Volunteer Carol Corwell, back, helps Hunter Naugle, 10, find a verse in his Bible during released time Nov. 9, at Valley View Alliance Church in Hellam, Pa. Photo: Chris Dunn, York (Pa.) Daily Record)

In Pa., students can go to church during school, under a few conditions

YORK, Pa. (USA Today Network) —  It's 2:00 on a Thursday afternoon in November — a school day. Right on schedule,18 elementary school students come running: They're heading to church.

They're among more than 3,000 students in Pennsylvania who participate in a "released time" program run by Joy El Ministries.

"Released time" is a legal way for students to voluntarily receive religious education during the school week. It has to happen outside the school building. It's limited to 36 hours per school year by Pennsylvania law. Students need their parents' approval. And they need to make up any work they miss.

Joy El's program started in Franklin County, and has grown to 27 school districts in nine counties. They offer programs for students in grades 3 through 8 and are among several organizations that offer released time programs in Pennsylvania.

At one elementary school in Fulton County, participation rates among students have been as high as 100%, said Aaron Ziebarth, executive director of Joy El.

The volunteers at Kreutz Creek Elementary School's program had a more modest crowd as they met in York County that Thursday afternoon. But it's still a mission of love to them.

​"It's just wonderful to see them memorize God's word and be excited by it," said ​Pat Eyler, who has volunteered with the program at various times over the past 20 years. She said she became a Christian at a similar program, back in 1951.

Joy El was founded in 1938, back when the Bible was still allowed in school, according to Ziebarth.

Today, that's not the case.

And volunteer ​Barry Jennings, says society has suffered.

At a recent Bible study he attended, the group reflected on the state of the world: "We were talking about things, like Charlottesville .... and then the hurricanes and ... the borders and everything else. I think the main thing is ... God's trying to show us, we need to come back to him."

Ziebarth tells a similar tale. He sees bad news all around and believes the released time program will point students towards faith: "I just believe that life is hopeless without Jesus."

Today, over half of the students who attend a Joy El released time program are un-churched, according to Ziebarth. They attend a program with three primary components: Singing, teaching and listening — small group time.

Some come primarily to learn. Some follow friends. Some, admittedly, come to get out of school, said Ziebarth.

But regardless of their motives, he's says they'll benefit from being there — in this life or the next.

Practically, he claims that the individualized attention and mentorship helps the students academically — the group averages one volunteer for every 2.4 students, he said.

And even if that weren't the case, he thinks the one hour of instruction missed per week is a small price to pay for the religious education the students receive.

"First of all, I have a bigger picture, longer view than just life on earth. I believe we need to be preparing for what's beyond. And of course, released time helps to do that."

'The law is pretty settled'

When the American Civil Liberties Union has concerns about released time programs, they usually fall into one of two categories, said Sara Rose, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

Are schools using resources to promote the program? And are the students who choose not to participate still receiving adequate instruction?

Joy El knows that schools shouldn't use resources on the program — not the school building, not transportation, not promotion. "Neutral" is a word that Ziebarth used to describe how schools should treat released time.

But if a released time program becomes popular enough that a majority of students attend, the school is still obligated to educate the students who remain, Rose said.

Ziebarth says some school districts have concerns about lost instruction time, but from the ACLU's perspective, that's not a pressing legal concern.

​"Schools release kids to do all kinds of things during the day," Rose commented. From a legal perspective, it can be problematic to release a student from school for gymnastics but not for religious education.

The legal framework for released time programs has been decided in a series of court cases, but individual states enact laws to allow for released time programs in their state, said Rose.

Ziebarth said that he's aware of 15 states with released time programs, which, he notes, aren't limited to Christian education.

'Under the radar'

​Since school districts can't promote the program, awareness is sometimes a struggle for Joy El.

"It kinda flies under the radar, in some ways," said Ziebarth. There's so many things for people to talk about, this doesn't always get a lot of press. Legally, schools cannot endorse it or oppose it. ... So what that means is a lot of times there's not a whole lot of information given about it."

Often students hear about the program from friends. Then, they're left to navigate the proper paperwork and parental consent with the school district and the released time program.

(Joel Shannon writes for the York (Pa.) Daily Record)

Comments

  1. Hopefully the Satanic Temple will set up a similar program.

  2. Why not give a class on religious philosophy, to include- Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, agnostics, etc? Bring in clerics from every major religion and have them give a talk to the children so that the children have a more balanced scale of what is out there.

  3. Well the invitation is now open for all of them to vie for student time.

    But the real question is why are students being released from school time for any outside activities?

    Frankly the article is very biased in tone and language. “Unchurched” is a term dripping with sectarian animosity. As if indoctrination in that church is a requirement for children.

