Israeli lawmaker tears up New Testament

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Iroc, I appreciate that you apologized. I guess I didn't do a very good job of explaining what I meant. Amneris hit the nail on the head.

I didn't mean to bash religion or disrespect anyone or belittle anyone's beliefs. The article made me sad and anxious. In my naive way I want everyone to be more accepting of people who are different - in religion - in race - in ethnicity - in gender - in hair! rather than disrespectful. I didn't put it well and I can't seem to do it here - but Amneris said it perfectly.
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Man I just don't want to read the article about this. But I can speak about the context.

1) For millennia, Christians have tried to destroy Judaism by killing or converting all Jews. Jews continue to be a huge target for proselytizing because many Christians believe converting all Jews will validate Christianity as the one true religion. Many Jews see this as sort of a non-violent genocide.

2) Most Christians believe that the New Testament has replaced the "Old Testament," and can't see that it's not outdated in the context of Judaism. They only view Judaism in terms of Christianity, and don't realize that we have our own interpretations of our holy texts. They see Judaism only as an incomplete and misguided "beta version" of Christianity, instead of acknowledging that it's a religion in its own right. Again, this is very insulting.

3) The New Testament contains a lot of polemics against Jews. In the context in which it was written, this is understandable: there was a very ugly feud between mainstream Jews and proto-Christians, with both sides writing angry and insulting tracts against each other. Still, by the time you get to the Gospel of John (historically the newest of the gospels), you have Jews being described as one and the same with the devil. This has caused Jews millennia of persecution and genocide. And even aside from those grave consequences, it's very insulting to Jews.

5) Jews don't believe in proselytizing. Judaism holds that Jews have no advantage over non-Jews in the afterlife, so no one needs to convert. So many (or most?) Jews are against proselytizing per se, no matter who's doing it or who it's aimed at. It's seen as cultural imperialism.

6) You know how American Jews have a reputation for not being crazy fundies? That's because most of the crazy Jews are in Israel. And the crazy, politically ultra-conservative, ethnocentric Jews are disproportionately represented in the Israeli government. So there's a good chance that's the main reason why this guy ripped up a New Testament.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Eilonwy, not to incite any anger or feelings of being attacked, but I was curious about the bolded. Could you direct me to the portion of John in which Jews are compared to the devil?

Again, this is an inquiry of simple curiosity.
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John 8:44
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

In my opinion, one should read all of John 8 to get the full perspective though. In all fairness.. I don't think it's a good idea to look at one passage and not find out the context.
Eilonwy, not to incite any anger or feelings of being attacked, but I was curious about the bolded. Could you direct me to the portion of John in which Jews are compared to the devil?
Originally Posted by tiffanydb
John has Jesus say of the Jews, "You are of your father, the devil; and you want to accomplish your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning," 8:44. Unlike the writers of other gospels, John specifically singles out "the Jews" as Jesus' murderers, instead of "sinners," "the world," or "the nations" (ie non-Jews). John consistently frames his gospel as a cosmic battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness, with God incarnated as Jesus, and Satan incarnated as the Jews.

John couldn't have intended to denounce all Jews; he himself identified as Jewish. He's simply writing in the context of a very bitter feud between two Jewish factions, where both sides wrote really terrible stuff about each other. Nevertheless, for most of Christian history, the New Testament -- and the Gospels of John and Luke in particular -- have been interpreted to mean that Jews are evil incarnate.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 07-18-2012 at 08:20 PM.
Iroc, I appreciate that you apologized. I guess I didn't do a very good job of explaining what I meant. Amneris hit the nail on the head.

I didn't mean to bash religion or disrespect anyone or belittle anyone's beliefs. The article made me sad and anxious. In my naive way I want everyone to be more accepting of people who are different - in religion - in race - in ethnicity - in gender - in hair! rather than disrespectful. I didn't put it well and I can't seem to do it here - but Amneris said it perfectly.
Originally Posted by curlypearl
No, I understand what you're saying.

I do agree that there are people who act superior BC of their beliefs, and I do agree that people should naturally be more tolerant. It seems like such an easy, obvious way human beings should act towards eachother.


