Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


No More Churches in Jerusalem. What Do You Think?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

75% of those surveyed said that they opposed the sale of land in Jerusalem to Christian organizations that would build churches there, according to a just released survey conducted by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations. The survey studied Israeli Jewish Views of Christians and Christianity and got responses to a variety of questions, including which religion is closest to Judaism. According to 41% those responding, the answer is Christianity. According to 32%, the answer is Islam. What do you think?
Let’s conduct a highly interesting, if not scientifically sophisticated survey of our own. Please answer the following questions from the survey and I will tabulate your responses.


Since I am interested in the views of all readers, but want to compare results with the Israeli study, please indicate your own religious/spiritual orientation before answering the following questions:
1. Do you view Christians as missionaries? (Allow for now that the study could not/did not distinguish between missionizing and evangelizing, which is it’s own problem – one about which I will have more later.)
2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross? What do you think it means when they do also?
3. What religion is closest to Judaism?
4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances?
5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Does that include all forms of Christianity?
6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state?
7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose. (As in question 1, the terms themselves are limiting and problematic but useful here for purposes of comparison to the Israeli survey.)



  • James

    Wearing a cross usually means you are a Christian and Believe in Jesus Christ or you just like Crosses, Why would one feel Uncomfortable seeing a person wear one? no more than seeing someone wearing a Star of David or any other symbol that might describe ones Faith.

  • http://www.netzarim.co.il Paqid Yirmeyahu

    1. The ultimate authority in Christianity is the NT, which commands Christians to be missionaries. Therefore, Christians are missionaries or those who are not simply aren’t what NT requires Christians to be.
    2. There hasn’t been a comparable history of countless pogroms, persecutions, Inquisitions and a Holocaust under the banner of a Magein David like there have under the banner of the cross. Thus, it is reprehensibly offensive to reason that wearing a cross at a Jewish holy site is no different than wearing a Magein David. Further, Orthodox Jews aren’t permitted to enter Christian worship places so there is no parallel. When Christians wear crosses in other public places I take little or no notice.
    3. The religion that is theologically closest to Judaism is, tragically, Islam because it is monotheistic while Christianity is idolatrous.
    4. While non-Orthodox Jews ignore Halakhah (and their position, therefore, does not reflect Torah), Jews are prohibited by Torah (Halakhah) from entering a church unless it is to save a life.
    5. It is a fact that Christianity employs idols in its worship and prays to them. It is idolatry. The ancients also rationalized that “it was only to help them picture g-d.” Idolatry is defined by the same Authority that prohibits it: Torah.
    6. NT is an idolatrous book, which proclaims it supersedes and displaces Torah. If Christians will check their earliest extant Church historian, they will find that the original Jews who were followers of Ribi Yehoshua refused the NT as illegitimate accepting only Torah as Scripture and only “their own Hebrew Matityahu” as a valid account of the life and teachings or Ribi Yehoshua. The NT is prohibited by Torah.
    7. Torah.
    If you disagree with any of these answers then you should recognize that you do NOT agree with Israel being a restoration of Biblical Israel. Disagreement with these answers, while understandable from a Christian perspective, is logically intractably incompatible with the restoration of Biblical Israel. Christians are internally conflicted: Torah and Elohim of Israel or NT.
    For complete info, see our website (URL below).
    Paqid Yirmeyahu
    Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra’anana, Israel
    Israeli Orthodox Jew (Teimani Baladi Dardai)
    Advancing Logic as Halakhic Authority
    Welcoming Jews & non-Jews
    http://www.netzarim.co.il

  • Harriet

    To identify myself…I was raised Catholic, but never really identified myself as such and always looked at myself as a sort of spiritual maverick…what beliefnet calls “spiritual but not religious”…believing in God and certain beliefs about life, morality, afterlife, angels, many things, but following no organized religion. Making it up as I went along. I am currently researching Judaism as a path I may want to follow, but a long way from conversion.
    1. My view is that many Christians are completely content to believe what they believe but live and let live when it comes to believers of other things and respect other belief systems (I have many friends and family that fit this). However too many Christians these days try to push their beliefs on others so passionately that it infringes upon others comfort zones and rights to believe and worship as they choose. I don’t think either group of Christians is going away any time soon, or to be taken over by the other. Which is good and bad I guess.
    2. When I see someone wearing a cross I do get little questions in my head like, “are they one of those?” like are they going to try to save my soul or something, as I have run into people like that a few times. I am shy and do not like confrontation, so I may get a little nervous. However, the people I have met that I’ve seen wearing a cross have not usually been the people to do that, so it is a little irrational of a fear. They have a right to wear something that symbolizes something that is meaningful to them, just like we all do.
    3. As I’m just beginning to study Judaism, and I don’t really remember much of my childhood Catholic education, I really couldn’t say. Also I know absolutely nothing about Islam, so I can’t compare what little knowledge I have of the other two to that anyway. One of the biggest differences in Judaism compared to growing up Catholic is the emphasis on debate of ideas, even though I grew up in a very liberal openminded Catholic church, Judaism is very much centered around constant learning and bettering of ideas of morality, beliefs, etc, through debate throughout history by Rabbis but also regular Jews..even though there seem to be important ancient teachings that are at the heart of it that cannot change and provide the foundation…Catholicism is kinda just given to you as is…by “the man” if you will…the vatican I guess, I don’t know. That’s what I remember anyway, I could be wrong. This is not a criticism of Catholicism because I still think it’s a beautiful religion, while I don’t agree with everything.
    4. I would hope if I ever decide to convert to Judaism that I could still go to weddings, baptisms, and funerals of dear Christian friends. In fact if I would not be able to do that, that would be a serious consideration of if I really wanted to go through with conversion. Otherwise, I would probably try to stay out of churches out of respect for my new commitment. But I don’t think it should necessarily be outlawed for Jews to go to churches occasionally, or Christians to go to synagogues, as long as each is committed to their own faith, and don’t actually “worship” there, because we all should learn from eachother and it can help us have more tolerance, even if we don’t agree with eachothers beliefs. Obviously I am not considering ever trying to convert to Orthodox Judaism or anything.
    5. I understand that “idolatry” is basically any worship of anyone or anything that is not God himself. My beliefs most coincide with Jewish beliefs in that Jesus was not the son of God but a human man, nor was he the messiah, (but possibly a great man anyway). I think the idea of the trinity though if you think about it, is not necessarily idolatry because it’s kind of like Jesus, the holy spirt, and God the father, are really just three parts, three aspects of one God. That’s what I was taught. It’s not the same as paganism. Just like each of us has a mind body and soul, but there is just one of us. So I believe that Jesus as Christ does conflict with Jewish beliefs, but not necessarily because of idolatry.
    6. I do not really like to get political and don’t have a political mind or much knowledge at all, but as much as I believe in Israel as a true home for Jews, I think it’s a lot to ask for any country to be exclusively one religion. Here in the U.S. we are fighting so hard (against some Christians from the 1st question) for separation of church and state. I realize Israel is very different, but I do think that Christian soldiers should be able to use the New Testament when pledging allegiance to Israel.
    7. I’m afraid I don’t really understand this question. …secular, spiritual, traditional, or religious, for MYSELF? for Israel? for the U.S? For myself I still consider myself spiritual above all and probably always will be, possibly religious in the future. I’m not sure about the rest.

