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My Take: Dutch ban is bigotry
June 30th, 2011
04:00 AM ET

My Take: Dutch ban is bigotry

Editor's note: Since 2004, Shmuel Herzfeld has been the Rabbi of Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue, the oldest and largest Orthodox synagogue in Washington, D.C. His first book will be published within a year, titled: The Relevance of the Torah for our Modern Lives.

By Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, Special to CNN

The lower house of the Dutch parliament recently passed legislation that would ban ritual slaughter in accordance with both Jewish law, known as shechita, and Muslim law, known as halal.  The legislation would require the stunning of animals before their slaughter, an act that is forbidden by Jewish law.

For Jews, this is a very emotional issue that cuts at the core of who we are.

In our history, we have seen unfriendly governments attack our sacred rituals as a way of sending a message to their citizens that our religion is alien and barbaric.

We know that it often masquerades as a concern for a more humane treatment of animals, but in reality, it is just a smokescreen for old-fashioned bigotry.

Indeed, in 1933, one of the first edicts of Nazi Germany was to ban shechita as inhumane. We know that banning a fundamental ritual of our religion sends the message that our entire religion is unwelcome in that country.

By saying that the food that one is required to eat may not be prepared in the country, the Dutch parliament is in effect saying to the Jewish people that we Jews are not welcome in their country.

As Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt of the Conference of European Rabbis said, the ban is an “outrage” and will “prevent Jews from living a Jewish life in The Netherlands.”  He continued, “We have passed the stage of arguing the nuances of intention of anti-Semitism. The practical effects of this bill mean that Jews are no longer welcome in The Netherlands. This has not happened for 70 years.”

For me as a rabbi and certified kosher slaughterer, it is especially painful to witness this, as I know that Jewish law requires shechita on animals because we believe that it is the most humane manner of killing the animal.

The laws of shechita are designed precisely to minimize the pain and suffering of the animal. The canard that we would all be more humane if we stunned the animals before slaughtering flies in the face of the Jewish teaching that the animals cannot be stunned, because we need to make certain that the animals are healthy enough to walk before we kill them.  In fact, the act of stunning the animal can be a much more painful process than the ritual slaughter of the animal.

Jewish law requires the animals to be treated in a humane manner while they are alive and prohibits any act that would cause unnecessary pain to an animal.

Further, every ritual slaughter requires a preinspection of the blade to make certain that there are no nicks, which might somehow cause extra pain to the animal.  By Jewish law, the animal must be killed in a swift, precise movement that is specifically designed to limit pain.

If the slaughterer pauses, presses too hard on the animal or uses the knife in a tearing fashion, then the animal is deemed to be nonkosher and cannot be eaten by a Jew.  And as soon as a fowl is slaughtered, its blood must be covered with earth in order to respect the blood of the animal.

The reason for all of these laws - and there are many more - is to limit the pain of the animal, to treat the animal with dignity and to make certain that eating the meat becomes a spiritual process that respects God’s creatures.

Perhaps in response to this hypercritical and bigoted act by the Dutch legislature, some good may arise.  Perhaps Jews and Muslims can draw closer together and recognize that when the ugly face of persecution rears its head, it often does not distinguish between the Quran and the Torah.

If Jews and Muslims can successfully work together in opposing this legislation, then maybe it will be the start of a new alliance that recognizes that we are brothers and sisters who have so much in common.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Europe • Food • Netherlands

soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    ,

    July 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  2. Andy Panda

    Well, as long as they slit someone's throat in a humane manner, I guess it's OK...

    July 2, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  3. bhigh

    How about forgetting about your religion and just let this Dutch ban be about humane treatment of animals? SKosher slaughter is very cruel.

    July 2, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  4. Muneef

    Agree with the author that this a way to say you are not welcome in this country or any countries that which will follow up one by one to seek this at-t-it-ude to sub-ju-gate or to dep-ort those Jews and Muslims by depr-i-ving them their rit-u-al beliefs....

    Just want to remind those who do that to believers,that what they are doing is just like fighting God and Prophet.... 
    One day those who have beliefs and will be fought against or depr-i-ved from then shouldn't be crying for any rights of theirs when they are gone....!?

    Another thing they say "When Mice are seen departing a ship then got to know that this named ship would drown".. guess maybe the day that the Believers leave any country it would be a sign for it's drowning...
    Dutch are aware that their land is not far from being drowned being very low reclaimed lands....!!! 

