Critique vs Blanket Statements

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, Writer & Researcher, volunteer at Atheist Secular Humanism

According to whom is it taboo to criticize the Jewish religion?

It is wrong to discriminate against humans on the basis of their ethnicity, religion, skin colour, etc. Discriminate is not the same as criticizing. Then again what do you mean by criticize? Let’s break this down.

The term “discriminate” is normally used with regards to hiring people, selling homes, doing business, treating in healthcare, or otherwise providing human services. It is wrong to reserve public services for a certain religious or political or ethnic group. All humans must be served equally with equal dignity.

I use the term criticize or critique with reference to asking questions about. Here are some examples of critical questions one might ask of the Jewish religion:

  • Would I rather be Jewish than Buddhist?
  • Is it reasonable to think that food blessed by a rabbi is kosher but the same food before it is blessed is not kosher (not fit to eat by a Jewish person)?
  • What kind of things are Jews allowed to do on Saturday (the Sabbath) and what are they not allowed to do?

Things that are not okay to say or ask would include:

  • Blanket statements making Jews as a people look bad. Blanket statements are almost never true because they cover a whole range of topics and people and possibilities. It’s like saying “All white people are greedy capitalists,” or “All East Asians sell their daughters for sex slaves.” Blanket statements are not true.
  • Hate propaganda. I don’t need to give examples.
  • Ethnic slurs. Again, no examples are necessary.

You get the picture. Be respectful of all people, no matter what their religion or ethnic background. I don’t see Hitler coming into this, though I’m not a Jewish person so I might be missing something.

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