The culture war is about the authority of a book

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    The culture war is about the authority of a book


    The culture war is about the authority of a book
    By Dennis Prager
    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    If you want to predict on which side an American will line up in the Culture War wracking America, virtually all you have to do is get an answer to this question: Does the person believe in the divinity and authority of the Five Books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah? ("Divinity" does not necessarily mean "literalism.")

    I do not ask this about "the Bible" as a whole because the one book that is regarded as having divine authority by believing Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Mormons, among others, is not the entire Bible, but the Torah. Religious Jews do not believe in the New Testament and generally confine divine revelation even within the Old Testament to the Torah and to verses where God is cited by the prophets, for example. But "Bible-believing" Christians and Jews do believe in the divinity of the Torah.

    And they line up together on virtually every major social/moral issue.

    Name the issue: same-sex marriage; the morality of medically unnecessary abortions; capital punishment for murder; the willingness to label certain actions, regimes, even people "evil"; skepticism regarding the United Nations and the World Court; strong support for Israel. While there are exceptions -- there are, for example, secular conservatives who share the Bible-believers' social views -- belief in a God-based authority of the Torah is as close to a predictable dividing line as exists.

    That is why one speaks of Judeo-Christian values, but not of Judeo-Christian theology. Torah-believing Jews and Torah-believing Christians have very different theological beliefs, but they agree on almost all values issues -- largely because they share a belief in the divinity of the same text.

    Many members of all these different religions have found it quite remarkable how similar their values are to those of members of these other religions. An evangelical Protestant who might regard Mormonism as nothing more than a heretical cult will find himself seated next to Mormons at a rally on behalf of the Boy Scouts. An Orthodox rabbi who might never set foot in a church will join a panel of Christians in opposing the redefining of marriage. And so on.

    Very often the dividing line in America is portrayed as between those who believe in God and those who don't. But the vast majority of Americans believe in God, and belief in God alone rarely affects people's values. Many liberals believe in God; many conservatives do. What matters is not whether people believe in God but what text, if any, they believe to be divine. Those who believe that He has spoken through a given text will generally think differently from those who believe that no text is divine. Such people will usually get their values from other texts, or more likely from their conscience and heart.

    That a belief or lack of belief in the divinity of a book dating back over 2,500 years is at the center of the Culture War in America and between religious America and secular Europe is almost unbelievable. But it not only explains these divisions; it also explains the hatred that much of the Left has for Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Mormon Bible-believers.

    For the Left, such beliefs are irrational, absurd and immoral.

    Which is exactly how most conservatives regard most leftist beliefs, such as: there is nothing inherently superior in a child being raised by a mother and father rather than by two fathers or two mothers; men and women are not basically different, but only socially influenced to be different; Marxism was scientific; that the Soviet Union was not an evil empire; it was immoral for Israel to bomb Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor; morality is relative to the individual or society; there is no moral judgment to be made about a woman aborting a healthy human fetus solely because she doesn't want a baby at this time; material poverty, not moral poverty, causes violent crime, etc.

    This divide explains why the wrath of the Left has fallen on those of us who lament the exclusion of the Bible at a ceremonial swearing-in of an American congressman. The Left wants to see that book dethroned. And that, in a nutshell, is what the present civil war is about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpmartyr
    The culture war is about the authority of a book
    By Dennis Prager
    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    ...That a belief or lack of belief in the divinity of a book dating back over 2,500 years is at the center of the Culture War in America and between religious America and secular Europe is almost unbelievable. But it not only explains these divisions; it also explains the hatred that much of the Left has for Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Mormon Bible-believers.

    For the Left, such beliefs are irrational, absurd and immoral
    ....
    An interesting article, up to this point; from here it's just another confused bash-fest on "OMG TEH LEFT!!!1". Always disappointing when an actual bit of insight is used to justify this kind of blind flailing.

    "Thanks" to Mr. Prager for keeping the English Civil War alive and dangerous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpmartyr
    The culture war is about the authority of a book
    By Dennis Prager
    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    If you want to predict on which side an American will line up in the Culture War wracking America, virtually all you have to do is get an answer to this question: Does the person believe in the divinity and authority of the Five Books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah? ("Divinity" does not necessarily mean "literalism.")