    Strange to find Christians not being mentioned although understand their Old or New Testament would mention such rit-u-als ? Or are they normally do the opposite to what their Bible says since it forbid pork but still you find them eating it? Any way Christians you ought t stand beside your brothers other wise one day you will be tested and no one will stand by you.

    July 2, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Muneef

      Animal cruelty is to slaughter the animal with a blunt knife or unswift skilled hands...

      Strange to see soft people here or are they hypocrites pretending? What happened to hunters who shoot an animal and then slaughter it ? Isn't that agony ? What happened to the fox hunters chasing it with dogs before shooting it or be killed by the dogs...isn't that agony...
      What about the dutch being first who went encouraging the animal skin trade? What happened to those who shot and slaughtered herds of buffalos just for the skin of it and to deprive the natives from there food source? Any thing about killing elephants just for the ivory and so on... Guess all are curl as much although hide that or try to deny it...! So much cruelty in the world to humans and to animals in the world that you leave behind but only chase how Muslim or Jews handle the slaughter of their livestock in the ways God commanded us to follow...Who are the vimpire here are they the ones who consumes bloodless meat or the ones who consume it bloodfull...

      July 2, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Hi Muneef,

      ritual slaughter is animal torture. Regretably even my Jewish brothers practise it. May they realize their Messiah Jesus, God's eternal Son. Jesus is God!!!

      July 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      Am not sure how Jews do their ritual slaughter but for Islamic slaughter there is not torture at all because if any time animal gets tortured by bad butcher,you will find the meat becoming very stiff muscle tight stiff hard to be eaten as if it was an old sheep,goat or calf.....but when it is swift with a very sharp knife and skilled hands you will find meat so tender soft as a baby sheep or goat or calf....

      July 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  5. Chuck

    I bet they don't require human babies to be stunned before an abortion procedure. Is that because they are not living creatures who feel pain or because they are not as important as sheep?

    July 2, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  6. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEwrJsyh8tE&w=640&h=360]

    July 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  7. Tristian

    Halal slaughter has nothing to do with the pain the animal may or may not feel. It has everything to do with imposing yet another condition of Sharia upon non-Muslim societies. Like everything else the Muslims' do, it's simply veiled politics.

    http://islammonitor.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4388:the-halal-rort-on-australians-halal-meat-part-3&catid=327:fighting-sharia&Itemid=18

    July 1, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Alfred

      And how would letting a Halal butcher practice his trade impact you? I would assume that you do not purchase the meat that you consume at at Halal butcher.

      July 1, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Haime52

      Amen Alfred.
      Tristian, unless you're a sheep or goat, Halal imposes nothing on ewe.(pun intended)

      July 1, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Tristian

      If only it didn't. But it does.

      (close the space in insti tutions)

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1313458/Halal-Britain-Famous-insti tutions-routinely-serve-public-ritually-slaughtered-meat.html

      July 2, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  8. William

    A question no one addresses is why Holland (and Switzerland which outlawed ritual slaughter in 1893, Norway in 1930 and Sweden in 1937) never outlawed Hunting for food or sport. If the purported reason to outlaw ritual slaughter and require stunning, is to minimize pain and suffering to an animal, then hunting imposes much more suffering on animals, both during the time they are 'hunted' and if they are only initially injured rather than killed. And, how can one justify hunting for 'sport' only?. None of these countries have even considered banning hunting completely, as it was initially the sport of the 'aristocracy' and now the 'common man'. Why don't these countries require 'stunning' the hunted animal before killing it? If this does not make the case that the current and past attempts at outlawing ritual slaughter are nothing but pure unadulterated anti-semitism, than there is no reason to have the conversation.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Lindsay Lohan Asks Amy Winehouse to be Her AA Sponsor

      So you think that people somehow have to answer for the relative merit of something distantly related from almost a century ago? That's a real stretch, William.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • William

      Lindsay, Holland is trying to outlaw ritual slaughter now, and doing nothing to outlaw or ban hunting, so it is not a 'century' ago, it is today. How is hunting today not considered inhumane treatment of animals?

      June 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Lindsay Lohan Asks Amy Winehouse to be Her AA Sponsor

      The vast majority of Dutch people do think hunting is inhumane.

