What Should We Call Christ as a Kick in the Head?

8 12 2008

Just drove Young Son to Irish dance and musical theatre. Their performing arts studio is in a neighborhood shopping center with a sandwich shop and pizza place, a chinese food restaurant, a small computer shop — and a huge, very busy martial arts place with big glass walls across the front so you can watch from the sidewalk or your car, called Karate for Christ Ministries.

I’ve waited for the kids and wondered about this incongruous pairing of east and west before. School football players in the South seem very well-educated if Christianity is the standard and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is the measure. My favorite quarterback Gator Tim Tebow is always blessing the tv announcers and thanking his lord Jesus Christ for his touchdowns. His whole family goes on mission trips and he even convinced his coach to join him on one last summer. But school football and school religion are compatibly American — at least so I was taught — especially in the Bible Belt.

Karate though? For Christ?

So today as Spunky started a new conversation about what it means for a child to be “well-educated” I noticed it afresh and thought I’d mention some of what it makes me wonder, about what’s being taught and learned and why to our kids out of school, not in.

The phone number is painted on the glass, too: want your child well-educated in mind, body and spirit all at the same time? Who needs School OR Church? Just call 8-WE-KICK.

I called up wikipedia instead:

Hypothetically, any unarmed combat system could accurately be called “karate” since the Japanese phrase literally means “empty hand.” This is not necessarily an acceptable conclusion. To separate fact from fancy requires understanding issues of nationalism, lineage, primacy, and philosophy.

Open hand? Every time I go by, the little boys have long wooden rods in both hands, that they spin like batons and with which they energetically whack away at big dummies with men’s heads and karate clothes. There are as many attack dummies as pupils; does this mean anything, I wonder? (Are they rebelling against their own fathers, perhaps, or fighting their own future selves to avoid becoming their own worst enemy?)

Or is it more literal than that, are they all expecting to need to fight for their place in the world against the men who came before them? Or expecting a pre-ordained invasion force they’re being schooled to face, hmmm. . . whatever, it seems in karate a child could become well-educated in “nationalism, lineage, primacy and philosophy” but not linguistics or logic, because use of the open hand is not the idea at Karate for Christ. And philosophically, forget about the rod comforting or turning the other cheek. Nationalism? — well, I already asked if it fit with American tradition and I don’t see it. We shoot, we lynch, we box and race cars and play football.

Later each boy will spin himself in the air, leaping and kicking his personal menacing man-enemy-dummy in the head and solar plexus. Open foot maybe. Not open hand. And not very Christ-like from what I remember of my own Sunday School education, except I notice after they kick one side of the target head, they do turn (to kick) the other cheek.

Fencing was my own school sport of choice, and granted, swordfighting isn’t exactly Christlike either. But then I never said it was, nor did anyone I studied with, learned from or competed against (as far as I know.)

As Rachel Maddow says, does anyone want to talk me down from this? I’d ask Nance, whose unschooled son is an accomplished martial artist, but I don’t think religion east or west had anything to do with that. 😉

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53 responses

8 12 2008
Crimson Wife

I would imagine it’s supposed to be like “Christian Yoga” where the whole Eastern spirituality aspect to the practice has been replaced with Christianity (concluding with “Christ be with you” rather thannamaste).

My brother studied karate growing up, and his dojo had very much a self-defense orientation. Self defense is okay from a Christian perspective as in Luke 22:36-38. The Greek word translated as “sword” in that passage referred to a short dagger used by Jewish travelers at the time as protection against robbers and wild animals.

The “turn the other cheek” teaching in Matthew 5:38-42 has to do with not retaliating to an insult. It isn’t advocating complete pacifism.

8 12 2008
COD

So it’s ok to take the eastern out of Yoga or Karate, but don’t you dare take the Christ out of Christmas? Seems like a double standard to me.

Of course, Christmas is just the Christian attempt (wholly successful) to take over the winter solstice festivals of the pagans for their own purposes.

