Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?

DigiTrad:
CROW ON THE CRADLE
EVERY STAR SHALL SING A CAROL


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Vicar is a Beatnik (Sydney Carter) (11)
Putting out the Dustbin (Sydney Carter) (2)
Sidney Carter's Down Below melody (8)
Tune Origin: When I Needed a Neighbour (S. Carter) (6)
Lyr Add: One More Step (Sydney Carter) (3)
(origins) Origin/Meaning: Crow on the Cradle (Sydney Carter) (23)
(origins) Origins: Bells of Norwich (7) (closed)
Lyr Req: The Telephone Song (Sydney Carter) (26)
Lyr Req: Like the Snow (Sydney Carter) (20)
Lyr Req: Say Who You Are Love (Sydney Carter) (9)
Obit: Sydney Carter (1915-2004) (82)
Lyr Req: Bells of Norwich? / Julian of Norwich (7)
Sydney Carter Recordings & Books (9)
(origins) Licensing-S.Carter: Every Star Shall Sing a Carol (5)
Lyr Add: Marilyn Monroe (Sydney Carter/Rory McEwen (13)
Lyr Add: Run the Film Backwards (Sydney Carter) (5)
Lyr Req: I Want To Have a Little Bomb like You (3)
Lyr Add: The Man with a Microphone (Sydney Carter) (12)
(origins) Origin: Judas and Mary (Sydney Carter) (10)
Tune Req: Judas and Mary (Sydney Carter) (39)
Lyr Req: The White Buck of Epping (Sydney Carter) (21)
Help: Man with a Microphone (Sydney Carter) (15)
How to get permission fm Sydney Carter (12)
Tune Req: Julian of Norwich (Sydney Carter) (14)
Lyr Req: I Want To Have a Little Bomb like You (10)
Lyr Req: Bells of Norridge? (answered) (6)
Sydney Carter ill (10)
(origins) Origin: The Man with the Microphone (Sydney Carter (4)
Lyr Add: George Fox (Sydney Carter) (28)


