We present this article from Freedom from Economic, Social and Political Oppression; where current social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental issues from a secular humanist point of view are looked at.
Human passion + emotional responses to issues which embody strong ties to self-identity are not the only consideration in addressing controversy.
cognitive uncertainties + emotional responses = consciously induced when most individuals encounter the word “Jew” or “Judaism” > Few people have a completely neutral reaction to these words.
muddling regarding accurate + contextual, + interpretable use of terminology surrounding Judaism lodges a mistrust + misunderstanding of its intentions, = can result in propagation of “Anti-Judaic tradition” often falsely branded as “Anti-Semitism”.
secular “Jews” more likely to openly identify themselves as a Jew than secular persons with a Christian heritage are to identify themselves as Christians.
behaviors of adherents of Judaism <> theological tenets = classifying Jews as a race – versus basing the resolution to it – on the adherence and devotion to a theological perspective.
Orthodox and Conservative Judaism = being Jewish on basis of bloodlines > maternal genealogy,
Reformed Judaism based on faith of either parent.
non-religious Jews refer to themselves = secular Jews,= a contraction in terminology > secular persons reject superstitious beliefs embodied in religion
within Judaism significant, although small number, of rabbis that openly acknowledge to reject superstitious beliefs embodied in religion
acceptance by some Jews of secular clerics + their interpretations of religious teachings illustrates need to examine validity of “race” question since these rabbis + clerics are, by many, still acknowledged to be Jews.
Defining a “Jew” =/= complicated as it appears if “race” and/or ethnicity are taken out of the equation.
As with Christianity, Judaism, is a religion.
Christians = those who follow teachings of Christ > more accurately = adherents to organized theocracies that are based on Jesus his teachings
being a Christian =/= dependent on “race”, culture, language spoken, or spiritual beliefs of the person’s parents
being Jewish (or Muslim) =/= dependent on “race”, culture, language spoken, or spiritual beliefs of the person’s parents
Religion =/= defined by God, a god, or group of deities = created by Man in response to nature, 1 within context of accounting for death + 2 to provide moral compass in regard to social demands that arose = served as legal authority on proper behaviour within community
Judaism as a “Race” or Ethnicity = False Propaganda
Humans consistently demonstrated a compulsion to classify + categorize based on observations > speakers of a common language + national affiliation
17° century race = concept based on distinct physical (phenotypical) features (skin color) of persons (phenotype or physical appearance) > employed to categorize groups of persons on basis of differences in physical appearance, + served as underlying basis that lent support for eugenic movements in Nazi Germany, the United States, + elsewhere.
Rationalization of race = means of discrimination => immense controversy, violence, dangerous + invalid misconceptions
increasing understanding of genetics + unlocking of human genome = Science demonstrated > entire of humanity = one “race” <= human beings = genetically homogeneous in comparison to many other species > similarity in genetics amongst members of humankind = strikingly uniform
scientific, biological definition of species – a taxonomic designation given to a form of life – = espoused in idea that two individuals belong to the same species, if they can produce fertile offspring.
who is a Jew = from Scientific, genealogical (racial) = moot because DNA studies have repeatedly + consistently demonstrated > entire of humanity is one “race” > Based on biology =
Ethnicity = concept determined by groups of persons typically who share similar heritage > may share (or not) – common language, religious affiliation, or nationality – + tend to be comprised of members who identify with one another = subjective.
Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina = 3 distinct ethnicities = 96% of its population – Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats > All three have a unique language variant that is mutually intelligible <= Genetic studies concluded despite ethnicity differences 3 groups share large proportion of their DNA, not only amongst themselves, but in respect to geography. => feature that most clearly separates each ethnicity = religious affiliation – Bosniaks (Muslim), Serbs (Orthodox Christian), Croats (Roman Catholic).
United States Census Bureau defines Hispanic in reference to = person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin – regardless of “race”, ancestry, or ethnicity.
in respect to Judaism any individual – who acknowledges, accepts, and observes at least some Jewish traditions – can claim to be Jewish.