8 12 2008
writestuff444

Our son Andrew did Tae Kwon Do competition for about 8 years from age 7 to about 15 when he decided he valued his fingers and hands for art (as a future art school student) and so he stopped competition. The sport worked fine with our Christian belief system. At least I never felt a conflict. Andrew was to never, I repeat never use his skills outside of class or competition. He was a fierce competitor, traveled region wise to many meets, etc. We really enjoyed the sport, Yes..he wore a helmet and yes, he bled..several times with kicks, etc. Tae Kwon Do is very much feet work. He was a black belt, red tip. And is one of the most peaceful young men I know. His teacher was not a Christian, but taught his students the traditional Eastern meditation and mind over matter philosophy. and using your will to hold your temper, etc. Andy violated the rules once, and kicked in his sister’s door in a fierce argument over whose turn it was to use the Ninetendo, when he was about 11. He had to sit out of class for one month before we let him return on probation. He never violated the rules again, even when he got attacked in college by a drunk, stealing his wallet on a dark walk home. He just gave him the wallet and walked away from the fight. I think he learned how to “not fight”, knowing he could if he felt the real need to do so. He also took on a bully once who was harrassing his little sister, Did a few “kicks: and moves” to say, hey, leave my sister alone. It worked. I don’t see a problem in learning how to protect oneself as a Christian,although I disagree with CW on the Matthew interpretation. It seems to read clearly, if you’re hit on one cheek, offer the other.. Where’s the analogy come from?

8 12 2008
NanceConfer

My son’s teacher is actually a Christian but manages to keep that a relatively private matter. He is a man of many admirable qualities.

The local Christian Tae Kwon Do school is called “Kicking for Christ.” 🙂

Nance

8 12 2008
Miss Roxie

Okay. Your post has me laughing a bit.

First, Just to let you know, we yelled and screamed our heads off watching the SEC championship yesterday. I was freaked when the Gators were behind! My oldest son is a Gator graduate. (He was homeschooled for 5 years of his crazy school life). So, that’s number one – Go Gators!

Second, my second son is a black belt, from a Karate for Christ ministry. His Sensei, Master Jack Morris, is a born again Jew. My son is not scared in any way, and had a great time! We all did.

When I enrolled #2 son in karate, as my oldest son, the Gator, has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I had just thought is was a good idea to me. Many people in my church did not embrace such a thing.

The reason I chose Karate instead of Tae Kwon Do? The Karate place was right down the street and the Sensei came with a good reputation, so no lose as far as I was concerned.

Karate seemed good activity, as I had learned it was a martial art that the Monks had developed to keep themselves protected from the thugs who came to steal their stuff. I could be wrong. Someone else can Google it to correct me if they feel the need.

I had never intended for my sons to be the attackers, but to be able to defend themselves to the fullest should they ever need to do so. My sons are both calm. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Karate helped in that. But who’s to know for sure?

But anyway, IMO, Karate would help develop confidence in oneself, and with confidence, one does not have to fight and if they are skilled, they know the fight is already won…and whatever, how it goes,but, it sounded good to me,

but the facts are more that I put my boys in for exercise and confidence building than the philosophy of it. My boys are very active and bouncing in a dojo was better than bouncing in my house, I thought at the time.

Oh, dear, what was the point of my posting? — I can’t really remember other than you made me smile, and maybe don’t judge a Christan by his black belt?
Or don’t judge all Christians by some Christians? or don’t judge Christians who take Karate?

Oh well, Go Gators!!

8 12 2008
Miss Roxie

Oh, and one more thing, I am married to an Irish man from County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and we all love the Irish dancing! Small world for Gators?

8 12 2008
Crimson Wife

The context for the Matthew reading I’ve always heard is that hitting on the right cheek with the back of the left hand was an insult to Jews during the time Jesus lived (as the left hand was considered “unclean”). It was not an act of violence but rather a gesture of contempt, a way to humiliate someone. Christians are called to accept this kind of persecution without retaliation.

8 12 2008
Miss Roxie

Okay, one more thing JJ … there was an Irish Dance studio right down the end of the strip from #2 son’s dojo —
Good Grief! Could the world be THAT small???

9 12 2008
JJ

Welcome Miss Roxie, go Gators and gee, you’re right, to quote The Princess Bride: Inconceivable!