GUEST,Len Wallace 01 Jul 08 - 11:35 PM
Rabbi-Sol 01 Jul 08 - 11:57 PM
EBarnacle 02 Jul 08 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Ravenheart 02 Jul 08 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,Gerry 02 Jul 08 - 01:31 AM
GUEST,Ravenheart 02 Jul 08 - 02:13 AM
glueman 02 Jul 08 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Jul 08 - 02:23 AM
George Papavgeris 02 Jul 08 - 02:27 AM
Dave Hanson 02 Jul 08 - 02:59 AM
r.padgett 02 Jul 08 - 03:15 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 03:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jul 08 - 03:49 AM
GUEST,Gerry 02 Jul 08 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Tim 02 Jul 08 - 03:58 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 02 Jul 08 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola 02 Jul 08 - 04:27 AM
Megan L 02 Jul 08 - 04:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jul 08 - 04:36 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Jul 08 - 04:37 AM
Bryn Pugh 02 Jul 08 - 04:44 AM
John MacKenzie 02 Jul 08 - 04:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 08 - 04:53 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 06:29 AM
Bernard 02 Jul 08 - 06:38 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 06:55 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Alan G 02 Jul 08 - 07:28 AM
Mr Red 02 Jul 08 - 07:38 AM
irishenglish 02 Jul 08 - 07:39 AM
mattkeen 02 Jul 08 - 07:46 AM
danensis 02 Jul 08 - 07:53 AM
mattkeen 02 Jul 08 - 07:54 AM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 08 - 07:55 AM
greg stephens 02 Jul 08 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Jul 08 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM
mattkeen 02 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 02 Jul 08 - 08:27 AM
Leadfingers 02 Jul 08 - 08:43 AM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 08 - 08:52 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 02 Jul 08 - 09:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 08 - 09:07 AM
Phil Edwards 02 Jul 08 - 09:18 AM
manitas_at_work 02 Jul 08 - 09:26 AM
Gulliver 02 Jul 08 - 09:31 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 09:49 AM
irishenglish 02 Jul 08 - 09:51 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 09:53 AM
mattkeen 02 Jul 08 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Neil D 02 Jul 08 - 10:01 AM
Banjiman 02 Jul 08 - 10:03 AM
Peace 02 Jul 08 - 10:06 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Jul 08 - 10:12 AM
theleveller 02 Jul 08 - 10:27 AM
Gulliver 02 Jul 08 - 10:45 AM
irishenglish 02 Jul 08 - 10:49 AM
Bryn Pugh 02 Jul 08 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 02 Jul 08 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,JTT 02 Jul 08 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Russ 02 Jul 08 - 12:19 PM
glueman 02 Jul 08 - 01:16 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 01:21 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 01:22 PM
oggie 02 Jul 08 - 01:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Neil D 02 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 02 Jul 08 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 02 Jul 08 - 02:25 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,A Friend 02 Jul 08 - 02:33 PM
MMario 02 Jul 08 - 02:37 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 02:38 PM
jacqui.c 02 Jul 08 - 02:44 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jul 08 - 02:55 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 02 Jul 08 - 03:05 PM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 08 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,A Friend 02 Jul 08 - 03:50 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jul 08 - 03:50 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 03:52 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 03:53 PM
john f weldon 02 Jul 08 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 02 Jul 08 - 04:19 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 04:19 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 04:24 PM
Bill H //\\ 02 Jul 08 - 04:35 PM
Howard Jones 02 Jul 08 - 04:57 PM
Jim McLean 02 Jul 08 - 05:19 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM
Muswell Hillbilly 02 Jul 08 - 06:04 PM
Jack Campin 02 Jul 08 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Lighter 02 Jul 08 - 07:01 PM
Phil Edwards 02 Jul 08 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 02 Jul 08 - 07:21 PM
Riginslinger 02 Jul 08 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 02 Jul 08 - 07:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jul 08 - 07:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jul 08 - 08:00 PM
Bernard 02 Jul 08 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Gerry 03 Jul 08 - 02:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Jul 08 - 03:23 AM
theleveller 03 Jul 08 - 03:46 AM
mattkeen 03 Jul 08 - 04:49 AM
manitas_at_work 03 Jul 08 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Betsy at work 03 Jul 08 - 05:28 AM
mattkeen 03 Jul 08 - 05:28 AM
mattkeen 03 Jul 08 - 05:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jul 08 - 07:50 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 03 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM
Bryn Pugh 03 Jul 08 - 08:42 AM
mattkeen 03 Jul 08 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 03 Jul 08 - 10:47 AM
glueman 03 Jul 08 - 11:28 AM
Peace 03 Jul 08 - 11:33 AM
Arkie 03 Jul 08 - 01:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jul 08 - 01:52 PM
Phil Edwards 03 Jul 08 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 03 Jul 08 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 03 Jul 08 - 02:46 PM
oggie 03 Jul 08 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 03 Jul 08 - 06:35 PM
Gulliver 03 Jul 08 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 03 Jul 08 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 03 Jul 08 - 11:54 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Jul 08 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Jul 08 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Gerry 04 Jul 08 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Jul 08 - 03:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 08 - 04:41 AM
Bryn Pugh 04 Jul 08 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 04 Jul 08 - 05:19 AM
mattkeen 04 Jul 08 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Jul 08 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Bob L 04 Jul 08 - 06:30 AM
Phil Edwards 04 Jul 08 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Jul 08 - 06:46 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Jul 08 - 07:35 AM
George Papavgeris 04 Jul 08 - 08:00 AM
Jim McLean 04 Jul 08 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Gerry 04 Jul 08 - 08:39 AM
Janice in NJ 04 Jul 08 - 08:43 AM
George Papavgeris 04 Jul 08 - 08:44 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 04 Jul 08 - 08:45 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 04 Jul 08 - 08:53 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 08 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Gerry 04 Jul 08 - 09:05 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 04 Jul 08 - 09:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Jul 08 - 09:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 08 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola 04 Jul 08 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Jul 08 - 09:58 AM
Big Al Whittle 04 Jul 08 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 04 Jul 08 - 10:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 08 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 04 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM
goatfell 04 Jul 08 - 11:08 AM
jacqui.c 04 Jul 08 - 12:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 08 - 12:11 PM
Peace 04 Jul 08 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener 04 Jul 08 - 12:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jul 08 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 04 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener 04 Jul 08 - 02:54 PM
Phil Edwards 04 Jul 08 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener 04 Jul 08 - 05:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jul 08 - 07:59 PM
Nigel Parsons 04 Jul 08 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 04 Jul 08 - 09:31 PM
olddude 04 Jul 08 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Gerry 04 Jul 08 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 04 Jul 08 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 02:07 AM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 02:16 AM
GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola 05 Jul 08 - 04:03 AM
oggie 05 Jul 08 - 06:01 AM
Howard Jones 05 Jul 08 - 06:36 AM
Phil Edwards 05 Jul 08 - 06:36 AM
Peace 05 Jul 08 - 06:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Jul 08 - 07:18 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Jul 08 - 07:43 AM
Peace 05 Jul 08 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Gerry 05 Jul 08 - 07:56 AM
Big Phil 05 Jul 08 - 08:26 AM
Howard Jones 05 Jul 08 - 09:15 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 05 Jul 08 - 09:22 AM
Peace 05 Jul 08 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener 05 Jul 08 - 11:17 AM
Arkie 05 Jul 08 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 05 Jul 08 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 05 Jul 08 - 02:07 PM
Bonzo3legs 05 Jul 08 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener 05 Jul 08 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 02:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 08 - 02:34 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 05 Jul 08 - 03:03 PM
Peace 05 Jul 08 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 05 Jul 08 - 03:43 PM
Arkie 05 Jul 08 - 03:44 PM
goatfell 05 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 05 Jul 08 - 04:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 08 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 05 Jul 08 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 05 Jul 08 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Gerry 06 Jul 08 - 02:06 AM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 06 Jul 08 - 03:12 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jul 08 - 03:39 AM
Howard Jones 06 Jul 08 - 05:50 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Jul 08 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Gerry 06 Jul 08 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 06 Jul 08 - 11:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Jul 08 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 06 Jul 08 - 12:06 PM
Dave the Gnome 06 Jul 08 - 12:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 08 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 06 Jul 08 - 12:44 PM
john f weldon 06 Jul 08 - 01:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 06 Jul 08 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 06 Jul 08 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 06 Jul 08 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 06 Jul 08 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 06 Jul 08 - 03:42 PM
Howard Jones 06 Jul 08 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola 06 Jul 08 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 06 Jul 08 - 07:15 PM
Gulliver 06 Jul 08 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 06 Jul 08 - 08:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Jul 08 - 08:28 PM
Arkie 06 Jul 08 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Gerry 06 Jul 08 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 07 Jul 08 - 01:56 AM
CarolC 07 Jul 08 - 02:07 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Jul 08 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 07 Jul 08 - 04:37 AM
Bryn Pugh 07 Jul 08 - 05:07 AM
Paul Burke 07 Jul 08 - 06:15 AM
oggie 07 Jul 08 - 07:02 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 07 Jul 08 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Gerry 07 Jul 08 - 09:29 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 07 Jul 08 - 09:46 AM
Phil Edwards 07 Jul 08 - 09:56 AM
Grab 07 Jul 08 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Lighter 07 Jul 08 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Jerry Epstein 07 Jul 08 - 11:46 AM
Paul Burke 07 Jul 08 - 12:00 PM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 07 Jul 08 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Peace 07 Jul 08 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 07 Jul 08 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola 07 Jul 08 - 02:35 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Jul 08 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 07 Jul 08 - 02:47 PM
Howard Jones 07 Jul 08 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 07 Jul 08 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 07 Jul 08 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Gerry 07 Jul 08 - 08:58 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 08 Jul 08 - 01:39 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Jul 08 - 03:18 AM
Howard Jones 08 Jul 08 - 03:40 AM
Bryn Pugh 08 Jul 08 - 06:51 AM
Grab 08 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Jul 08 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 08 Jul 08 - 10:32 AM
Phil Edwards 08 Jul 08 - 10:59 AM
Greg B 08 Jul 08 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 08 Jul 08 - 02:38 PM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 08 Jul 08 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 08 Jul 08 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 08 Jul 08 - 05:41 PM
Phil Edwards 08 Jul 08 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Gerry 08 Jul 08 - 08:36 PM
CarolC 08 Jul 08 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 08 Jul 08 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Gerry 09 Jul 08 - 03:10 AM
Phil Edwards 09 Jul 08 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 09 Jul 08 - 04:52 AM
Paul Burke 09 Jul 08 - 05:08 AM
Bryn Pugh 09 Jul 08 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Gerry 09 Jul 08 - 09:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 09:43 AM
CarolC 09 Jul 08 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 09 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jul 08 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jul 08 - 10:51 AM
CarolC 09 Jul 08 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jul 08 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Ravenheart 09 Jul 08 - 02:45 PM
oggie 09 Jul 08 - 05:25 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 08 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 09 Jul 08 - 09:55 PM
Haruo 09 Jul 08 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,Gerry 09 Jul 08 - 10:21 PM
CarolC 09 Jul 08 - 11:08 PM
Ken Hunt 10 Jul 08 - 06:10 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Gerry 10 Jul 08 - 09:34 AM
Leadfingers 10 Jul 08 - 09:51 AM
Paul Burke 10 Jul 08 - 10:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 10 Jul 08 - 10:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 08 - 10:54 AM
Phil Edwards 10 Jul 08 - 11:01 AM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 10 Jul 08 - 11:04 AM
CarolC 10 Jul 08 - 11:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 01:29 PM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 10 Jul 08 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 10 Jul 08 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 10 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jul 08 - 04:48 PM
Tootler 10 Jul 08 - 05:09 PM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 10 Jul 08 - 05:14 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 10 Jul 08 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 10 Jul 08 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,The Last Word 10 Jul 08 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,Gerry 10 Jul 08 - 08:54 PM
CarolC 10 Jul 08 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 10 Jul 08 - 09:18 PM
Greg B 10 Jul 08 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,Peace 10 Jul 08 - 10:27 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 10 Jul 08 - 11:13 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jul 08 - 04:44 AM
Phil Edwards 11 Jul 08 - 04:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Jul 08 - 06:03 AM
Peace 11 Jul 08 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 11 Jul 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Ravenheart 11 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 11 Jul 08 - 04:50 PM
Haruo 12 Jul 08 - 12:56 AM
Rowan 12 Jul 08 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Gerry 12 Jul 08 - 08:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Jul 08 - 09:22 AM
oggie 12 Jul 08 - 10:25 AM
Howard Jones 12 Jul 08 - 11:01 AM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 12 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Jul 08 - 11:06 AM
catspaw49 12 Jul 08 - 11:40 AM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 12 Jul 08 - 11:47 AM
CarolC 12 Jul 08 - 11:48 AM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 12 Jul 08 - 12:57 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 Jul 08 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 12 Jul 08 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Ravenheart 12 Jul 08 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,paddy 12 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM
Lord Batman's Kitchener 12 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM
Tootler 12 Jul 08 - 04:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 08 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Gerry 13 Jul 08 - 02:41 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 13 Jul 08 - 04:58 AM
Gulliver 13 Jul 08 - 06:53 AM
CarolC 13 Jul 08 - 02:06 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Len Wallace
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 11:35 PM