    Where the real trouble starts, which was entirely ignored by the article, is whether there are other religious organizations are vying for student time or do they only grant access to this one. Given the tone of the article I strongly suspect the latter.

  4. Of course they will.scream bloody murder if any other religious organization besides evangelical Christianity has access to the kids.

  5. I wonder what they would do if their childrten were being taught “Bible” by a rabbi? judging by the comments on this web site there is tremendous ignorance of Jews and Judaism.

  6. Evangelical Christians are the only ones around who see fit to disrupt public schooling for religious indoctrination. I would suspect they would have kittens if that happened.

    “judging by the comments on this web site there is tremendous ignorance of Jews and Judaism”

    It is not so much ignorance as malicious dishonesty and bigotry. No amount of education will help people determined to malign others and lie about them in public.

  7. “Joy El was founded in 1938, back when the Bible was still allowed in school, according to Ziebarth”

    One would expect the “executive director of Joy El” to know that the implication from this statement is untrue. AIUI the Bible is allowed in school – but not as part of the promotion of religion by the state – the school being considered part of the state.
    The pretence of persecution is obligatory in some circles?

    “he’s says they’ll benefit from being there — in this life or the next.”

    The ultimate cop-out of religion – buy what we’re selling and if you get no benefit you won’t be able to gain redress because you’ll be dead – and if there’s no afterlife – ooops – but then it’ll be too late to know you’ve been conned.

  8. Why are they doing this during the school day? Why don’t they do it before or after like the Mormons or Jewish Hebrew Schools?
    Especially adjacent to the court that shot down your creationism curriculum.

  9. LDS students in Utah & Idaho have had access to reased time seminary for decades. The LDS Church builds a high school seminary adjacent to the school and students schedule seminary classes the same way that they schedule their other classes and pop into the seminary when it’s time for that class. But LDS students are a majority in most of those high schools. Being a full time seminary teacher is a profession in those states.

    There is a corollary program for college students. The Church builds Institutes of Religion adjacent to college & university campuses and students can schedule a college level religion class in with their other courses. Being a full time institute teacher is also a fulltime profession. Many institute teachers started as seminary teachers.

  10. The program is probably legal and constitutional, but the kids get taught this…

    -> “…like Charlottesville …. and then the hurricanes and … the borders and everything else. I think the main thing is … God’s trying to show us, we need to come back to him.”

    So violence and hurricanes (and borders?) are a message from Jesus !! I agree with others here that perhaps the Satanic Temple needs to have a ‘Released Time” program.

  11. Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

  12. Because through “the state of the world … God’s trying to show us, we need to come back to him”?

    “To show us” what, though?

    That because the world rejects Jesus and the church self-destructs, “God’s trying to show us” His wrath is coming and “we need to come back to him” before it’s too late?

    Well, say so, then, up front!

  13. Yeah good luck with that.

    Throw in there Atheists Pow-Wow too.

    And let these kids decide. My money’s on Satanic Temple.

  14. As a born-again Christian, I hope so too. By Halloween 2018, I’m hoping it’ll be up & running.

  15. “scream bloody murder” isn’t do bloody murder, though, right? it’s just a bloody expression, unfortunately, right? or is that a thin line i detect?

  16. Rabbis don’t teach Bible, just Talmud. But you know this already.

  17. Nothing coherent to say in response. Quelle suprise.

    You aren’t denying a word I say. Just trying to attack me personally. Bite me troll.

  18. Not for lack of trying, only lack of opportunity. The same crowd has been seeking to destroy the public education system as well. Cretinous theocracy at its most obvious.

  19. Where? I see no mention of any other religion in this article besides evangelical christians.

    If you had a legitimate POV, you would not need to lie so badly.

  20. Um, no. So you are an Anti-Semitic troll as well.

    Not surprised by that in the least. Susan was being far too generous to people like you. It is not ignorance that makes you say such stupid things. Its malicious dishonesty.

    You owe her an apology for lying about her faith.

  21. Schools only have about 180 days a year to educate. That leaves the other 185 days for religious instruction, but that’s not good enough for Evangelicals apparently. Schools are having a rough time now just setting aside actual teaching time in the classroom, with all the testing mandates, and all the other non-classroom activities that occupy student’s time while in school. Release time for religious instruction is a poor use of limited educational time. And it’s making the teacher’s jobs even more difficult.

    Churches, synagogues and mosques have from Friday afternoon to Sunday night every single weekend year-round for religious instruction. That’s what the original Sunday and Sabbath School were for. Plus they have all the school breaks and every summer for religious instruction. Why are they demanding school time on top of that?

