Like most people, there are some experiences in life I usually try to avoid. Most of the time it’s part of an aversion to some sort of discomfort, usually phusical…
In a recent Newsweek article, devout atheist Sam Harris laments religion’s influence in American politics and in shaping public policy. While we might expect such arguments to assert the seperation of church and state, Harris’ main objection is that religions are fundamentally immoral and unethical.1
There’s a great quote today courtesy of Rev. David Clippard speaking at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis. While his speech was littered with anti-Islamic statements, his…
Brandishing the slogan of “Torah U’Madda,” Yeshiva University promotes some form of synthesis between Jewish religious and secular culture. While the term Torah U’Madda is generic, in the context of YU it generally refers to its dual curriculum, combining the religious and secular subject matters in one university as opposed to having them be necessarily in conflict. But beyond the distinction of Torah U’Madda in subject matters, I noticed this past week two instances of Torah U’Madda in the nature of discourse itself.
Most New Yorkers, especially subway commuters, have had experience with random and often comical street preachers. Most are harmless. If you’re on the street you can act like the New Yorker and ignore them like you do everyone else, and if you’re on the subway they tend to change cars or trains after one stop.1
Recently Jews For Jesus has stepped up a missionizing campaign in New York. Unlike the typical street preachers who minister to whomever happens to listen, Jews For Jesus actively tries to proselytize individuals with direct confrontation.
These confrontations can be very uncomfortable for most Jews. Few are well versed enough to respond to the challenges,2 and even those who are competent in the sources might not have the personality or debating skills to have an effective argument.
Ideally, I would suggest that when confronted the best response would be to walk away,3 however this is not always possible. So as a public service and in the interests of “know how to respond to heretics” (Avot 2:17) I’d like to offer my suggestions as a brief guide to handling the overly aggressive missionaries.
Following up on the topic of conversions, it seems that 3 out of 4 religions agree that freedom to convert from or to another religion is a basic religious right.…
There was a big kerfuffle a few years back about kohanim flying on airplanes and passing over cemetaries and one of the wackier proposed solutions involved having the Kohein wrap…
Apparently, if I’m not blogging. people think something terrible must have happened. Between numerous e-mails and random IM’s I realized that either have a loyal fan base or disturbed cult following. Either way, I figure I’ve got to get back and somehow work out a way to turn a profit. In the meantime, I’ll try to respond in due time.
As to what I’ve been doing for the past month or so, I leave that as an exercise to the reader, especially if you’re proficient with Photoshop.
Getting back to normal here, you might have seen the stories about the Church Of Fools, the first interactive sanctuary on the net.1 As part of my ecumenical procrastination, I decided to check out this community which serves the spirituality seekers who cannot be inconvenienced to leave their computer.
Behold, my first foray into Church.2 Screenshots included.
Disclaimer: I don’t have the time right now to thumbnail the images. If you are offended either by Christian imagery or slow web pages, please to not read any further.
James Hitchcock writes a wonderful article in February’s First Things titled The Enemies of Religious Liberty. (Read the article) Dr. Hitchcock cites several examples where people claiming to promote freedom…