Dear Friends,

An interesting discussion I overheard today with two friends discussing the lyrics to "Lord of the Dance".

One recalled that she heard an Anglican choir singing a set of lyrics which were openly anti-semitic naming Jews. The only lyrics I know of make mention of "pharisees". Were there other lyrics? An older version which was anti-semitic?

Len Wallace


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 11:57 PM

I have heard Tommy Makem sing this song for over 30 years and have never thought of it in this light. It is describing an incident that is related in the New Testament. Although as a Jew I do not believe in the New Testament I can not expect the Christians to rewrite their Bible to meet the standards of political correctness that exist in the 21st century. In my opinion It is not at all anti-semitic.
                                                 SOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 12:17 AM

Sol is on the right track. The part referring to the Scribes and the Pharisees not following Jesus is a direct reference to political conflicts between the mainstream and various sects, such as the Essenes.

There is argument over whether he and his followers were a splinter group from the Essenic tradition. As such, they would have been seen as a threat to the estabilished political order, as operated by the more liberal groups which got along to some extent with the Romans.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:15 AM

Weren't the Pharisees always emblematic of the conventionally minded, followers of the letter at the expense of the spirit, exotericists as opposed to esotericists?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:31 AM

I'm sure we've been here before - this has been discussed in earlier threads - but here goes.

The verse,

I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die.

accuses the Jews ("The holy people") - not the Pharisees, but the Jews - of crucifying Jesus. With all due respect to Rabbi Sol, that is an antisemitic lie - indeed, it is THE antisemitic lie, the one that led to terrible suffering by Jews down the ages.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:13 AM

Gerry, it's hard to imagine that's what Sydney Carter was thinking, from what one can learn of him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: glueman
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:22 AM

LotD has become shorthand for all that is worst in communal singing. It conjours visions of vicars doing the twist at the youth club.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:23 AM

I'd read this differently, actually.

I'd read it as saying "the holy people" - the people who are "whited sepulchres", who stick religiously (!) to the *forms* of religion, were the ones who killed this dancing, joyous rebel.

To me, the song says "I danced, and those who ran a joyless religion killed me for it".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:27 AM

"Holy people" in any language or religion are the priests/imams/gurus etc. It stretches the meaning too much, to ascribe to it the meaning "jews".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:59 AM

Was ' Lord Of The Dance ' anti semetic ? what a politicaly correct shite
question, Sidney Carter was a humanist, no way was he ever anti semetic.

