Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two approaches

Approach #1

A fellow whom I will call Blogger A believes that heretics are bad. Very bad. So bad, in fact, that he gives tips on how to "out" them that include electronic tracking devices, and putting night vision cameras in a child's bedroom. When he thinks that he has discovered one, he thinks that it is productive to make comments out of nowhere like "Do you like [crude name for male organ]?", to call a young woman's home, to use such lovely terms as "fat", "whore" and "liar", to make a slew of sexually-based allegations and finally to suggest means of committing suicide. He seems to belong to the Torquemada school of thought.

This fellow, though extreme, is real. He's not entirely alone. The Westboro Baptist group would likely agree with his methods. So would those who would like to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Approach #2

Actually listen to what someone is saying, even if you think that it is heresy. Realize that people with proper brain function will ask questions. Encourage them to do so. Correct blatant misinformation, and provide sources so they can access proper information for themselves. Reach out on both an intellectual and emotional level. Show respect and love and concern for them as human beings. Be a positive role model. Have a sense of humour. Invite them for dinner, and make an awesome chicken soup. If someone has been hurt or misled or exposed to horrible attitudes, acknowledge that experience and the fact that it was wrong, and don't be afraid to criticize those behind it. Show a better path. Accept that someone needs to go on their own spiritual journey, at their own pace. Reject fanaticism, especially if someone's view of all religion and religious people has been tarnished by it.

If you have ever felt alienated from religion or questioned major beliefs, I want to hear from you!

Which do you prefer, Approach A or Approach B? Which of those have you experienced?
Which would be most likely to have a positive effect on you? Which would be most likely to push you away?

Polite comments welcome. Crude comments or SPAM will be moderated.


batyah said...

Is this a trick question? Cause the answer seems too easy. Approach B, of course.

G*3 said...

It depends on your point of view. From the point of view of perpetuating the Judaism meme as accurately as possible, approach A moderated by common sense (as opposed to the psychopathic approach advocated by the J-blogospheres favorite troll) is the better approach, and in fact was the approach that was turned to throughout most of history when approach B failed. From the point of view of decency and humanity, of course approach B is better. But it is rare to find people who are as accepting as you describe.

JRKmommy said...

Thanks. batya, I would have thought it was obvious as well, but apparently it's not to the fanatics of this world.

Shlomoh Sherman said...

I'm not sure.

When I was coaxed into Orthodoxy as a 30 year old, I was told how much the Jewish Community loves me and wants me to belong. I don't know which community he was refering to. yeah, there were some early 1970s willies who were also becoming baalei tshuvah and they were like family. But they disappeared in 1978 and then the old guard just ignored me.

I remember when I was coaxed in Hebrew-Christianity and was told how great it is to be a jew who believes that brother J is the MESHIACH. No crazies there who spouted love but a bunch of sad sack old yids being bullshat by some VERY goyishe goyim. I said, a plague on both your houses.

Still I was only part of the Modern Orthodox community. Ha ha. Don't make me laugh, nigga! Modern - who believe or say they do that the earth is like 6000 years old. Now when I hear about the REAL Orthodox, the MESHUGOYIM who live off CHUMRAS the way Nesforatu lives off blood, and yet they fondle litytle kids and punch out their wives, I got to say, God bless, I mean G-d bless America. I lvoe being Jewish but do I really have to put up with the ugly side of religion? I got an idea. Let's get rid of the SHTUSS and have a really fun loving faith. Oomeyn

JRKmommy said...

Sounds like you've had some tough experiences.

I agree that chicken soup alone is not enough. Would you say that you ever truly had Approach B - including the parts about reaching out on both an intellectual and emotional level, and acknowledging past bad experiences and clearly rejecting horrible attitudes?