  • Homo Mysticus

    Hello Rabbi,
    I would cast my vote for Islam as being closer to Judaism. It is absolutely monotheistic. Christianity has problems in that area. The interpretation of the sacred text is also an area where we share more with Islam than we do the Christians.
    Homo Mysticus

  • Marian

    Rabbi Daniel Leifer (z’l”) once said he thought Orthodox Christianity was closest to the Judaism envisioned in the Torah, in terms of ritual, and Catholicism only somewhat less so. In terms of interpretation of sacred texts, Catholics and some schools of Islam use many of the same techniques as Judaism. Pure monotheism? Islam, I suppose, though nobody’s monotheism is as pure as it could be.

  • Proud WNYer

    Thank you to all the counterdemonstrators in Buffalo, NY yesterday! You spoke for all the good people of the word when you stood up to the members of the Westboro bigot cult that tried to spread their hate at the funeral of Alison Des Forges, a human-rights activist who was killed in the crash Flight 3407.
    Although Rabbi Brad did not instigate the questionnaire he cites in his blog or come up with the questions, his post today is just too close to fomenting hate and dissension among people for comfort.
    Stop the hate.
    Good people of the world come together for the good of all!

  • James

    I would have to agree with that statement

  • Rabbi Brad

    Can you explain how, Proud WNYer? Hate and dissent, the two terms you use in tandem are quite different. You do realize that, right?
    The very notion that honest and sincere questioning should be repressed is a pretty dangerous one — one with a long and ugly track record. So I am really interested to hear either yours, or any other responses.

  • Pavvel

    1. Most Christians just want to live their lives and aren’t that into missionizing or evangelizing. Among evangelicals moreso than among other subgroups of Christians, people who see themselves as serious Christians tend to believe that evangelizing and missionizing is something Christians should do.
    2. I am no more uncomfortable when I see a Christian wearing a cross than I am when I see a Jew wear a star of David. Each is an expression of the faith identity of the person wearing it. No one has the right to demand that one stop being public about one’s self-identification.
    3. Islam is the religion is closest to Judaism if we view conceptions of God as the core of the religion. Christianity has a self-perception as monotheistic. But the “God-in-three-persons” conceptualization is equally foreign to Islam and Judaism.
    4. From the Christian perspective, it is certainly permissible for Jews to enter churches. But whether a Jew self-allows him or herself to enter a church depends on the idea of the Jewish community of which s/he is a part and how closely s/he adheres to the instruction of his/her rabbi. From my liberal perspective, Jews certainly should feel comfortable entering a church for an interfaith event or for the life-cycle events of friends and relatives who are Christian. If the event at a church is just church as usual, then it would probably be more practical for Jews not to attend unless engaging in anthropological research.
    5. Christianity is not a form of idol worship. The branches that use icons and other religious paintings and statues to any significant extent (the Catholic and Orthodox churches) do not understand themselves to be worshiping the image.
    6. No. I believe that oaths to do one’s duty to the state should always be done without religious text. However, if the custom for the majority to swear on their sacred book, then the minority should also be allowed to swear on their sacred book.
    7. I would self-classify as spiritual and religious in equal proportion as relates to things of a spiritual or religious nature. I self-identify as secular when it comes to matters of law, state, or politics. And I vote with Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan that tradition is important but not the sole deciding factor.
    Peace,
    Pavvel

  • Gerard Nadal

    Given the trajectories in Jewish/Catholic and Jewish/Islamic relations over the past seven decades, I would think that this is a no brainer.

  • Lucy G.

    It is funny, I don’t see how these questions could foment hate and dissention, unless the people answering them were already filled with hate and were looking for a fight. As someone who has a Jewish mother and a Christian father, I have often thought (and expressed) many of these and other questions that might be even more controversial. I identify as Jewish, but faith is difficult and humans often use religon as an excuse to opress those who are somehow weaker. I also realize religon can be used for great good. Religon is powerful.
    Christianity and Islam are both evangelical religons. Now, some Christian groups are more agressive in their evangelizing than others and they can be offensive, even to other Christians! Many Christians however, do not actively evangelize and are respecful of others’ beliefs.
    I know many people who wear crosses and I have no problem with it. To be honest, I don’t tend to notice them except in a very prefunctory way. It can mean many things. For some, it is just a fasionable piece of jewlery. For others, it is an outward experession of their faith…and a nice piece of jewlery! Either way, I have no issue with it!
    Both Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism. Christianity is closer in some ways, since it accepts the entire Hebrew bible in just the same form as we Jews read it. Some of the theology (such as the Trinity) might make Christianity seem farther from Judaism.
    I don’t see why Jews cannot enter a church for many reasons: as tourists, to attend a wedding or funeral of a friend or relative, to play in or listen to a concert, or even to take part in an interfaith activity. I know that the idea is that we are not to give the appearance of worshipping as Christians but good grief…the whole appearance thing can be carried too far. My husband and I keep (relatively) kosher but we have spagetti and meatballs, with cheese, all the time. Of course, the “meatballs” are meatless but it does give the appearance…
    Christians are not idolators. Some people get confused because Catholics, among others, may pray while looking at an icon. But the icon is supposed to be a reminder only, they are not praying to a statue.
    Since Christians read both the Hebrew bible and the “New Testement,” I am not sure why they need to swear on only the latter text. At very least, can they not swear in on a bible that contains both?
    I am not sure how to classify myself. We keep kosher at home (made simpler by the fact that I cook no meat except fish for us humans, though I do make turkey meatloaf for my dog) and my husband likes to have a traditional Friday night dinner, complete with all the blessings, so I make sure to cook something nice on Friday, no matter how tired I am! He likes services, I make it for Torah study after a workout and often have to work in the afternoon. I don’t feel particularly spiritual so I suppose by most definitions, I am secular.

