Stoning Rebellious Children? A Look At Dominionism

There’s a story going around the internet about a candidate for state office in Arkansas who wrote a book that argues, among other things, that parents should be able to have rebellious children executed. Here’s more:

Charlie Fuqua, the Republican candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives who called forexpelling Muslims from the United States in his book, also wrote in support for instituting the death penalty for “rebellious children.”

In “God’s Law,” Fuqua’s 2012 book, the candidate wrote that while parents love their children, a process could be set up to allow for the institution of the death penalty for “rebellious children,” according to the Arkansas Times. Fuqua, who is anti-abortion, points out that the course of action involved in sentencing a child to death is described in the Bible and would involve judicial approval. While it is unlikely that many parents would seek to have their children killed by the government, Fuqua wrote, such power would serve as a way to stop rebellious children.

Here’s a longer quote as well:

The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children. They must follow the proper procedure in order to have the death penalty executed against their children. I cannot think of one instance in the Scripture where parents had their child put to death. Why is this so? Other than the love Christ has for us, there is no greater love then that of a parent for their child. The last people who would want to see a child put to death would be the parents of the child. Even so, the Scripture provides a safe guard to protect children from parents who would wrongly exercise the death penalty against them. Parents are required to bring their children to the gate of the city. The gate of the city was the place where the elders of the city met and made judicial pronouncements. In other words, the parents were required to take their children to a court of law and lay out their case before the proper judicial authority, and let the judicial authority determine if the child should be put to death. I know of many cases of rebellious children, however, I cannot think of one case where I believe that a parent had given up on their child to the point that they would have taken their child to a court of law and asked the court to rule that the child be put to death. Even though this procedure would rarely be used, if it were the law of land, it would give parents authority. Children would know that their parents had authority and it would be a tremendous incentive for children to give proper respect to their parents.

In other words, Fuqua has gleaned his ideas about stoning rebellious children from his reading of the Bible or, more particularly, the Old Testament. And this is where my commentary comes in.

I’ve written a bit before about Dominionism and Reconstructionism. I think a distinction between the two is in order, because I think the two are too often elided. To put it simply, Dominionism is the wider category, including Christians whose ideas about the role of religion in government range from innocuous to extreme, and Reconstructionism is a subset within it.

Dominionism is the idea that God has commanded Christians to “take dominion” over the earth. Many other religions have a similar mandate. Dominionists believe they are to work to create a society that reflects their religious ideals. They want to create a Christian society. However, it’s important to remember that most dominionists don’t actually want a theocracy, and most don’t condone the use of force. While dominionism forms the foundation of the Christian Right, most dominionists don’t see changing society as primarily about a top-down political change. Many dominionists see winning converts through evangelism and thus spreading Christianity and Christian values as the most important aspect of taking dominion. This is why many dominionists see cultural arenas like television and the arts as critically important areas of focus. In general, dominionists’ ideal society is very like a highly idealized version of the 1950s where families stay together, mothers are happy homemakers, everyone has a job (all the males, that is), and people dress like they do in Mad Men.

Christian Reconstructionism is a subset of dominionism that has as its goal a society based on Old Testament law. See the difference? It’s a pretty big difference. Reconstructionists want to return to a world where rebellious children are stoned, gay people are stoned, adulterers are stoned, and, well, you’re starting to get the idea. They take a literal interpretation of Old Testament law and make that their guidebook. The majority of America’s evangelicals and fundamentalists absolutely object to this kind of thing. Why? Because they believe that Jesus overturned Old Testament law, meaning that it is no longer valid. In contrast, some Reconstructionists argue that Old Testament law is still in effect while others say that though it’s not mandatory anymore it’s still God’s ideal.

While there are lots of dominionists there are very few Reconstructionists. Charlie Fuqua, however, is clearly one of them.

Rousas Rushdoony is widely regarded as the founder of Reconstructionism (For more on Rushdoony, see this wiki article). He and his son-in-law Gary North have been some of its strongest proponents. North is the author of this little nugget:

Why stoning? There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost…executions are community projects–not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his’ duty, but rather with actual participants…That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians.