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Jews make up about 80%. Why would any Jew feel isolated or attacked for being Jewish in Israel?
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Because as Amneris said, Israeli Jews are mainly descended from Holocaust survivors and other Jews who had to escape persecution. They live in a culture of fear where they truly believe that the world is trying to destroy all Jews. That's where the ethnocentrism and hawkishness and persecution of Palestinians come from. There are certainly Israeli Jews who don't buy into that culture, but they're not often mentioned in international news media.
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You act like that is some far-fetched hypotheticality. White people constantly tell Black people White is better...so much so, they have us halfway believing it.

I'm familiar w/ the practice...believe me. (But it's still a bad analogy bc "race" really can't be changed so anyone who is trying to convince me of the inferiority of mine is doing it out of hate and/or a desire to oppress me.

Converting to Christianity, on the other hand, while obviously a stupid and inconsiderate thing to do in this case, is usually well intentioned, as the converter believes it is the only way to heaven....and wants the person to go to heaven.)

But anyway, people do try to convert me to all kinds of different things, incl. different religions. Who hasn't been targetting by Jehova's Witnesses, Mormons, Hare Krshnas, etc? You politely decline and keep it moving. You don't try to inflame the person by destroying his/her literature and calling a press conference.

Second, the man lives in Israel! The site of religious-based wars for ten thousand years!!! It's not like he's never seen a Bible before. And it's not like he doesn't understand the religious/political climate. He's probably seen members of his own family get their heads blown off for walking down the wrong street or...or just existing. Probably knows a bunch of folks in the Israeli Army who's blown a few heads off, too. Maybe he has, himself, since they all have to serve in the Army. Seeing a Bible really shouldn't be that big of a deal, in the scope of things.

Third, we don't know how the guy got the Bible. His flunkie said <surprise surprise> it was sent to him by a missionary. We don't know that; it wasn't confirmed. Maybe the politician is just an asz who wanted to start a bunch of commotion.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000;
To the bold: You just really don't get it at all. It's not the fact that he SAW a Bible. It's what it represents to him as an Israeli Orthodox Jew..the fact that it was sent to him from a Christian missionary.. the NT.

As I said.. the full scope of this sort of thing is often incredibly difficult for non-Jews to comprehend. Much in the same way that it's difficult for white people to fully understand the scope of what it's like being black and all that comes with being black. And yes it's comparable.

Furthermore, being Jewish is not just about Judaism (the religious aspect). There are plenty of BORN Jews that do not practice Judaism and they have still felt the sting of anti-semitism.

You think this Orthodox Jewish Israeli man should have shown respect but where is the respect for him in the first place and what his people have gone through at the hands of the same type of people that profess the very religion that you align yourself with ? To YOU getting a NT in the mail may not be an insult but to him it was a horrific insult and it is to MANY Jews. And it's more than just a simple matter of "Oh Jews don't like the NT".

Your bible teaches: "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

Judaism teaches: "What is hateful to you..do not do to your fellow..that is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary. Now go and learn".

While both these sentences look very similiar they are not.. the implications behind them both are very different. It goes to show you just how far Christianity is from Judaism.

It is not my position that you are being mean or deliberately disrespectful at all but I do think this matter offends you on some level because he tore up YOUR holy book. But bottom line: I just think on this particular subject reguarding Jews and Israel (like white people are on certain issues concerning blacks) that you are incredibly naive to say, "a Bible shouldn't be that big a deal, in the scope of things". You couldn't possibly get it and have posted that..
Originally Posted by *Marah*
Marah, I usually agree with you, but the bolded struck me. Im not sure I agree with this. True the sentiments are different, but our bible teach both and they are essentially meant to be the Golden Rule. (at least in my opinion).

Are you saying that the bible teaches to do someone what they do to you (good or bad) while the torah teaches do what's kind?
Marah, I usually agree with you, but the bolded struck me. Im not sure I agree with this. True the sentiments are different, but our bible teach both and they are essentially meant to be the Golden Rule. (at least in my opinion).