    I can’t speak for Pennsylvania, but in the South, there is great pressure on students to participate in the Evangelical Bible classes held in the school, and the students left behind are put in a room with nothing to do. They’re basically ostracized and punished for not participating in the Bible classes. Well, in the South there are still public schools that have Evangelical prayer and Bible reading that ALL students have to participate in.

  22. As long as your first seven words remain true — and true they are, so far — there’s no need for any stress.

    If other religions (including atheism) want to have a whack at it, go right ahead — just follow the same rules as those required of Joy El.

    (And for members of the Satanic Temple and other Kreepy Klown Freak Shows, please remember that the Feds are watching you — so kindly hold off on all the Red Room stuff, until all the kids have left your classroom and returned to sane civilized people for the day. Thanks in advance!)

  23. The is may be legal but is it ethical? Have a lot of questions about the program – why during school and not the end of day? Are programs volunteers trained and criminally screened? Would the families of the undhurched students be welcomed congregants on a Sunday? As a non-school programs, what do volunteers do with kids who have needs beyond bible study?

  24. “Apology”, my foot.

    For a loudmouth you sure don’t know what you’re loudmouthing about, Spuddie. Must I always be gracious enough to still educate you out of your ignorance? So be it. Here you go, then, Loudmouth. And don’t forget to put 2¢ in the piggy bank on your way out, yeah? Out of ignorance, that is.

    (1) Courtesy of Wikipedia:

    “Rabbinic Judaism … has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Babylonian Talmud … [with] the belief that … Moses received from God the Written Torah (Pentateuch) in addition to an oral explanation, known as the ‘Oral Torah’ …[It upholds both] the oral law as a divine authority [and] the Rabbinic procedures used to interpret Jewish scripture … The Talmud [then] contains discussions and opinions regarding details of many oral laws believed to have originally been transmitted to Moses. … The oral law and the Talmud [are the means] to control the interpretation of Jewish scripture (specifically the Masoretic Text) and to encourage the practice of Judaism in the absence of Temple sacrifice and other practices no longer possible, while waiting for the Third Temple. … Critical scholars reject the claim that sacred texts, including the Hebrew Bible, were dictated by God, and reject the claim that they were divinely inspired. Instead, they see these texts as authored by humans and possibly meaningful in specific historical and cultural contexts. Many of these scholars accept the general principles of the documentary hypothesis, and suggest that the Torah consists of a variety of inconsistent texts edited together in a way that calls attention to divergent accounts.”

    (2) Courtesy of David Kraemer, “The Reception of the Bible in Rabbinic Judaism: A Study in Complexity”, Journal of the Bible and its Reception, Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2014, “Abstract”:

    “Jewish reception of scripture from Late Antiquity through recent centuries was largely defined by the rabbis of the first to sixth centuries … Rabbinic documents reveal significant development in the rabbinic relationship to scripture, and it is fair to say that the rabbinic appropriation of scripture at the latest stage of the growth of classical rabbinic Judaism, in the Bavli, was assertive, even aggressive, and sometimes radical.”

  25. For me, teaching is all about learning how to learn, being able to ask critical questions to unbiased teachers with equal representation when it comes to religion and politics. Or we can call in the principle of “separation of Church and State” and block the idea altogether.

  26. What is your point? Please be very specific for a 21st century audience

  27. Spuddle, you are going to be baking cookies without a stove. A little joke reference to the “hellfire”, of which both evangelical Christians and Islamists might want to send you.

  28. Are you suggesting that man was not created from a lump of clay or dirt, and women from the rib of Adam?

    Are you suggesting that fossils do not show a pattern of change over geological time, and that we have no molecular evidence and DNA to link all the diverse lineages of life on earth, which is called evolution?

    Are you suggesting that the universe (billions of stars and planets) and everything in it was not created in six days?

    Tell me you are not trying to rob me of my childhood teachings and the infinite wisdom of ancient text written 3,500 years ago?

  29. Where do they draw the line between separation of Church and State?

  30. Your claim was so far off base that ignorance wouldn’t cover it. It would have to be malicious dishonesty. As a rule of thumb, I don’t pretend to make claims about the beliefs of religions other than my own, and I don’t tolerate such things from others.

    Your wikipedia entry shows me how full of crap you are.

    ” the Rabbinic procedures used to interpret Jewish scripture”

    Jewish scripture is what? The Bible. The Torah

    “Critical scholars reject the claim that sacred texts, including the Hebrew Bible”

    In your effort to show me up, you used a wikipedia entry YOU DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER TO READ OR UNDERSTAND.

    You still owe her that apology.

  31. Are you genuinely clueless about the Satanic Temple? They don’t believe in Satan or other supernatural superstitions – they are making a point. But from my days as a Fundy, even their pretend use of Satanism puts them in the hands of the Devil himself and thus they are Satanists, right?

