The Jewish Philosopher has a frightening post on his site about how to deal with the issue of "frum" atheists. After giving some examples of people who are outwardly frum but secretly atheistic and violate halacha, (and, without any proof or assertion, blaming the problem of the Monsey chicken scandal, drugs and sexually transmitted diseases in the frum community on athiests), he comes up with a solution to this problem:
I would suggest that anyone who suspects his spouse or child of being a secret atheist should ask that person to take a lie detector test, during which he will be asked about his belief in the divine origin of the Torah. In addition, he should be asked to take an STD test and a hair drug test. A refusal to be tested should be taken as an admission of guilt.
Once a person is found to be guilty, then all communications with him should be severed permanently and his name, address and photograph should be published on a website established for this purpose.
Yeah, that's the ticket. Break up his family and have him publicly shunned and humiliated. By all means, let's not work on possibily being mekarev him. No, instead let's make it so that (a) he'll never want to come back and (b) even if he wanted to come back, he can't since he'll be on the official "banned list."
So, any spouse or parent can order a lie detector test? What about a neighbor? What if I think my son's friend's parents are closet athiests? Can I have them tested for drugs and STDs? What next? A website to publish the photographs, names and addresses of those who dare to converse with those on the official "banned list?"
Viva la Inquisition!
EDIT: (10/30/08 4:25PM)
Never mind... I just found out that JP/JS doesn't inhabit the same reality that you and I do.
Here's the clincher:
JP: Get rid of the pot, coke, porn and whores and open the gemora and eventually you will believe in God.
Me: What about atheists who don't use pot, coke, porn or whores? What about atheists who do learn Gemara?
JP: Show me one.
Me: Are you stating that you believe that *every* secret atheist in the frum community uses pot, coke, porn and whores? Are you stating that *not one* secret atheist learns Gemara?
So, never mind. I'll just leave him to his little fantasy world.
Lie detector tests aren't even admissible in court, for goodness sake! I'd recommend truth serum, or questioning under hypnosis. Better yet, just open up the book of the Rebbe's letters, or consult your local kabbalist. As a last resort, consult Daas Toirah.
Oh, oh, if we're testing people what about the believers doing drugs and sleeping around? Shouldn't we check them too?
Bit of an extreme view, eh?
Jacob Stein is obviously a very troubled man; just witness his obsession with sex in nearly every comment that he leaves when evolution or atheism is being discussed. But, c'mon, much of what he writes is only done because he loves to get peoples hackles up. Your post only serves to give him some of the attention that he is in desperate need of.
I would SO love to see this implemented (well, not the ostracization part). Probably more than 3/4 of the frum community would fail this inspection. It would finally reveal to all the truth of what no one has the guts to face.
Nobody expects the Inquisition.
Just in case anyone thinks that I support anything that that nutjob Jacob Stein says, I want to clarify my last comment. I don't really think anything he suggested should be implemented. But I do think that there is a much larger contingent of non-believers in the community than anyone wants to admit, and it would do everyone (both the community and the individuals) a lot of good if that could finally come out in the open. The secrecy and shame of being different (in both external and internal ways) is part of what makes frum society such a dysfunctional world to live within.
Think about what would happen if every family were to discover that they have some kofrim in their family. Do you think it would still be such a big deal like it is today? Would every family be disowning a brother, sister, or spouse? Would every school be expelling half their students? Would every shul demand that half their congregation never be allowed back in? Of course, there would still be a few nutjobs like JS who would demand such extreme reactions, but when they were exposed to be the minority THEY would be the ones who would get kicked out!
Wolf, you have any little secrets?
JP, if you have any accusations to make, please make them openly and explicitly. Don't play coy games.
I couldn't agree with Hedyot more.
And I think JP would be the first to fail such a test.
Nobody expects the Inquisition.
Fool! It's nobody expects the SPANISH Inquisition! :)
JP (or JS?) is an idiot. One of the bona fide ones. Jacob Stein isn't even the name he was born with. I bet he doesn't even know who he is. But whoever he is, he really does have some maaajor issues.
"Yeah, that's the ticket. Break up his family and have him publicly shunned and humiliated. By all means, let's not work on possibily being mekarev him. No, instead let's make it so that (a) he'll never want to come back and (b) even if he wanted to come back, he can't since he'll be on the official "banned list.""
Well okay, but at least we won't have to worry about another chicken scandal.
You really think that those people are atheists?
I think it's more likely that those people have a second god - the holy dollar.
Wolf, can I take you for a little STD test?
And it's no wonder that so many people are upset about my post. Because once some wives start reading it - YOU ARE SO BUSTED!
I say it's k'dai to go otd just to dissociate oneself from as horrible a personality as JP
JP, as I told you on your blog... my wife knows about this blog. She reads it and comments on it. If you read my blog, you'd know that.
You know, I find it a bit troubling that your main response to JS's "Let's cut them off!" policy is "No, let's be mekarev them!"
Why does it have to be these two extreme positions? Why isn't "It isn't our place to judge others. We should respect the person's choice to live in a way that they feel is right for them, and not impose our view on them." an option?
That's a fair question. The answer, however, lies in the fact that if I see someone driving on Shabbos, for example, I believe that they are doing wrong. While I might not choose to stone their car or yell at them, I think the ultimate goal should be shmiras hamitzvos. I don't think we should impose our view on them, but rather that we should try to encourage them to see the beauty of Shabbos so that they will want to keep it on their own.