There are also ties between Reconstructionism and the Christian homeschool movement, most especially the Christian Patriarchy segment. For one thing, most Reconstructionists argue that homeschooling is a divine mandate. For another thing, Rushdoony has been a key influence on a lot of Christian homeschool curriculum. The Christian Patriarchy movement has strong ties with Reconstructionism. Bill Gothard, for instance, argues that while Old Testament law is no longer in effect it’s still the best way to do things, or else God wouldn’t have given it in the first place. He even advocates returning to Old Testament purity standards regarding menstruation and how long to wait after birth before sex can take place. Doug Phillips of Vision Forum sells Rousas Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law with a ringing endorsement.

Of course, the ties between homeschooling and dominionism are even stronger, especially through institutions like Home School Legal Defense, Teen Pact, and Generation Joshua. Indeed, the most prominent Christian homeschool leader, Michael Farris, is very open about his dominionism. He frequently tells homeschool parents that they are the Moses generation, taking their children out of Egypt and educating them in the wilderness, and that their children are the Joshua generation who will retake the land for God. Farris founded Patrick Henry University for just this purpose: training homeschool graduates in government, education, and film so that they can go forth and take dominion, spreading a Christian influence through all segments of society. Of course, unlike Rushdoony or North, Farris does not believe in re-instituting Old Testament law.

While dominionism generally involves a troubling and often problematic mixture of politics and religion, Reconstructionism is, quite simply, breathtakingly frightening.

So there you have it. Hopefully this brief introduction to dominionism and Reconstructionism provides some helpful background to Charlie Fuqua, his book, and his candidacy.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Anonymouse

    The recontstructists are fanatical about stoning because it was in the OT…but notice they’re not as fanatical about the 613 Commandments also in the OT. They eat pork, cut their hair, wear clothing of mixed fibers, etc. etc. etc.

    Also, how does stoning disobedient children fit in with their LUUUUURRRVE of the fetus, the pweshus BAYBEEEE they’re always going on about? Since all humans have the stain of original sin, that 64-cell blastocyst is just as sinful as the toddler who won’t finish their peas.

    • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

      that 64-cell blastocyst is just as sinful as the toddler who won’t finish their peas.

      Well, considering the oft-cited statistic that something like 50% (+/-20%) of zygotes fail to implant, I guess that would be God smiting them in His Wrath….

    • http://AztecQueen2000.blogspot.com AztecQueen2000

      Did you know that according to the OT, it is considered an abomination to eat shellfish? Guess that means we’ll be stoning the corporate heads of Red Lobster! (joke, of course–I would not advocate violence in any form against anyone.)

  • Monimonika

    “I cannot think of one instance in the Scripture where parents had their child put to death.”
    Let’s see:
    1) Jesus (Son of God) was put to death (all according to Almighty God’s plan, apparently).
    2) Isaac was seriously about to be put to death by his father Abraham (parental love didn’t stop it).
    3) Jepthah sacrificed his only daughter.

    I’m thinking there’s more, so leave it to others to expand the list.

    • http://amandajustice.blogspot.com Amanda

      But were any of those executed for rebelliousness? That was the specific instance cited.

      • Monimonika

        True, the children in these examples weren’t being executed for being rebellious. However, also note that the parents in my examples didn’t follow “proper procedure” in sentencing their children to death either.

        So it seems that in the Bible, children are more likely to be killed by their parents if the parents are diligently religious rather than if the children were rebellious. Diligently religious parents won’t let something like “love” get in the way of exterminating their beloved offspring.

    • wanderer

      It’s silly for him to insinuate that because he can’t think of any examples of children being stoned that it never happened. What does he want, a day-to-day list of activities that happened for a community of potentially millions for centuries?

  • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

    As far as I can tell, his ‘procedure’ can be summed up as ‘ask nicely’. Which goes a bit contrary to the idea of not taking it lightly :/

    (Also, I have to ask, he says that no child is stoned in the OT, but how many children are there really? I know my knowledge in this are is a bit shoddy but I can’t think of one with any active role, unless you count adult children of other people.)

    • Ananta Androscoggin

      Of course, they’ve also got Psalm 137 verse 9 (or was it 139 verse 7?) to fall back on:

      “Happy shall be they who dash thy little ones against the stones.”