  32. This has been going on for millennia. The natural events will continue for billions of years but the wars, famine and pestilence have been sigificantly reduced and might continue on that path. The prophecy, like Nostradamus and other fakes, are too general to be worthwhile.

  33. In the courts – or the threat of a lawsuit that causes some organizations to stop what they know is likely unconstitutional.

  34. That is just not true. Rabbis teach the Hebrew Bible. They can read it in the original Hebrew. I go to Torah study every Saturday before services. They don’t teach Talmud at that time. There are numerous interpretations of the Tanach that are not in the Talmud. They are in separate books or printed in commentary surrounding the original Tanach passages, but they are not part of the Talmud. You didn’t understand what you read in Wikipedia. It is true that rabbis are not literalists, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t teach the Tanach.

    Tanach is an acronym. T=Torah (5 Books of Moses), N-Neveim (Prophets) CH or K = Ketuvim (Writings)

  35. See my reply above. Yes, you owe me an apology. A member of my congregation does teach Talmud on Sundays, but our rabbi doesn’t. Notice that we do Torah study on Shabbat, the holiest day of the week, and Talmud on Sunday.

  36. HpO, is a prime example of the ignorance of Judaism among Christians. Some one whose name escapes me said, that “Christianity has a theology of contempt” toward Judaism and HpO is also a prime example of that “theology of contempt.”

  37. Also referring to the Talmud as an epithet is fairly common among our regular neo nazis here. A way to mentally distance their Christian belief from its roots in Judaism.

    It’s not ignorance. It’s as you described, contempt, malice.

  38. No, it isn’t limited to evangelical Christianity. Many Roman Catholic parishes around the US also had a time-release program for students from public schools who wanted a Catholic upbringing but couldn’t afford parochial school education.

  39. It may depend on how the suit is filed and who is interpreting the Constitution.

  40. Ironic there are more Jews, atheists and agnostics commenting on this article then there are Christians. But that is typical for this site in general. You don’t see me commenting at the huffington post. What did Jesus say, “The Road is Narrow and only a Few will find it”. “If they persecute you, know that they did the same to me” (my paraphrase)

  41. “Had” being the operative word. Back in the day, public education was synonymous with Protestant, anti Catholic bias. Rather than fight denigrating school prayer (or assert religious freedom rights for all), Catholic parishes sought the half measures of parochial schools. “Couldn’t afford parochial school” having a far more legitimate justification back then, than it is today. The measure largely died out mostly when bans on school prayer were being more rigorously enforced.

    Catholics and other faiths are not demanding release time in this community. This measure is entirely a function of imposition on public schooling by interests with no regard for it.

    Why it necessary to use school time for this? What is wrong with Sunday School or after school religious instruction?

  42. Your input confirms my point. Thank you.

    “You don’t see me commenting at the huffington post”

    I always pictured you more as a frequent Reddit user myself.

    Yes Roy, you are as Christian as they come. Don’t let any of those arrogant evangelicals say otherwise.

  43. If heaven means an eternity of being surrounded by such insufferable company as them, I welcome Hell. All the interesting people are there.

  44. They are just barely legal due to not using school money, grounds or personnel for the indoctrination classes. No school is obligated to do release time.

    Many school districts avoid it because it carries an inherent sectarian bias for smaller faiths, who do not have the infrastructure in a community for it. Plus it can create a hostile atmosphere to students who do not participate. It would still be legal, but acrimonious.

    A good primer on the subject
    https://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/religion-in-public-schools/release-time

  45. They are Satanists, Jim. We gotta stop pretending that the Satanic Temple is merely a neutral “satire” political group that borrows the “Satan” name.

    This cult is politically savvy, but it’s still a cult. They define and sell Satan / Satanism in a non-literal way (a la atheism), but they’re just as serious about marketing Satan as the original “Church of Satan” leader Anton LaVey.

    In a 2013 interview with Shane Bugbee of VICE, founder Lucien Greaves (a fake name — it’s really Doug Mesner), answered the question “Is the Satanic Temple a satanic, or a satirical group?” by saying:

    “I say why can’t it be both? We are coming from a solid philosophy that we absolutely believe in and adhere to. This is Satanism, and to us it couldn’t be called anything other than Satanism.”

    You see that? And Greaves (Mesner) also told VICE that “I illustrated an edition of Might Is Right, the text of which LaVey had built The Satanic Bible from.” This new Satan cult, though different, is still evil.