This shit thread needs removing.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: r.padgett
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:15 AM

No no no

I do not believe that Sidney Carter had this in mind

Just a reflection of what the bible said was happening at the time in his own Jewish community

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:25 AM

The accuser is eliding "they" with "holy people". He may be grammatically correct, but surely in the context of poetry, the "they" is generic, not specific.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:49 AM

Yes we have been here before unfortunately.

To those who saw Sydney Carter or read his books, it seems like a terrible libel of his name.

The spririt of the clause analysis of his lyrics is so different from the broad minded, generous spirit of the man himself. It shocks us.

Lets hope theres a special section of hell where the spiritually dead get to parse their own utterances for sins they can accuse themselves of.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:52 AM

George, the (Hebrew) Bible refers to the Jews repeatedly as "a holy people, a kingdom of priests." I think that to somone as familiar with the Bible as Carter, "the holy people" could only mean the Jewish people.

But let's for the sake of argument assume that Carter was just referring to the priests, or the Pharisees, or some other subgroup of the Jews. The fact remains that it was the Romans who crucified Jesus; the Romans, and not some or any or all Jews. To attribute the crucifixion to (some of) the Jews is an anti-semitic lie, the original anti-semitic lie on which all the others are built.

Ravenhart, I don't know what Carter was thinking. All I know is what he wrote, and it's up there in black & white, and it's antisemitic.

Eric the red, I'll answer your objection, if you'll present it in terms suitable for public speech.

Richard, I can only tell you what it looks like to me. I can't see how "they" can refer to any but "the holy people."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:58 AM

To quote Lee & Herring: "I am the lord of the dance settee".

Actually I always hated this song, especially as there's no mention of Jesus dancing, anywhere in the New Testament. If we're gonna start making Bible stories up then... oh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:00 AM

I thought that it was the Romans who (are alleged to have) crucified Jesus?

Fancy that, all these years and the wrong people have been persecuted!

Still it's an easy mistake to make if you must live your life according to some 2000 year old writings of dubious provenance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:27 AM

Perhaps our friend Gerry is suffering from some sort of guilty conscience which makes him see this song as a personal accusation. If you are looking that hard for anti-semitic implications you could probably find as many in your standard insurance contract.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Megan L
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:27 AM

Rather in indulging in a "Oh poor me look what my ancestors suffered" mentality about people who are so distant in the past that most dont even have names now and you would probably have despised if you had met them. I would much rather hear what each and every one of you is doing to right the wrongs and stop the oppression in your own community.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:36 AM

I don't think for a moment that Carter would have had a bleeding clue about the minutiae of the terms of reference in The Bible.

If you read about him and his background, you would know that.

Your analysis of the man and his intentions has the perspicacity of someone who thinks 'Its Grand to be gay on St Nicholas Day' is about being a homosexual.

You are sullying the memory of a man that many of us in folkworld held dear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:37 AM

> I can't see how "they" can refer to any but "the holy people."

"They" is an accepted and widely-used shorthand term for any faceless, nameless amorphous mass of Other Guys who do things to you. They're raising the taxes again. They haven't fixed the road yet. They're telling us we need to use less fuel. They can't dictate hemline-lengths to us every year anymore. In song lyrics there are too many to name, but the opening lines of "Wish You Were Here" will do: "They're not making the skies so blue this year... they're not shining the stars as bright, they've stolen the joy from the night..."

In other words, we grow up under an army of Theys who control our lives at every turn, religious and otherwise. JTT and George have exactly described my own interpretation of that term and that lyric. I used to sing it all the time when I was a kid - and again later when I occasionally had to sing TO kids - and I have always thought of that line as simply meaning all the pious and narrow-minded my-way-is-the-only-right-way types who inflict judgment on everything, sacred and secular, and punish accordingly. Plenty of those around, and they come in all shapes and sizes and colours.

In addition to being a leader, Jesus also worked outside the comfortable norms of society - a stance that is always going to annoy the authorities (religious no less than political), challenge their power, and get you into trouble. This is how I have always read this lyric. Anti-Semitism is certainly not the only interpretation one can put on it (and it had not even occurred to me before now). I think it's one of those cases of "you find what you're looking for".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:44 AM

Those who wish to be offended invariably find a reason.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:48 AM

I wonder just who, is feeling guilty here?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:53 AM

I suppose I had better stop singing "I wish I was in Lancashire" which contains the awful anti-semitic line "and I wish I was in Lancashire a hunting o'er the dew". The Irish are in lumber straight way with that thinly disguised hate song "The foggy dew" and every mention of 'holy people' or 'they' should of course be instantly striken from the English language.

It is people like Gerry that give political correctness a bad name. You don't work for the government, local or central, by any chance do you Gerry? I suggest you concentrate your efforts trying to eliminate real hate instead of making it up.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:29 AM

I hate it when christian groups take songs and try to "christianise" them, often totally out of context. An example is Bette Midler's 'From a Distance' - when the phrase "god is watching us" is just repeated over and over, as if it has some deep religious significance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:38 AM

It's this sort of crap that changed my beliefs from Christian to aetheist... that and the 'double bluff' emotional blackmail that's rife amongst organised religions..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:55 AM

So what significance/offence is someone going to take from Crow on the Cradle?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:56 AM

What about

"A Jew Sweet Lovely Nancy"?

In case anyone wants to be offended, that was a flippant joke.

I may misremember this, but surely Pontius Pilate (Roman) tried to pass the buck to Herod Antipas who passed the buck back to Pilate, who then offered the assembled Jewish throng the choice of pardoning Jesus or a well-known thief, Barabbas, and the crowd chose to pardon Barabbas, so it was in the end a Jewish decision to execute Jesus, wasn't it? So who were "they" I'm with Bonnie in the interpretation.

