Your analogy, "One can only imagine the uproar against Thomas had she said that all blacks should go home to Africa, or illegal immigrants to Tijuana" is specious. If African-Americans were the oppressors, rather than the oppressed, then yes, if I were a white-anglo-saxon inhabitant of America I would insist that blacks leave. The correct analogy to Israel is to ask whether Israeli Jews should be asked to vacate occupied Palestinian territories just as the white Boers in South Africa or the British in India--two brutal occupiers of land that did not belong to them--were forced to relinquish.”
Catholics already have a global family day, it's called Sunday, and it is the day we take time out, ignore our worldly and material pursuits, and spend time with family and with God. As for repentance, you would do well to take a lesson from the Catholic Church and find the courage to lead your own flock into a period of self-reflection and repentance.”
OtayPanky on Apr 27, 2010 at 01:53:51
“Koozie: As for repentance, you would do well to take a lesson from the Catholic Church and find the courage to lead your own flock into a period of self-reflection and repentance.
Sorry. The Catholic church and it's leadership is in no position to serve as an example of repentance to anybody. This recent "crisis" has been just like all the others. They only thing that they have rsponded to is getting their hand caught in the cookie jar, thanks to some fiercely committed journalists, lawyers and abuse victims.
What the world can learn from Ratzinger and his colleagues is how NOT to be authentic, humble and repentant human beings.”
I just completed my doctoral dissertation on cross-border environmental cooperation between American and Canadian local governments, and I would be very interested in speaking with you about similar cooperation taking place across the US-Mexico border or even on a trilateral basis. As a side note, I am curious whether local governments such as yours identify NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) as a political, informational, and financial resource and as an instrument to identify synergies with other local governments and municipal networks.”
You misrepresent the essence of the Christian faith and do a great disservice to the meaning of the Christian struggle. As a holy man, you should know better. We all struggle with our imperfections and our sins, like the great St. Peter, who denied Christ three times. Hence, our imperfections are encoded in the biblical DNA. Jesus never asks us to be perfect. He walks among the sinners! He only asks that we serve and love God and serve and love each other. I'm disappointed in your statements Rabbi, but I forgive you and accept you with all your imperfections.”
jaundicedview on Mar 26, 2010 at 20:01:12
“Actually Jesus commands we be perfect... in so many words. read your bible.
Matthew 5:48 (New International Version)
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
gregstevens on Mar 26, 2010 at 18:01:07
“My initial reaction to this article is very positive, and I think that it makes some very good points about attitudes toward perfection.
However, I also agree with the above comment, because I believe the main article presents one interpretation of Christianity..... but it is not the only way to interpret Christianity, and it certainly isn't the interpretation adopted by ALL Christians.
The problem the Rabbi describes is more a psychological one than a theological one, I believe: and I believe that there are people of all religions who can succumb to it.
I remember having a conversation with a friend, as a teenager, who said to me that he hated having to do things to improve himself, because all it did was remind him of his flaws.
That mindset is what I would call an *unhealthy* attitude toward perfection. That is the attitude that leads to an oppressive, intimidating, condescending view of perfection.
But then there are those of us who are able to both have a high self-esteem AND simultaneously make lists of all of the things we want to improve about ourselves! How could that possibly be? Because perfection isn't something we HAVEN'T reached, it's the direction we ARE going.
“Here is the great irony in this video. What if we knew for a fact that all the great peacemakers in history--Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela, Pope John Paul II--never came to walk this earth because contraception was used at the moment of their conception. Would we be a little less sanguine about the merits of contraception? Or perhaps would we be spurred on, like the Catholic Church, to take the hard road and search for alternative solutions to eliminating poverty and disease in Africa by for example spearheading the movement to eliminate Africa's crushing foreign debts as the Catholic Church and Pope John Paul II did during the Jubilee 2000 movement (oddly enough, very little coverage of this in the US media which like most of the respondents on this site tend to view the world through an opaque condom covered lens). Investing in education and development, removing the yoke of colonialism, implementing fair trade...those are the solutions to Africa's endemic problems...not convenient ones like handing out condoms to Joe Uganda. The Catholic Church is an ally in this struggle and to paint it otherwise is plain lazy or ignorant or both.”
fuzzwald on Apr 15, 2009 at 19:08:00
“The same argument holds that Hit.ler and Sta.lin would never have been born.”
kareemachan on Apr 11, 2009 at 13:54:30
“Or the "Every Sperm Is Sacred" theory.”