      June 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Haime52

      Lindsay, do you think that the farmers who butcher their own are going to use stun guns? They don't even have it inspected, for crying outloud.
      I don't hunt, not having the stomach to gut an animal, but if I did, I might. I also understand that the process is going to be painful for the animal and would do my utmost to make as clean a kill as possible. And I would not hunt for sport, because I find no sport in killing. I would only do it for food and of necessity. I will not hunt what I will not eat and will not eat what I would like as a pet.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • dutch2011

      Hunting for sport is outlawed, they only give special permits to shoot overpopulated animals.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  9. Michael

    agreed, to limit people's expression of faith, traditions that have been practiced for thousands of years for what? Industrial scale slaughterhouses are not humane and thus not Kosher. Kosher is about everything from how the animal was raised to how it was slaughtered. I like to know that my steak was from an animal that was cared for properly during its life. I am at the point where I will soon be eliminating meat from my diet, a personal decision. We did it in the Garden of Eden, so why not again. And of course this story brought out the anti-Semites. Do not hate the Jews for wanting equal treatment under the law. This also impacts Muslims and Hallal. Again, enough with the hateful words. Let the Kosher rites continue.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • John B

      Hey Michael I have one for you , if you were to be put to death would you rather be stunned first or just let the executioner slit your throat and have you sit there in horror while you bleed out.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  10. Jon

    I love how Orthodox Jews are claiming that they're a victim of bigotry when they're perhaps the most bigoted religious group after Muslims. Religion is a lifestyle choice and Orthodox Judaism is one of the most perverse in the book. Religious "freedom" has long been exploited, and I applaud the Netherlands for doing what could never be done here.

    June 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Buddy R

      No, the most bigoted religious group is atheism, particularly the anti-theism denomination.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • dutch2011

      atheism is not a religion.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • Randy Thespian

      You are amongst Christians, Dutch. Their "logic" works in mysterious and unsupportable ways.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:26 am |
  11. DonnoWat2Think

    Dudes, all of you just shut up and check out this video some guy posted in a related CCN article, can't explain it.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quhVxLUwiBw&w=640&h=360]

    June 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      I propose you do exactly the same thing, in exactly the same tone of voice, cover their eyes, talk softly and soothingly, and instead say "I am about to slit your throat little one, and there is no god". Post that little experiment for us.

      I showed this to my sister's "bilingual" lamb who she tells me speaks French and Ja'panese, and he said, (I swear), "mon dieu, même moi, un mouton, peut raisonner mieux que ça".

      June 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Actually, on the off chance that the animals ARE responding to the word "god", say : " I am about etc, ...... and there is no supreme being". The results will undoubtedly be exactly the same as they obtain.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  12. Artist

    "So maybe if we are able to set aside some tribal land in Germany for Jews to build casinos they can STFU and stop being so whiny."
    .
    Didn't the world already do this...it is called Israel? And since then it has been great for the world. *rolling eyes* Quit funding them and let them stand on their own. They fail, they fail.

    June 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Lycidas

      We tend to stand by our allies. But hey, if we cut off israel...we should do the same to the Palestinians. They fail...they fail.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  13. Ron

    Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew,

    Why is it that there is always some whining Jew Complaining about this or that? Any little slight and all of a sudden, everyone is a bigot, or a jew hater or my favorite Anti-Semite (they even have their own word).

    I honestly do not have any respect for Religious Jews. If you ever read the "Jewish Book of Why", (basicaly explains reasons why their religion is so wrong. Just take a look at how they treat women. If women are on their period they can not even live in the same house as their husband. This is actually a Jewish Law.

    Muslims and Jews think everyone is OUT TO GET THEM...when if fact we dont Give a S#$T, we are just sick of their whining.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Oh my gosh what a jerk. Hey, when the govt decides to do a law that targets a specific belief about you and your kind....we'll see if you feel the same way.

      The way the article reads, this isn't a law about improving the business about how animals are killed. They had to go and make specific claims on Jews and Muslims. Forgot the Muslims didn't you?

      If the Dutch wanted to improve the way livestock is killed, they could have done it without making special notice to specific religious groups.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Ron

      The way the article reads is that there is some whining person who wants it done his way and only his way.

      So your saying that if I start my own religon, which states that a "High Preist" must spray his "Seed of Life" harvested from the hands of a Vespa Virgin onto the head of the every animal prior to being killed in order for the Food to be Deemed "PROPER" this is OK with you?

