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← Does Religion = Superstition? G-D Forbid!

Rob W.'s Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Rob W.

Dear BenS, regarding your Comment # 51:

Let's just stick within living memory, shall we. 1940s, say? I'm an atheist, happily minding my own business until some dickhead says "Oh, Ben, yeah, his mother was a Jew once so Ben's a Jew according to our law.". Next thing you know, I'm on the way to a gas chamber for something I don't follow and don't believe in all because someone else used laws I don't subscribe to in order to pin a label on me that I don't want and doesn't apply.

G-d forbid anyone should gas anyone for anything, especially innocent individuals who just happen to belong to some "group." Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are sometimes curel and murderous. There are people who want to hurt Atheists, too. I hope that I would have the courage to die with integrity defending you against such people, rather than live as a coward who said, "not my problem." There's a Rabbinic saying, "Whoever saves one life saves an entire world."

The Nazis defined "Jew" differently than does Halacha. If I remember correctly, they went after anyone with at least 2 Jewish grandparents. It didn't matter to them if that person was atheistic, or if the person professed belief in Christianity; once they marked a so-called "Jew" for death, that was it.

you're confusing a legal system that people subscribe to (by being residents of the country that has those laws) to a legal system they didn't. Like I said, you don't get to invent your own legal system and apply it to people without their consent .. It's a 'legal' definition that has absolutely no standing

I didn't invent Halacha; I simply referenced it. It was around long before you or I were, and it may very well survive any one of us for a long time. I could reference Catholic Canon Law, and get a different result. Like it or not, Halacha is the reason there are still Jews today, including the individuals who have labeled themselves both atheistic and Jewish when posting here. Any people that severely dispersed without such a system of law would otherwise have become just a memory in history books (e.g. Hittites).

There are laws which empower, and there are laws which harm. If by "standing" you mean that there's a force in place with police, judges, etc. which can physically and financially punish, does that somehow make it more legitimate than a legal system which doesn't? Do I subscribe to any stupid law passed by the U.S. Congress just because of where I live? Just as you might protest that nobody asked you if you wanted to be categorized as Gentile or Jewish, I might protest that nobody asked me if I consented to be jailed for smoking weed. Thankfully, at this point in history, nobody is fixing to jail me if I put cheese on a chicken sandwich. Sadly, weed is a different story.

You say I haven't answered you. I've told you everything I know. Traditionally speaking, a Jew is someone whose mom is Jewish. That's the short, simple answer. If you want more detail, Amos has cited a Wiki article about it. There's tons of literature out there about it. There are synogogues and yeshivas around the world filled with rabbis and students who would be more than happy to answer your questions and debate with you about it. If you would rather do other things with your life then that, I defend your right as a sovereign individual to make your own choices which don't harm anyone. Peace.

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 06:53:35 UTC | #951153