vinny on Apr 10, 2009 at 19:00:28
“this is the divine sperm theory, which comes from what part of scripture?”
marxmarv on Apr 10, 2009 at 16:40:29
“Then God would have fulfilled Her intent through some other vessel.”
rejoyce5 on Apr 10, 2009 at 15:33:25
“Excellent response. The Catholic Church has always had a pro life stance. Condoms prevent the act of creating life so the Church is against it. I'm not worried that the Pope will change his mind any time soon and I comm end him for sticking to his beliefs. If you don't agree,fine, but I have the right to not agree with you.”
dezeray1 on Apr 10, 2009 at 14:59:27
“Horribly weak argument.
1st - The opposite could be said about Hitler, Stalin, Charles Manson (if ONLY their parents used contraceptive).
2nd- Abstinence then is also as bad as contraception as it is preventing possible peacemakers from being born.”
hjsung on Apr 10, 2009 at 13:45:35
“let's not talk about coulda, woulda, shoulda, what-if's. what if with contraception we prevented another hitler or george bush from being born? see, the argument can go eitherway if you wanna talk hypothetically. btw, wasnt jesus born dispite mary's abstinence? looks like great beings could be born unnaturally.. i would have no problem with your comment, if the catholic church did work on any of those things you mentioned that would help africa in a long run - implementing fair trade, etc, but all the catholic church has done is furthering its old dogma and its love of unborn babies. who is the pope, a mere human, to interpret god's divine intent? use condoms, seriously.”
Till Krueger on Apr 10, 2009 at 13:27:13
“you are playing poker with people's lives...your ideology is not helping in curbing the sheer numbers: nearly 20 million orphaned children, who have lost their parents to AIDS, many infected with the same disease...i won't argue about the importance of the efforts to also approach the problem of the staggering weight of the debt, but that effort does not make up for the fact that *not* condoning the use of condoms as an additional method of curbing the rate of new infections is a gross misconduct...i find the actions of the Catholic Church on that matter criminal and cynical...human lives over religious dogma...nothing much has changed there in nearly 2000 years...enough!”
“Yes, the issue is very complex bound up with subtle and not-so-subtle overtones. Here is just one example. In a way, the contraception movement in Africa carries with it a scent of the old forced sterilization programs in the United States where thousands of African American women who went into the hospital for simple procedures or childbirth often came out--unbeknown to them--infertile. It was a way for White Americans to control the burgeoning Black population. In the same way, rather than having to spend billions of dollars in food aid in Africa, or having to expend political capital to balance an unfair trading system that has metaphorically speaking 'raped' the continent of Africa for centuries, and rather than having to face the guilt over the millions starving for the lack of food while America and the West chokes over its supersized gluttonous wealth, isn't it just a little wee bit convenient to hand Joe Uganda a condom and the problem of growing poverty on the continent is solved. You want to get serious about saving Africa--let's start talking about investing in education and development...and that is message the Pope is making, but you can't see that peering at the world through a condom like you do.”
marxmarv on Apr 10, 2009 at 17:00:43
“So since at one point some whites, predominantly in the Deep South, felt driven by their own personal fears to sterilize any blacks they came into contact with whenever convenient, a person's "right" to endanger public health should not be in any way discouraged simply because that person has certain proportions of skin pigments and the side effect of not endangering public health is less meat for missionaries?
That's not rational, that's rationalizing.
What's the argument against educating US teens to take care not to produce (too many) more consumers?”
“People make fun of things they don't understand, that's pretty much been standard throughout our history. So there's nothing really artistic or clever about this video, except that it manages to reduce an extraordinarily complex issue into nothing more than a cheap insult hurled at hundreds of millions of people. Your puerile contribution to this country's discourse, however, does qualify as a valid argument in favor of contraception. So bravo.”
Rrhain on Apr 9, 2009 at 17:02:51
“"Extraordinarily complex"? Please. It's only complex due to the mental gymnastics one has to go through to try and justify the deaths of millions of people as being better than keeping them alive.”
Feb 14, 2009 at 14:42:53
“Considering your commendable interest in the Holocaust, here are some reasons why you should care about the cozy relationship between the Jewish and Russian partisan fighters portrayed in Defiance.
The Russian partisan fighters were directed by Stalin to liquidate the Polish resistance fighters—the so-called Home Army.
Who was the Home Army?
The Polish Home Army was the largest resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Europe numbering some 400,000.