Not that I am much bothered, but it seems worth thinking about the facts as set out (if accurately) in the gospels.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Alan G
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:28 AM

theleveler said
"An example is Bette Midler's 'From a Distance' - when the phrase "god is watching us" is just repeated over and over, as if it has some deep religious significance."
My understanding is that it was originally written as "IF God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance" i.e. He can't see what is going on close up - which makes a lot more sense


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:38 AM

If Sydney Carter were alive I would dare anyone to go to him and explain what he meant when he wrote the words.

Ask any singer songwriter that does the rounds and they will tell you that this does happen to them. It annoys them usually and they are too polite to disabuse the "knowing" - usually.

If you see a meaning in the words then you have to take ownership of the interpretation and be judged along with the originator.

To the pure, all things are pure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: irishenglish
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:39 AM

Thankfully though, when Simon Nicol covered From A Distance he dropped the entire God is watching us part. Back to thread though, I see no anti-semitism in the song..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:46 AM

Syndey Carter was a Quaker, as I am though that is probably irrelevant.
Sydney as WWD said wouldn't quote literal Bible phrases even if he knew them
Here is a short quote from Sydney about his understanding of Jesus and the song in question.He said that he saw Christ as "the incarnation of the piper who is calling us. He dances that shape and pattern which is at the heart of our reality. By Christ, I mean not only Jesus; in other times and places, other planets, there may be other lords of the dance. But Jesus is the one I know of first and best. I sing of the dancing pattern in the life and words of Jesus."

I love him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: danensis
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:53 AM

Clearly the whole if the New Testament is an anti-semitic tract, and should be withdrawn immediately, and all copies burned.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:54 AM

From another Sidney Carter song (Friday Morning
In the song the words are coming from the one of the robbers crucified along with Christ
"It was on a Friday morning that they took me from my cell
And I saw they had a carpenter to crucify as well.
You can blame it on to Pilate, you can blame it on the Jews,
You can blame it on the Devil, it's God I accuse.
It's God they ought to crucify, instead of you and me,
I said to the carpenter a-hanging on the tree."

That'll be Sydney then - a long long way from a religious intolerant or fundamentalist wouldn't you say?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:55 AM

I've sung "Lord of the Dance" many times at Mass in the Catholic Chnurch, and often at singarounds, and I have to say it has always made me uneasy. I wouldn't say it's outright anti-Semitic, but the lines about the "holy people," "Scribes and Pharisees," and "how can you dance with the devil on your back" make me cringe.

Same with with "God is watching us" in "From a Distance."

I can't quite put my finger on what it is that bothers me about these songs. I sing them when requested, but not on my initiative.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:00 AM

I am about as likely to sing this song as I would be to sing Kumbaya holding hands in a circle round a camp fire. Having said that, is it anti-semitic? Of course it isn't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:02 AM

"The holy people, they said" *does* mean "the holy people said". It's a common usage in Ireland, and used to be in Britain.

But anyone who grew up with Bible stories knows that the stories about Christ and the Sabbath are to do with the priests and other tightarses of his own time. Sure, they were Jewish. So was Jesus. Nothing to do with the case.

The stories of Jesus and the Sabbath are to do with sanity in religious usage. As far as I remember, when the holy people (the priests) said to him "What the hell do you think you're at curing people on the Sabbath", Jesus turned around to these part-time farmers and full-time other-people's-business-minders and said "Yeah, right, and if your expensive ox falls into a ditch on the Sabbath you'll leave it there, won't you? Right? Right?"

Collapse of stout party.

To imagine that this is an anti-Jewish story is a waaaaaay misreading of the song. Of course it's not! It's the children's Bible stories - and indeed the stories from the Bible generally - about how you should be a bit sane about Sabbath-keeping.

Indeed, this is one of the constant Quaker things - back in the nutty 17th century, they used to have debates with foaming Sabbath-keepers, saying "Jesus didn't keep the Sabbath himself, and said the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath", or words to that effect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM

Further point: there's plenty of anti-Semitic material around without trying to tar a perfectly innocent song with this. In fact, this kind of thing gives anti-anti-Semitism a bad name!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM

Joe - they are written as religius songs first and foremost, that is what Syndey was about.

Admittedly, its much easier for people who don't share Sydney's religious committment to sing "John Ball" rather than LotD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:27 AM

Firstly, this is a song - song lyrics usually have to fit into a tight rhythmic structure as well as conveying meaning in an effective and memorable way. This can result in some loss of subtlety, or in phrasing which may be capabable of different interpretations.

Secondly, it was written as a song affirming Christ and as a metaphor for his life, death and resurrection. The lines about the "scribes and pharisees" seem to me to reflect that Jesus, a Jew, took his teachings to the Jewish people and was rejected, especially by the Jewish establishment of that time. The same goes for the lines about curing the lame on the sabbath and the "holy people said it was a shame" - the (Jewish) religious authorities disapproved of his activities.

I am neither Christian nor Jewish, so can someone please explain why it is anti-semitic to say that? It seems to me to be a very long step from words which tell, in a necessarily simplified form, the story of Christ to the anti-semitic meaning which some are seeking to read into them.

As for the song making me cringe, that's another matter, but I struggle to find anything in it that makes me think it's an attack on the Jews.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:43 AM

There is alway someone who can object to ANYTHING if they want to put their mind to it .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:52 AM

I realize it may be a folkie Mortal Sin to say this, but I think the lyrics of "Lord of the Dance" are trite - that's why they make me cringe.

As for Jesus condemning "holy people" Scribes and Pharisees, I think it's clear from the text of the New Testament that he was not condemning them for being Jewish - he was condemning hypocrites and their self-righteous condemnations of other people. Jesus spoke out against injustice, not against religious faith. Religious faith should be a good thing - but too often, it is dominated by severe, self-righteous, hypocritical people whose goal in life seems to be to find fault in other people. In their self-righteousness, many Christians fail to see they deserve the same condemnation Jesus directed at the Scribes and Pharisees.

But many people of faith don't deserve that condemnation, and I don't think Jesus twas talking about them.

Nonetheless, I think the Syndey Carter lyrics are trite and unimaginative. By the way, how many songs did he write to the tune of "Simple Gifts"?