As is the case with Christianity, adherents to Judaism, comprise no single ethnic or racial group.
term “Jews” refers to people who share a common theological doctrine. = Just as a Christians can be White, or Black; American, or Spanish – so, too, can be a Jew. Christians belong to various affiliations – Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Anglican.
term, Anti-Semitism, used to label speech, acts, or other forms of expression as being hatefully Anti-Jewish = misleading for several reasons.
Semitic Peoples = originally defined by speaking one of several languages that share similar linguistic, grammatical, phonetical + contextual elements derived from an ancient common tongue + refer to a group of peoples who hail from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula
classifying Jews as Semitic in respect, to heritage = term loses its validity because majority of modern Jews today descend from European, Asiatic, + African origins + different ethnic + cultural backgrounds
Ethnicities = loosely defined, can overlap, + sometimes be oxymoronic in how they are defined.
“Jewish People”, or “Jews” =/= unique in terms of genetic composition with rest of humanity =/= single Nationality, heredity, or mother-tongue-language => Jewish identity = based on acknowledging, accepting, + practicing the religious doctrine of Judaism, or on having social or cultural ties to it.
Khazars (European, ethnic group of peoples) converted to Judaism (speaking Yiddish) =/= genealogical, linguistic, or national ties with the Hebrews that inhabited Judea prior to and up to the Roman conquest + dismantling of Judea beginning in 66 C.E > predominantly “Jews” descended from Khazars that originally advocated for a Jewish homeland in Palestine through the founding of Zionism in the late 19° century.
organized religions > few of those claiming membership to a particular faith conduct their lives in accordance with its doctrine.
world = increasingly secular.
“Christian” > reared with Christian beliefs => identify with traditions + culture even though they might not be active participants in the theology. < => same in Judaism <= wish to cling on to their cultural heritage so that they remain aware of where they came from.
Secular “Jew” + Secular “Christian” = oxymoronic > secular persons, by definition, = no religious or spiritual basis for their beliefs or behaviours.
Often overlooked in discussing Judaism = marked transformation that occurred within its own religious doctrine in a direct answer to Christianity, rapidly flourishing through gaining converts, as the dominant and most powerful theocratic system of beliefs which placed its very basic foundations and most fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ squarely at odds with the main tenants of Judaism. => gave Christianity an upper hand in ethics + morality in the sense that the vices of neo-Christian theology often demonstrated wickedness in the way traditional Jewish values were taught.
swelling number of Christian converts => Judaism needs to be examined in both pre-Christian world + its evolved doctrine in response to Christianity.
Judaism, Christianity, + Islam – share Old Testament + its teachings.
modern Judaism – not based on the teachings of the Old Testament, influenced by Kabbalistic ideas = belief man has three types of souls > only Jews have all three > theological dogma = toxic in terms of acceptance + conjures inhumane acts against anyone who is not “Jewish”. >>> contradicts + diminishes traditions that were part of pre-Christian Judaism.
Talmud before Christianity didn’t exist as it does today in written form, but rather encompassed oral Traditions that were passed down from God to Moses and subsequently between generations.
Amid threat Judaism being overwhelmed by spread of Christianity => Judaic religious clerics pressured to account for their practices that were considered sinful + unethical in an increasingly Christian dominated world which at this point still banned usury in all forms, + after shunning Jewish practices of ritual slaughter of animals + circumcision of male infants at eight days after birth, viewed these rituals as barbaric, cruel and immoral.
Jewish theological doctrine incorporated combination of reactionary antiphon in response to Christianity + mysticism into the Talmud. Many Jewish religious leaders, since, have emphasized the importance of keeping the Talmud’s doctrine hidden from an increasingly powerful non-Jewish (Gentile) population.. = no accident.
organized religion > few individuals practice the “faith” > Judaism => less strict in terms of diet, + Christianity disavowed many of virtuous teachings of Christ+> many Muslims consume alcohol.
Christianity adopted by Roman Empire > official religion, +subsequent fusion of pagan elements into the Faith – Christmas + Easter traditions attracted converts > holidays celebrated in Christian world today = inconsistent with teachings of Christ. Christmas, Easter, New Year’s, St. Valentine’s Day, etc., = commercialized celebrations > Holidays which breed excessive selfishness + false superstitions => corrupt true Christianity + humanism + feed off of the vices of humanity.
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