  • Saraquill

    Stoning people to death is highly illegal in this country. You would l=think a senator would know this and not want to overturn that piece of law.

    • http://kagerato.net kagerato

      Totalitarians have a habit of ignoring any laws they dislike.

  • vasaroti

    Who gets to decide where “the gate of the city” is? Heck, there’d be bloodshed over trying to decide who qualified as an “elder.”

    This guy must have a great relationship with his kids. Actually, I’ve encountered some families where the parents openly say that they can’t love their children too much because their devotion belongs to God. And they wonder why church attendance is declining.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    These are the kinds of people who argue vehemently against Childrens’ Rights laws. Who try to prevent children from being able to disagree with their parents and who will fight tooth and nail to prevent them from forming their own opinions about the world.

    • Sarah

      I have a relative like that. She’s linked to pages about a Parent’s Rights amendment which, among other things, would give parents veto power over the books their children can check out from a library and require a 13 year old’ girl’s doctor to disclose everything about the kinds of procedures and care she’s requested. When pressed, my relative said that if I, as a Jew, wanted to prevent my future children from reading anything about Christianity, then that should be my right as a parent.

      • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

        That’s just wrong. I’m an atheist and unlikely to end up having kids (it’s a possibility, but I’m not even in a relationship of any kind, let alone one that’ll provide children. And then there’s the whole transgender thing.) That said, if my children wanted to pursue a Christian religion, that’s fine by me. If they want to read other books from other religions, I encourage it.

        Curiosity is an awesome thing, and I think denying the ability for children to be curious is a serious tragedy.

  • Ruth

    Pagans also did this-he is really asking to return to the Roman pater familias. Slavery, pater familias, military duty-these Christians want to return to republican Rome.

    • Didaktylos

      But the Romans did recognise that there were limits to a father’s authority. There is the story of the consul who insisted that his father pay due public deference to his office.

  • http://eschaton2012.ca Eamon Knight

    [Bill Gothard] even advocates returning to Old Testament purity standards regarding menstruation and how long to wait after birth before sex can take place.

    …and male circumcision, IIRC. Which is just weird, considering how much ink Paul spends railing against it. And confirms the impression I formed of Gothard way back when I was a teenaged fundy, and some clergy in my circle were pushing Gothard and IFBYC: he just likes making up rules, for the sake of making up rules.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    “He even advocates returning to Old Testament purity standards regarding menstruation”
    Wow… now I KNOW this guy is crazy.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Doesn’t he know that rebellious children have been getting stoned for years?

    Sorry, I had to.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

      *stoned giggle*

    • http://www.lara-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com lara

      Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha! I didn’t even think of that. I’m so glad you did. =)

    • Attackfish

      You’re Jewish, ma’am, punning is in our blood. Don’t fight it. That will only lead to sorrow and bitter failure.

  • Mary Ellen

    I turn 51 tomorrow, and I sometimes wonder if parts of my family still consider me a “rebellious child” because I have walked away from evangelical Christianity and am now a late-coming-out celibate lesbian agnostic Buddhist Humanist UU who hangs out with Pagans. Would I qualify for execution?

    • celestineangel

      The agnostic part is probably enough. Nevermind the hanging out with Pagans (hi!) and lesbian parts.

  • smrnda

    I definitely disagree that ‘family discipline’ is anything but the foundation for a Fascist and autocratic society. A fair, human and just society recognizes rebellion as the right thing to do when authorities of whatever sort have become too oppressive. A decent person ought to realize the tremendous power parents have over children and that the family can be one of the most oppressive institutions out there. I’m sure though that ‘fair’ and ‘humane’ are dirty words to most Republicans though. After all, the virtues of authority and order are all they recognize.

    I think that, overall, many Christians who are not Reconstructionists or Dominionists still don’t get the idea of a neutral government. They think “God or against God” so a neutral government isn’t neutral, but in the domain of Satan because it’s not explicitly Christian. You get this with the arguments against gay marriage – they can’t mind their own business, because they view minding their own business as wrong.