Are you saying that the bible teaches to do someone what they do to you (good or bad) while the torah teaches do what's kind?
Originally Posted by scrills
I don't know if it makes a difference, but Marah's quote isn't from the Torah. It's a teaching attributed to Rabbi Hillel, an ancient scholar whose teachings and opinions are very highly respected in Jewish tradition.

I think Marah's saying that the Christian version is paternalistic, but I'm really not sure. I'm curious about what she means, too. The Gold Rule appears in all different cultures, and to my knowledge they're taken to express the same concept. It might be significant that some cultures phrase the rule in terms of what you should do, while others phrase it in terms of what you should not do. But this could also be due to linguistic and cultural rules of how to phrase such statements.
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Amneris, I wanted to get a chance to respond to the rest of your post to me. No, I don't think there is widespread intolerance of Christians in the western world, and I never said or implied that. I also don't think there is widespread intolerance of Jewish people in the western world, either. I've known very few Jewish people having lived in the midwest and Appalachia, but the ones I've known were very prosperous, valued hard work and education. The few stereotypes of Jews I've heard I scoff at and know no one who takes them to heart, and they are very tame stereotypes compared to ones about blacks. I have even heard that to be Jewish in the U.S. gives much better chance at fields such as medicine and film/screenwriting.

I get offended at the comparison to blacks because I've heard racists compare the plights of blacks to those of Jews, as in why can't blacks overcome slavery to be successful if Jews have gotten where they are? I saw just on this board someone say that a black poster should not get offended at the use of the word "slavedriver" b/c Jewish people have been enslaved also, and she as a Jewish person wasn't offended. It's ridiculous IMO to compare the two, and, also to use religion to justify what the poltician did. Jews and Christians may have had a bad history, and I don't make light of what Jews went through in the past, but I'll say today I probably face more discrimination as a Catholic American than a Jewish American does. If we really want to mix race and religion, I can get into my experiences being a Black Catholic in a predominately Baptist appalachian region.
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I also wanted to hit on what spiderlashes said - this man is in Israel where Christians are an extreme minority and have been deeply affected by Israel's policies. I watched a segment on ABC recently that followed Christian church leaders and families in Israel, and it was very eye-opening. This Christian bookstore could hardly operate because the Israel government built a big wall in front of it in its attempts to stop Muslims from coming in. Israeli officials who were interviewed said they were very opposed to ABC airing this brief segment so I have to wonder what else is goin' on that we're getting no knowledge of. Haven't cared nor ever thought about Israel one way or the other until lately it's been in the media a lot with fears of attacks on Iran and the economy... I'm glad that Israeli officials were quick to protest this politician's actions.
Marah, I usually agree with you, but the bolded struck me. Im not sure I agree with this. True the sentiments are different, but our bible teach both and they are essentially meant to be the Golden Rule. (at least in my opinion).
Originally Posted by scrills
You are entitled.

Are you saying that the bible teaches to do someone what they do to you (good or bad) while the torah teaches do what's kind?
I simply posted what is written in the New Testament...reference: Luke 6:31. I didn't imply that it says anything besides what is written.

I didn't post a quote from Torah. The other quote was from Hillel (a very significant Jewish sage...among other things). The Torah instructs what is proper for the children of Israel and what is not..one's view on whether it's "kind" or not is subjective.
I'll say today I probably face more discrimination as a Catholic American than a Jewish American does.
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
America is a weird case when it comes to anti-semitism.

There's never been much persecution of Jews in the US. There's been stuff like refusing employment to Jews, colleges refusing to admit Jews, and the occasional burning of synagogues. Lots of people believe in the Jewish conspiracy. But it's never been anywhere near the level of, say, Jim Crow.

However, many American Jews perceive anti-semitism as a significant and constant threat. For most American Jews, our parents or great-great grandparents fled to the US to escape genocide. And all of their ancestors faced extreme persecution and genocide, going back over a thousand years. So this deeply engrained fear of genocide and persecution has been passed down from one generation to the next. A big part of why so many US Jews support Israel is that they think the US will inevitably persecute Jews, and they need a place to flee to. This phenomenon isn't unique to Jews, either; the same thing happens with other historically persecuted groups.