  • Gerard Nadal

    Hi Rabbi,
    I’m Roman Catholic.
    1. Some yes. Some no. There is no yes or no answer.
    2. No. Neither am I bothered by people wearing a Star of David. Both wear it as a sign, a reminder to themselves of God’s Covenant with them. Of course some wear it because it was a gift and looks cool.
    3. Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, as both offer sacrifice at the altar.
    4.JB tells me that Orthodox Jews are not permitted to enter Churches. I’ve known many Reformed Jews who have.
    5. When idl worship is brought up, that’s aimed at Catholics. As one who studied to be a Priest, the answer is a resounding NO. As the saying goes, nothing enters the intellect without passing through the senses. A statue for us is a reminder of the one whose life and good example we are meditating on. It helps us center our thoughts. We obviously do not think the statue is a biological or spiritual entity. When we meditate on the virtuous lives of saints, we pray to God, asking His aid in our being able to follow the good example of the saint.
    Note here how this is different from totem pole worship. With totems, people ascribe to animals certain human traits (wise as an owl, sly as a fox, strong as a bear.etc.). They then construct images of those animals and worship them. What they are doing, in effect, is worshipping an externalized version of their own collectively socially desirable traits. They are worshipping themselves.
    We worship the one true God. We thank Him for the lives of those in our history that show how one may indeed perfect oneself in cooperation with God’s grace. Statues of these saints keep their virtuous lives ever present before us, calling us to meditate on and follow that good example in the pursuit of holiness.
    6. If Israel is a Jewish State, then the Tanakh is just as good for a Christian. Do Islamic citizens serve in the IDF? If so, what do they pledge on?
    7. The integrated life of the Christian weaves together the religious, traditional and spiritual. Can I hack the family pet into three parts and ask my wife which one she loves?

  • Dovid Goldstein

    1. Many seem to be.
    2. It certainly reminds me that they are of that religion, and I wonder if they harbor negative feelings towards us.
    3. Islam is closest to Judaism, as it is pure monotheism. But as I’ve said, the real world has intervened to prevent us from cultivating religious ties with Moslems.
    4. It is never permissible for a Jew to enter a church. It doesn’t matter what “branch” they are a part of. They may give the impression to others passing by that they are engaged in that sort of worship.
    5. Any person who worships a man as a god, or who worships three gods, flirts with idolatry.
    6. Sure. Why not?
    7. Traditional and religious. They cannot be separated.

  • pagansister

    Rabbi: Not Christian, but raised for 17 years in a Christian church. Right now…spiritual but not religious.
    1. No. Not all try to “convert” you to their way of thinking.
    2. No discomfort in seeing someone wear a cross, crucifix or Star of David or any other religious symbols. The wearing of a religious symbol can be to make the person feel protected, or proud of their religion, or as a method to help remind them of the beliefs they hold.
    3. IMO, Christianity
    4. Yes. Personally, I’d say anytime they wanted to. It might depend on whether they are Orthodox or liberal Jews. I would think they would go to a church for weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other Christian ceremonies of friends and relatives.
    5. It depends on the type of Christianity. Though it would be denied it seems that some of the Orthodox churches, worship idols…saints pictures are kissed etc. Virgin Mary and saints are prayed to…
    6. Yes.
    7. spiritual

  • Robert

    1. Writing as a Methodist, I can assure you all Christians are not missionaries. Having missionaries (China, Presbyterian in the 1930′s until 1951, and Zimbabwe, Methodist, until 1975) in the family, I can tell you those who are tend to be people looking for adventure as much as seeking to share their faith. It isn’t all about you—unless you happen to be a Jew in Israel and “they” (leaving Methodists and Presbyterians out of this) happen to be a believer in ends times theology.
    2. As a Christian, I tend to think someone who wears a cross needs to remind themselves of their religion. It’s not about me—unless it’s someone in a minister’s garb, then there are social expectations. I recently told my bishop if acted in a certain way he’d in line to get into heaven behind the Unitarians, so I don’t necessarily take either crosses or clerical garb all that seriously.
    3. Should I pass judgment on this? But my guess would be Islam if you’re Orthodox, Christianity if you are Reform or Conservative.
    4. We’re always happy to have you. Your attendance is regarded as social—unless you partake in the eucharist, then we are thinking there is more going on. But just showing up in a church is being nice to us.
    5. Here’s an answer that may surprise you. Yes, much of Christianity is idol worship. But the idol is a black book with 66 “books” inside, its Bible, not Jesus. Jesus, I think, probably would not believe many of the things Christians say about him.
    6. No! Jesus said “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Swearing on books isn’t something a Christian necessarily needs to do. A Christian needs to be honest in his or her statements—at least that’s what Jesus said.
    7. Spiritual—but I recognize my church needs me to stay open, and keeping it open is a good thing.