  46. If you’re going to use French, look up the spelling first.

  47. So violence and hurricanes (and borders?) are a message from Jesus !!

  48. One of the few things I remember from high school French.

  49. The line is still there. I see nothing that violates the US Constitution by allowing students a free period in their class schedule in which they are free to participate in some other activity. Choosing to leave campus for a nearby facility to receive religious instruction should be one of those.

  50. Indeed. Your final paragraph reminds me of the classic Recipe for A Successful Religion:

    1. Promise the most outrageous and wonderful things in an afterlife. The wilder the promises, the better, since no one will ever be able to call you on them. Heck, offer eternal bliss, health, wealth, whatever you can think of. Offer hundreds of virgins if you have to to be competitive with that other religion; you’ll be out of Dodge before anyone can prove you wrong anyway.

    2. Invoke an all-powerful all-knowing all-etc. Deity. Give it a short name. If your imagination isn’t too inspired, don’t let that stop you; generic “God” seems to work fine although it’s been taken more than a few times. “Bob” might be a little too common, though.

    3. Prey on people’s guilt: propose an arbitrary set of moral standards. Guilt is incredibly powerful. Put some obviously acceptable stuff in, like being nice to others, just so that you don’t seem too wacky, but put some weird rules in like not eating cheese in December, or praying while doing a handstand. This is important so you can laugh at your gullible followers when they actually follow these ridiculous rules.

    4. Make all kinds of vague predictions and promises about the future. They must be vague; never commit to anything that can be empirically tested. Especially do not specify dates in the future. Avoid any questions about specifics; it is essential to your success that you don’t get pinned down by observable reality.

    5. Predict the past. Grab a history text and go wild: show how your religion accurately explains past events. Claim 100% accuracy -it’s yours for the taking.

    6. Claim your religion as the one true religion. Denigrate all the others; no one likes to be in the wrong social group, so this can be a very effective tactic. (Seems to work for that Ratzinger guy that the Catholics hired recently.) This is very important in another way: exactly the gullible sort of fodder that you want to convert to your one true way are most likely to be found following competing religions.

    7. If you are short of more ideas, steal from other religions. Those Christian guys did it repeatedly, so you won’t be the first. Steer away from modern sects like those Pastafarians though; those guys are just too smart and funny.

    and so on…
    ?
    ?
    10. Profit…or just laugh.

  51. A fundamentalist – whether Christian, Jew, Muslim and other religions.

  52. Yes, the courts can vary due to the lack of specificity in the language of the the First Amendment.

  53. No, the Satanic Temple does not need a released time program. Schools, would ideally, promote pamphlets about the danger of Satanism. I believe public schools should be abolished and replaced by free parochial schools.

  54. “Speak for Pennsylvania”, please; I know you said, “I can’t”, but try to stay on-topic and “speak for Pennsylvania”. I got my Master’s there, see.

  55. Let peepsqueek peep to see and the rest of his “21st century audience” of 1

  56. Exactly, Jim. Well stated re “too general to be worthwhile”. Please also see my post above containing “Recipe for a Successful Religion”, re “prophecy” and not getting pinned down on specifics…

  57. 1 “article” at a time, huh? You’re still handy with Google search that I taught you this past year, right. So type in Muslims in American public schools, then blame Google for “l[y]i[ing] so badly” for bringing up all those articles proving “Muslims ‘vie for student time’ too.”

  58. Prove to me 3 rabbis that do “teach the Hebrew Bible” the way Messianic Jewish Christians “teach the Hebrew Bible” – and not “just Talmud”. Let’s settle this once for all. You gamed? I am. What are you waiting for? Do it.

  59. No wonder Judaism has never become a majority religion. Judaism doesn’t meet your requirements for a sucessful religion.

  60. HPOO, stop being such an arrogant jerk. Nothin “gracious” about you, a-hole.

  61. Just do it already.

    Prove to me 3 rabbis that do “teach the Hebrew Bible” the way Messianic
    Jewish Christians “teach the Hebrew Bible” – and not “just Talmud”.
    Let’s settle this once for all.

    Which means, of course, Susan Stein & HpO are gonna do some serious “Hebrew Bible”! Dream come true. Yaah!

  62. “Apology”, my other foot.

    I’m going by her claim to equivalence. Imagine, Susan Stein asserted, “what they would do if their children were being taught ‘Bible’ by a rabbi?” What if these children of Bible Christian parents who having been taught the Bible (no quote unquote there) by Bible Christians “were taught ‘Bible’ [quote unquote in the original post from Susan Stein] by a rabbi?”

    So I stand by my original response to her, “Rabbis don’t teach Bible, just Talmud. But you know this already.”

    Here are the proofs of total non-equivalence!