As an American Jew in her 20s, I'm part of the first generation that's able to move away from that toxic mindset. There are definitely older Jews who've also moved away from it too, but this is new as a generational shift.

And I don't think it's fair to blame all Jews for dumb people comparing Jewish Americans to Black Americans.
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Last edited by Eilonwy; 07-19-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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I'll say today I probably face more discrimination as a Catholic American than a Jewish American does.
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
America is a weird case when it comes to anti-semitism.

There's never been much persecution of Jews in the US. There's been stuff like refusing employment to Jews, colleges refusing to admit Jews, and the occasional burning of synagogues. Lots of people believe in the Jewish conspiracy. But it's never been anywhere near the level of, say, Jim Crow.

However, many American Jews perceive anti-semitism as a significant and constant threat. For most American Jews, our parents or great-great grandparents fled to the US to escape genocide. And all of their ancestors faced extreme persecution and genocide, going back over a thousand years. So this deeply engrained fear of genocide and persecution has been passed down from one generation to the next. A big part of why so many US Jews support Israel is that they think the US will inevitably persecute Jews, and they need a place to flee to. This phenomenon isn't unique to Jews, either; the same thing happens with other historically persecuted groups.

As an American Jew in her 20s, I'm part of the first generation that's able to move away from that toxic mindset. There are definitely older Jews who've also moved away from it too, but this is new as a generational shift.

And I don't think it's fair to blame all Jews for dumb people comparing Jewish Americans to Black Americans.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
? I don't.? I blame the people that do it.
? I don't.? I blame the people that do it.
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
Okay, I guess I misread or misunderstood. I'm sorry for my mistake (not being sarcastic).
I'll say today I probably face more discrimination as a Catholic American than a Jewish American does.
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
America is a weird case when it comes to anti-semitism.

There's never been much persecution of Jews in the US. There's been stuff like refusing employment to Jews, colleges refusing to admit Jews, and the occasional burning of synagogues. Lots of people believe in the Jewish conspiracy. But it's never been anywhere near the level of, say, Jim Crow.

However, many American Jews perceive anti-semitism as a significant and constant threat. For most American Jews, our parents or great-great grandparents fled to the US to escape genocide. And all of their ancestors faced extreme persecution and genocide, going back over a thousand years. So this deeply engrained fear of genocide and persecution has been passed down from one generation to the next. A big part of why so many US Jews support Israel is that they think the US will inevitably persecute Jews, and they need a place to flee to. This phenomenon isn't unique to Jews, either; the same thing happens with other historically persecuted groups.

As an American Jew in her 20s, I'm part of the first generation that's able to move away from that toxic mindset. There are definitely older Jews who've also moved away from it too, but this is new as a generational shift.

And I don't think it's fair to blame all Jews for dumb people comparing Jewish Americans to Black Americans.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
I grew up in a neighborhood where the deed restrictions said no Jews. It wasn't enforced, but it was still on the books. I suspect that it also said no African Americans in a more offensive term, but as that wasn't the one prohibiting me from being there I don't know.

I also don't fully understand how it feels to be my parents and their feelings about Judaism. My grandfather changed his name because of an inability to get a job with a Jewish-sounding name, and he had no problems getting jobs with a genericized name. Yet another thing which can happen if it's a matter of religion, but not if it's a matter of race. So yeah, anyone who thinks the experience *in the US* is the same is nuts.

My family did come here to avoid persecution, as Eilonwy mentions. And my parents have admitted that it makes them afraid for me when they see I wear a Jewish star around my neck. That's not something I've grown up with, and I find we have very different feelings toward Israel. While I can understand why someone would overreact if they live there, I'm not a strong pro-Israel zionist, and have trouble understanding why many Jews don't see how many things Israel has done wrong, too.