  • ThirtyFiveUp

    Maybe an Urban Legend, but it has been said that parents have asked to have their child put in jail for a time to scare them into good conduct.
    Also, the rebellious child the OT speaks of may be actually brain damaged and unable to moderate their behavior. These children are still present and are a tenacious challenge.

    • smrnda

      I’m not sure this is a good idea given the high prevalence of rape in prison.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

        Isn’t that the entire premise of things like “Scared Straight”, where they have troubled teens spend 24 hours in prison with the inmates? I’d imagine the effect would depend on the child — for some it would hammer it home that they don’t want to end up there, so it’s time to straighten up and fly right; others… just wouldn’t care. And for some, it might even be a way to escape a crap-tastic home life.

      • smrnda

        Or after being gang-raped all night, the kid could commit suicide. I’m sure many conservatives would consider this to be ‘problem solved’ though.

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    North sounds psychopathic. Talking about stoning in such a matter-of-fact manner is positively chilling. It’s cost effective? Execution isn’t meant to be a spectator sport? Shiver.

  • Rilian

    He says humanistic like it’s a bad thing.

  • Melody

    This sounds like a man who has never seen a stoning. Never participated in a stoning. And never expects too. He is cushioned in his world where the only truth is his Bible, so if it says so, it must be true. Either that or he is a sadist enjoying the (imagined) suffering of others under his boot. All commissioned by his god, for they definately are not commissioned by mine.

    Do unto others as you want them to do to you. He never expects it to happen to him. The “other” is the problem.

    • Cheri

      I am a Christian and could probably be labeled a dominionist, I guess, but Rushdoony’s ideas nauseate me–especially the stoning. All anyone has to do to put that idea to rest, if they are not yet convinced, is to watch the brilliant but agonizing movie, “The Stoning of Soraya M.” Shudder. It is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen, and the very idea of doing it to my rebellious children (I have five who have their moments) can’t even fully form itself in my mind. I can’t even imagine doing it to someone I hate–it is that awful.

    • Brian M

      Sadism is implicit in the Christian concept of the afterlife, where our eternal punishment is a big part of the joy experienced by the elect.

      A sick, sick religion.

      • smrnda

        Some Christian dealt with this under the title of ‘are we more moral than god’ which is that we aren’t since we aren’t willing to punish every and all act of sin to the fullest degree. I just don’t see how this is a virtue. I mean, the sane thing is to let some things pass because they aren’t a big deal, but that’s always said to go against ‘god’s justice’ which demands no sin, no matter how slight, go unpunished.

        Perhaps that’s based on a notion that you could have a livable world without ‘sin,’ but I think a world with a little bit of it seems fine to me.

  • Hilary

    For the record, I would like to state as a Jew with a vested interest in the Torah . . . . we haven’t done this shit in about at least 2,000 years. If any one here has heard of the Talmud, it’s basically the Mega Ultimate Super Duper commentary on the Torah, with about 500-700 years, depending on how you’re counting, of rabbi’s arguing back and forth about how to live with the laws of the Torah, along with stories, prayers, mystiscim, and some very good moral advice. In the Talmud the conditions that needed to be met in order to justify stoning rebellious sons were deliberatly defined so stringently that they are impossible to meet, thus legislating this particular law out of existance.

    So please, please, never take what wacko fundamentalist Christians do with the ‘Old Testament’ for Judaism, even though we live with the Torah as our divine scripture. Yes there are wacko violent black hat fundamentalist Jews, but most of us aren’t like that. I reconise that you never made that implication, Libby, and I appreciate it but I just had to say something. Yes, there is weird, violent tribal stuff in the OT. A lot of violent tribal shit happened back then, this is the only record with a still living culture attacted to it. And we understand it through 2.5 thousand years of interpretation, not sola scripture. It is really frustrating when people take the worst parts of the OT and use it to justify atrocities, which this guy is, and completely ignore the many wonderful parts that we should live by, or how interpretations change a surface reading of a verse.

