Rael Nidess 
Member since Feb 3, 2012


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Re: “AFA's Rosebush promoted work of James Dobson in a military training manual

Online statements by the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychoanalytic Association all agree that corporal punishment of children is not only counterproductive but is likely to be abused in its dispensation and achieves only short-term behavioral changes at the risk of long-term behavioral problems. In short, it, just like so-called 'reparative therapy' for homosexuality, also endorsed & promoted by Rosebush, demonstrate him to be a creature of ideology (specifically James Dobsons' right-wing Domionist Christianity) and not a thinking scientist concerned with identifying and applying best principles (as if his manipulation of a plagiarized Dobson quote doesn't raise enough suspicions). The real question this raises is why was this person employed by the AFA and why is he still?

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rael Nidess on 12/11/2013 at 12:30 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Air Force called out for homophobic link

Actually, 'Brain', the issue in this case isn't about X'tian Dominionism at the AFA at all. Rather, it's about a Rabbi's choice to recommend ONE page from a website regarding a Jewish holiday (which nobody's criticized for its specific content) and for not having had the precognition to look at that site's page on sexuality (naturally, every time someone mentions 'Purim' to me I immediately think 'what about homosexuality'... I'm sure you do too) where one finds material that's objectionable but hardly of the depravity of the Westboro Baptist screeds despite it being treated as such. All this without the man himself having had an opportunity to explain or apologize (if indeed he felt the need).

I could not agree more that the X'tian Domionist domination of the AFA, the other USMA's, and the U.S. military itself is a matter of utmost concern; rising to the level of a national security emergency lest a Christaliban take over our military & our nation. I do not, however, see this issue in the same class and am frankly concerned that the over-the-top reaction to this mosquito-bite of an incident can delegitimize the righteous indignation and outrage necessary to drive home the next serious event (such as the 'Jesus Rifles', the Afghan proselytization outrage, and many others for which Mikey's gone to the wall and justifiably so.

I am sorry the gay female cadet's feeling were hurt by the 'kepto' analogy although I'm hard-pressed to think of another that would be less hurtful (but can easily think of many that would be far more so) and I reiterate that, had the Rabbi used the website Mikey listed as 'acceptable' she'd have found that same exact analogy there. Not because that Rabbi is also homophobic but because that's the dogma and to state otherwise is intentionally misleading.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Rael Nidess on 02/18/2013 at 7:20 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Air Force called out for homophobic link

Brain Logic,

First, understand that as a dyed-in-the-wool atheist, I do not support nor adhere to religious dogma; Jewish or otherwise. All religious dogma is predicated on the assumption that "I know the entire truth and if you disagree you're going to hell [or Gehenna] for all eternity). Second, for one person entrusted with preparing a single-source compendium of religious information suitable for all comers is an impossible task. No matter which source is chosen there'll be any number of people willing to castigate him/her for that decision as opposed to other possible choices.

As far as the recommendation of the chosen page to inform people of the meaning of Purim, it's hard to find fault with what's on that page.

If one was seeking council on another issue (E.g.; homosexuality), then perhaps another source may have been recommended since the paragraph stating -

"I have seen some modern Orthodox sources suggest that if homosexuality is truly something hardwired in the brain, as most gay activists suggest, then a man who acts upon that desire is not morally responsible for his actions, but I am not sure how wide-spread that opinion is. In any case, it is not quite as liberal a position as some would have you believe: essentially, it is equivalent to saying that a kleptomaniac would not be held morally responsible for stealing."

- actually voices an opinion (not founded in dogma!) regarding whether or not homosexuality is indeed 'hardwired' or not and by voicing it as an 'activist', less than 'widespread', or 'liberal' position disparages the wealth of scientific research demonstrating that it is innate part of one's personality, present from birth and not, as the homophobic science-deniers would characterize it, 'a lifestyle choice'. To this extent, the site does echo a homophobic worldview (note: I haven't read the whole site) but I didn't see anything on the NOTAM stating that website was the end-all & be-all reference for all things Jewish and have no idea what the responsible party (Rabbi Narrowe?) would recommend to someone asking questions on the topic of Judaism & homosexuality.

Again though, I would state that the nature of a religion's beliefs are those voiced in its so-called 'sacred texts' and those most considered 'expert' in their interpretation, and to this extent all the Abrahamic religions are homophobic regardless of how more enlightened people choose to disregard/discard those 'teachings' that no longer apply to their lives. This is the fact, no matter how distasteful it is.

