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GeoBQn

Bontrager Bar Mitzvah

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GeoBQn

The Bontragers have recently had a Christian bar mitzvah for their 16-year-old son Joshua. It looks like they had it in a garage of some kind, with a color scheme that belongs at a Sweet 16 party circa 1984.

bontragersingers.blogspot.com/2013/05/joshuas-bar-mitzvah.html

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France Nolan

That doesn't look like any (Jewish) Bar Mitzvah's I've attended. I love getting to see the different Torahs kept at the different temples. They're really quite beautiful and so are the readings and prayers.

I don't understand why fundies who appropriate Jewish customs try to link them back to the Bible as a way to justify their stupidity. From what I understand Bar Mitzvah's as we know them date back to the Middle Ages- long after Christianity split from Judaism.

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divadivine

Yes, because I know a ton of teenage boys who love sour apple green and zebra stripe decorations.... sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph. These people are floppin' buggies looney.

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gustava

Well, even though he was Jewish, he was the first Christian, so whatever was good enough for him, is certainly good enough for a Bontrager. :angry-banghead:

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Rachel333

I could swear I've heard stuff about Jesus having a bar mitzvah. Clearly some bad research there (Though he would have become a Bar Mitzvah, right? Just not the celebration for it as we know it?). I recall hearing about B'nai Mitzvah parties in my (Christian--most of whom had never even met a Jewish person) social groups when I was younger.

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PennySycamore

Why not just have a freaking Confirmation? Lots of Christian churches do that. Why do some Faux Jewish ceremony?

Btw, spearmint is the plant. Spearmint tea is when it's brewed or when it's packaged to brew.

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darkplumaged

It is annoying that the very people who would tell me I'm headed for hell simply because I don't believe I need a savior seem to relish playing games with traditions that have specific, special meaning to Jews.

I like how they noted that "not very many of the invited guests were able to make it." Uh-huh. More like they said :wtf: , or the fundie version thereof, when they got the invite.

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Rachel333
Why not just have a freaking Confirmation? Lots of Christian churches do that. Why do some Faux Jewish ceremony?

Btw, spearmint is the plant. Spearmint tea is when it's brewed or when it's packaged to brew.

I think elements of Catholicism are more threatening to them than elements of Judaism, oddly. Now that I think of it, it's really common to talk positively about various aspects of Judaism and even use parts of the religion (I'm embarrassed to admit it and I'd almost forgotten about it, but when I was 14 I did a Seder with my mostly WASP-y, mostly homeschooled Bible study group), but they stay far away from anything hinting at Catholicism (other high-church groups are problematic as well). In some churches it's actually kind of taboo to talk about Mary too much, lest you get too close to the Catholic veneration.

I suppose in their view Judaism was set up by God even if it's no longer necessary while Catholicism represents men perverting the gospel. I've even heard some people who think that Catholics are going to hell speculate that Jews might get a chance to go to heaven.

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bbfreethinker
It is annoying that the very people who would tell me I'm headed for hell simply because I don't believe I need a savior seem to relish playing games with traditions that have specific, special meaning to Jews.

I like how they noted that "not very many of the invited guests were able to make it." Uh-huh. More like they said :wtf: , or the fundie version thereof, when they got the invite.

I'm wondering what the Mennonite grandmother really thinks of this.

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anjulibai
I could swear I've heard stuff about Jesus having a bar mitzvah. Clearly some bad research there (Though he would have become a Bar Mitzvah, right? Just not the celebration for it as we know it?). I recall hearing about B'nai Mitzvah parties in my (Christian--most of whom had never even met a Jewish person) social groups when I was younger.

In Biblical times, the vast majority people were illiterate. There would be no Torah reading, like there is in modern Bar Mitzvahs. There were probably some rites of passage to adulthood (presentations at the Temple if people could afford to travel) but nothing like what is done now.

Modern (even medieval) Judaism isn't the same as ancient Judaism. What's practiced now is in many ways based off the Oral Torah, the Talmud, and Midrash, not just the Hebrew Bible. Many practices were developed because of the destruction of the Second Temple and the inability of the Jewish people as a whole to worship specifically as is required in the Bible (e.g. Temple rites can't be performed).

And of course that all comes about after Christianity came about, so ostensibly from what Christians would consider non-Biblical sources.

Making the co-opting that much stranger.

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Rachel333

In Biblical times, the vast majority people were illiterate. There would be no Torah reading, like there is in modern Bar Mitzvahs. There were probably some rites of passage to adulthood (presentations at the Temple if people could afford to travel) but nothing like what is done now.

Modern (even medieval) Judaism isn't the same as ancient Judaism. What's practiced now is in many ways based off the Oral Torah, the Talmud, and Midrash, not just the Hebrew Bible. Many practices were developed because of the destruction of the Second Temple and the inability of the Jewish people as a whole to worship specifically as is required in the Bible (e.g. Temple rites can't be performed).

And of course that all comes about after Christianity came about, so ostensibly from what Christians would consider non-Biblical sources.

Making the co-opting that much stranger.

Oh yeah, very poor research there (err, on the fundies' part, not yours).

The Christian view of Judaism is interesting these days. You've got some of the fundies who go full-on with the faux-Judaism thing (another memory I'd forgotten: going to a friend's house to listen to a Messianic rabbi in his kippah and tallit talk about Messianic Judaism and then blow his shofar), but then the hipster Evangelical types really like the Jews as well. They're the types who get the Hebrew tattoos and such. I don't think I've seen any actual anti-Semitism here (first time I encountered it was actually in a fairly secular country from only nominally religious people--definitely shocked me when I heard it), but the weird patronizing veneration of Jewish people and culture is pretty bad, too.

