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09 February 2008 @ 03:18 pm
Just a last word before I leave  
I was raised Jewish and Catholic, until my Jewish father converted to Catholicism and expected me to abandon the Jewish part of my identity along with him. I was forced to attend Catholic services and to be confirmed in the Church, even though I was starting to find the Church politically and religiously stifling. After leaving home, I settled on Quakerism as a religion I could deal with, but have always felt a connection to Judaism as well, because it became part of my identity early in life. Since then, I have felt out of place in both Christian and Jewish circles because I can't feel "completely" one or the other. I've even been quite harshly rejected, often by Jewish groups, because I can't be "part Jewish" and because traditional approaches to Judaism say that 1) I'm not Jewish because my mother wasn't, and 2) Judaism is the One Way and is incompatible with following any other religion, especially not Christianity.

When I saw the last post, my first response was to agree that praying for Jewish conversion is antisemitic, and that we should assume no group is inherently more whiny than the other, so when Jews say they're bothered by something, it should be taken seriously. I later also said that I didn't think ANY ethnic or religious group, including Christianity, was inherently special or kind, and explained that I didn't consider myself "special" as an ethnic Jew or as a Christian. This was in response to someone saying that the Jews he knew were nice to him; I wanted to point out that out-group members are often a lot nicer to you than in-group members, it's not something special about that group but in fact a result of the fact that NO group is special. It bothers me almost as much when someone says "Jews are nice" as when someone says "Jews are mean." Apparently this was enough for a moderator to accuse me of being a Dominionist in disguise, even though my profile suggests otherwise, even though I said that I didn't think Christianity was special, even though I explicitly denied it. Apparently only Dominionists think that no group is special.

How ironic is it that a comment, originally motivated by someone acting surprised that "outsiders" like Jews would be kinder to them than Christians, would lead to this. I learned from my life that my "own people," whatever they are, are not likely to be particularly kind to me. This includes Jews, Christians, and, apparently, even others who are recovering from religious abuse. There are Dominionists that have been kinder to me than this community.

Considering my original comment that people should take it seriously when a group gets offended by your behavior, it's also ironic that, when I complained that I (and most Jews) considered the concept of "essential Jewishness," when employed by non-Jews, antisemitic, I was ignored. And "schooled" on what it meant to be Jewish, by someone with only second-hand knowledge of the religion. Because apparently members of the Jewish community have no right to say what they consider offensive without being labeled the Enemy.

I have no safe spaces. I have no home. The conservative Jewish community ensured that, the Roman Catholic community ensured that, my own family ensured that, and now this community is as well.
 
 
 
SwissCeltswisscelt on February 9th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Comment from the moderator in question
You're whining. Please stop. My actions were not meant to be persecutory in any way. Had I intended to harm you, it would have been much easier to ban you than to attempt to cool us both off (in an aptly metaphorical sense) by freezing the thread.

Allow me to observe that you appear to be motivated by emotion. That's not a bad thing; it can in fact be a very good thing. To that end, though, please realize that I react differently than perhaps most people when I see emotional appeals. I've noted elsewhere that I don't "do" emotional appeals. It's a personality flaw of mine that I react rather poorly to emotional appeals: Instead of countering with reason, I fail in the attempt, as my own emotions tend to be triggered by the appeal. And that's seldom a pretty sight.

But that's not to say that I'm wrong to do so; not always, anyway. Frequently, I've been able to cut through the bullshit arguments of others (speaking here of previous scenarios, not this one) after being triggered by the emotional appeal. I think you'll find that trait to be unusual among most people, but somewhat common among walkaways. We know the appeals Dominionists use, and we try to counter with reason... but being human ourselves, we often react emotionally.

That's why I froze the thread we were on. It was to prevent myself from rash action, but also to maintain my stance without caving in. It surely wasn't to handcuff myself.

You will, of course, do as you may. But know that the door has not been closed to you. I promised you I wouldn't do that personally.
one of those feathery maniacssammka on February 9th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Comment from the moderator in question
I am appealing to emotion here so that you can see how hurtful it is to do what you were doing. A quick look at my profile and my public entries would have shown you what my beliefs really are. A reasonable look at what I was saying in that thread, including my first comment, would have shown you what my beliefs really are.

But even while you acknowledged that you might be wrong, you labeled me a Dominionist, and attacked me as if I were one, without regard to the harm you'd be doing if I wasn't.

I believe you froze that thread to get the last word. If you had simply wanted to prevent yourself from rash action you'd have frozen the thread without further comment. Instead, you had to continue to attack me, and THEN freeze the thread.

Again, it's ironic that you'd call me "whiny" int eh context of the last post, in which Jews who complained that something was offensive were labeled as "whiners." The Roman Catholic church also probably would say that it wasn't meaning to be persecutory.
SwissCeltswisscelt on February 9th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Comment from the moderator in question
I am appealing to emotion here so that you can see how hurtful it is to do what you were doing.

And as I said, I react poorly to emotional appeals. You yourself noted that I was reacting poorly in the previous thread. Did you think my reaction would change by bringing the conversation to a new thread?

The rational side of me really is trying to acknowledge your pain. But frankly, the emotional side of me-- the part of me that reacted poorly in the first place-- is reading nothing but, "You non-Christians are EEEVIL! Your Gods and cultures are DEAD! Come back to our churches and repent of your wicked ways, for your destruction is at hand!" You wouldn't be the first person to say that to me, in varying degrees of veiled language. So in light of that, is it really a good idea to appeal to my emotions here?

But even while you acknowledged that you might be wrong, you labeled me a Dominionist, and attacked me as if I were one, without regard to the harm you'd be doing if I wasn't.