    (1) Courtesy of Wikipedia:

    “Rabbinic Judaism … has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Babylonian Talmud … [with] the belief that … Moses received from God the Written Torah (Pentateuch) in addition to an oral explanation, known as the ‘Oral Torah’ …[It upholds both] the oral law as a divine authority [and] the Rabbinic procedures used to interpret Jewish scripture … The Talmud [then] contains discussions and opinions regarding details of many oral laws believed to have originally been transmitted to Moses. … The oral law and the Talmud [are the means] to control the interpretation of Jewish scripture (specifically the Masoretic Text) and to encourage the practice of Judaism in the absence of Temple sacrifice and other practices no longer possible, while waiting for the Third Temple. … Critical scholars reject the claim that sacred texts, including the Hebrew Bible, were dictated by God, and reject the claim that they were divinely inspired. Instead, they see these texts as authored by humans and possibly meaningful in specific historical and cultural contexts. Many of these scholars accept the general principles of the documentary hypothesis, and suggest that the Torah consists of a variety of inconsistent texts edited together in a way that calls attention to divergent accounts.”

    (2) Courtesy of David Kraemer, “The Reception of the Bible in Rabbinic Judaism: A Study in Complexity”, Journal of the Bible and its Reception, Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2014, “Abstract”:

    “Jewish reception of scripture from Late Antiquity through recent centuries was largely defined by the rabbis of the first to sixth centuries … Rabbinic documents reveal significant development in the rabbinic relationship to scripture, and it is fair to say that the rabbinic appropriation of scripture at the latest stage of the growth of classical rabbinic Judaism, in the Bavli, was assertive, even aggressive, and sometimes radical.”

  63. Listen Susan Stein I grew up in Messianic Jewish congregations

    What prejudice you have

    And yet the other day I gave you the benefit of the doubt that you fight for the Palestinians’ cause in Israel

    What’s with you

    Oh and, uh, there’s at least 1 Jew in my family tree

  64. Twice now he has done this Good Cop Bad Cop routine

    I think it’s much worse than that, brother Roy Hobs

  65. So cute, you are totally without a cogent argument. So you make little remarks. Whatevs

  66. You denigrated her beliefs and misrepresented them. You are a bigot and a sociopath who cannot admit fault or the idea that you said something not only wildly incorrect, but maliciously false. It’s telling that Neo Nazi Roy Hobs upvoted you on that remark.

    Your original remark was dumb. You didn’t even read your Wikipedia entry in detail.

    Your need to lie about the beliefs of others is common to evangelical Christians. They have no regard for beliefs other than their own and they act as if they know better than everyone else.

    BTW Biblical liberalism isn’t even a feature for most Christian sects. But then again evangelicals think they are the ONLY Christian sects. Arrogance and contempt drips from your posts.

  67. Well, of course they don’t teach the Hebrew Bible the way “Messianic Jewish Christians” do because there is no such thing as a”Messianic Jewish Christian.” If you think you can be a “Messiaic Jewish Christian” you are deluded. If you are a Christian supporting them, you are supporting a lie. It is up to Jews to decide for ourwelves what a Jew is.

    I can give you examples of rabbis who teach the Hebrew Bible. One is Shai Held, who wrote a two volume commentary on the Hebrew Bible called The Heart of the Torah. The other examples are rabbis in my own city of Philadelphia who teach the Hebrew Bible and not the Talmud when I have attended services at their synagouges. I haven’t yet met one rabbi who teaches the Talmud on Shabbat. If they teach Talmud it is on a different day and in ADDITION to teaching Torah. You can also go to the Jewish Publication Society’s web site and find numerous commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, including the JPS’s own commentaries.

    I can also give you the example of Michael Carasik who is not a rabbi, but teaches Biblical Hebrew at the University of Pennsylvania. He has translated various Torah commentaries into English and published a book for each book of the Torah. It contains a verse ot the Torah surrounded by different commentators in different centuries for each of the 5 books of the Torah. Although, he hasn’t completely finished yet. It is called the Commentators’ Bible and it will have 5 volumes when completed.

    That adds up to more than three examples, not including Michael Carasik.

  68. “You don’t see me commenting at the huffington post. ”

    Why not? I peruse news sites on the right (Fox, Breitbart, Daily Wire, Daily Caller, etc.) and on the left (Huffpo, Daily Beast, Slate, etc.) and comment when allowed.

  69. But Satan is a symbolic character in the biblical mythology so they are worshipping nothing. Real Atheists© do not believe in the supernatural.

  70. So you claim. Scientists find no evidence of divine intervention and can document the reasons for the event. Someday soon we will be able to predict when these events will occur.

