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Couple who brawled over 'Passion of Christ' arrested
March 19, 2004, 6:18AM
Associated Press

STATESBORO, Ga. -- A couple who got into a dispute over a theological point after watching The Passion of the Christ were arrested after the argument turned violent.

The two left the movie theater debating whether God the Father in the Holy Trinity was human or symbolic, and the argument heated up when they got home, Melissa Davidson said.

"It was the dumbest thing we've ever done," she said.

Davidson, 34, and her husband, Sean Davidson, 33, were charged with simple battery on March 11 after the two called police on each other. They were released on $1,000 bail.

According to a police report, Melissa Davidson suffered injuries on her arm and face, while her husband had a scissors stab wound on his hand and his shirt was ripped off. He also allegedly punched a hole in a wall.

"Really, it was kind of a pitiful thing, to go to a movie like that and fight about it. I think they missed the point," said Gene McDaniel, chief Bulloch County sheriff's deputy.

Educators Tackle Evangelical Passion
by Adam Wills, Associate Editor

David Neal didn't expect to get his nose broken when he tried to opt out of attending a production of "Godspell."

Held at Bakersfield's Centennial High School in spring 2003, attendance for the musical ' based on the life of Jesus' was mandatory, and David, a rabbi's son, was offended that his public school would stage it. He wanted no part of the event.

"My son asked to get up and leave, and [school officials] said, 'You will stay here,'" said Rabbi Bruce Neal. The production was organized by an instructor who is also a church choir director, the rabbi said.

The incident led to heated religious arguments between David and other students, which degenerated a few days later into an after-school brawl involving 30 fundamentalist students that left David with a broken nose and a five-day suspension. The disciplinary action was later dropped following an appeal from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

"I attribute the majority of the difficulties to this play," Neal said. "There is no place in the public school for 'Godspell,' period."

While the high school production of a Christian musical might seem innocuous to some, the evangelical and fundamentalist push to get more Christian programs, events and clubs into public schools, especially in rural areas, is gathering momentum on a national level. Many blame the recent release of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" for spurring on these groups and providing them with publicity they might never have achieved on their own.

Like David Neal, Jews are fighting back.

Jews for Judaism, a Los Angeles-based countermissionary group, is opposing these efforts with its local educators summit on March 21. The one-day event at the Luxe Hotel Bel Air, "They Get Them; Why Can't We?," hopes to teach how Christian evangelicals and missionaries target Jewish students. Co-sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE), the Los Angeles Hillel Council and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the summit will offer an overview of methods used by evangelicals to hard-sell Christianity to students and provide Hebrew and day school teachers with techniques to help students respond when confronted by evangelicals.

"Hopefully, this will be the catalyst for the creation of a curriculum ... to prepare kids before they get inundated," said Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, Jews for Judaism's founder and West Coast director. "Whether they go to Hebrew school and public school or whether they go to a Jewish day school, they're all vulnerable."

According to BJE, Los Angeles is home to more than 31,000 Jewish students attending day schools and Hebrew schools. The Federation's 1997 Los Angeles Jewish Population Survey found 73,650 school-age Jewish children in the Southland.

With evangelicals accounting for one-quarter of all U.S. Christians, according to a recent ABC Poll, Kravitz said that at some point, they're going to have interaction with a Jewish student.

"They're becoming more brazen in their willingness to share since 'The Passion,'" he said.

The ADL, which helped mediate David's case with the Bakersfield City School District, is tracking the efforts of evangelical projects in public schools around the country.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Revolution's FiSH and flagpole prayer meetings are a few campus efforts gaining ground in middle and high schools. Recently, the ADL uncovered a new brand of witnessing in public schools it calls "stealth evangelism."

Bait-and-switch events like 2002's "Rage Against Destruction," a traveling musical extravaganza that put on public school assemblies with an anti-violence message, are a prime example. Sponsored by Joyce Meyer Ministries in St. Louis, "Rage" was a nationwide youth ministry that held clandestine assemblies at schools in New York City and New Jersey, featuring Sony PlayStation giveaways and concert-quality performances.

"They were marketing to kids," said Amanda Susskind, the ADL's Pacific Southwest regional director. "And people didn't realize they were signing up for an evangelical experience."

"Rage" was outed by the ADL in November 2002 and the ministry discontinued the program just before it hit Los Angeles on Jan. 4, 2003.

The ADL said the Los Angeles Unified School District and other districts around Los Angeles County have programs in place to deal with the threat posed by organized evangelism on campus. "It's not really so much of a problem here," Susskind said.

Kravitz, who disagrees with ADL's threat assessment, said his organization conducted a survey of 266 local Hebrew and day school students and found 69 percent of respondents have been approached by someone trying to convert them to another religion.

"It doesn't have to be missionaries standing on street corners handing out brochures," Kravitz said.

Rebecca Litt, a ninth-grader at Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minn., didn't know what to say when her Christian classmates who saw "The Passion" confronted her about her faith.

"You could feel the tension," she told The Journal. "I can't just sit there and say, 'I believe in God.' That's not enough for them."

Shimon Cagan, an adult volunteer for National Conference of Synagogue Youth who works to establish Jewish Student Union chapters in area public high schools, said that the release of "The Passion" has changed the mood on campus.

He said that in the weeks leading up to the film's release Jewish students expressed concern about anti-Semitism. Since the controversy has quieted down, the students are more relaxed, but "at the same time they still feel that maybe not now, but in the future, this movie will have a roll to play in something that wouldn't be so good for the Jews," he said.

Jews for Jesus' Los Angeles office is currently distributing two cartoon-illustrated pamphlets that build on the popularity of "The Passion." Both are written in language clearly geared toward youth.