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:00 AM

You can be against the actions that were done by a group of people 2000 years ago without being against their descendants today. First of all Jesus was a Jew so how can any Christian who is not an idiot (no shortage of those) hate all Jews without hating Jesus as well.
If He came to Earth with a mandate to save the Jews He failed. If we follow the Christian belief that he was infallable this becomes an oxymoron. His message fell on many deaf ears but his early followers were all Jews as well. Belief in Him as the "Only Son Of God" by people who all start their main prayer with "Our Father" also rings strange?
What was important to me about Christ was his teachings of peace and love of all others. I have little use for the dogma of any religion so I could be branded anti-_____ (fill in the blank)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:07 AM

I agree somewhat, Joe, but I would use the word cliched (sorry can't do the fancy 'e') rather than trite. When they were written they were probably OK but for modern usage they have become rather jaded. The same is true of a lot of songs, and other works too, I guess. Funny how it happens to some songs and not others though. Maybe keeping songs clear of current stylistic fads is the trick?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:18 AM

He said that he saw Christ as "the incarnation of the piper who is calling us. He dances that shape and pattern which is at the heart of our reality. By Christ, I mean not only Jesus; in other times and places, other planets, there may be other lords of the dance. But Jesus is the one I know of first and best. I sing of the dancing pattern in the life and words of Jesus."

Amen. To be read in conjunction with "Every star shall sing a carol" (the first song I can ever remember making me cry with... I don't know what, but not sadness).

(Our God, Heaven cannot hold him, nor Earth sustain...)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:26 AM

"especially by the Jewish establishment of that time"

It wasn't that the establishment was Jewish, it was that it was the establishment!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Gulliver
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:31 AM

There is a theory that the Judean Peoples Front were behind the killing of what's-his-name. I suspect that this song may have been written to cover up the truth of what really happened.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:49 AM

"I have little use for the dogma of any religion so I could be branded anti-_____ (fill in the blank)"

Antique?
Antipodean?
Antipasto?
Antibiotic?
Antinomian (got there in the end!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: irishenglish
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:51 AM

I thought it was the Peoples Front of Judea!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:53 AM

While we are still hugging ourselves, now the litmus test of the Mudcat's nature. If someone finds as ill-conceived an objection to the words of a song on spurious grounds of racism rather than antisemitism, do we all rise to defend against that objection in the same way?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 09:57 AM

Nothing to do with it but my mate Gerald Claridge played on Lord in the Dances - he was out numbered by many more famous musicians who also played on that album


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:01 AM

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but a recently published Sydney Carter Songbook includes an introduction by Rabbi Lionel Blue. Wikipedia says Lionel Blue is a British Reform Rabbi, journalist and broadcaster and the first openly gay British Rabbi.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Banjiman
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:03 AM

"While we are still hugging ourselves, now the litmus test of the Mudcat's nature. If someone finds as ill-conceived an objection to the words of a song on spurious grounds of racism rather than antisemitism, do we all rise to defend against that objection in the same way?"

Richard, why don't you try one and find out? Where's your mate WAV when you need him?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:06 AM

Y'ever notice that lots of "guests" show up on threads like this?

Ain't it time to close that loophole?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:12 AM

I would, Richard. Trouble is we keep getting threads which purport (is that the word?) to be 'anti-PC' but are generaly thinly disguised racist dogma. The usual 'South-Anytown Urban District Council has banned Easter eggs on the grounds that they are offensive to Hindu hens' and 'Councilor Mrs Sproggins has insisted on renaming Bolton Road as Bangalore Boulevard' have all proven to be very exagurated, if not completely false. If any of these threads, or events on which they are supposed to be based, ever prove to be true then I will be happy to jump up and down on the ill conceived objection till the cows come home.

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:27 AM

Sorry, Richard, I didn't realise I was supposed to be taking this seriously. Must stop being flippant and trying to be funny or else I could end up being accused of being antidepressant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Gulliver
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:45 AM

irishenglish, I'm surprised you confuse the People's Front of Judea (a well-known gang of splitters, sycophants and Roman lackeys) with the Judean People's Front, the real strugglers against the Romans. You'll notice that this song carefully avoids mentioning the political struggle that was going on at that time, and the JPF's proud role in it. Instead it promotes the bourgeois notions of singing and dancing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: irishenglish
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:49 AM

Peoples Popular Front of Judea then?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:21 AM

Is "The Circle Game" anti-clockwise ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:23 AM

I always understood the "holy people" to be what we call the "unco guid" in Scots, namely that section of the religious establishment that is more interested in enforcing strict rules on other people than worshiping God. Carter is quoted as writing "Faith is more basic than language or theology. Scriptures and creeds may come to seem incredible, but faith will still go dancing on. This, I believe, is the kind of faith that Christ commended".

Any way, my favourite of his songs is "The Devil Wore a Crucifix"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 11:58 AM

Unco' guid? Love it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 12:19 PM

As a cheesey new-age-y knock-off of "Simple Gifts" there are lots of good reasons for not singing it that have nothing to do with its theological implications.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: glueman
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:16 PM

"but I think the lyrics of "Lord of the Dance" are trite - that's why they make me cringe."

Amen to that Joe. It's a masterpiece of the extended metaphor - pick an allusion that's essentially meaningless but in which people can invest some 'profound' stuff of their own, wind 'em up and watch 'em go. Even if the song wasn't terrible (which it is) it's been condemned by the company it keeps.
Perhaps we'll have a thread on Dark Satanic Mills and discuss whether it's racist, anti-Wiccan and patronising to overweight female players of overstrung pianos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:21 PM

Or matronising?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:22 PM

Maybe in all damning GUEST Gerry we are being anti-semantic?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: oggie
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:28 PM

"but I think the lyrics of "Lord of the Dance" are trite - that's why they make me cringe."

Like "Blowing in the Wind", "Dirty Old Town", "Streets of London" and a lot of The Beatles output to name but a few?

It is a product of it's age (written in 1963) and has stood the test of still being sung better than most. Whether it deserves to is another question.