  • Robert

    I have given some consideration as to whether it is wise to disseminate this information on the net, and here it is anyway.
    I have had some interactions with Westboro Baptist Church. Without giving too many identifying details, a friend of mine was seeking to be the first of a certain gender orientation to be ordained in, of all things, a Baptist church. Westboro threatened pickets, and I had occasion to speak with them, respectfully.
    I don’t think that what they have going is, from their side looking out, hate. It seems that way to you and me, and it really does seem that way to me, but their reading of Scripture is consistent with what they say and do. They actually believe that what they do may bring some people to salvation and eternal life in heaven, and a very literal reading of certain passages of the New Testament supports them.
    You can’t pull a fast one on them, but you can speak with them, and you might be surprised there is a rationality there. Actually, that’s the scary part.

  • Elisheva

    I’m an Orthodox Jew living in Israel
    1) Although spreading the gospel is certainly an important tenant of Christianity, I don’t believe all Christians place the same emphasis on evangelizing (proselytizing; missionizing; witnessing; outreach; sharing the gospel; fulfilling the great commission; harvesting, fishing, spreading the word, etc…) as evangelicals do.
    I think it’s important to point out that a number of the poll questions focused on evangelical Christianity, and – more than other Christian communities – it’s those with an evangelical orientation who are very visible, vocal and pro-active in Israel at this time.
    2) Outside of Israel a display of the cross doesn’t bother me, nor does a subtle display disturb me. I think a large or very overt exhibit of the cross or crucifix in the Jewish state is an in-your-face statement and tends to make religiously observant Jews uncomfortable for the following reasons:
    a) For the Jew, Christianity (the belief in Jesus as lord and savior) is an irrefutable form of idolatry.
    b) Christianity is an exclusive religion laying claim to one truth and only one road to heaven (obviously a very alien concept for a Jew). So an overt display of the cross which symbolizes that attitude might put-off more than a few Israeli Jews.
    c) For many Jews with an acute sense of history, the cross is not a warm, friendly symbol
    3) Judaism is first and foremost a monotheistic religion and the Christian belief of a god incarnate negates the foundation of monotheism. Therefore, the perception of G-d in Islam is probably closer to that of Judaism.
    4) I’m no halachic scholar, but a Jew can enter the social hall of the church for secular purposes (voting, civic work, etc…) if the room does not contain symbols of idolatry. A Jew should not enter an area of Christian worship or partake in those services.
    5)For the Jew, Christianity (the belief in Jesus as lord and savior) is an irrefutable form of idolatry.
    The prohibition against and rejection of idolatry is at the very core of Judaism.
    6)The New Testament should not be used in an IDF swearing in ceremony. Perhaps an alternative meaningful declaration of allegiance to the state can be taken by those righteous young Gentiles who choose to serve in Israel.
    7) traditional and religious

  • New Age Cowboy

    1. I think Christian Fundamentalists are the most prone to prosyletizing. I think real evangelism involves good works with the goal of doctrinal/dogmatic assent. I do think their are Christians that practice good works towards others, and the works are an end in themselves.
    2. I have no problem when I see someone wearing a cross. I could mean any number of things, from affiliation/identification to fashion statement… possibly to a reminder of sacrificed innocence.
    3. I don’t know what’s closest to Judiasm. I find religious interpretation to be highly subjective.
    4. I’m not Jewish. As a Gentile, I think Jews can hang out wherever they want.
    5. I think any religion can be a form of idol worship, especially when dogma takes complete precedence over Spirit. If God is not ‘one as opposed to two’, but ONE; I think there’s room for ideas like the Trinity. Trinitarian doctrine still has room for mystery in the ‘Father’ and immanence in the ‘Son’ and ‘Spirit’.
    If God could express himself through a bush to Moses, why couldn’t he express himself as/through an ‘avatar’.
    6. I believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state.
    7. I am spiritual. I like practicing silence. I enjoy mystical approaches like that of Rumi and Meister Eckhart, and I like Kabbalah. I like Buddhism a lot. I love chants and mantras. I GUESS I REALLY LIKE STUFF THAT OPENS ME UP TO EXPERIENCES BEYOND/OUTSIDE MYSELF.

  • Jeebus Freak

    “6. NT is an idolatrous book, which proclaims it supersedes and displaces Torah. If Christians will check their earliest extant Church historian, they will find that the original Jews who were followers of Ribi Yehoshua refused the NT as illegitimate accepting only Torah as Scripture and only “their own Hebrew Matityahu” as a valid account of the life and teachings or Ribi Yehoshua. The NT is prohibited by Torah.”
    Tell me more about this. I didn’t think that the real Jewish Christians (the cats led by James who hung around the Temple all the time in Acts) still existed by the time the Gospels were around in writtn form. Are you saying that they rejected the early oral traditions of the Gospels?
    “their own Hebrew Matityahu” wouldn’t that be the Gospel of Matthew? That ain’t in Hebrew- it’s Greek so far as I know. If there is some sort of early Hebrew text about Jesus I would love to learn more about it.
    I’m sure that such communities rejected the ideas of Paul- who brought Christianity to pagans, without really introducing them to Judaism first. Which would mean that they rejected most of the NT, but again- I dodn’t think that there really was anything resembling a cannonized, or even structured NT while there were still real Jewish Christians. I didn’t think that they really outlasted the destuction of the Second Temple- not by much at least, and the NT as a collected work would have been quite a bit later, right?
    If I’m wrong about any of this I want to know. I want to learn more. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me!
    I have nothing original to say in response to the ?s. I’ll just tell you who’s answers I agree with above:
    1. Harriet
    2. Elisheva
    3. Pavvel & Lucy G.
    4. Pavvel
    5. Obviously I don’t think my own religion is idolotry, but I can’t expect for Jews & Muslims not to see it that way.
    6. I think they OT should be good enough for anybody dong the IDF. There’s WAY more just war doctrine in there anyway.
    7. What were those 4 things? Traditional & religous with a hige caveat for interpretation & outright change. Spiritual above all. Secular when I think that an issue I morally support cannot be effectively or fairly legislated. Love is the mitigating factor between all 4.
    Raised Methodist, Episcopalian by confession, currently attend an Emergent Lutheran Church.