There’s also a Curves gym for women next to this place. I never noticed it before because unlike the Karate for Christ storefront, it’s all curtained and you can’t see in. Also no families clustered on the sidewalk watching. 🙂

But on the way home tonight from Irish with Favorite Daughter, I mentioned this conversation and she mentioned Curves. And then she said something about it being Christian too, more than Christian but politically active in the anti-abortion movement. And I began to wonder what its clientele was like and whether all the women there knew what they were signed up for — I started to appreciate that the Karate for Christ folks painted it right on the window and shouted it to the world in their telephone number.

Then I remembered getting take-out from the chinese restaurant last week. Young Son and I saw the calendar with the 12-year zodiac animals and all chinese characters behind the counter with a crucifix on a necklace — probably a rosary I’m realizing now — hanging in front of it, handy at all times. At the time I only noticed that because the two young women (and a good-natured baby who belongs to one or the other) are VERY short, and I am very tall. I thought that the calendar/cross were hanging too low for me but just about at their eye level. . .

I don’t know what any of this means but I think I want to research this shopping center some more tomorrow. Now I’m beginning to wonder if it has business ties to the large community church nearby? The tennis trainer I used to work with was active in another large church across town, holding an impressive commercial real estate portfolio leased out to a Chuckie Cheese, an Olan Mills photographer, a dollar-movie theatre, etc etc . . .when congregations go into real business, what happens to their tax status, anybody know?

9 12 2008
JJ

Oh, and what exactly is a born-again Jew? I’m guessing it’s meant to describe a convert from Judaism to evangelical Christianity? But then he wouldn’t still BE a Jew, right, or is it a phrase that captures both personal commitment to a world view and family-cultural heritage in one apparent oxymoron?

If so, I should call myself an intellectual Methodist — or something like that. 🙂

9 12 2008
sam

I’m a born again agnostic in that my finally discovering agnosticism was like a rebirth.

9 12 2008
JJ

Except to get a parallel construction to “born-again Jew” we need an internal contradiction in the term, Sam. Like pragmatist pentecostal or enlightened evangelical? 😉

9 12 2008
Miss Roxie

JJ, I am still curious about that strip mall where the Karate dojo is – at ours, their was a video store called Flix next to the Chinese place. (Sheri bought it from Chuck). And yes, the Curves was there also, and a pet store on the other side of the Karate place, and when we left, a huge, empty space where Food Lion had been.

Re: The Born Again Jew — That’s what Master Morris said he was. It was explained to me that that it is a Jewish person ‘who has come full circle’.

Re: Congregation into business – Master Morris attended Wildwood Presbyterian back in those days, but the church was not connected to his Ministry. I do believe, but I could be wrong and that is what Google is for – to prove someone wrong right in their face – that if you are a Ministry, you may get a certain tax deduction.

The Karate for Christ dojo we attended, did go and minister to places with demonstrations. The kids were invited to go, knew where they were going, so no one was ‘tricked’ into doing something they were not aware of.

So perhaps, it’s a little bit of both. Your personal income and your life’s Christian witness? And the government sorts it out the best way for them? Probably standard form:
Item One – How much did you make?
Item Two – Send it In.

(Go Gators)

9 12 2008
JJ

Food Lion, seriously? That’s right too — in Tallahassee?

9 12 2008
Jenn

In re. to the born again Jew, also sometimes referred to as Messianic Jews. Being Jewish is not connected to what you believe. It’s like being Greek :-), you are born that way and you die that way. Does not matter in which country you are, if you are Greek you are Greek. You can be a British Greek, a Canadian Greek or any other type but you are Greek, same with Jews.

9 12 2008
Miss Roxie

Yes, JJ, Tallahassee…

Sing with me now, “it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small world….”

And in THAT town to Yell “Go Gators!” – I know all about it! LOL. You know Bobby Bowden doesn’t live that far from the strip mall?

9 12 2008
JJ

Yes – in a big yellow-brick house the boosters helped pay for no doubt, in my neighborhood!

Inconceivable.
Glad to meet you, Miss Roxie!
So y’all homeschooled here for some years, then? Did you know Phyllis Porter in the school district office, the home ed compliance coordinator? (She just retired in September.)

I moved here as a single professional from Gainesville in the late 80s, where (apart from going to all the football games!) I was for many years the PIO and superintendent’s media assistant, district’s policy expert and legislative liaison for the school board. Which meant I’d spent a lotta time here at the Capitol, living in the old Hilton Hotel (now the Doubletree) and drinking at Clyde’s. . .