Jews for Jesus says that it does not do outreach to minors.

"It's not like we're standing outside of Beverly Hills High School preying on kids," said Tuvya Zaretsky, who heads up Jews for Jesus' Los Angeles office.

But Noah Mendelsohn, a 16-year-old Shalhevet student, said he was visiting UCLA with his brother when he was approached by a Jews for Jesus representative.

"He saw that my brother was wearing a kippah and I was walking with him," he said. "He was trying to get our attention, but we just walked away."

Mendelsohn's reaction is not unusual. Based on Jews for Judaism's survey, 46 percent of students did nothing in response to being approached. In addition, 34 percent spoke to a parent and 10 percent of students talked with peers, compared with 6 percent who talked with a teacher and 4 percent who approached a rabbi.

Jews for Judaism acknowledges that its survey sample is small, but organizers expect similar results when they hire an independent agency to conduct a more professional survey of Jewish students.

While the scope of the organization's summit does not include an outreach to public schools, Jews for Judaism hopes Hebrew school instructors will be able to pass on what they've learned to their students who attend public schools. Once those students are educated, Kavitz said, they can look out for follow Jewish students who are unaffiliated.

"We need to empower as many students as possible ... so that maybe they can help someone else," he said.

Jews for Judaism's Educators' Summit "They Get Them 'Why Can't We?'" will be held at the Luxe Hotel Bel Air, 11461 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Sunday, March 21, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, call (310) 556-3344 or visit

Christianity - Weapon of Mental Destruction

Jesus Lied About Prayer

Jesus is quoted many times in the Bible saying that a believer can ask for anything through prayer and receive it. He even goes so far as to say that mountains and trees can be thrown into the sea simply by praying for it. This is clearly a lie, and can be proven to be a lie by any believer. Simply pray for me to be converted to Christianity right away. Or better yet ask God to move the mountains behind my house. He could make a lot of converts that way. If I’m converted today, I’ll post a public apology on my web site and devote my life to kissing God’s ass. If I’m not converted it would only be fair for you to apologize and devote your life to kissing my butt.

Here are the quotes from Jesus that proves that he lied:

And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (Matthew 21:21-22 NAS)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 NAB)

Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:19-20 NAS)

Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. (Mark 11:24-25 NAB)

And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-13 NAB)

And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NAB)

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 NAB)

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. (John 15:16 NAB)

On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. (John 16:23-24 NAB)

A lot of Christians ignore what Jesus actually says in the Bible. They also tend to add things to the actual words to make them say something else. If you honestly and truthfully read these quotes, without adding to them, it is very easy to see that Jesus is not saying that God will think about your prayers. He says God will grant all your prayers. Clearly, God doesn’t grant all prayers and this proves that Jesus was a habitual liar.


The Sin of Adam

Fear of the unknown is a recurrent theme throughout the literary compositions of history and the media creations of our own day. Whether it is the bogey-men of children stories, the monsters of science fiction or the evil caricatures of the horror genre’, it is apparent that we humans are simultaneously enamored and terrified of the unknown. Torn between the adventurous spirit of the explorer and the controlling mind-set of superstition and practicality, we find it difficult to balance the dichotomy of our conflicting nature. The questions that haunt us include, “Can a shortcut to the Orient be found or will we sail off the ends of the earth?” or “Is it better to explore the dangers of space, or to be content believing the stars were created solely to light the night,”

The scene in the opening book of the Bible places Adam, translated as man, in a terrible dilemma. He is commanded by his provider to ignore his god given nature. Man, born with an insatiable appetite to know, is told to deny his intellect and bury his desire for knowledge. He is commanded to simply trust and obey, without question, the uncompromising command of his god.

Meanwhile, an object to pique man’s curiosity is placed right in the very center of his home. This tree of the knowledge of good and evil is given the most appealing fruit, begging for the man’s experimental investigation. Finally to complete the picture, the tree is given a voice to advertise itself in the form of a seductive and persuasive serpent.

The man is consigned the unbearable and virtually untenable position of choosing between the promised rewards for eternal blind ignorant obedience or the threatened dangers of experiential experimentation and education.

Mankind’s reasoning ability is only recent on the cosmic stage, with perhaps 10,000 years of written history to record the thinking patterns of our kind. We are newcomers to the life of the universe and pitifully ignorant of so much of reality. Our hunger for knowledge is perhaps our greatest asset toward providing some assurance of survival in an apparently incomprehensibly large, expanding, lifeless, universe. Our willingness to explore, experiment and test our boundaries is what has given us dominance over this planet. Many have stretched themselves and not a few have died reaching past the limits of our understanding, but those individual sacrifices have bought us the health, longevity, and technology we enjoy today. The world is a smaller place in our eyes, and this vision was built on the willingness of others to oppose the status quo by choosing knowledge over ignorance, regardless of the personal cost.

Had the deity in Genesis really desired that man never leave the security of the garden, why did it place the explorer’s heart deep within him? Why place an attainable mystery well within his reach, and make it so desirable? Why place an apologetic master nearby to lure the man and the woman across the line separating trust from experience?

Admittedly, the sin of Adam was not learning something new or acquiring knowledge. The sin of Adam was blatant disobedience to the god. Still, it is interesting to observe that in order to obey the deity, self imposed ignorance was presented as the only avenue of escaping the harsh consequences of disobedience.

The crime of Adam is the same trait that kills the cat – curiosity.

Rather than condemn the much maligned Adam and Eve of fable and myth, we should rather honor and revere them. Because of their courage to leave the comforts of a mindless garden of instinct, we now dwell in the wider and significantly more satisfying world of self-awareness.

What do you think?

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