  • Amy Rosenberg

    I believe that Christianity is a many varied faith or faiths. Therefore, it does not have one set of ideas and can not be approached in the same way. I do not believe that Jerusalem has enough room for all of these various types of Christianity. Maybe we need one building that will house a salute to all Christian factions.
    Many Christian sects have been as violent and unfair to Jews as are some Muslim sects today. We need to attempt to have good relations with all faiths and all peoples. This does not mean that we favor one over another.

  • Your Name

    1. No not missionaries (at least, not most of them). 2. Anyone wearing religious jewelry makes me uncomfortable, but particularly crosses. 3. Islam is more monotheistic, so I am guessing that is closer. 4. Yes, Jews can enter churches. I have participated in Christian weddings, funerals, and a few services. I have never felt more strongly Jewish than during some of those services. I believe to actually have interfaith peace, we have to accept the reality of the religions of others. If I won’t go to their church, why should they come to my synagogue? 5. No, no idol worship in general. Any religion can turn into that, but that is not in the nature of Christianity.
    6. Yes. If Israel is ever to be at peace, it has to accept its citizens as belonging to the religions they choose. A Christian swearing on the New Testament is still choosing Israel as his country.
    7. None of those labels mean anything to me. I am a religious Conservative Jew, a group that probably does not exist for the original designer.

  • Jane Kasov

    I was not aware that Israel sold land so easily. I could understand a 99-year lease, an Israeli practice that existed years ago. Based upon lease and rental agreements, the acceptance of buildings housing other faiths should pose no permanent or litigious problems. Sort of a form of “trust, but verify.”

  • Martin

    My answer to Rabbi Brad’s questions:
    1. No, I don’t generally view Christians as missionaries. I am okay with those Christians who are also missionaries, as long as they are respectful of my disinclination to hear them out. I am especially unhappy when, as has happened on a few occasions, Mormons or Witnesses show up on my doorstep on Jewish holidays. I am inclined to see that as deliberate, even conspiratorial. I just show them the big and rather handsome mezuzzah on my front doorpost, and say goodbye in a huff.
    2. Whether or not someone wearing a cross bothers me depends on context. Also, size matters, and further, it matters whether the cross is empty (Protestant) or not (Catholic). I try to read the message in each case. Is someone saying: I’m not one of you? Or, I am proud of my faith and want others to know it? Or, If feel closer to God when all the world sees who I am? Or, you dirty Jews are the ones who made this happen, never mind Vatican II? When I see someone wearing a particularly large Catholic cross, I might think about the book Constantine’s Sword, and how anti-semitism is connected to the crucifixion, and how that might be flagrantly addressed by what I am looking at.
    3. I used to think Christianity was closer to Judaism (you know, the notion of “Judeo-Christian” this or that), but the better I think I understand both Christianity and Islam (Judaism, too), I believe now that the answer is Islam.
    4. For me, it is permissible to enter churches, under any circumstance. I’ve been to funerals, Palm Sunday services, ordinary Sunday services, and weddings (but not bar mitzvahs) in all kinds of Christian churches. I have felt completely at peace in those settings.
    Sometimes, at a funeral, when the priest or minister is calling upon recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, I say a Kaddish to myself. However, I am not in the least offended by the text of the Lord’s Prayer. Churches are often the most beautiful buildings in the world, and I regret that anyone should be denied the opportunity to experience them. I know that there are Jews who would find my behavior blasphemous. So be it.
    5. Yes, to the extent that Christianity promotes the events presented in its sacred texts as “reality”. I think the same may be nearly as true for any Jews who see the Torah as the literal word of God, and fail to appreciate its metaphorical nature. But I hasten to add: most Christians and Jews that I know are not fundamentalist.
    6. Yes, Christians who serve in the IDF should absolutely have the right to pledge allegiance to the state with their sacred texts…and God bless them for their service.
    7. I am happy to be a participant in a largely secular society, but I am serious about my Judaism, so I think my answer is Spiritual.

  • Your Name

    1. I believe that most (but possibly not all) forms of Christianity are BASED on the “drive” to convert others to their faith. Further, that those who REFUSE such conversion are either “blind”, “evil”, or otherwise “warped”. This leads to the resulting notion of being “damned” for refusng to accept “that religion” while the most horrendous criminals of all time will still go to heaven.
    2. Wearing a cross, per se, does not make me uncomfortable. It is simply how someon chooses to identify with their faith.
    3. Islam (or possibly B’hai) are likely closest (as “formal religions”) to Judaism. However, I would consider the “Noachides” to be truly the closest as they recognize the divinity of the Torah even as they reject the Koran, and Christian Scriptures.
    4. Under most circumstances (possibly all), entering a Christian House of Worshhip would be problematic. Howevr, this may depend upon the exact denomination. See below.
    5. It is pretty clear that — at least according to some prominent Jewish Scholar (Rishonim) that “classical” Christian belief (a.k.a. “Shituf”) absolutely is a fomr of idolatry. In fact, it seems that ALL authorities agree that this is idolatry were a Jew to practic it. The *only* question is whether it is “idolatry” if a Non-Jew practices this. Even the lenient views are not necassarily all that lenient. It is possible that there could be some forms of Christianity that do not follow the “classical” theology. But, it would appear that — fo most forms — there is a serious issue of idolatry. In fact, that appears to be tha main reason why there are serious issues entering a Christian House of Worship.
    6. I do NOT believe that Christian Soldiers should use the Christian Scriptures when entering the Israeli Armed Forces. Given that there is a seious issue of idolatry AND that a good portion of this material (especially the material “attributed” to John) is downright anti-Jewish — it is simply not appropriate. Since the Christian World “admits” that the Jewish Scriptures are sacred, there should be no problem for them to use these same Scriptures.
    7. I guess you could list me as “classicaly Orthodox Jewish”.