    One classic example “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Even at the most literal reading, it states limits on revenge. If two men get in a bar fight and one knocks anothers tooth out, that man does not have the right to cut off his hand in revenge. He does not have the right to get some buddies together and kill the man who knocked out his tooth, or beat up someone in that man’s family – that way lies blood feuds between clans. All he can do is insist on being recompansated for one tooth. And by rabbinic decree and interpretation, even the limiting literal reading is too brutal – if a man gets his tooth knocked out in a fight, he is owed the *monetary* amount of one tooth, not the right to knock the other guys tooth out. Thus we no longer have a law about tit for tat revenge, but a monetary policy to recompensate someone for physical damage.

    And as strange as the menstrual purity laws sound to us now, back then they gave a woman the right to say ‘no’ to her husband at the time of month most women have the least sexual desire, and a G-d given right to a bath after her period. Orthodox Jewish women still live by them, and they can be lived with joyfully or oppressively. But forcing them on women as a standard is wrong, as opposed to a woman raised an Orthodox Jew and choosing to stay in that community, or a woman choosing to join it. I personally believe women and men have the right to say no to sex, or yes to sex, however they wish with the basic precautions of safe, sanity, consensual, private, and adult.

    Finally, Jews don’t believe that you have to be Jewish to be saved. An ethical life well lived is enough, regardless of what you believe. I know this is an athiest blog and most people here don’t beleive that there is any divine judgement after life, or an afterlife. That’s fine, I’m not doing this to proselytize, if anybody reading this still believes that the Jewish traditions and belief of God is bunk, that is truly fine with me. Mosts athiests are very ethical people, and ethical action is more important then religious belief. I just hope to spread a more accurate understanding that what wacko fundie Christians do with to the Old Testament is NOT what we do with the Torah. You can think we’re both full of bunk, just please have an accurate idea of what type of bunk Jews are different from Christians even when using the same text.

    Thanks

    Hilary

    • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

      Thanks for posting this! In the future, I think it would be interesting to see a series of guest posts from Jewish readers on traditional orthodox Jewish vs fundamentalist Christian interpretations of Torah/Old Testament Bible passages.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Most of us aren’t Orthodox though. Non-Jews always seem highly preoccupied with the Orthodox, although they themselves do not represent most practicing Jews and are no more legitimately Jewish than the rest of us. If you are really interested in hearing Jewish perspectives on Jewish Law etc., you’d do well to look for opinions from Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Secular Jews etc.–the whole range. Please do not obsess over the Orthodox.

      • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

        Re: Petticoat Philosopher, yeah, I do realize Orthodox Judaism isn’t mainstream, and I have read a lot of writings by modern Reform and Secular Jews. It’s my understanding, though (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that Orthodox Judaism is the form most comparable to fundamentalist Christianity. In a setting like this blog, I think it would be interesting to see how two religions can take a fundamentalist approach to the same book and come away with different interpretations. Fundamentalist Christians will get practically orgasmic when they talk about how the ancient Jewish scribes copied their sacred scrolls one brushstroke at a time (and if this story is just a made-up Christian thing, please say so), but they never bother to study what the ancient Jews actually believed about the words they were copying. They assume that those scribes read the Torah exactly the way modern American fundamentalist Christians do, because, you know, only they really care about God’s Literal Truth ™.

    • Carol

      Excellent point. When Christians claim that the US was built on Judeo Christian values, it is just irksome that it’s lumped together in this kind of popular Christian barbarism. This is best illustrated in this most famous story:

      “Many of Hillel’s decisions concerning Jewish Law (Halacha) were recorded in the Mishnah and Talmud. Interpretations of Jewish Law (Halacha) handed down by Hillel’s school (Beit Hillel) tended to be more liberal than those of the Shammai school (Beit Shammai).

      When asked by a non-Jew to relate all the Torah had to say while standing on one foot, Hillel replied, “Do not unto your neighbor what you would not have him do until you; this is the whole Law; the rest is commentary.”