I was getting married to a capital bureau-based investigative reporter and needed a fulltime education job here, so of course I landed in the DOE. Helped design and build the new blue monstrosity for Betty Castor. 🙂

Then the accountability movement shuddered to legislative life, I had a baby and started learning about education from the opposite perspective, HOME!
🙂

9 12 2008
Miss Roxie

I’ve spoken to Phyllis Porter by phone. She was very nice to me. In each conversation she would remind me, ‘this is ‘your’ homeschool’.

What a very interesting life! I’m sure your children are benefiting from all your experience.

I was a hairdresser, then a mom, then came the school situations to sort through. And because of only being a high school graduate and a hair dresser, my family was like ~ballistic~ when I decided to homeschool. Let alone be a Christian that homeschooled. They thought my only dream was to create clones. And, I can tell you now, I have no clones, just great kids.

That was in 1985.

So, of my three, there has been private school, public school and homeschool, with my oldest as the one who should write the book on it all…LOL.

My daughter is 18 and in her last year of homeschooling, she’s never been in a school and has no desire to be in one (oh gosh, do I sound like Dr. Seuss now?)…anyway, I was looking around for uncshooling information as I don’t know what to do now! I’m guessing she will have to get a GED, as she has no interest in dual enrolling in a college.

Also, the situation is that I have to work part-time and she works part-time, so she is mostly on her own with her studies.

So, I saw your posts on Spunky’s blog, caught the unschool comments, and lo and behold, we have walked the same streets in the world~ both physically and emotionally!

Good to met you, too, JJ!!

9 12 2008
JJ

Oh, let me help with added info about what to do now for your 18-year-old! Favorite Daughter is 18 too and she wasn’t interested in college particularly but she WAS interested in musical theatre and poetry and writing, and film. Music, dance. Hates math and never had much interest in science. Oh — and comparative religion, which she’s decided to minor in, as a firmly self-avowed atheist!

There are a bunch of classes like that at the community college and if you enroll her as a high school-level homeschooler before you officially “graduate” her then she can take whatever she wants, tuition free! (You just buy the books.) There’s bowling and volleyball, softball, oh and art and foreign language culture classes where you get to go to Italy or France as part of the course (there are travel expenses of course.) Or it could be child care and education classes if she loves kids and maybe wants to be a mom and/or day care provider someday, and there are vocational classes for good careers and opening your own business here too, from hair and fashion design to respiratory therapy, law enforcement, architecture. . .

9 12 2008
JJ

The best practical thing about her taking a few college classes right now before she graduates from high school, is that then she has a college transcript for the rest of her life, and instead of a GED or her “home education” completion paperwork, she uses that. That trumps a GED for any job interview or program admission, seriously.

Except maybe the military — that’s a special case where the GED might be needed, but if that’s not her focus, no need to consider it imo. (And if it is, I still have just the homeschool resource for you– Valerie Moon!)

9 12 2008
JJ

Also — if you need more to persuade her — passing the GED is reported to be quite a bear! Some fun community college courses sound much better . . .

9 12 2008
Crimson Wife

I know a few folks who call themselves “Hebraic Christians”. They are Jewish by ethnicity and still keep many of the traditions like eating Kosher, celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday and the traditional Jewish holy days. But at the same time they accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah (though they call him by the Hebrew name Yeshua). I’ve also heard the term “Messianic Jew”, which I assume refers to the same beliefs.

Curves is Christian the way Chik-fil-a is. The franchisees have to sign an agreement to keep it closed on Sundays. Other than that, it’s basically the same as other express fitness chains like Butterfly Life or Ladies’ Workout Express.

9 12 2008
JJ

Miss Roxie, you and your daughter might enjoy my always-unschooled FavD’s blogposts on her dual-enrolled college experience (and other unschooled teen girl things?)

Well That Explains a Lot! might be a good place to start.

Or Head-Cleaning Day Again or I Actually Wrote This for a Class or maybe this about one college professor she disliked and why, or this about her parttime job (and other children’s parents) that she disliked, and why.

I think unschoolers are so interesting! 🙂

9 12 2008
JJ

CW, Favorite Daughter said it was more like the way the Mormon Church poured money into CA’s Prop 8 — that the anti-abortion use of the corporate money was very strong?