The Home Army very early on created a Section for Jewish Affairs to gather and transmit information to the rest of the world about the Jewish plight under German occupation sending its members inside Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto. The Home Army also fought alongside Jews both inside and outside the Warsaw Ghetto walls during the uprising.
Finally, the Home Army had a rule that was strictly enforced, which was that any resistance fighter found to assist in German capture of Jews would be executed on the spot.
One wonders if the Bielski partisans offered their “Polish brothers-in-arms” the same courtesy while breaking bread with the Russian partisans who were capturing and killing the Polish resistance fighters en masse? One also wonders why Hollywood glorifies the Russian partisans, but has yet to commemorate the Polish fighters? You bemoan Hollywood's distortions of memory. I bemoan its complete amnesia.”
jeffepops on Feb 14, 2009 at 20:35:11
“No connection existed between the Bielski partisans and any events in Poland. Byelorussia (Now Belarus) shared a border with Poland, but was part of the Soviet Union. The Bielski partisans, living in Byelorussia, had a cooperative arrangement with the Russian partisans, because they were both located in Soviet territory occupied by the Nazi's. The relationship between the Jewish resistance and the Russian partisans, as portrayed in the film, was very tenuous. The Russians were not glorified at all
Jewish resistance fighters in Poland had relationships with various units of the Polish Home Army. The Polish Home Army did not participate in the Warsaw uprising, however, although they did supply a few weapons. The overall treatment of the Poles toward Jews, with some notable individual exceptions, was pretty awful. Jews attempting to return to their hometowns at the end of WWII often found their residences taken over; it is estimated over 1500 Jews in Poland were murdered in mini-pogroms between the end of the war and 1947.
Following WWII, Jewish resistance fighters and refugees also suffered at the hand of the Soviet Union and Red Army.
"Defiance" is not a very good film, but your characterization of how it "glorifies" the Russian partisans is incorrect. Have you seen the movie?”
Feb 14, 2009 at 11:33:08
“I wonder if the same people who care about how Germans are portrayed in this movie ever give a moment's pause about how the Bielski partisans and the Russian soldiers are portrayed in the movie Defiance. Oh what brave and noble men they must have been engaging in pogroms against Polish villages, and disarming, arresting, murdering or sending to Soviet gulags the same Polish partisans who fought alongside the allies from the very first day against the Nazis. So, yes, I agree with your position that Hollywood is a miserable history teacher. But I wonder why you protest Hollywood's distortions only now?”
jeffepops on Feb 14, 2009 at 12:43:01
“I found "The Reader" to be a very complex film that is designed to examine the relationship between amorality and ignorance. The revelation during Hanna's trial that she sent the very same young girls to their deaths whom she both coddled and relied upon to read to her because "more were coming", spoke to the theme of the film. Hanna was not immoral -- she was amoral. The amoral condition is what allows most people to participate in the machinery of genocide and and other forms of destructive nationalism without remorse. How many people in this country have passively allowed us wreak havoc on Iraq, and Viet Nam without thinking about whether or not they have an obligation to speak up.
Hanna only realizes the extent of her heinous guilt at the point where she has achieved literacy and (one presumes) learned enough to develop a moral compass. Once she becomes aware of her guilt, she cannot accept freedom and chooses instead to end her own life.
The film had its flaws, but Winslet's Hanna was a pathetic, rather than sympathetic character. Yes, it will be misunderstood or misinterpreted by a few, but the educated and sophisticated audience this film seeks and attracts will correctly interpret its message.”
hp blogger Rod Lurie on Feb 14, 2009 at 12:26:24
“"I wonder why you protest Hollywood's distortions only now?"
First, I only recently discovered the joys of the HuffPost. Second, I left film criticism ten years ago, bt wrote about this kind of stuff often and with a broader scope. Third, as a director, it would only take something like a distortion of SS behavior for me to speak out against the work of another film maker.
"Defiance" has a few historical mistakes itself. But they do not, in any way, serve as ammo for Holocaust negationists. I liked the film quite a bit.”
HMDMSR on Feb 14, 2009 at 12:10:07
“So, you aren't opposed to propaganda itself, but only propaganda which doesn't support your ideological views. Do you understand how much of the western reporting on the USSR was processed through a filter? Why were so many Bolsheviks, and other Russian radicals, Jewish?
Many partisan groups in the Eastern European countries and Soviet Union were fence sitters, viewing their politics from a nationalist, not liberal, perspective”