    I do not ask this about "the Bible" as a whole because the one book that is regarded as having divine authority by believing Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Mormons, among others, is not the entire Bible, but the Torah. Religious Jews do not believe in the New Testament and generally confine divine revelation even within the Old Testament to the Torah and to verses where God is cited by the prophets, for example. But "Bible-believing" Christians and Jews do believe in the divinity of the Torah.

    And they line up together on virtually every major social/moral issue.

    Name the issue: same-sex marriage; the morality of medically unnecessary abortions; capital punishment for murder; the willingness to label certain actions, regimes, even people "evil"; skepticism regarding the United Nations and the World Court; strong support for Israel. While there are exceptions -- there are, for example, secular conservatives who share the Bible-believers' social views -- belief in a God-based authority of the Torah is as close to a predictable dividing line as exists.

    That is why one speaks of Judeo-Christian values, but not of Judeo-Christian theology. Torah-believing Jews and Torah-believing Christians have very different theological beliefs, but they agree on almost all values issues -- largely because they share a belief in the divinity of the same text.

    Many members of all these different religions have found it quite remarkable how similar their values are to those of members of these other religions. An evangelical Protestant who might regard Mormonism as nothing more than a heretical cult will find himself seated next to Mormons at a rally on behalf of the Boy Scouts. An Orthodox rabbi who might never set foot in a church will join a panel of Christians in opposing the redefining of marriage. And so on.

    Very often the dividing line in America is portrayed as between those who believe in God and those who don't. But the vast majority of Americans believe in God, and belief in God alone rarely affects people's values. Many liberals believe in God; many conservatives do. What matters is not whether people believe in God but what text, if any, they believe to be divine. Those who believe that He has spoken through a given text will generally think differently from those who believe that no text is divine. Such people will usually get their values from other texts, or more likely from their conscience and heart.

    That a belief or lack of belief in the divinity of a book dating back over 2,500 years is at the center of the Culture War in America and between religious America and secular Europe is almost unbelievable. But it not only explains these divisions; it also explains the hatred that much of the Left has for Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Mormon Bible-believers.

    For the Left, such beliefs are irrational, absurd and immoral.

    Which is exactly how most conservatives regard most leftist beliefs, such as: there is nothing inherently superior in a child being raised by a mother and father rather than by two fathers or two mothers; men and women are not basically different, but only socially influenced to be different; Marxism was scientific; that the Soviet Union was not an evil empire; it was immoral for Israel to bomb Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor; morality is relative to the individual or society; there is no moral judgment to be made about a woman aborting a healthy human fetus solely because she doesn't want a baby at this time; material poverty, not moral poverty, causes violent crime, etc.

    This divide explains why the wrath of the Left has fallen on those of us who lament the exclusion of the Bible at a ceremonial swearing-in of an American congressman. The Left wants to see that book dethroned. And that, in a nutshell, is what the present civil war is about.

    There is one fundemental seperation between Christians and Jews, namely Jesus Christ.

    The teachings of Jesus Christ incorporated all the classis themes of the Pentauch(first five book of bible) Jesus promoted the concept of god being part of man. God was not just the creator and judge of man, but that god in fact was a part of man and all living things. This was a major radical "leftist" concept to the Judean concept of deity. The two religions exist together with very common rules and practises, but still seperated by the notion of man's seperation from god.

    When Jesus combined god with man, both by his spiritual existance and through his teachings, he created modern "dissident thought" or leftism.

    All of the New Age type and quantum theory based spiritual expressions all originate with Jesus proclaiming oneness with god and the universe.

    The Jews are unable to accept Jesus(his teachings or divinity) or any other contrarian thoughts on god because the bible forbids accepting any other god than the incumbant one. The more orthodox the thinking the more the followers are confined to the dogma of the teachings.

    I don't think its the "Left" that wants the bible removed from the congressional oath ceremony. Its the morally corrupted "true believers" who fear that if they swear on the bible and then commit the same atrocities against mankind, then god would surly punish them!
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    Stereotypes...They are everywhere and used by everyone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    Stereotypes...They are everywhere and used by everyone
    It just easier that way!
  

  
 

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