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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.
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.