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Peas n carrots

Oh c'mon. Lamest bar mitzvah ever.

On of my gf's had Ed McMahon at hers, and as I understand it she had a pretty low key celebration. I've heard of some pretty off the chain bar and bat mitzvahs, so I'm hardly impressed :P

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anjulibai

Oh yeah, very poor research there (err, on the fundies' part, not yours).

The Christian view of Judaism is interesting these days. You've got some of the fundies who go full-on with the faux-Judaism thing (another memory I'd forgotten: going to a friend's house to listen to a Messianic rabbi in his kippah and tallit talk about Messianic Judaism and then blow his shofar), but then the hipster Evangelical types really like the Jews as well. They're the types who get the Hebrew tattoos and such. I don't think I've seen any actual anti-Semitism here (first time I encountered it was actually in a fairly secular country from only nominally religious people--definitely shocked me when I heard it), but the weird patronizing veneration of Jewish people and culture is pretty bad, too.

It's definitely bizarre, and if I were Jewish, I'd be pretty insulted by it.

I mean, generally, I find religious syncretism to be very interesting (and if I were a believer I'd probably worship the Isis of the Ptolemaic Era) but syncretism is not what is going on here. It's putting a fundie Christian spin on the practices of another religion, so that the meaning of those practices is almost entirely lost.

I'm guessing it all has to do with the evangelical brand of Christian eschatology and the idea that Jesus will rule from the Third Temple after Armageddon. There's probably a belief that the ancient practices will be re-established - the problem, as you say, is that they really haven't researched what those practices are and simply assume they are the same as modern Judaism.

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JenniferJuniper

"Lamest bar mitzvah ever."

I don't know what that was or what it was supposed to be, but it wasn't a bar mitzvah.

And on a related note, why do so many fundies think their precious blessings can sing? The Bontrager Family Singers = nails on a chalkboard.

E4YCVCCdkvk

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Rachel333

Their accents sound weird to me, and I can't quite pin down why. And yes, that wasn't easy to listen to. :lol:

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GeoBQn

I think they are confusing shouting with having energy. They are from Iowa, so I don't know what kind of accent they would have aside from standard Midwest. Maybe they are trying to affect a Southern accent, like the way they somehow prefer the Confederacy even though they are most decidedly from the North.

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amydamy

I was looking at the blog and saw this about their visit to DC.

and us older ones went to the

-Crime Museum

(FYI: I wouldn't recommend the Crime Museum; there's a lot of unnecessary and graphic details about all sorts of crimes and overall we didn't feel like it what we learned was helpful or worth our time)

All the other places we visited were fantastic!

What did they think was going to be at the museum of crime and punishment.

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Rachel333

Maybe it's just that I've never heard Jehovah pronounced as "Jay-ho-vah" before.

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darkplumaged
I was looking at the blog and saw this about their visit to DC.

What did they think was going to be at the museum of crime and punishment.

"John Doe's crime was that he didn't love Jesus! His punishment? HELL!"

"Jane Doe wore pants, had a career, and chose to have just two children. Her punishment? HELL!"

Fundies purposely separate themselves from the larger world because it doesn't conform to their tiny, restricted worldview, but somehow they are surprised and upset on the rare occasions they go out and do normal-people things that the world is indeed not fundie. Ah, fundie logic.

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lilith
"Lamest bar mitzvah ever."

I don't know what that was or what it was supposed to be, but it wasn't a bar mitzvah.

And on a related note, why do so many fundies think their precious blessings can sing? The Bontrager Family Singers = nails on a chalkboard.

E4YCVCCdkvk

The older kids are actually decent musicians, leagues ahead of the Duggars. That Sibling Cooperation thing they do looks pretty impressive.

I'm very surprised Alison or Chelsea isn't courting yet, but maybe she's needed for parenting and performing - they have a ton of boys after the older girls, and they write twee things about Dad and the boys managing as bachelors for a few days and the house and farm not collapsing around their ears, praise god.

The Bontragers interest me a lot, both coming from large rural Mennonite families and becoming very polished ATI/ VF hybrid fundies.

They both have siblings who are still head covering Mennonites, others who are modern fundies, and some who appear to be mainstream Christians or secular. I'd love to hear their parents views on the paths their children and grandchildren have taken.

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OkToBeTakei

From the comments

Wow this is an awesome thing to do. I think I'll have to do this for my kids... maybe instead of a graduation party.

:lol:

Wow (after seeing a catholic baptism.) I think I'll do this if I have a baby, that candle is awesome.

The possibilities for stupid people are endless.

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miffy

When I read that comment I thought 'your kids a going to be THRILLED about that one'

My Sikh friend does awesome henna tattoos on her hands & fasts for her husband (not forced! her choice 100%) for a day every year. Maybe i'll start doing that, because it has so much to do with being an Anglican.

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Peas n carrots

The older kids handle their instruments pretty well, I actually kind of liked their sound. But the little kids singing...yeeeecccchhh. Just because they are cute and little does not mean they can sing worth a damn. They probably would be OK if someone gave them a couple vocal lessons.

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Mela99

I really don't get it...

If they want a coming of age or manhood ceremony, why not invent their own? They're not Jewish. That's the hallmark of growing up Jewish.

Anybody Jewish perturbed by this?

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