Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

Judaism Against Technology

There’s an article in The Jewish Press about a major orthodox Jewish rally that will be had in around a month “to combat the evils of the Internet and the damages caused by advanced electronic devices.”   

Now, while I’m sure the protest is primarily against porn - and I’d be interested to hear what else they’d openly admit to being against - the effects of this Luddite rally aren’t limited to porn.

Firstly, let’s consider the porn aspect. They’re holding a rally against pornography. Seriously. I’m not saying there aren’t issues with porn or watching porn, but this is clearly part of an anti-masturbation agenda. As if these people never masturbated, as if it’s actually harmful, as if not masturbating is actually healthy, and as if Judaism didn’t already provide enough guilt about masturbation - they go ahead and make a $1.5 million dollar rally to drive the point home! {I guess they couldn’t find anything more useful to do with the money.} And who is showing up to this rally? Methinks they doth protest too much. Also, something about the fact that older generations almost certainly subscribed to preformationism makes this just a bit crazier and sadder.

Moving on.

What does the internet mean to you? Google recently launched a campaign called “our web” asking people to answer that very question. You can check out the answers on twitter, but as you might suspect, the answers are typically about how the internet helps people connect with others, share information, and provide a  sense of [if not actual] freedom.

The other day I posted a photo of a sign, "God Hates Facts." While I’m thankful that Jews usually don’t go around openly protesting lgbt rights, the pun is still important because Judaism, probably like most religions, doesn’t like exposing its adherents to information which contradicts its tenets. Information about other religions, about evolution, about the archaeological facts about the exodus, about biblical criticism - this is all hidden, or at least strongly discouraged. So when a bunch of rabbis organize a huge rally against the internet, what they’re effectively doing, whether intentional or not, is to hide their adherents from the information, connection, and freedom which the internet offers. [And I’m not convinced that this isn’t their intention.] And it provides the leaders with even more control over their flock. So there is a power element as well. Again, perhaps not intentionally, but effectively.

And so, basically, this rally is about nonsensical laws {Stop masturbating!} and has the effect of suppressing information about how nonsensical it is {the internet is bad!}. Thus it further entrenches minds and potentially generations of minds into an outdated philosophy by further isolating themselves from modern society.

Bravo Rabbis. I’m sure this won’t backfire or harm your flock at all.

[And if you have a headache from facepalming, try a song.]

  1. jewishatheist posted this