Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Xtianity what is it good for?

It started when an Orthodox Rabbi I like and respect put this on Twitter:

Is trend away from religious Christmas to happy holidays good or bad from Jewish perspective? I say bad.

Those of you who've been here for a while already know my feelings on this subject. I think Christianity has been the cuase of untold suffering, particularly Jewish suffering, and I think the decline of Christian ferver (in the developed world, at least) is one of the great blessings of our time. Here's how I tweeted back:

I say Good. Xtianity=idolatry & falsehood. Less of it the better.

The point I am making here is one PC-loving frummies don't like to face: Christianity is false, and categorically the same as the idol worship our forfathers were bidden to wipe out. If we Jews shed no tears over the disapearence of Baal and Thor cults, why weep for vanishing Christianity? (And yes, I know some rishonim wrote that it was permissable for a non-Jew to worship as a Christian. But it doesn't follow from this that the teachings of the religon are true, nor is this an argument for the survival of the falsehoods it promotes. I'm quite sure the Rishonim who made this ruling would be pleased to learn that Christianity has lost it's teeth and no longer menaces the Jewish people.)

also xtianity is historically anti-freedom and anti-judaism less of that is also better

The counterargument to this is "Christianity has changed." I agree, but only to an extent. Though it is true Christains no longer lock people in ghettos, or teach that Jews "through their own fault were condemned by God to eternal slavery" we must remember how this happened. The Church didn't embrace liberal ideas on its own; rather it was dragged kicking and screaming into something approaching common sense by liberals and reformers. Why move backwards? Out of some pathetic conviction that Orthodox Judaism won't flourish unless the gentiles are also religious? Hasn't the American experience shown us the very opposite? As America becomes less religious, its the hetrodox movements who have trouble holding members, not the Orthodox. Thanks to the freedoms and protections offered by secular America, Orthodox Judaism is stronger than ever and shuls and yeshivas are easier to build and fund. (A cynical way that secular America helps Orthodoxy flourish: Skeptics, doubters and others who might help move Orthodoxy in a more liberal direction, were they forced, as in days of old,  to remain part of the community, are able to drop out instead.)

if the fox lost interest in eating chickens, what kind of crazy bird wld say that's a bad thing?

Again, I'm amazed that some of the same people who criticize me for doubting Sages are themselves willing to to do the same, and to cast aside traditional teachings when it becomes convinient. Our daily religious life is full of Chazal-instituted reminders that gentile religion is to be despised. These include "sfoch chamoscha" at the end of the seder,  "l'malshinim" in the Amidah, "Av Harachamin" on shabbos, dozens of kinos, as well as the rules of bishul akum, and pas akum. To suggest that gentile religion has been rehabilitated is akin to suggesting that the Sages lacked devine wisdom when they instituted these practices and safegaurds. If you're ready to start second-guessing Chazal, that's fine with me, but don't hold me to a standard you can't keep yourself.

Search for more information about Xtianity at 4torah.com.

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