      June 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Laughing

      The sad truth Ron is that although there are certainly a good amount of times where jews scream antisemitism, more often than not it's right, nobody just wants to admit it. It's ingrained in jewish culture at this point that jews will forever be the scapegoat for other people and so jews are more sensitive than most when anything starts to infringe upon their religion. Nazi Germany did not happen overnight and pre 1939 Germany was actually one of the best places a Jew could live and thrive pre-WWII. After the holocaust the group pysche to a huge hit, not only by the fact that so many people had died and the horric ways in which it happened, but that it happened in one of the most jew-friendly places at the time.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Laughing- TY, at least we can get some ppl on here that knows their history.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Ron

      @laughing,

      So I guess what you are trying to say is that if Jewish people were not as sensitive as to how their food is prepared 70 years ago, there would be 6 million more Jewish people in the world and as such would not be so whiny now.

      Thank God we can Blame the Germans and we only have to point our finger back 70 years to hit the mark.

      It's too much trouble to go back and point the finger at the Koran, Bible or Torah.

      Was it not the Jews who enslaved the Egyptions first and then made laws on who to treat slaves.

      Then the Egyptions Enslaved the Jews.

      Then everyone else got in on the Free labor deal. With each race conquering and then enslaving "because it was the cool thing to do".

      How many different wars were raged which targeted groups of people? Or dictators themselves wiping out their own people.

      The Crusades
      Spanish Inqestion
      Ottaman Empire
      Roman Empire
      Empire Strikes Back
      American Wiping out the Indians
      Holucaust
      Stalan Killing 20 million people
      Tutses and Hutus
      Serbia
      Kosovo
      Darfur

      Jewish people just have better marketing people.

      What is the time frame when we can stop giving a crap about the Holacaust? There has to be a statute of Limitations?

      We don't care about how we enslaved the blacks in the USA – and we can joke about it.

      We don't care about how we killed all the indians in the USA – and we can joke about it.

      So maybe if we are able to set aside some tribal land in Germany for Jews to build casinos they can STFU and stop being so whiny.

      I know the Indians are laughing all the way to the bank.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Laughing

      Wow, OK, I guess you took that out of context. I used the Holocaust as the most recent example, but look at the pogroms in eastern europe, the diaspora, the inquisition, comb history and you'll find stories of jews being targeted and attacked more often than not because they are the constant scapegoat.

      I'm also fairly certain that neither black people nor native americans think their history in America is the least bit funny, but hey I guess we just know different people?

      The Holocaust is the most apt example specifically because unlike other times, jews had actually started to integrate with the rest of the society around them instead of closing themselves off in their own communites (You can see this in todays jewry with Yiddish still being spoken, which is basically a version of german, and reform judaism as a whole which was founded in germany and specifically targeted towards helping germans of all faiths not to fear jews anymore). I would say most of the examples that you put will have stories of both sides attacking jews because they heap the blame of those specific wars on jews (that is, in the places where you can find jewsih communities)

      I won't lie, it's always sad to see jews use anti-semtism as a strong-arm tactic to get what they want. I agree with you that sometimes people yell anti-semitism when its simply not the case, and in fact I don't think this specific example is anymore anti-semitic than me and to say it is, isn't really fair. However what you must understand is that at a very early age jews learn their history and can trace patterns that always lead to death. It always begins with little innocuous laws that aren't aimed at jews but end up only applying to them, then it becomes more insidious and then finally outright horrendous, but at that point its too late. Jews try to raise the alarm as loud and often as possible so they will never be caught on unawares again. You dig?

      June 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Spiritual Volunteer For The Mission

      That's okay with me, Ron, as long as I am the High Priest and Scarlett Johanson is the Vestal Vir . . . well, you can skip the virgin part.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Haime52

      @Ron – yes Jews often claim anti-semitism, because they are sensitive to it, just as many African descendants claim predjudice. "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean no one's out to get you."
      If you restrict this practice of belief for Jews and Muslims, what is the next practice to be targeted? We already see hijabs, etc. targeted in France, as though that is some kind of threat. Maybe we should just use the cookie cutter and make everyone the stinking same.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  14. Search for the Truth

    I am very surprised to see people comment here with very little knowledge to back up their claims.

    Scientists who are experts in this field and who have carried out detailed research:

    Professor Wilhelm Schulze:
    "the Islamic way of slaughtering is the most humane method of slaughter and that captive bolt stunning, practiced in the West, causes severe pain to the animal."