I don't think Catholics are NEARLY as persecuted as Jews in the US, though. Heck, look at the fact that a movie produced by a fundie Catholic made huge amounts of money, when it was based off the very stories performed to incite violence against Jews for many, many years. Not everyone who went to see the movie felt that way of course, but those of us who knew the history behind the production of passion plays knew the fact they had been used to encourage violence and shuddered each time we heard about the success, and felt a bit of fear. My deed restrictions growing up most certainly did NOT ban Catholics from living there. And I've never heard a kid going around telling other kids not to talk to someone for being Catholic like some did telling them not to talk to the dirty Jew when I was growing up.
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? I don't.? I blame the people that do it.
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
Okay, I guess I misread or misunderstood. I'm sorry for my mistake (not being sarcastic).
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
That's ok. That's what I thought. I just didn't know where you got that from since I didn't think or know that the people doing the comparisons in support of the comparisons here were Jewish. That's interesting what you said about American Jewish people. I have a question - is it ok for a non-Jewish person to refer to Jewish people as Jews since I remember hearing once that some Jewish people see that as derogatory? That's why I've tried to be careful here but may've slipped since others are using them both.
Amneris, I wanted to get a chance to respond to the rest of your post to me. No, I don't think there is widespread intolerance of Christians in the western world, and I never said or implied that. I also don't think there is widespread intolerance of Jewish people in the western world, either. I've known very few Jewish people having lived in the midwest and Appalachia, but the ones I've known were very prosperous, valued hard work and education. The few stereotypes of Jews I've heard I scoff at and know no one who takes them to heart, and they are very tame stereotypes compared to ones about blacks. I have even heard that to be Jewish in the U.S. gives much better chance at fields such as medicine and film/screenwriting.

I get offended at the comparison to blacks because I've heard racists compare the plights of blacks to those of Jews, as in why can't blacks overcome slavery to be successful if Jews have gotten where they are? I saw just on this board someone say that a black poster should not get offended at the use of the word "slavedriver" b/c Jewish people have been enslaved also, and she as a Jewish person wasn't offended. It's ridiculous IMO to compare the two, and, also to use religion to justify what the poltician did. Jews and Christians may have had a bad history, and I don't make light of what Jews went through in the past, but I'll say today I probably face more discrimination as a Catholic American than a Jewish American does. If we really want to mix race and religion, I can get into my experiences being a Black Catholic in a predominately Baptist appalachian region.
Originally Posted by Blackbanjogirl
I think many people characterize the black and Jewish struggle incorrectly in the USA. They see that Jews (a people that were enslaved and persectuted in foreign lands) come over to the USA (or their ancestors did) with nothing and how Jews have excelled in many areas while blacks have not. So it makes it look like blacks are just lazy and prefer to be less and there is no real excuse since slavery is over. Instead of looking at the fact that Jews were not persecuted in America like blacks. Jews could get an education, hold positions of power, buy land, own business, do business, were allowed to practice their religion, marry, hold on to their culture, traditions, language, value systems..all before blacks were barely allowed to take a pee break if Massa didn't say it was alright and pretty much don't have anything "ancient" or "heritage wise" to hold onto beside they know they came from Africa. Big whoop, right ? Everyone came from some where.

Furthermore, if you are black (and actually are physically idenifiable as so) you can't "run" from it. It's literally written all over your face. On the other hand..if you are a white Jew..no one has to know that unless you tell them in most cases. A simple alteration of the last name if it sounds "Jewish", either hiding or not practicing Judaism, etc. People will just assume: white person. And heck..even if someone was to find out they were a Jew most wouldn't even care..because I mean at least they aren't black, right ?

But many expect American blacks to be able to do and acheive what white American Jews have with a much lower starting point and so many disadvantages in the very country that did this to them and is still holding things over their heads. Not to mention many black suffer emotional scars that have just be passed down and down..as well as developing their own wounds when they experience racism. It's happened with some Jews too because of the Holocaust...there are some Jews that are suvivors or children of survivors and define their entire life on..the Shoah. And that's how they view the world and why the go ballistic over Israel...the psychological damage is passed down. But at least it seems like with Jews..others care. I personally feel like most of the world could give less than a darn that blacks were slaves in the USA.

Now this is not to excuse every single black individual that squanders his or her life..not at all...because believe me that pisses me off beyond words. But it is to say..black Americans are born with a huge strike against them simply for being born the wrong skin color and that's one hell of a hole to try to climb out of right from the start..especially when about 20 hands are on top of your head the minute they recognize you are negro.