9 12 2008
JJ

To Jenn – unless you’re Jewish yourself, I’d have to quarrel with that (also not being Jewish.) I don’t see Jewishness as the simple equivalent of political nationality. Culture maybe, with a predominant faith as part of that culture, like Christianity is for American kids such as I was. . .

9 12 2008
Crimson Wife

Individual Mormons, J.J. NOT the LDS Church itself. Big difference!

I actually find it very interesting that homosexual activists are targeting Mormons for their rage and not so much Catholics when the 2 churches had very similar efforts on behalf of Prop 8. The difference, I suspect, is that Mormons account for only 2% of the CA population vs. 30% for Catholics. It’s much easier to pick on a religion with a relatively small number of believers without running the risk of causing a backlash…

9 12 2008
JJ

If what’s already happened to gays (primarily from people claiming god would want them to be the persecuters) as a targeted minority isn’t worse than any backlash, I don’t know what more they need to worry about . . .

10 12 2008
Jenn

I’m not Jewish myself. Don’t know if I would say that being Jewish is a political nationality. VERY STRONG cultural however as are the Greeks and some others. I think it’s much deeper than being seen as Christian b/c you are American. A high school friend of mine married a Jewish man and she had to go Jewish school first. My youngest dd danced with a little girl from a Jewish home, they did not seem religious AT ALL but definitely saw themselves as Jewish. I won’t debate Judiasm in the US(cause I don’t know much about it) but have always thought of the US as quite pro-Jewish, except off course for some extreme organisations. That article seems to hint differently? For a lot of Christians knowing Judiasm and it’s traditions is very important as they see pure Christianity comes from Judiasm. The thing however which I love about Jews is their feeling of entitlement to argue with God.

10 12 2008
Nance Confer

http://www.sltrib.com/themix/ci_11147232

CW, in cooperation with the Catholic church, and not for the first time, these zealots have trampled on people who want nothing but the same rights we enjoy as straight, married people.

It is disingenuous to suggest this was simply individual members of a church sending in their pittance. It was an organized effort run from the top down.

Nance

10 12 2008
Nance Confer

I never knew this about Curves or Chik-whatever. Now I know I will never visit these stores. Thanks.

Nance

10 12 2008
JJ

The series finale of “Boston Legal” Monday night was brilliant at making Nance’s point.

Gavel Drops on ‘Boston Legal”
By Mary McNamara
Los Angeles Times

After last week’s revelation that Denny Crane’s Alzheimer’s was getting worse . . .[he and] best friend Alan Shore . . . got married.

It was a fitting end to the most devoted, and deranged, couple on television
. . .both pathologically heterosexual. . .

. . .So what if Alan took Denny to be his lawful wedded mostly to avoid tax laws and to ensure power of attorney? He loves the guy. . .

Kelley has never been afraid to use his shows to share his thoughts, politics and peeves —

. . .The final shot was of Denny and Alan dancing.
Absurd, and yet, to paraphrase Emma Goldstein, “If you can’t dance, what’s the point of revolution?”

10 12 2008
JJ

Btw, in a subplot worthy not only of the Mormons and Catholics but also the “Who Stands for Homeschooling?” lobby, guess who interfered trying to stop this same-sex marriage? The gays themselves — because this same-sex marriage wasn’t quite “the same” as what gays had meant by securing the right to same-sex marriage.

A gay lawyer argued for an injunction to prevent them from freely exercising the legal right to marry in Boston. His rationale was that they were redefining same-sex marriage for themselves in a way that would threaten his own version by changing the public’s image of it.

We Stand for Marriage indeed. . .

10 12 2008
JJ

Which — as I returned yesterday to the Irish dance and karate studio topic of this post — was also the point of NPR’s Fresh Air interview with the author of “Crazy for God.” Every individual is a minority within a majority one way or another and human systems of belief are impossible to homogenize.

That’s why seeking political power so you can impose your own beliefs and morals and definitions and rules on other people’s lives isn’t really freedom-fighting and it’s not worthy of American ideals and values.

Fresh Air from WHYY, December 9, 2008 · Frank Schaeffer’s parents, Francis and Edith, were best-selling authors who were instrumental in linking the evangelical community with the anti-abortion movement.