    Schulze W, Schultze-Petzold H, Hazem AS, Gross R. Experiments for the objectification of pain and consciousness during conventional (captive bolt stunning) and religiously mandated (“ritual cutting”) slaughter procedures for sheep and calves
    Deutsche Tieraerztliche Wochenschrift (German veterinary weekly) volume 85 (1978), pages 62-66

    Dr Freeman Boyd:
    "It is interesting to ask why, if this method of slaughter can render an animal unconscious immediately, it is treated as an exemption to the requirement of humane slaughter – that is, available only to those of Jewish or Islamic faith? It can be argued that despite its status as an exemption to humane slaughter, complete severance of the jugular veins and carotid arteries is a humane method of slaughter for poultry, where blood loss to the brain quickly results in loss of brain function."

    F. Boyd, “Humane Slaughter of Poultry: The Case Against the Use of Electrical Stunning Devices,” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 7 (1994): 221-236.

    Further insight and references can be accessed here:

    http://www.halalmc.net/resources/stunning_articles/019_halal_hysteria.html

    After reading this, you will see that halal and kosher are much more humane than stunning. Allah ordained this for all of us (and before any non-atheist says he doesn't believe in Allah; the word God comes from the Ancient Persian Khuda, and all Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use the name Allah in the Arabic Bible and Torah respectively.)

    In the Holy Qur'aan, Allah Says:

    Made lawful to you this day are At-Tayyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (5:5)

    So Muslims can eat from meat of the Jews and the Christians, and vice versa, assuming that the meat has been slaughtered according to the rules of Allah, not by stunning or injuring the animal. Just because you might think the animal is tormented during direct slaughter with the Halal or Kosher technique does not mean that the animal is actually going through pain. Allah Knows better than all of us; He Created us to worship him and follow His rules, not to disbelieve and rebel against Him.

    So as you can see, even scientific experimentation has verified halal/kosher as more humane than stunning. Anyone who comments and makes assumptions should back up their claims with evidence, not pre-existing hatred for religion

    June 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Ron

      @search,

      Which ever bible, torah, Koran you subscribe too...they were written 1000's of years after things actually happened.

      Back then they probably had a few ways to kill animals....the cleanest ways being the ones outlined in your "Books". Well times have changed. Views on animals have changed.

      Just because it's in the Bible, Torah, Koran does not mean you have to follow it – here a a few examples:

      "This is what the LORD Almighty says... 'Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'" (1 Samuel 15:3, in context)

      "You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27, in context)

      "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent." (1 Timothy 2:12, in context)

      "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Romans 1:27, in context).

      Quran (2:191-193) – "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]...and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

      Quran (2:216) – "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

      Quran (3:151) – "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

      Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

      Quran (9:29) – "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

      If civilized people do not follow the Bible, Torah or Koran in the calling for the Killing of other believers because its WRONG. Then you can change the Rules on How You Prepare MEAT. ITS THE SAME DIFFERENCE.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Navi

      @SearchForTruth: Thanks for the links.

      http://www.grandin.com/references/humane.slaughter.html

      Just wanted to point out the Grandin study which seems to disagree with your assertion that ritual cutting is the most humane method. Animals slaughtered without stunning do not undergo instantaneous unconsciousness with animals remaining awake for up to 60 seconds after the incision is made. Methods of electrical stunning, of which there are a few besides captive bolt stunning, render the animal unconscious within miliseconds. And if properly conducted mean that all animals are not aware when exsanguination occurs. Neither pain nor stress occur if certain stunning methods are properly employed. The report does mention that halal killing uses a short knife and requires multiple slashes to the animals throat. But that can be rectified if pract!tioners use a long sharp blade as in kosher slaughter. Furthermore some religious slaughters use restraints which tend to make the method appear more humane but is actually more cruel as it puts the animal in an unnatural position that increases the stress the animal feels and is meant to aid the person doing the slaughter more than the animal. There are other more humane types of restraints that are also used in ritual cutting.

      That doesn't necessarily mean that halal and kosher methods are extremely inhumane. But it does mean that there are other more humane methods that should be considered. And to hide behind religious tradition in order to ignore a better way seems a little counter to progress.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  15. No Animal Abuser

    "If Jews and Muslims can successfully work together in opposing this legislation, then maybe it will be the start of a new alliance that recognizes that we are brothers and sisters who have so much in common."

