Thursday, September 2, 2010

Praying my Religion Out of Me

I'm often asked why Evangelical Christians are often unwelcome in Israel. The below is a prime example:

If you don't understand why I think so, please make sure you read Shiri Cohen's article from a year ago when we, at Michal's Tefillin first ran into the Joshua Pro ject's idea of Jews being an unreached people.

Let me just quote one particular paragraph by Shiri:

This widget makes it appear as though the “Jew, Israeli, Sabra of Israel” has never been exposed to Christianity.
And I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but….
…the Crusades; Auto da Fés; enforced conversions; the Inquisition; the Progroms of Eastern Europe that spanned centuries; the purposeful Christianization of Holocaust survivor children and Christmas specials all over. If anything, Jews have been over-exposed to Christianity.
Now I have two more beefs with this widget: The 0.2% who are "Evangelical" are, in fact, are not Jews. They are Christians. (And as such, they are not particularly trusted in Israel, but more on that another time.)

The second... how antisemitic it is to refer to Judaism, the very religion of the Christians' Messiah and G-d, as "Ethnic religions". When talking about other nations, populations, people, their religion is properly named, while Judaism is considered an "ethnic religion"? So here I am absolutely disagreeing with Shiri: I do believe the folks at the Jo shua Project are anti-Jewish and antisemitic.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not anti-Christianity, not even anti-Catholicism (though some things are sending me down the anti-Mormonism path),  and I do adore and respect my wonderful Christian friends, and as a good Jew I do believe many of them will have a place in the World to Come. But sending such a message out about Judaism, to me, is unacceptable. Really, any effort to erradicate Judaism, and with that, Jews is a spiritual daughter of the Shoah.


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