Of course, none of the above is to suggest American Jews have never and don't face discrimination and prejudice or to trivialize it. It's just to say if we are going to compare and contrast the two American experiences..it should be done fairly.
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Marah, I usually agree with you, but the bolded struck me. Im not sure I agree with this. True the sentiments are different, but our bible teach both and they are essentially meant to be the Golden Rule. (at least in my opinion).

Are you saying that the bible teaches to do someone what they do to you (good or bad) while the torah teaches do what's kind?
Originally Posted by scrills
I don't know if it makes a difference, but Marah's quote isn't from the Torah. It's a teaching attributed to Rabbi Hillel, an ancient scholar whose teachings and opinions are very highly respected in Jewish tradition.

I think Marah's saying that the Christian version is paternalistic, but I'm really not sure. I'm curious about what she means, too. The Gold Rule appears in all different cultures, and to my knowledge they're taken to express the same concept. It might be significant that some cultures phrase the rule in terms of what you should do, while others phrase it in terms of what you should not do. But this could also be due to linguistic and cultural rules of how to phrase such statements.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Thanks E :-)
Marah, I usually agree with you, but the bolded struck me. Im not sure I agree with this. True the sentiments are different, but our bible teach both and they are essentially meant to be the Golden Rule. (at least in my opinion).
Originally Posted by scrills
You are entitled.

Are you saying that the bible teaches to do someone what they do to you (good or bad) while the torah teaches do what's kind?
I simply posted what is written in the New Testament...reference: Luke 6:31. I didn't imply that it says anything besides what is written.

I didn't post a quote from Torah. The other quote was from Hillel (a very significant Jewish sage...among other things). The Torah instructs what is proper for the children of Israel and what is not..one's view on whether it's "kind" or not is subjective.
Originally Posted by *Marah*
Ok, let me rephrase. What are you saying those two quotes show/tell about the difference between the two religions?
I grew up in a neighborhood where the deed restrictions said no Jews. It wasn't enforced, but it was still on the books. I suspect that it also said no African Americans in a more offensive term, but as that wasn't the one prohibiting me from being there I don't know.

I also don't fully understand how it feels to be my parents and their feelings about Judaism. My grandfather changed his name because of an inability to get a job with a Jewish-sounding name, and he had no problems getting jobs with a genericized name. Yet another thing which can happen if it's a matter of religion, but not if it's a matter of race. So yeah, anyone who thinks the experience *in the US* is the same is nuts.

My family did come here to avoid persecution, as Eilonwy mentions. And my parents have admitted that it makes them afraid for me when they see I wear a Jewish star around my neck. That's not something I've grown up with, and I find we have very different feelings toward Israel. While I can understand why someone would overreact if they live there, I'm not a strong pro-Israel zionist, and have trouble understanding why many Jews don't see how many things Israel has done wrong, too.

I don't think Catholics are NEARLY as persecuted as Jews in the US, though. Heck, look at the fact that a movie produced by a fundie Catholic made huge amounts of money, when it was based off the very stories performed to incite violence against Jews for many, many years. Not everyone who went to see the movie felt that way of course, but those of us who knew the history behind the production of passion plays knew the fact they had been used to encourage violence and shuddered each time we heard about the success, and felt a bit of fear. My deed restrictions growing up most certainly did NOT ban Catholics from living there. And I've never heard a kid going around telling other kids not to talk to someone for being Catholic like some did telling them not to talk to the dirty Jew when I was growing up.
Originally Posted by NetG
I think Blackbanjogirl's point was about being a BLACK Catholic. Which I do know isn't easy. I knew some black catholics growing up and my cousin's on my mom's side went to Catholic school (they are black) and boy did they catch hell. Not only from other blacks because Catholism is seen as "a white people's thing" but because many American blacks were and are still Protestant..so it was considered weird. Also from other white Catholics who don't think blacks belong. So that's what I thought Blackbanjogirl was getting at...

But I also agree with post..especially about Catholics and Jews. In general, I think there is more prejudice toward Judaism in the USA than Catholicism that's for sure.

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