    Gee, that's terrific! Two of the most repressive and violent cults on the planet ganging up on the rest of us – wow, I can't wait! And what a brother-sisterhood – abusing animals together. Ain't that swell. You must be very proud.

    Judaism and Islam are two rotten peas in the same animal-abusing pod.

    June 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      You obviously know nothing about Judaism.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • mist

      lycidas is the expert on everything as long as you dont need proof

      July 2, 2011 at 4:55 am |
  16. No Animal Abuser

    Blah, blah, blah. What about the bigotry of Jews and Muslims towards the slaughtered animals?

    If your religion must engage in animal abuse, then your religion is not only worthless in producing a better humanity but it should be destroyed as violent and unenlightened.

    June 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Vegetable

      So only Jews and Muslims eat animals?

      June 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    We (the Germans) have caused the Jews a lot of suffering. I apologize to the Jews.

    I am not a German nationalist, but somewhat interested in ecclesiastical affairs. The Holy Bible consists of the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT).

    I have read the OT several times and found there no command to butcher animals in the Muslim or Jewish way. Seemingly the praxis of ritual slaughter has pagan roots (I am about to check it out).

    God has a great love for animals. God notices the death even of every small bird (see Luke 12: 6-7 about the sparrows).
    First the animals lived together with Adam (Genesis 2: 20). God plays with the whales (psalm 104, 26).

    The animal world has got God's full attention (see Job 38/39). God seems to be amused about their behaviour.

    When God is concerned about the animals, we should do the same.

    We have proved now that God loves the animals, hence we must avoid any suffering of the animals, when we butcher them.

    Ritual slaughter causes a lot of suffering, because the brain and the nervous system of the animal keep on working for some minutes up to the animals death. The animal experiences a horrible agony.

    Better method: Headshot, cut open, hang up, no suffering at all for our friends.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Wonder

      @Rainer, we are all guilty of mistreating the Jews. Germans were too capable. Today's Germany needs Jesus more than ever. Pray for revival in your fatherland. Always.

      June 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Reality

      "God has a great love for animals. God notices the death even of every small bird (see Luke 12: 6-7 about the sparrows).
      First the animals lived together with Adam (Genesis 2: 20). God plays with the whales (psalm 104, 26). "

      Slaughter is bloody slaughter without or without "humane" methods but said god lets billions of "his friends" be slaughtered on an annual basis ? Hmmmm??????

      Hmmm, Luke 12: 6-7? As per Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 343-344, "these passages derive from the community and therefore are inauthentic".

      June 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Wonder

      Reality, Eden was over long ago. You slaughter animals directly or indirectly all the time to eat the meat. Don't eat meat if you object "slaughter" of any kind, not even fish.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Wonder

      The mass media keep us so stupid, by their most superficial reporting. Dieter Bonhoeffer has a memorial at Westminster Abbey (England), but in Germany nearly nobody knows, what he has teached. Yes, we need prayer.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

      Perhaps a study in anatomy or physiology would be useful. Once the brain's food, oxygen, and blood supply are severed from the rest of the body, what sort of pain would it experience?

      June 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Reality

      Slaughtering of animals is allowed by God. St. Paul told the Corinthians that they are allowed to eat meat (soley meat, used for offerings to the idols, they should not eat). Jesus ate fish and the Passover lamb.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

      Assumed you would stop eating and drinking today, you would keep on living still some days, because your body has reserves. After cutting of blood and oxygen support of the brain, it will still work some time because of the reserves.

      Stop drawing breath. You die immediately?

      June 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Wonder

      @Rainer, what? Germans don't know about Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Every Christian in the world knows him(I think)!! He left many writings and every German should read them. What a shame. That tells how seriously bad the spiritual situation is in Germany.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Wonder

      Berlin is the capital of Siberia (sleeping land), spiritually seen.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Wonder

      Rainer, it breaks my heart. That's a double, triple tragedy for the German people after the War. Didn't they seek forgiveness of Jesus? Are you Evangelical? How do they treat Evangelical Christians in Germany? I heard it's pretty rough.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Wonder

      Frau Angela Merkel (German chancellor) is still a fan of Richard Wagner, who was an anti-Jewish archpagan.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Wonder

      Rainer, Germany have too many evil philosophers and evil theologians. It's tragic the German people listen to them. I'm afraid USA is following the pattern of Germany. So numerous God-haters. Unprecedented and unimaginable. It's like suddenly vicious aliens took over USA 20-30 years ago. What do you think?