  71. What are you – the Peanut Gallery? How about some constructive comments?

  72. Let’s review their biblical teachings

    Post them for discussion

  73. I can’t post entire books. Go to Amazon or the Jewish Publicaton Society and buy the books or read them at your local library and then we can talk. Most Christians read the Hebrew Bible backwards. They already believe that Jesus is the Messiah and the son of God, so they only look for verses that reinforce that view even if they have to take verses out of context to do so.

    I left out Nechama Leibowitz who also wrote commentaries on the Hebrew Bible.

  74. Honestly, I used to think so too, until famous journalist Sally Quinn spilled the beans on herself.

  75. That’s either a lie or ignorance on your part. Or is calling Roy Hobs “brother” more than just your normal veneer of friendliness?

  76. Why would any rabbi, much less three rabbis, teach the Hebrew Bible the same way Messianic Jewish Christians teach it? I really am starting to doubt you understand much at all.

  77. The Catholic kids in my elementary school went to “Religion,” but I remember it being after school and not released time even at the end of the school day. But it was a long time ago so my memory may be off. My mother, who was a schoolteacher in the 60s, recalled some of the Catholic kids resenting that they had to leave school and the Jewish kids got to stay.

  78. Sounds like the way the seminary program the LDS Church runs is managed where there are enough students and the law allows. The seminary building is next to the junior high or high school but owned by the Church, the classes are during the school day but don’t count toward high school graduation.

  79. You and I both know that if a mosque was pulling kids out of class to have Islamic instruction during the school day, the “Shariah Invades Your School!” headlines from Dimbart, Pam Geller, etc. would be non-stop.

  80. The fundamentalists I’ve encountered believe you are serving Satan by not being a Christian.

  81. Quinn is a former atheist. She now describes herself as somewhat deistic but in any event believes in the power of hexing, voodoo and magic.

  82. Here’s an example of a recent Torah commentary from a rabbi on the Torah portion of a few weeks ago, which was about Isaac and his family. Note that it does pretty much what your synopsized quoting below says about the oral law: the commentary quotes and discusses the Torah text. This one ADDS Talmudic material and discusses that as well. The Talmud is an additional commentary on the Torah. Your statement that rabbis ONLY teach Talmud is therefore false. This is the essence of Jewish learning: “Turn it and turn it, for all is in it.” — Mishnah Avot 5:22. Never stop commenting on the Torah. Never stop commenting on the commentaries, and so forth. This is also why we say “Hadran Alach” — “may we return to you” at the end of learning a section of Talmud. The reading, commentary, and learning are always continuing.
    http://www.jtsa.edu/a-family-of-covenant

  83. Do your own goddamned homework! You asked, she answered. Your maliciously ignorant remark was refuted. You got the start of your own research trail if you were interesting in being anything more than a bigoted troll.

    Does it give you pause at all that the only person taking you seriously here is a Neo Nazi?

  84. ” I grew up in Messianic Jewish congregations”

    They’re Christians. They meet every Christian sects’ definition of Christian. Your evangelical belief from such a background seem proof enough of that.

  85. Too lazy to do your own homework with a link. Oh well. Show me where they are doing it in this community.

    If there was an article here on the subject, my comments would not change. It is tasteless, counter productive and borderline offensive for release time for any faith.

  86. It’s legal the way they do it. But a bit tasteless to use school tine in such a way. What is wrong with Sunday School?

  87. Don’t be too hasty, as both extremes of man’s imagination are hard to swallow, but I get your point.

  88. You choose to put your fingers in your ears and need to tell me? ok. Thanks

  89. Eternal afterlife is so overrated. Kinda simplistic. Reincarnation and rebirth are a bit more fun and more ecological for souls. The epitome of recycling

  90. I was actually aware of that but the recipe generally applies regardless of which pope-on-a-rope spice variety you insert in that particular line item. So, no, the points of the recipe still apply and “recent” is quite so anyway compared with the age of the questionable documents of certain religions being mocked there.

    Arbustin, here’s a new recipe rule just for you: don’t be such an annoying pedant.

    Religion is a disease of the mind. Inoculate against it with reason.

  91. I’m an annoying pedant? Your material is recycled, repetitive, and boring (and as an annoying pedant I will defend that Oxford comma). I think I can recite much of it by heart at this point. If you can’t be bothered to change the name of the Pope, considering he’s been Pope for nearly five years, why would anyone listen to a thing you have to say?

  92. Glad you’ve been studying the material, pedant. Here again, since the repetition will help slow learners such as you:

    The classic Recipe for A Successful Religion:

    1. Promise the most outrageous and wonderful things in an afterlife. The wilder the promises, the better, since no one will ever be able to call you on them. Heck, offer eternal bliss, health, wealth, whatever you can think of. Offer hundreds of virgins if you have to to be competitive with that other religion; you’ll be out of Dodge before anyone can prove you wrong anyway.