As I said above, if you don't like your religion's dogma "just go and invent the religion you want, find a new god - they're all man-made anyway."

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rael Nidess on 02/16/2013 at 1:46 PM

Re: “UPDATE: Air Force called out for homophobic link

I'll add a couple of observations to this thread. First, it appears that most commenters are outraged over the homophobia displayed in the 'homophobic' website 'Judaism 101' as if that was somehow the author's interpretation. It's not, he's merely reiterating Jewish dogma (from the Orthodox viewpoint his entry page states is his baseline and also advises that other offshoots have differing opinions on various aspects of dogma). Their outrage is better directed toward the Torah which is the source of the dogma, not the author. Second, Mikey's (and, full disclosure; I'm a long-term and avid MRFF supporter) e-mal regarding this issue lists 'About.com' as a "legitimate Reference Page" regarding Jewish holidays but it states this regarding homosexuality under "Ask Rabbi Simmons - Same Sex Relations":

"The Torah understanding is that people can control their behavior if they're motivated. There may be a predisposition toward homosexuality for some, but there exist many such predispositions. The Talmud says certain people have more of a genetic tendency toward bloodshed. The Talmud advises them to become butchers or Mohel's, to channel their tendency into a useful pursuit.

"Imagine a "kleptomaniac" who could only find fulfillment by stealing from other people. How would society respond? Although we'd be sympathetic and concerned for the individual, we still would not be able to tolerate behavior that's destructive to society. This behavior is wrong and, with effort controllable."
http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabb…

So, the 'klepto' comparison (odious as it is) is not unique to 'Judaism 101' and is provided by an 'authoritative' & 'legitimate' source. As one raised as a Jew (atheist now by the grace of ... well, whatever) I found nothing that conflicts with what I was taught in my Orthodox synagogue.

People here are conflating the accurate reportage of dogma with the author's opinion and that's wrong. It would be no less wrong to find some site which states Catholicism accepts people who engage in gay sex and represent that as Catholic dogma in order to 'spare feelings'. That's the entire reason religions are so destructive... dogma! It doesn't change. People can invent new variations of religion and incorporate whatever dogma they choose (just as was done 2,000 years ago) and then legitimize it by saying it's 'divinely inspired' but don't complain that it's not friendly to your own personal interests.

Just go and invent the religion you want, find a new god - they're all man-made anyway.

I'm afraid this is an issue that's been way overblown and not worthy of the attention it's getting.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rael Nidess on 02/16/2013 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Noted: Council delays drill vote

RE: Klingenschmitt v Weinstein, it would appear the erstwhile chaplain (I keep wanting to type 'charlatan') has lost faith in his god's justice and is looking for help in the secular world... or maybe he's just looking for a juicy settlement.

Hope he's not holding he breath! What he's likely to get from Mikey will probably be aimed toward his back pocket but it won't fit into his wallet...

Posted by Rael Nidess on 12/14/2012 at 7:22 PM

Re: “AFA's Gould refers to Sikhs as going to 'mosque'

I suspect that Gen. Gould's comment most reflects the blinding ethnocentrism of American exceptionalism. His (likely) underlying presumption is that he is sufficiently educated to respond to situations regardless of whether or not that's true. I am unfamiliar with what's currently taught, if anything, in American classrooms regarding religions other than Judaism & Christianity. If Islam is discussed, my suspicion is that a large majority of what's taught is wrong and biased. Similarly, I suspect that when Christianity is discussed it is likely oriented toward fundamentalism and that Judaism is loaded with Likudnik hasbara. Being of (close to) Gould's generation, I know that Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, and atheism were never addressed in my public school education but he likely completed his non-military education with the assumption that he was now "educated".

Gould's problem is not just that he's ignorant, but that he's ignorant of his ignorance (See: "Incompetent People Too Ignorant to Know It" - http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/2187-i…).

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rael Nidess on 08/07/2012 at 8:22 AM

Re: “Academy accused of targeting religious group

It would appear the author Chris Rodda got it right in the title to her book "Liars for Jesus'... the extreme right-wing evangelical's only concern about violation of their beloved Decalogue involves violations by others, not themselves. Naturally, violating "Thou shalt not lie" in the context of a nonsecular legal action is known as "perjury".

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rael Nidess on 02/03/2012 at 7:39 AM

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