      June 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Wonder

      First German commandment: You shalt not utter the word "God"!

      I am a Protestant.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Wonder

      I know nearly nothing about US life. I have heard, state and Church are strictly seperated in the US. This I would favour.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Wonder

      Rainer, isn't everyone "Lutheran"(Protestant) there? I think atheism in free world is going to be far worse than communism because it is freely-willed, not forced, and accompany such heavy immorality.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Wonder

      Rainer, I'm not American nor live in USA, but I see America is deeply divided with God-haters and God-lovers. I personally think the nation is better-off divided than wasting energy in this ongoing internal conflicts when the whole world still needs her help so much. And the work ethics... Rainer, don't you think people were more hard-working and durable decades ago?

      June 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Wonder (Nominal) Lutheranism dominates in the north, Catholicism in the south,

      June 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Electric Larry

      Gosh, I WONDER what new name Friend/Zelda/Frederica is going to come up with. It really makes you WONDER.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  18. Reality

    The begining of the end of anything sacred about Judaism, Christianity and Islam:

    "origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."
    =========================================================================================

    June 30, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Reality

      Yawning, yawning, yawning!

      June 30, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Rainer is a dork.

      June 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Evan

      Reality,

      It's time for either a name change or evidence this for this view. It's not enough to say "This never happened" or "This person never existed", you have to prove that. So far you have yet to provide a single valid reason why we should believe a single word of this view.

      Besides, if the Bible did not claim to be the Word of God, if there was no supernatural element to the Bible, you would almost certainly consider it historical.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Reality

      Evan, Evan, Evan,

      Read the comments about the New Torah for Modern Minds again. This time very carefully.

      You can also buy a copy at amazon.com

      "Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (Hardcover) $58.00

      ~ David L. Lieber (Editor), Jules Harlow (Editor), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (Corporate Author), The Rabbinical Assembly (Corporate Author)
      4.7 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)

      "The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. It closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.[1]"

      June 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Evan is right Reality...you don't actually prove anything.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Lycidas, Lycidas, Lycidas,

      Au contraire!!! Read the New Torah for Modern Minds for a review and update of your knowledge.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "New Torah for Modern Minds"

      You mean "The Best of Copy/Pasting by Reality"?

      July 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Reality- Go read this: The Importance of Orientation: Etz Hayyim and the Conservative Jewish Perspective by Rabbi Gordon Tucker

      July 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • mist

      squirmy mark doesnt like reality

      July 2, 2011 at 4:56 am |
    • Reality

      Uncouth,

      One more time:

      Read the comments about the New Torah for Modern Minds ( aka Etz Hayim) again. This time very carefully.

      You can also buy a copy of the complete new Torah at amazon.com

      "Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary (Hardcover) $58.00

      ~ David L. Lieber (Editor), Jules Harlow (Editor), United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (Corporate Author), The Rabbinical Assembly (Corporate Author)
      4.7 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)

      "The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. It closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.[1]"

      July 2, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  19. McQueen

    It's pretty clear from a lot of the comments here that a lot of you people hate Jews. That is your right, of course.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Michael

      a right to vent this language, possible, but it is not correct..it is distasteful. Would you want you children to read this, Jew or Gentile? I certainly would not.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  20. Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

    Agree with me or you are a bigot ! ! ! Okay, I never learned how to debate properly, so I just do that on every subject.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Michael

      Rabbi Herzfeld, I got your back. Yes, this stream of discussion is very dark and evil. Jews in the Netherlands are asking for equal treatment and not special treatment. Kosher is part of G-d's commandments handed down many centuries ago. These commandments make things such as eating something sacred rather than profane. One is connected to the Divine, acknowledging the one true G-d, His blessings and his laws that we are to follow. No one is more connected to the cycle of life, of the season and to our food sources than the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So Michael, since human sacrifice was a tradition sacred to the gods of the Aztecs, should the descendents of the Aztecs be allowed to practice their faith? What is sacred to you is not always acceptable to the community. The Dutch community thinks that the cruelty of this practice is not acceptable. It's not about bigotry. It's not even about religion. It's about humanity.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Theodore

      Michael, equal treatment is exactly what they are getting. It is an exemption to a general prohibition that is under threat, so a loss of special treatment.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.