Jewish and
other religious practices in the workplace are products of that period
and relatively new concepts in American law.

So I really don't believe the Constitutional "wall" has done anything to
support observant Jewish life.

Nadine Bonner


End of Volume 49 Issue 56