  • Aviva

    1. Do you view Christians as missionaries? (Allow for now that the study could not/did not distinguish between missionizing and evangelizing, which is it’s own problem – one about which I will have more later.)
    Depends on the Christian, unfortunately it is a tenet of the Christian religion to engage in missionary practices.
    2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross? What do you think it means when they do also?
    I despisethe cross because I know that millions of Jews were murdered, were tortured, expelled from their homes or forced to convert because of it – people have the right to be proud of what they believe in and again, it depends on the Christian – there are lots of metalheads who wear crosses and Jewish people who wear them because they think it’s gothic to do so
    3. What religion is closest to Judaism?
    Islam I think because it has a system of laws and its very name means to submit to G-d’s will
    4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances?
    nope – maybe if his life depended on it, because a church is a place of idol worship…
    5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Does that include all forms of Christianity?
    Yep. Anyone who tries to put an intermediary between me and G-d or ascribes power to statues, saints, etc. is an idol worshiper hands down. They are going against the belief there is one G-d b
    6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state?
    I don’ believe in the New Testament. They supposedly believe in the Old Testament so what is the problem with swearing on that?
    7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose. (As in question 1, the terms themselves are limiting and problematic but useful here for purposes of comparison to the Israeli survey.)
    religious witha secular background.

  • Oh Jerusalem

    1. Do you view Christians as missionaries? Evangelicals by definition are supposed to be missionaries. Look up the dictionary definition of “evangelical”. Other Christians are usually more passive in their missionary behavior.
    2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross? In Israel? Yes. Elswhere? I expect it.
    What do you think it means when they do also? Pride/love in their belief and affiliation.
    3. What religion is closest to Judaism? None, actually. You could say that Islam’s concept of monotheism (but nothing more) conforms with G-d’s attribute, while some of Christianities moral principles conform with those advocated by Judaism. Plus the NT is loaded with plagiarized material from the Tanach.
    4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances? Not allowed. Period.
    5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Absolutely. A reminder that the Torah’s words for the prohibition of “Avodah Zarah” mean foreign or strange worship and can be violated through the belief in anything that is/was/will be physical as divine, not just stone and wood idols.
    Does that include all forms of Christianity? All the major forms. Even without belief in the trinity, the belief that a 2000 year old dead mediocre (possibly heretical) Jew was part or whole of the Creator of the Universe’s divinity, covers almost all Christian denominations. There might be a halachic opinion that some forms of Christianity are not a violation of Avodah Zarah for the gentile, but nevertheless are so for the Jew. I am not convinced of such a lenient opinion.
    6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state? There should be no Christians soldiers in the IDF, let alone allowing any to use an NT when pledging allegiance.
    7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose. (As in question 1, the terms themselves are limiting and problematic but useful here for purposes of comparison to the Israeli survey.) For myself? Religious.

  • Your Name

    I am suryoyo who separat from Jewish some of peopel calling us Aremaic we are talking Jesus language we are the first christian ortodox for me if I blieve in GOD I should love all human if they are Jewish or Muslam so please will start to love eachother orelse GOD going to punish us because we cannot say bad to GOD creation I read Taroh Kuran and ofcourse my Bible thank you

  • Pavvel

    Aviva wrote: “Anyone who tries to put an intermediary between me and G-d or ascribes power to statues, saints, etc. is an idol worshiper hands down.”
    Fundamentalist Christians, Evangelical Christians, and many other members of subgroups of Protestant Christianity would agree with you 300%. Where they would disagree with you would be in the delineation or definition of “God.”

  • Steven Klein

    1. Yes!
    2. No. I think it means at most that they identify as Christian.
    3. Noahidism!
    4. No. There’s the problem of marys ayin.
    5. Yes, for all forms. (Note: I’m saying it’s avodah zarah, which doesn’t quite translate as “idol worship.”)
    6. No—An oath sworn on a false testiment is worthless.
    7. Religious

  • http://www.zahavapasternak.blogspot.com Zahava Pasternak

    1. Yes, I view Christians as missionaries. I should know as I was a long time Christian. “If none receive [your gospel] then shake the dust of your feet” correct?
    2. It used to bother me seeing a cross – not anymore more though. Why do some wear a cross? Mostly for show. Look at the rappers and then the not so modest boys with pants hanging below their knees rapping unmodest words.
    3. I would tend to think Christianity. The christian’s bible can stand by itself.
    4. No, it is not permissible for Jews to enter churches unless they got a “go ahead” from their rabbi. Perhaps teaching in the church hall instead of the sanctuary.
    5. Yes, as Judaism holds that one shall not believe that anything or any one else has the power of God except for HaShem.
    Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods besides Me”
    6. Actually, I do not believe that any nonjews should be fighting in the IDF with Jews. Why could not the christian put his hand on the Jewish bible only and pledge his allegiance?
    7. Of course tradition and religious belief (Judaism) -

  • http://www.zahavapasternak.blogspot.com Zahava Pasternak

    typo
    3. should have read
    the christian’s bible can NOT stand alone.

  • Your Name

    1. . Do you view Christians as missionaries? : The majority of Christians are not interested in missionary activities, wiht the exception of evangelicals.
    2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross?
    It doesn’t bother me to see anyone wear a cross, star of David, Islamic symbol, or Hindu symbol. The wearer is displaying their pride and devotion to their faith.
    3. What religion is closest to Judaism?
    Christianity is closest to conservative and reform Judaism. Orthodox Judaism is probably closer to fundamentalist Islam.
    4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances?
    Most Jewish people that I know will attend weddings and funerals in Churches, out of respect for their friends. Most commented they felt completely comfortable doing so as well.
    5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Does that include all forms of Christianity?
    Absolutely not!
    6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state?
    Yes, and those of the Islamic faith should be able to use a Koran.
    7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose.
    Spiritual.
    With regard to the concern regarding sale of land in Jerusalem to Christian Churches, Jerusalem is sacred to three faithes, and all three faithes should be accomodated in reasonable requests for land to establish appropriate structures for purposes of religious observance.