I think the Jewish Philosopher is mistaken and thinks that STD stands for Secret Theism Deterrent.
I've added to the end of the post a few additional comments.
I find it particularly enlightening that you seem to be so in favor of breaking up marriages, rather than allowing for the possibility that the "good" wife could influence the atheist husband.
Isn't that one of the reasons that Ya'akov (from whom you presumably took your name) was punished?
To the person who posted under "Jacob Stein:"
Please don't troll here. It's obvious that it wasn't him. You have to do a better job than that.
No it really was me! We should pray for atheists to die, as per birkas haminim. Anyone here davening shemoneh esreh???
"seem to be so in favor of breaking up marriages"
Of course I am. Ideally through the atheist's death, but if not at least kick the bum out.
Ah well. You know what they say folks... give a person enough rope...
The Wolf doesn't daven? Sounds like not so much...
Wolf! Wolf! I figured it out! I figured it out!!!
Remember that post you wrote about making a mistake when you were davening and you had this sense of foreboding? Remember that????
Well your sense of foreboding was correct!!! Somehow you messed up on the blog, and Hashem decided to get you embroiled in a conflict with JP. Maybe it was the post you wrote about the moon not being made of gas. Bet you'll think twice about that now.
You can probably get the whole thing taken care of by saying a few extra Tehillim this week.
Nice theory, Ichabod, except that I *usually* get into these net arguments... see some of my posts regarding ChabadTalk, etc. :)
BTW, I want to say that I've always liked your nom de net. It's very creative.
I wonder what JS thinks should be done to families and spouses who discover the "heretic" in their midst and choose not to cut them off as he recommends? I know many people whose families still maintain warm ties with the person even though they have admitted to not believing (mine is one such example). Does he feel they should also be severed from the community?
It doesn't matter. I just realized that JP/JS lives in his own little reality. I've updated my post accordingly.
Wolf, have you been drinking?? You just realized that JP is of his rocker??
No matter what the topic is, he someone ties it into the fact that all of us skeptics are supposedly motivated by sexual desires. With his warm personality, i'd say he is likely projecting his own frustrations.
I wasn't even aware of him before I stumbled across the two posts that I commented on.
Yeah, it took me two days to realize that he's not in the same reality with the rest of us. I guess that's because I usually try to find the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt wherever possible or reasonable. With our latest exchange, he's finally worn that out.
Hey, thank you for refuting JP, but he is a sorry waste of time.
Just fyi, if JP is correct, then why did Rabbi Meir continue to learn from Elisha ben Abuyah even when he became a certified heretic and broke Shabbos even while teaching Rabbi Meir? And why is the mishna riddled with Rabbi Meir's teachings, if they ultimately come from a heretic? Sorry, JP, but the Gemara disagrees with you. Take your own Bible and read it again.
Secondly, I am an atheist who does not do pot, coke, porn, or whores. And I learn Gemara.
I would say that JP should shove his entire computer up his *ss, but that would ruin the computer.
[JS]> ...it is a responsibility for all Jews...to make certain that these individuals are identified and are not permitted to affect other Jews.
The irony of it all is that Jacob Stein probably has more of an adverse effect on Jews than any atheists in the community. He is the one who is so negatively affecting other Jews, not the closet kofrim! I don't think any atheists could make Orthodox Judaism look as bad as he manages to do with almost every post on his blog.
"Nice theory, Ichabod, except that I *usually* get into these net arguments... see some of my posts regarding ChabadTalk, etc. :)"
Heh. That proves my point. The way I see it, you're gonna have to renounce your wicked ways and get straight with Hashem.
As for JP, I think you're playing fair because after you criticized him you gave him a fair chance to reply.
If you didn't know about him that shows you don't go to the skeptic blogs. He often comments on those blogs with the idea (in his words, more or less) to stir up emotions so that people will do teshuvah. I don't get the logic. He's stirred up emotions all right but I don't see why he thinks that's a way of reforming skeptics. I also don't think he's had much success.
I think he really thinks he's an eved Hashem. Ijust wish he had some insight into how he's coming across.
Oh forgot to add a thank you for your compliment on my nom de net but Boruch Lockshenbrains(sp?) is the best one in my book. Haven't seen him for a while though.
If you didn't know about him that shows you don't go to the skeptic blogs.
I do read some of the skeptic blogs, but I rarely, if ever, get into the comments.
he sounds crazy and it pains me to think of such a concept. I feel bad for his children.
Wolf: "That's a fair question. The answer, however, lies in the fact that if I see someone driving on Shabbos, for example, I believe that they are doing wrong. While I might not choose to stone their car or yell at them, I think the ultimate goal should be shmiras hamitzvos. I don't think we should impose our view on them, but rather that we should try to encourage them to see the beauty of Shabbos so that they will want to keep it on their own."
The Hedyot: "The irony of it all is that Jacob Stein probably has more of an adverse effect on Jews than any atheists in the community. He is the one who is so negatively affecting other Jews, not the closet kofrim! I don't think any atheists could make Orthodox Judaism look as bad as he manages to do with almost every post on his blog."
Unfortunately you are right, it's a big chillul Hashem, for the Jews themselves who see what he has to say and would be disgusted by it. But if the Jews would be learning what Judiasm is truly all about then hopefully they will realize he is an exception and there is something wrong with what he's saying. Not because of his being Jewish, but because of his personality, something just isn't right.
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