For those interested Carter's own take and rationale for using Simple Gifts can be found here.

Lord of the Dance

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM

our international audience won't get the dark satanic Mrs Mills reference. which is a pity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 01:55 PM

From: Peace
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 10:06 AM

Y'ever notice that lots of "guests" show up on threads like this?

Ain't it time to close that loophole?

   Just for the record, I actually am a member here at Mudcat. I just happen to be at work right now. The reason so many of my posts are as Guest,Neil D is because I have so much free time at work. Once all my programs are running I can watch them with half an eye and Mudcat is one of the ways I pass the time and keep myself awake. At home, where my cookie resides, I usually leave the computer to my wife since she gets so much pleasure from her online games.
   That being said, I really don't see what difference it makes and I don't know why my last post provoked that response. I was merely pointing out that at least one Rabbi seemingly does not find Sydney Carter to be anti-Semitic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:10 PM

Guest,Gerry, the perfect example of the politically correct gone completely mad. Sydney Carter must surely be revolving in his grave. I wonder what the PC's would make of Crow on the Cradle?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:23 PM

Well, maybe I'll sign up one of these times. I refuse to let my browser save cookies, though.

As a DJ, I feel I'm helped by being alerted to the associations a phrase like "the holy people" can raise in people.

Who is Ms Mills, anyway, and why are people saying these things about her?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:25 PM

(apologies to the spirit of William Blake for the preceding comment.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:32 PM

I hadn't realised that 'the new agey-wagey' extended as far back as 1963 the year inwhich Lord of the Dance was publish. We live and learn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,A Friend
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:33 PM

I doubt that Carter had anti-Semitic intentions in writing "Lord of the Dance." However, the song does reflect almost 2,000 years of Church teachings that were at the heart of Christian anti-Semitism and that paved the way for the Holocaust.

It was only in the 1960s, that the Pope offically disavowed the Church's traditional stance of the Jews being responsible for killing Christ.

The question of anti-Semitism in "Lord of the Dance" is not new. It's been discussed for years and was addressed in a Quaker publication in 1999.

Perhaps you folks who are so quick to condemn or mock Gerry should read the article.

Here is a link to the PDF of the article.

A Quaker acknowledgement of anti-Semitism subtext to Lord of the Dance


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: MMario
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:37 PM

Of course here you get into intent versus perception.

Can anti-semitism be read into the lyrics? yes.

Was there any intent of anti-semitism? Most likely not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:38 PM

The so-called offending line can mean anything you want it to mean, much the same as anything else. I've read that article before, and it didn't change my opinion when I first read it, and it doesn't change it now. Before anyone begins jumping up and down, I am a Jew, and I am not offended.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:44 PM

Nice summing up MMario. How true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:55 PM

I just noticed this on the Stainer and Bell website:

: The tune is an adaptation of the Shaker tune 'Simple Gifts', but is accepted and acknowledged
: as a separate copyright in its own right
: It's not 'Traditional' - it is fully copyright throughout the world, and as such, permission
: should be requested for reproduction on web sites and in 'order of services' etc

How have they (and Carter) managed to get away with that mendacious bollocks?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:02 PM

I know this might be radical thinking, but just maybe Stainer and Bell and the estate of the late Sydney Carter have the necssary permissions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:05 PM

You can write lyrics to a traditional tune and copyright them, surely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:39 PM

Reading the Quaker article, it seems to me that a significant element of the anti-Semitic interpretation hangs on the understanding of the phrase "holy people". According to one of the earlier posts, in the Hebrew bible this phrase is used to describe the Jewish people. However, I have never come this expression in general English usage ("chosen people", yes), and I doubt that most people who are not Jewish or bible scholars would put this interpretation on it. I have always taken it at face value - the religious authorities who objected to Jesus's activities.

Would most people hearing the song understand it to be a veiled attack on the Jews? I doubt it. Does a somewhat obscure interpretation which apparently took more than 30 years to come to light make it anti-semitic? I don't think so.

That's easy for me to say - I'm not Jewish. But it occurs to me that to get worked up over this, when there are many real and serious examples of anti-semitism, shows a misplaced sense of priorities.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,A Friend
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:50 PM

Howard Jones,

It is not an obscure interpretation that took 30 years to come to light. The issue was discussed for many years before the Quaker article was published.

John Allan Cameron, the Canadian folksinger, was a seminary graduate who almost became a Catholic priest. Lord of the Dance was the theme song for a television series he had in Canada in the mid-1970s. The issue of possible anti-Semitism was raised with him then and he stopped singing the offensive verse. That was about 25 years before the Quaker article.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:50 PM

Stainer and Bell are claiming copyright on the *tune*, not just the words.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:52 PM

Farewell Farewell, written by Richard Thompson and recorded by Fairport Convention on Liege and Lief is set to the Fause Foodrage tune now commonly used for Willie O Winsbury. A recording of Willie O Winsbury played and sung by Thompson was included on the boxset RT.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:53 PM

As I said, just maybe permissions were granted as regards the tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: john f weldon
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:08 PM

I always liked LotD despite a complete lack of religion. Holy People (to this modern ear) brings images of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Surely they're the ones (to slightly reword William Jennings Bryan's old campaign slogan) who would crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

A video comment I made a year ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9fdpqwCFRM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:19 PM

The Friends' assembly's concern "not to engage in any activity that causes pain" seems very to the point when the interpretation so hinges on the experience and worldview of the audience/listenership, who may be motivated by other thoughts than "political correctness."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:19 PM

Precisely as I said. Do the strict rules of grammar control the interpretation of a poet's meaning? We all know better than that, don't we?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:24 PM

I will continue to perform the song as written by Sydney Carter without a single verse missing. As I have already stated, I am Jewish and I am not offended by the song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:35 PM

Interestingly, every year when I am on the air on Easter (and I am not Christian) I always start with the Addis/Crofut melding of Simple Gifts into Lord of The Dance.