But after coming of age as an evangelist and helping to organize religious fundamentalists politically, Schaeffer . . . disassociated himself from his former politics, writing, “The pro-life cause poisoned many of us who were part of it. Me included. It led to self-righteous hubris that extended to a general attitude of hate toward the ‘other.’

10 12 2008
COD

Chick Filet puts bible stories in the kids meals as prizes. I don’t care though. You can’t beat a Chick Filet sandwich and waffle fries for a fast food lunch.

10 12 2008
NanceConfer

But not if I want to eat on Sunday? 🙂

But now all the years of hearing about how friendly Chick Filet is to hsers makes sense.

Nance

10 12 2008
JJ

A few years ago, a new upscale CA-organic-type family restaurant made a splashy public opening here in a formerly popular Mexican place. The sign was changed to the cryptic name “Pescado’s” — what kind of cuisine is that, we wondered — and a big rock waterfall was built out front, and we saw many marquee exhortations to come to the grand opening. It was seemingly secular although we heard it was owned and operated by a big church group. The kids and I saved up and tried it one day, surprised when all the staff sported colorful coordinated “He is Risen” t-shirts as the uniform but otherwise, no decorative or conversational clues to the connection. Well, you couldn’t get a margarita — so I never went back! — but they did have flavored ice teas.

I can’t recall if it was open or closed on Sundays but it didn’t last long in business, just a few months . . .

If they had called it Cuisine for Christ, I wonder if they’d have done better, or worse? 😉

10 12 2008
Jenn

So who does this blog “belong” to, do you JJ and Nance take turns writing and does anyone else write the blog entries?

10 12 2008
JJ

It’s just the two of us, Jenn —

10 12 2008
writestuff444

Having a Jewish dtr-in-law has been informational for our family, perhaps I should say enlightening. 🙂 Karina was born in Argentina, the dtr. of a Jewish rabbi, and descended from a family who had immigrated there from Spain during the 1800’s, fleeing persecution in Spain. Apparently there is strong Jewish community in Argentina, just like America. I know that Karina and her family are both Jewish and Hebrew and with the Zionist movement, consider themselves a nationality and a religion and a culture. When Karina was 12, her family immigrated to Israel, where she went to college. She came here to teach Hebrew five years ago and met and married our middle son. She is very much dedicated to the idea of Israel being a Jewish state. Yet, she married an American Christian man and understands that her children will be American, but I know from our numerous conversations on the subject, that her children will also be Jewish nationals. She says, they will have dual citizenship, because she is an Israeli, her children are also? She’s also an American citizen, now, or at least well along in the nationalization process. She loves her new country, but had to give up her Argentinian citizenship, which did not cause her a great deal of anguish. She says, her family lived in Argentina but always considered themselves Jewish, as in a separate nation.

11 12 2008
Jenn

Thanks JJ.

Writestuff444 I would love to ask you some more questions but hope I don’t seem to be hijacking your blog JJ and Nance.

Would she consider herself to be a Christian? Does she follow the Jewish traditions and celebrations? I once spoke to someone and he mentioned that native Indians, like Jews get their “status” from their mothers. It does not matter who your father is as much as your mother? Apparently a tepee does not belong to the man but the woman(of course native Americans not Jews) and your right to become chief depends on your mothers family? Is it true that the same applies in Judaism? I would think that for Israeli nationality it would not matter but for instance in Jewish society?

JJ and Nace if you find this not ok for your blog would you mind to send my e-mail address to her. I thought my message first needed to be “checked out” before it appears. Will also understand if this part is cut.

Thanks

11 12 2008
writestuff444

Jenn,
I’m in the process of setting up a simple blog, simple mainly because I’m so incompetent with figuring how to do some simple things, like Link and upload photos, etc. LOL But I think you can find it under writestuff444 at WordPress. I started it in April, then became so busy with several big writing projects and a new job that I had no time. Going to seriously work there this month to get it up and running. Feel free to contact me there. And JJ and Nance are great, really great!! They both make me think so much better. :), for an old mom, trying to learn these new tricks

11 12 2008
JJ

And Betty’s a dear friend of ours from way before Snook, so she’s welcome to hold court here to her heart’s content! Y’all go right ahead here in this comment thread too, if you want.

