I never suspected that you would be bullied by me or anyone; I'd be shocked and disappointed if you allowed that to happen.  Nor did I suspect that anyone could perceive that I was attempting to bully you in the exchange below.

Desipte some very notable exceptions, I confess that I tend to find other people's expressions of religious conviction tiresome.  Perhaps it is like watching someone else's vacation photos: if you haven't been there, a pale reflection of the experience that cannot really capture its essence, coupled with assurances of how much better it really is, is seldom entertaining.  And if you have been there, the photos only remind you how pale an imitation of the real thing they are.

But that is a reason for me to read through such posts very quickly, not to characterize them as "an offense".  (Your term which, as you correctly note, I mistakenly transposed in my head and in my post to "offensive".)

I will admit that the "was meant to be" language jumped out at me, and I can readily understand your objections.  And yet, they do not really make much sense when directed at a believing Christian, unless you are saying that he should structure his language to conform to someone else's beliefs.  But surely we do not expect believing Jews to tailor their language, when referring to the New Testament, to conform to Christian beliefs.  Why should Will be held to a different standard?

I suppose what it comes down to is, Will's usage was needlessly inflammatory and perhaps impolite, but perfectly defensible given the premises and beliefs that he has identified himself as holding.  Your objections are well taken on the level of etiquette, but appear to make sense beyond that only if you are laying down a rule that a speaker must abandon his beliefs in favor of those of his interlocutor where there is a likely conflict.

Tom K

In a message dated 11/9/2004 12:00:13 AM Eastern Standard Time, Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> writes:

>[log in to unmask] wrote:
>> **You avoided answering my question about supersession,
>> but here you show that you do in fact think of Judaism as belonging to
>> Christianity. I'll just say that this seems to me historically bizarre
>> and lazy thinking.**
>> I thpoght he had said he was not familiar with the term supersession.
>> You act as if you've caught him in some lie, but do not forget the old
>> saying, "to a fly caught in horseradish, all the world is
>> horseradish." It makes perfect sense to me that people who hold
>> beliefs that fall within the meaning of supercession might be
>> unfamiliar with the term.
>> Also, what do you mean by "historically bizarre and lazy thinking"? A
>> believing Christian surely is permitted to profess belief that Christ
>> came for all mankind, "to the Jew first but also to the Gentile", as
>> Scripture puts it. To call that lazy or bizzare is to apply those
>> terms to a fundamental tenant of someone's faith. You're free to think
>> that way, and of course to express yourself, but you should not be
>> surprised if there are those who find *your* views at least as
>> offensive as those you object to (and no more On Topic.)
>> Tom K
>    Will thanked me for explaining the term, but did not then talk about
>what it meant.  You've missed something.
>    I have never used the word "offensive."  I characterized what Will
>said the way I did because he said "accepting Christ was meant to be the
>natural progression of Judaism" and did not provide any argument or
>explanation.  "Was meant to be" is unhistorical and lazy.  Would you be
>happier had I asked "Sez who?"  And the difference between Will and I is
>that I don't deny Jews or Gentiles the human privilege of naming for
>themselves who they are.  Why would I care what you or Will believe?  I
>care that Will is telling others he can decide what is best for them.
>As I said to him before, since you want to repeat my words, there is a
>difference between a discussion within the faith and one in a secular
>forum.  Will can explain what he believes all he wants; that's
>irrelevant to me.  When he asked how his hypothetical proselytizing
>(which he brought into the conversation last week) sounds, I answered.
>When he defines, not his idea of Judaism, not his "belief that Christ
>came for all mankind," but Judaism and love and truth, I won't be
>bullied by you or by him.  No one but Will made his belief an issue.
>Now we mustn't respond!