Not entirely true. I regarded the harm I'd be doing by doing nothing in the case that you are. Weighing that harm against the harm I'd be doing to you, I decided (as best I could) that the harm I'd do to you would be better than the harm I'd do to the community.

I believe you froze that thread to get the last word. If you had simply wanted to prevent yourself from rash action you'd have frozen the thread without further comment. Instead, you had to continue to attack me, and THEN freeze the thread.

Pish. Freezing a thread can be undone by moderators, which means not only could one of the other moderators undo the action but I could just as easily have responded to the other forks of the thread in which you DID get the last word. Moreover, I could also have deleted this entry, banned you from this journal, and continued the argument on your personal journal... all three of which catvincent did when I was banned from dark_christian. Trust me, I've been on the receiving end of moderator power games before, and that's the last thing I want to do to someone else.

Again, it's ironic that you'd call me "whiny" int eh context of the last post, in which Jews who complained that something was offensive were labeled as "whiners." The Roman Catholic church also probably would say that it wasn't meaning to be persecutory.

Spare us the invocation of Godwin's law, please.
one of those feathery maniacssammka on February 9th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Comment from the moderator in question
Whether you acknowledge it or not, you are trying the same kind of appeal to irrationality: you have seen Dominionists invade the community before, and you're willing to ignore what I've explicitly said about my beliefs and substitute for them what you think I'm saying, even though I've explicitly disclaimed it.

And you know, when someone isn't actually referring to Hitler, Godwin's law doesn't apply. There's just a certain parallel to be made when the entry is about people who complain being labeled whiny, and then I complain, and am labeled whiny instead of having my concerns and feelings taken seriously.

Whatever, I'm out.
SwissCeltswisscelt on February 9th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Comment from the moderator in question
Whether you acknowledge it or not, you are trying the same kind of appeal to irrationality:

I called it an emotional appeal. You're the one who said it's irrational. We can go the emotional route if you want, but as I've said before it isn't pretty.

you have seen Dominionists invade the community before

In point of fact, I've seen Dominionists invade communities before. Not (just) LiveJournal communities, but physical communities. Just to clarify, in case you meant to imply that my fear of Dominionism is "irrational".

you're willing to ignore what I've explicitly said about my beliefs and substitute for them what you think I'm saying, even though I've explicitly disclaimed it.

That's because (and I've readily admitted such) I sense a huge disconnect between what you've explicitly disclaimed and what I believe you've said implicitly. Or, to use the old canard, "Methinks thou protesteth too much."

And you know, when someone isn't actually referring to Hitler, Godwin's law doesn't apply.

Oh no, it still applies... it's just that we haven't yet crossed the threshold of reductio ad Hitlerum. In any case, you made this a new entry. Thus the range of issues will be different.

and then I complain, and am labeled whiny instead of having my concerns and feelings taken seriously.

Is that why I'm not discussing this with you? Oh wait, that's right... I am.

Whatever, I'm out.

And still, the door remains open. Funny thing about playing tug-of-war with someone who just stands there feeding rope: You might find yourself out on your ass. Meanwhile, I'm still standing here giving you whatever rope you say you need.
Christinekisekileia on February 10th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Comment from the moderator in question
swisscelt, I'm sorry...but I'm going to be honest here. I think you overreacted. Please don't take this personally, because I don't want to personally attack you; this is just how I saw the situation...

I read sammka's posts multiple times, and I didn't see anything that seemed to me to point to dominionism. When sammka said that "tribalism is dead", it honestly looked to me like she was saying this due to being wary of different groups treating their own as worth more than others, and simply did not understand the nature and value of the support that many people get from connecting to others from their cultural community. I felt the dialogue on that subject was worthwhile, since bob_bowers and you were educating sammka about the merits of connection with one's own ancestral culture, though I do think sammka could definitely have been more receptive. You and bob_bowers have a perspective on this that has certainly educated me since I came to this community, and I think it's worth giving others a chance to be educated.

The impression I got from "Claiming Jewish heritage is similarly not denying Christianity: Christianity is, in fact, an offshoot of Judaism, and the parts that are not Jewish (like failing to celebrate Jewish holidays or keep kosher) basically come from the Paulist program of not enforcing those restrictions on the Greek converts (restrictions that were still supposed to apply to the Jewish converts)" was that this was sammka's personal view on the Judaism/Christianity combination, not that she was trying to impose this view on others. Her repeated statements of being a universalist seem to me to confirm that impression. (*Edited here to get rid of a sentence I started and didn't finish.)

I really do see why your buttons were pushed. What you were reading looked too much like Messianic Judaism for your comfort, and it also really offended you with the "tribalism" comment (which looks to me like it was made primarily out of ignorance, rather than intent to harm, and was originally meant to simply affirm the likelihood of situations like bob_bowers being helped by Jewish professors). I recognize that you are trying to safeguard this community. But I hope you can also understand that anyone who has been harmed by dominionism would be extremely, extremely hurt by being labelled as one of the enemy. I'm sure you would be. I don't think very many wounded people would not have responded emotionally to that.

...Does that make sense? I mean, maybe I'm naive when it comes to steeplejacking, but if sammka isn't dominionist--which seems highly probable to me--then reacting the way you did probably caused a lot of harm, and I think we in woundedwarriors should take care not to further wound anyone who comes among us for support.

I know you still hold the beliefs you hold and are highly suspicious of sammka because your buttons got pushed, but I hope that you can read this post and any others she makes in the future with an open mind and allow for the possibility that she may not be a dangerous person. I'm glad that you didn't ban her, but I hope that you can also treat her with openness and respect.

Edited at 2008-02-10 03:59 pm (UTC)
SwissCeltswisscelt on February 10th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Comment from the moderator in question
*nods* Thank you. There is much wisdom in your comment.