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Archive for July 26th, 2007

If Dad Gives His Child a Bath …male-bashing par excellence

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 26, 2007

Virginia Department of Health AdBackground: In my recent blog post If You See a Father Holding His Child’s Hand, Call the Cops!, I called attention to the man-bashing Virginia Department of Health poster pictured above. I wrote:

“If dad goes for a walk with his daughter and holds her hand, apparently Virginia Department of Health officials wants you to pick up the phone and destroy his life by reporting him as a possible sexual abuser. I would’ve thought this article about this campaign was from The Onion or some satirical publication, but it’s for real. The picture above of a man holding a child’s hand–a touching little scene–is actually supposed to make us think he’s sexually abusing the child. Unbelievable.”

It is assumed that a man holding his daughter’s hand is also abusing her sexually. Can it really become any more misandrist than that?

The supposed aim of the campaign is to encourage people to report, seek help and stop child sexual abuse – and as such it is commendable – but the imagery and assumptions the ad carries is nothing but cementing the idea that ALL men are sexual predators, and that there are no healthy father-daughter relationships out there, or that they are at the very least very few.

The ad makers do not seem to have considered the implications for anyone falsely accused of sexual child abuse – the cost in human rights, privacy, family welfare or even child welfare for those children who are being hauled into Social Services Offices and pressured to testify – often through leading questions and “tests” that are then interpreted, by uneducated SSO workers who are more interested in getting a “conviction” to show off to their colleagues, than they are at actually hearing or seeing the truth.

Groups that have formed to help people falsely accused of abuse are opposed to the campaign. Dean Tong, who operates a Web site that offers help to people who are falsely accused of abuse, said the campaign has the potential to tarnish the reputation of innocent people and hurt children.

“For every case of genuine abuse, there are two or three that are unfounded witch hunts,” said Tong, a Florida forensic consultant who has written books on the topic of false accusations.

The false accusations, the night-mares for the children, the fathers, mothers and relatives while a false accusation is investigated, in a country where the mere suspicion of” sexual misconduct” will end you posted on the Internet “to warn parents”, are horrible enough, without this sort of hysterical and discriminating campaign.

Campaigns like this will only add fuel to an already, in regards to sexual matters “overheated public”, that crave such scandals and sleaze because their lives are boring and unimaginative as it is.

It’s McCarthy all over, “How do you know your neighbor is Commie?” but this is targeting not a politically undesirable group, which is bad enough – it’s targeting people because of their gender. Isn’t that what the Feminist have (justified or not) accused the Patriarchy of doing to women since time immemorial?

Why repeat the mistakes of Patriarchy?

Posted in Men, Sexual abuse | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Another Jewish reason to oppose Militant Zionism

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 26, 2007

One of the principle motivations of the US foreign policy that backs every Israeli move, no matter how morally bankrupt, is the pathological belief by many evangelical Americans that all of Palestine must be incorporated into a greater Israel, that’s the only way the Rapture can happen. But what happens after the Rapture? Though I couldn’t find it in the Wikipedia explanation, I got it here.

Most Fundamentalist and other conservative Christians believe that The Rapture will occur when Christ first returns towards earth. Most believe that Christ will not actually land or stay on earth at this time; the “real” second coming will occur later, when he returns on a horse leading an army on horseback who will exterminate one third of the earth’s population in a massive genocide. It will be numerically the largest mass extermination of humans in history. In terms of the percentage of humans to be killed in a genocide, it will be second only to the flood of Noah.”

If for nothing else – to oppose this blasphemous, murderous idolatry, that not only aspire to genocide, but is targeting uneducated, secular Jews for their “missionary work”, and claim they are the true heirs of Avraham.So, opposing the idea of a Greater Israel is not just a matter of moral and ethics from a Torah point of view – but a matter of avoiding another Shoah – because that is exactly what those Xtians want – any Jew who does not convert to Xtianism will and should be exterminated by their “g-d”.

Posted in Xians | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Introduction Part 2

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 26, 2007


“The very ascription of normative force to a divine command is a matter of decision. Like many other weighty decisions, this one may be tacit rather than explicit. In the typical case, one is committed to halakhic practice as a result of socialization. Only in situations in which it cannot be taken for granted need the decision enter one’s awareness. The tradition presents the decision to accept the Halakha as a unique historical event which committed the future generations of Israel. However if we follow out the logic of Leibowitz’s position, it would appear that recognition of the validity of this commitment requires constant renewal of the basic decision. The heteronomous force of the Torah and its Mitzvoth is dependent upon continued autonomous commitment (either explicit or tacit) on both communal and personal level.” (Introduction p. xv)

This sounds self-evident to me – again thoughts that have been roaming my mind for years. First the idea of acceptance of faith as a matter of fact (tacit) through socialization and then the idea of acceptance of faith as a result research (explicit) f.i through conversion, but also if the socialization was missed because of f.i secular parenting. Both are valid, and both require constant renewal.

I’d like to enter a thought that was put forward in the comments to “The Introduction Part 1” –

“And with that you should keep in mind that Leibowitz was a Litvak. While we see eye to eye on Jewish ethics, his approach to Jewish observance does not suit the needs of every Jew.” (Mobius July 25th, 2007 at 9:32 am) My emphasis.

When I read Leibowitz I am constantly reminded of Dr. Ellis Rivkin, and the idea that every generation of Rabbis pass the authority of Torah, the Mitzvot and the interpretation of those on to the next generation of Rabbis – which in reality means that even if one were to reverse the order of importance of Written and Oral Torah, the halahka one decides to follow would still be binding, because it’s been transmitted through a chain of halakhic decisions from Sinai to the present. If I choose to take up a certain practice, regardless of which order I give to WT and OT, I cannot one day decide to not do that practice, as that would be violating the level of observance that I have accepted on a personal level.

I also see how Ellis Rivkin and Yeshayahu Leibowitz share a strong kinship in terms of what Judaism and being Jewish is. This is a great comfort to me as I search for a way to reconcile within myself a Zionism that is based in Jewish Law and Tradition with a sense of something not being quite right with secular Zionism. But again I am forestalling the discussion 🙂

“In Leibowitz’s opinion, a need cannot possibly be a value since it is given, not chosen. Freedom of choice is not a value in its own right, but a condition of all valuation. It is something imposed, part of the human condition, not an end in itself. Autonomy does not commit one to any specific norms, not even “the Moral Law.” Hence there is nothing contradictory about the idea of autonomous commitment to a heteronomous system of rules.” (Introduction p. xv.)

I must say that I really don’t see any conflict or contradiction between an autonomous commitment and a heteronomous system of rules – such as halakha. After all, I still have to get up in the morning and put on my tzitzit, lay my tefillin and say my prayers. regardless of whether the decision to do so originates from within me or is imposed on me from without. Both require that I activate myself and move according to a religious imperative.

Posted in Faith, Halakha, Introduction, Litvak, normative, Yeshayahu Leibowitz | Leave a Comment »

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