I’ll leave this post at the top until air time. Look for new posts below it.
On Tammy’s blog is an interesting post by Maynard. It dovetails nicely with Dymphna’s piece from last night about the decline of the mainline American Protestant churches as evidenced in the their emergent anti-Semitism.
Maynard poses a provocative question, and then answers it:
…consider this choice: If you’re in a public arena — maybe on an airplane — which of these activities would make you most uncomfortable to be seen doing: Flipping through a copy of Playboy, or reading the Bible? You’d probably have to think about this question, because there are elements of awkwardness in either action. But on the whole, you’ll likely be concerned that somebody nearby will judge you harshly for reading the Bible, whereas Playboy is more mainstream.
This leads him into a meditation on the difference between Christianity and Judaism, which includes this paragraph:
Jewish tradition has it that the reason God created the Jews was to bring the message of ethical monotheism (that is, the concept of a single Supreme Being who is fundamentally concerned that humans choose good and reject evil) to Mankind. This God demands we first pursue Justice, which is a different perception from the Christian view of a God of Love. The God of the Jews does not demand that everyone be Jewish; He promises a place in the afterlife to the righteous of all faiths; contra-wise, a Jew who does evil will not be saved. Thus the Jewish dogma is fundamentally at odds with the Christian assertion that the sole path to salvation lies in accepting Christ into your heart. The Christian does not believe he can earn his way to Heaven through good deeds, although there is likely to be a linkage that will encourage the true Christian to perform good deeds. In other words, the Jewish God demands that Man be good; the Christian God demands that Man be Christian, and it follows that the true Christian will in fact be good, albeit (like all humans) fallible.
It’s worth going over to read the whole thing.