      • http://www.apple.com/iPad/specs.HTML RockyMissouri

        Excellent… Thank you.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Don’t worry Hilary, there are other Jews here who frequently voice their discomfort with the representation of Judaism is some benighted backward system that was never saved by the New Testament and has never evolved since the Torah. As a Reform Jew, I do not believe in the divinity of the Torah, I am highly critical of plenty that is in the Talmud and I personally do not believe that the family purity laws are redeemable or that their essential misogyny can be explained away. (although I obviously will never interfere with a person’s choice to follow them.) But I certainly share your concerns about the way Judaism is represented to the general public, intentionally or unintentionally, by Christian fundamentalists who really don’t know what they’re talking about. And Libby has made it pretty clear in the past that she is very much aware of these issues and distinctions and that she gets that we’re not Christians-without-Jesus.

  • smrnda

    Hilary, great post, and as another Jewish person who gets tired of the belief that “Jews have the Old Testament, Christians have the Old and NEW TESTAMENT!” and the idea that that’s the end of the story, I’m happy you did such a great job setting the record straight that it’s a total misrepresentation of Jewish practice and identity.

    I’ve actually shocked plenty of people by suggesting that no, original sin isn’t an idea held by Jews (at least not to my knowledge as I hardly count as practicing) and the deal that there is no status of being ‘saved’.

    My thinking about why there’s this practical Orthodox fetish is that it fits with the Christian interpretation of “the Law” versus “grace” and how it applies to the inaccurate view of Jewish practice and identity. It’s like “look boys and girls, we’d have to live like those Orthodox Jews if it wasn’t for Jesus unless we wanted to burn in hell forever!” It always reeks of antisemitism to me, though I’m sure it’s not intentional, but if the world was a movie made by some Fundamentalist Christians, I sometimes feel that the “Jews” would just be the extras.

    I should follow up that I spent Yom Kippur working with Jewish Israeli coworkers, in case it might shock anybody.

  • Todd Jackson

    I don’t know whether the children of Justin Verlander or Peyton Manning read Patheos, but if they do they’re a lot more concerned about Daddy’s religion.

  • mary dickey

    American Taliban!

  • Lisa Kaiser

    Like, Hilary, I am also a Jew. I agree with Hilary’s comments on the Torah. And I wnat to back up her comments re stoning/execution. The rules for execution found in the Torah make it virtually impossible to carry out execution. And I doubt that any parent actually take a “rebellious” child” to the city gates to be stoned. The other issue I want to raise is that Jesus was an observant Jew, steeped in Torah and Judaism. The moral lessons that he taught came stright from Torah. He said nothing new about love of God and love of neighbor. What Christains call “Christian values” are actually and foremost the values of Jews and Judaism. Jesus did what rabbis and Christian clergy do toayd–he sought to make the Torah (already ancient in hsi lifetime) relevant and compelling to the Jews of his time and place. He took the ideals of the Torah and distilled them into the Beatitudes, he took the idealsof Torah and illustrated them by way of parables.

  • Lisa Kaiser

    Amethyst,

    As a Jew (in the Reform tradition), I can tell that all Torah scrolls used in any synagogue today, no matter the denomination, are hand written. They are handwritten on the parchment (the skin of a kosher aninmal–calf, lamb or goat) This is our tradition, and it is one we honor. There are specially trained rabbis who spend their lives hand writing Torah scrolls for synagogues around the world. It takes about a yr for such a rabbi to produce a Torah scroll. They are beautiful and timeless. If a Torah scroll becomes too old, brittle or worn to unroll or use for services, it is buried in a Jewish cemetery. Per Jewish tradition, no document containing the name of G-d can be burned, it must be buried and returned to the earth.

  • Keith Johnston

    I feel that I should apologize for some of my fellow Christians, especially those who have shit for brains and should not be making pronouncements about dominionism, interpreting the Bible, what God is like, or actually anything at all including whether the sun is shining. Since I plan to vote for President Obama, I cringe every time I think that Gov Romney may win because know-nothings such as the dominionists will be allowed to vote at all.

    • smrnda

      There are many Christians like yourself. I think a problem is that dominionists and reconstructionists exist in some kind of parallel subculture. It’s tough to reach people like that by thoughtful argument since they will fall back on their own writers, speakers, and resources for information, and will accept what they say unquestioningly much of the time.

      My hope is that, as these groups grow more extreme, they become less able to attract or retain members.

  • Pingback: Conversion, privilege, leadership… and taking responsibility « A Sober Second Look


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X