Betty, if you need any help with wordpress stuff, Nance or I might know. I’m especially good at hot-linking within the text instead of typing out URLs that show. I do it so much that I’ve memorized the code so I just type it in rather than using any buttons. To me it’s part of the storytelling process, choosing which words to light up with each link. It makes the post something different than just print.

Shoot – I tried and tried to get the simple typing to show up in this box but it keeps making itself into a hotlink! I’ll send the instructions by email —

Oh, one thing: when you’re working in the wordpress post box, be sure you’re in the HTML setting, not visual setting, by checking the buttons in the upper right corner of the posting box. You can go back and forth but when you type in code like anchor links, you do need to work in HTML.

11 12 2008
writestuff444

Oh my JJ….you lost me at hot linking?? I was thrilled this morning to figure out how to add you guys to my sidebar blog roll!! 🙂 my url is writestuff444.wordpress.com if you want to check out my first feeble attempts,
I do want to learn it though, the how to link and how to add photos, images. I’m thinking of this as more for my own diary thoughts, not so much concerned about building a blog that lots of people read. It’s just about my stuff…check it out and let me know. I’m still looking for a good header image, but settled for the stock one, as reminescent of our little farm and house in some kind of Indiana mythological way! Yes, I would appreciate any help, YOu can email me to not take up your comment space here, boring everyone with my ineptitude!

11 12 2008
writestuff444

Jenn,
Any questions you want throw my way, as long as I don’t feel they are violating Karina’s privacy. I dearly love my dtr-in-law, mother of my beautiful granddaughters and a truly awesome woman. She blesses our lives with her presence every day and has enriched our thinking and understanding of what the future of America will be, this intertwined global multi-cultural world

No, she’s not Christian. The girls are being raised with both sets of religious and cultural traditions, but don’t attend a protestant church, but a jewish synagogue and preschool where Karina teaches. Her religion is more important to her than Nathaniels is to him. She has many problems with our Christian religion. Judaism is a daily part of her life, in many many ways, ways that have accumulated through generations of her family, combined with the countries they have lived in, roots in Italy, Spain, Argentina, Israel and Greece

11 12 2008
Kristina

I’m in the process of converting to Judaism. A few answers: If your mother (by birth) is Jewish, you are a Jew, whether you later convert to Christianity, or not. If your mother is not a Jew (even if your father is), you have to convert. Your parents can have you converted as an infant, but you have to convert. All Jews have the right for dual citizenship with Isreal.

There are several definitions of a Jew: From “What is a Jew?” by Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer:
A Jew is one who accepts the faith of Judaism. That is the religious definition.
A Jew is one who, without formal religions affiliation, regards the teachings of Judaism- its ethics, its folkways, its literature-as his own. That is the cultural definition.
A Jew is one who considers himself a Jew or is so regarded by his community. That is the “practical” definition.
Professor Mordecai M. Kaplan, of the Jewish Theological Seminary, calls Judaism “a civilization” and describes the Jews as a cultural group, primarily religious, but not exclusively so, linked together by a common history, a common language of prayer, a vast literature, folkways, and above all, a sense of common destiny. Dr. Kaplan refers to this group as a people, not in the national or racial sense-but in a feeling of oneness. Judaism is a way of life.

If you have questions about being a Jew, this is a great book. If you have questions about Judaism, “Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism” by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin is a great read. Also, http://www.jewfaq.org has some interesting info.

15 12 2008
JJ

Sigh — I just passed by Karate for Christ Ministries after dropping a child off in the dusk for Irish dancing, and glanced through the plate glass windows to see the kids lined up in front of their adult male attack dummies, each of whom was wearing a festive red Santa hat with white trim.

Wonder if they ever put a crown of thorns on them, and have the kids kick away as if they’re defending themselves against Jesus instead of Santa?

15 12 2008
NanceConfer

That’s just weird!

Nance

15 12 2008
JJ

I know, right? 😀
Jolting to see unexpectedly, believe me. . .

15 12 2008
Kristina

So, maybe they’re joining E.L.F.? You know, the team of elves that liberated Santa in “The Santa Clause”?

I agree with Nance. Wierd.

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