  • Eric

    I’m a Christian.
    1. Yes.
    2. No. The cross means God’s love and forgiveness extended through Jesus Christ towards a lost humanity trapped in sin.
    3. Judaism. Sorry, but it is really hard to answer.
    4. Yes. Under any circumstances. Everyone should be welcome to churches, even if they have not accpeted Jesus as their personal Lord and savior yet.
    5. No. Christians do not worship idols, but God alone. Yes, that includes all forms of Christianity.
    6. Yes.
    7. spiritual

  • Yisrael Shalom

    I am a liberal Jew.
    1. By it’s very nature and historical practice, Christianity is a missionary religion. It’s belief that the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth compels its followers to convince others of their need to believe its message.
    2. I am somewhat bothered when I see people wear a cross. It reminds me of the years of oppression we have endured by Christians.
    3. Liturgically speaking and in traditional cultural practice, catholic Christianity is closest to Judaism. Doctrinally, of course, trinitarian belief is not Jewish at all.
    4. Yes, it is permissible for Jews to enter Christian churches. I think it depends on the individual’s comfort level.
    5. Idol worship. Some forms of Christianity come rather close. Veneration of statues and mini-altars make me uncomfortable as does trinitarian doctrine. I’m not sure if that is idol worship.
    6. If a Christian soldier wished to use the Christian “new testament” to swear an oath of allegiance to defending Israel, I see no problem with that. Most Christians I know, though, use a Bible that includes the Tanach as well as the Christian scriptures.
    7. I definitely would consider myself religious. HaShem is very real to me as is the importance of the Torah to guide my life.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/windowsanddoors/2009/02/no-more-churches-in-jerusalem.html Carolyn Gold

    Since I am interested in the views of all readers, but want to compare results with the Israeli study, please indicate your own religious/spiritual orientation before answering the following questions:
    I am a Reform Jew, raised in the Sephardic Orthodox tradition.
    1. Do you view Christians as missionaries? (Allow for now that the study could not/did not distinguish between missionizing and evangelizing, which is it’s own problem – one about which I will have more later.)
    Yes, because Christians are called upon to witness for Jesus, whether they choose to do so or not.
    2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross? What do you think it means when they do also?
    It only bothered me when they were allowed to display their crosses and crucifixes in the workplace, but I was told to either hide my Star of David or leave it home.
    3. What religion is closest to Judaism?
    I don’t believe any religion is really close to Judaism. Some may have sprung from Judaism, but they have grown and evolved in different directions. Judaism – and Jews – remain apart.
    4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances?
    I can see nothing wrong with Jews entering churches or members of other religions entering a Synagogue, as long as it is done with respect. I have a number of Catholic cousins and I have attended their weddings, and their children’s christenings and communions, and they have been to all my children’s life cycle events from b’rit milah to bar/bat mitzvah. I believe we can learn without losing ourselves.
    5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Does that include all forms of Christianity?
    No more than Jewish artisanship is idol worship. I have seen some Synagogue arks that were more decorated than some churches, with likenesses of things in the air above and earth below. I have also seen some churches that were totally bare of any adornment.
    6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state? Absolutely! It would be the height of absurdity to expect a Christian to use a Jewish symbol to take an oath.
    7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose. (As in question 1, the terms themselves are limiting and problematic but useful here for purposes of comparison to the Israeli survey.) All of the above, depending on time, place, and occasion.

  • Ms Amber

    I am a liberal Jew.
    1. Do you view Christians as missionaries?
    a: No. It has not been a part of my experience with Christians to see them in the missionary framework.
    2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross? What do you think it means when they do also?
    a: I personally dislike the cross as a Christian symbol – I believe it focuses on the torture of a good guy instead of the life and works of a good guy. IF, I were to choose a symbol for the risen Christ it would be that of a dove, fish, or chalice of wine. I usually justify my opinion thusly: If my son were killed by an AK-47, would it be alright to memorialize his life with a little gold AK-47 on a chain?
    3. What religion is closest to Judaism?
    a: Is there another monotheistic religion?
    4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances?
    a: Clean versus Unclean is what this boils down to. Yes, it is permissible. Would I? Yes. Have I? Yes. It’s up to the individual person to determine what the situation warrants, to be true to their faith. I even say “Amen” after a public prayer that appeals to the “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. The intention of the prayer is righteous. That is what matters.
    5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Does that include all forms of Christianity?
    a: I see Catholicism as idol worship. I see the observance of Santa Claus during Christmas as idol worship. Otherwise, basic Christian worship is not idol worship.
    6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state?
    a: Yes. They hold the belief that they are under the law of the New Covenant. It is as sacred to Christians as the Torah is to Jew, as the Koran is to the Islamic. The Native Americans swear by their ancestors. Again, it is intention that is important.
    7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose. (As in question 1, the terms themselves are limiting and problematic but useful here for purposes of comparison to the Israeli survey.)
    a: Spiritual, then traditional.

  • Robert

    This Christian has to note how many Jews here seem to think Christians follow the stated tenets of their religion, and that Christianity is some kind of monolith on missions. I personally think not.

  • Harriet

    yes, it’s good to note that not all Christians follow or believe everything in their tradition. Of course all Christians believe in God and Jesus, but that is a foundation…not all Christians believe abortion is wrong, for instance, even though their religion does, and even if they consider themselves pretty religious. Their priest may not like that at all, but he/she is not necessarily gonna kick them out of the church for it. So just like not all Jews keep kosher, Christians do not always believe everything even people in their own denomination believe. And even if Christianity is technically a missionary religion, according to the bible, that does not mean all Christians are really itching to try to be salespeople of their religion and convert everybody in the world.
    I feel like Christians on the more extreme side, that do tend to stick to rigid beliefs, are more likely to be missionary types and go around trying to get people to convert for the sake of their own soul (so they say), whereas with Jews on the extreme side, Orthodox, they seem to be more likely to keep to themselves and their community, and not really seek out converts at all, but rather discourage them somewhat. I think that is interesting. I could be stereotyping here based on not enough real information, this is just the sense I have gotten. Please just correct me if I am, and do not be offended anyone (wether you’re a Christian or a Jew).
    I do feel though that more liberal Christians and Jews tend to meet in the middle kind of and will be open about their beliefs if asked, and welcoming to anyone that wants to learn more, but do not force the issue.