    2. Invoke an all-powerful all-knowing all-etc. Deity. Give it a short name. If your imagination isn’t too inspired, don’t let that stop you; generic “God” seems to work fine although it’s been taken more than a few times. “Bob” might be a little too common, though.

    3. Prey on people’s guilt: propose an arbitrary set of moral standards. Guilt is incredibly powerful. Put some obviously acceptable stuff in, like being nice to others, just so that you don’t seem too wacky, but put some weird rules in like not eating cheese in December, or praying while doing a handstand. This is important so you can laugh at your gullible followers when they actually follow these ridiculous rules.

    4. Make all kinds of vague predictions and promises about the future. They must be vague; never commit to anything that can be empirically tested. Especially do not specify dates in the future. Avoid any questions about specifics; it is essential to your success that you don’t get pinned down by observable reality.

    5. Predict the past. Grab a history text and go wild: show how your religion accurately explains past events. Claim 100% accuracy -it’s yours for the taking.

    6. Claim your religion as the one true religion. Denigrate all the others; no one likes to be in the wrong social group, so this can be a very effective tactic. (Seems to work for that Ratzinger guy that the Catholics hired recently.) This is very important in another way: exactly the gullible sort of fodder that you want to convert to your one true way are most likely to be found following competing religions.

    7. If you are short of more ideas, steal from other religions. Those Christian guys did it repeatedly, so you won’t be the first. Steer away from modern sects like those Pastafarians though; those guys are just too smart and funny.

    and so on…
    ?
    ?
    10. Profit…or just laugh.

  93. Just you & I for now. I really want to call you bluff when you posted recently, “I wonder what they would do if their childrten were being taught ‘Bible’ by a rabbi?”

    Let’s “wonder” that together.

    Give me 3 rabbis with their commentaries on certain chapters and verse from the Hebrew Bible. Short and sweet, like it’s supposed to be for these “children”. Let’s imagine your 3 rabbis running the show instead of them born-again Christians teaching the Bible to these kids.

    Rabbi #1’s chapter and verse reads …. (fill in the blanks) while the kids sit around her or him. Rabbi #1’s commentary on that Old Testament I mean Hebrew Bible goes as follows: … (fill in the blanks). The kids then ask you and I to comment on Rabbi #1’s Talmudic rendition of the Bible. You’ll conclude, See, that’s kids “being taught ‘Bible’ – quote unquote – by a rabbi”. And I conclude, No, that’s not Bible – no quote unquote – that’s Talmud brainwashing these kids.

    Rabbi #2’s turn is next.

    Followed by Rabbi #3.

    Key here are those short and sweet chapters and verses your 3 rabbis scramble, scramble (because I know you don’t have them, face it). Plus their respective blah-blah-blah.

    Then stop full stop. Your turn on each presentation to prove that’s “Bible” quote unquote. And mine to confirm, That’s Talmud, not Bible – no quote unquote.

    Go to it, ma’am.

    I’m enjoying this so much, you wouldn’t believe. And I hope you’re too, Ms. Susan Stein.

    Talk to you tomorrow? Alrighty, then.

  94. You’re just sore that your pedantry has been cited, and your tiny knickers are in a knot. Tough for you, little snowflake. Deal with what you demonstrably are.

    On the contrary in regard to myself, I’ve recently received community service awards and have founded multiple charitable organizations. What have you done with your life, other than being a pestilent little pedant?

  95. May all us puny humans bow down to your glory. Anyway, I admitted my pedantry in my reply to you. I guess your community service awards weren’t for teaching literacy.
    By the way, you’re the one who’s so mad about me pointing out (in a spirit of humor I might add) a minor mistake in your post that you’ve gone on for about two additional posts to tell me what a horrible person I am. It sounds like you’re the snowflake.

  96. No, little snowflake. You actually found no error of substance.

    Your admission and bowing to me was indeed appropriate. Thank you and goodbye, little one.

  97. Finally! Take yourself and the stick up your ass somewhere else.

  98. Good, everybody’s gone. Just you & me now. Come on, sister Susan Stein. Where are the 3 Rabbis’ Commentaries on a Hebrew Bible Passage of Their Own Choosing, that you owe me or otherwise prove you weren’t bluffing? Let’s do a Hebrew Bible study together – 1 on 1.

  99. I just participated in a Torah study group with a Chabad rabbi, the guys with beards and black hats. One more example of a rabbi teaching Torah. He said that you need to know the Torah first to study Talmud.

  100. Sigh

    Alright Ms Stein

    Sigh

    You can go now

    Thanks for nothing

    Salaam Mulaikum

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