  • Oh Jerusalem

    About some of the last comments by Christians:
    Most responses by Jews here refer as a whole to Christianinity, the belief, and not to Christians.
    In addition, my own prior response, for example, is based on my life experiences of interacting with people who are actively Christian in some form or another. I am well aware that there are no lack of Christians ignorant or unobservant of their religion’s tenets, no differently than Jews and Muslims of their respective religions.

  • Pavvel

    Oh Jerusalem wrote: “I am well aware that there are no lack of Christians ignorant or unobservant of their religion’s tenets, no differently than Jews and Muslims of their respective religions.”
    It is interesting how some people identify a religion primarily with its formal tenets or theology while others identify it with the informal theology or beliefs arrived at to some degree by the members individually and to some degree in common with their non-clergy co-religionists. Some people identify a religion with its officially recognized rituals and events while others others are more concerned with the folkways associated with the faith. Some people identify a religion as “true” to the extent that it concides with their view of the meaning of the sacred texts while others see the “true religion” in the actions of its members, regardless how far from the texts themselves. Some people see a religion in the worst (or best) actions of its organization while others see the real picture in the worst (or best) actions of the members of the faith.
    So while I agree that there is ample ignorance by members about their religion, all ignorance is ignorance OF SOMETHING. A person may know nothing about the formal theology of his or her faith while having no lack of understanding regarding one of the other ways their faith is identified. And the person without ignorance about some aspect of his or her own faith is exceedingly rare.
    Peace,
    Pavvel

  • Harriet

    quick correction:
    oh Jerusalem,
    I am not a Christian. I was raised Catholic, but never in my heart really identified myself as Catholic or Christian. I have nothing against Christians, I have many friends and family that are…but I am not one myself. I am currently reading and learning about Judaism, but as of now, I am “just spiritual” or a “spiritual seeker” or whatever you want to call it. Without religion.

  • Robert

    There is, as I commented earlier, an interesting strain here that there is some kind of monolithic “Christian” view on various issues and individual Christians who do not adhere to it are ignorant or “bad” Christians. Well, there was a “reform” movement in Christianity, too. What may not be understood is that Christianity is not ultimately about words on a scroll or in a book, there is what Christians call “the Spirit” and various others may consider anything from a mental condition to demon possession. But it’s not about a reference book!

  • Oh Jerusalem

    Harriet, the best of success in your endevors to discover the truth.
    The truth is simultaneously farther away than the most distant sightings of the Hubble telescope and at the same time it has always been right in front of your nose.

  • response from an American Jew

    “1. Do you view Christians as missionaries?”
    Meaning, have they arrived in this country on a temporary basis to accomplish some religious or charitable task? Obviously this does not apply in the United States where I live. I don’t know enough about Christians in Israel to answer the question.
    “2. Does it bother you or make you uncomfortable when you see someone wearing a cross? What do you think it means when they do also?”
    It’s their religious expression. They are probably more likely to wear it because it was a gift from a family member, rather than simply to make a point.
    “3. What religion is closest to Judaism?”
    Islam, because it is highly ritualized, including dietary requirements, and they chant the Koran and have an extensive body of religious law (sharia).
    “4. Is it permissible for Jews to enter churches? If so, under what circumstances?”
    I have a Jewish friend who won’t enter churches under any circumstances because he thinks it is contrary to Jewish law, but I’ll go just to enjoy the service. I think it is important for people of different groups to share these kinds of experiences, or at the very least, not avoid each other’s buildings like the plague. That’s peacemaking work. Also, if I say I’m “not Christian,” it means more if I’ve actually attended a Christian service and therefore I know what I am distinguishing myself from.
    “5. Do you believe that Christianity is a form of idol worship? Does that include all forms of Christianity?”
    I know it’s in the Ten Commandments, but I honestly do not see any threat posed by idol worship. And if Christians worship an omnipresent, transcendent god, based on the Bible, just like the Jewish god, I don’t see how that is idol worship.
    “6. Do you believe that Christian soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces should be able to use a New Testament when pledging their allegiance to the army and the state?”
    I think all states should be secular and that religion (if any) should be a personal choice. Ideally, a soldier could pledge allegiance to the army without any religious book at all, or with the religious book of his/her choice. The risk of enforcing one religion or ethnic group in the army is that the army will be seen as opposing other religions or ethnic groups, rather than as fairly defending a state that contains people of many religions and ethnicities.
    “7. If choosing between secular, spiritual, traditional and religious, which would you choose. (As in question 1, the terms themselves are limiting and problematic but useful here for purposes of comparison to the Israeli survey.)”
    For myself, at this moment – secular. But I don’t devalue these other ways of being. I recognize that my way might be wrong or inadequate, and I think society needs diverse types of people.

  • Your Name

    As an ex-christian turned Muslim I see Islam more closer to Judaism than Christianity as both religions believe in God as one diety. God doesn’t have different parts, you can’t see God nor literaly hear God. God is one in every form of the sense of the word “One” One plus one plus one, equals three. Muslims eat halal which is almost like Kosher and even Muslims can eat kosher food as it is slaugthered in the manner than God told mankind to humanly kill an animal for food. We believe that there needs to be laws to be followed as even there is the law of the land which protects individual rights. God gave laws to man for his own best interest. Who knows better how we should live our lives than God? If you buy a car you get an owners manual so you know how to take care of it. God knew man would need guidance to live life in the best manner. Even in the N.T. Jesus said to cut off the hand that steals. He also said that he didn’t come to take away from the laws or the prophets but to fullfill them. And the best in the Kingdom of heaven will be the one to learn the laws and teach them. Christians don’t believe they have to follow the law because Paul said they didn’t but Jesus said the opposite! I even know some Jews who have come to Islam. http://www.askarabbi.com said even that Jews are better ruled under Islamic rule than when the Jews lived under Roman rule.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated bans on compiling information on people's religion and rev

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often confuse God’s religious identity with their own, leading t

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center site, is a wonderful example of rising to that challen

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 (212) 41

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.