I have always loved those pieces and as far as L/D is concerned I always felt it a wonderful melody with the usual poetic license to announce that the protagonist (i.e. Jesus/Christ) is a leader who will always return to show us the right path into a happy world.   I I don't believe that the words should be taken that literally.

A member of the station staff has mentioned to me a number of times how much he loves Smple Gifts and finds L/D offensive.

Joe Offer: As to From A Distance I don't know what would be offensive about that---or make one uncomfortable--unless the belief in a god makes one so.   Julie Gold, the writer, is alive and well and in this case one can go to her website and contact her for any enlightment.   

I recall a number of years back she supplied me with the song as done by artists from all over the world and I was able to put together a 15 minute sequence in so many languages on the radio show---TRADITIONS/WFDU

Another interesting tale is how the song became such a hit for Julie Gold's songwriting.

Bill Hahn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 04:57 PM

Should song lyrics be judged by the same standards as poetry? Poetry can be pondered over and levels of meaning extracted - song lyrics have to be seized on as they pass by, and must usually be more direct. That's why poems seldom make good songs, and vice versa (with notable exceptions, of course)

Were the words obviously anti-semitic and clearly going to give widespread offence, then it would undoubtedly be right to alter or omit them. But that's not the case with LOTD, and even some Jews have said that they don't find it offensive. Where a meaning is ambiguous then it seems reasonable to me to accept the more obvious interpretation, especially in the context of the song as a whole and from what we know about the author.

There will always be some who will seek to find offence and will take the less obvious meaning. Some singers will choose to alter the words to avoid any possibility of giving offence, no matter how mistaken, and they're free to do so. However to me it seems unreasonable to be expected to change the words of any song simply because some might misinterpret it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 05:19 PM

I knew Sydney very well and found him to be a very decent English type in the mould of Flanders and Swan and his songs were usually set to obvious trad tunes. He was a committed Christian and although not overtly anti-semetic, his creed would not allow him to agree with the Jewish faith. If only the melody to Lord of the Dance is performed and named as a Gift to be Simple then it is not in copyright but call it Lord of the Dance, then Sydney's Estate holds the rights.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM

If the tunes are identical, then that cannot be good copyright law.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Muswell Hillbilly
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:04 PM

The tune (to Lord of the Dance) is an adaptation of the Shaker tune 'Simple Gifts', but is accepted and acknowledged as a separate copyright in its own right.

Simple Gifts has been adapted or arranged many times by folksingers and composers. Probably the best known example is by English songwriter Sydney Carter, who adapted the Shaker tune for his song Lord of the Dance, first published in 1963.

the tune was composed in 1848 by (Elder)Joseph Brackett Jr and is described as a Quick Dance or Dancing song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 06:20 PM

I very much doubt if the tune was composed in 1848, or in America, or with a Christian purpose in mind. It's quoted in Bartok's Second Rhapsody for violin and orchestra (1924, I think - at any rate long before Copland used the tune), and given exactly the same sort of treatment he used for folk tunes from eastern Europe - it's a ferocious stomping dance tune. He never used any tune from the English-speaking world, as far as I know.

My guess is that it was an old secular folktune adopted for religious purposes and taken to the US by the Moravians.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:01 PM

"My guess is that it was an old secular folktune adopted for religious purposes and taken to the US by the Moravians."

Jack, that's worth looking into.

As I see it, the issue surrounding the words is neither Carter's lyrical intention nor the finicalness of the "politically correct." The significant point is the quoted stanza's potential for mischief. By that I mean the aid and comfort it could give, however unintentionally, to antisemites, who - if they listen to the words in question - may nod their heads sagely and believe that Carter shared their bigotry.

If antisemitism were no longer a live issue, we could scoff at this. We, after all, know better. Unfortunately, the targets of antisemitism may well be made highly uncomfortable by the potential of those particular lyrics, especially when they're sung in a public venue.

It doesn't matter much what the author intended in a case like this, because the people doing the interpreting in either direction are unlikely to have heard assurances that Carter meant to single out the Pharisees only. Worse, while it was Pilate and Roman soldiers who ordered the stripping and ripping, the song doesn't mention the culpable Romans, just culpable "holy people." One fills in the blank according to one's knowledge or prejudices. Had Carter instead written something like "all the hypocrites," there'd be nothing to argue. Presumably he didn't think of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:04 PM

Quotes from the Freedom and Justice Crier, cited above:

the FGC hymnal committee has wrestled with the concerns raised about "Lord of the Dance" by presenting Carter's explanation that "the holy people" refers only to certain Jewish priests and stating that, "'they' refers to the authorities responsible for the crucifixion, mainly the Romans." Rules of grammar tell us that the
pronoun "they" can only refer to the subject of the previous sentence, "the holy people."


Note: Carter's explanation. The author of this passage is willing to regard 'rules of grammar' as more convincing evidence than what Sidney Carter actually said.

We do not believe that anti-Semitism was Sydney Carter's intention in writing these words, nor that this is the intention of the hymnal committee or Friends who sing "Lord of the Dance" today.

So: no anti-semitism in Carter's writing; no anti-semitism in Friends' singing. No problem, right?

Singing the third verse of "Lord of the Dance" in its current form carries with it a well-documented, devastating historical and religious burden, no matter what our intent. ... Declaring our innocence does not remove the hurt that we cause by invoking these words. ... Each time we sing this verse together we lend emotional power and the appearance of support for what is in fact a lie.

"What is in fact a lie"? "'The words 'the holy people' in line 2 refers to the Jews" - that's a lie. "'The word 'they' in line 3 refers to the Jews" - that's a lie, too. "This song could be understood as anti-semitic" is a true statement, but also meaningless - show me the song that couldn't.

Besides which, the proposed improvements are either mealy-mouthed and clunky -

"Many holy people said it was a shame"

or just historically & theologically wrong -

"And I danced alone to the cross to die"

Jesus was crucified, in the passive voice - he didn't volunteer for it. And the holy people, of that time and place, were pretty much unanimous in deploring what he did, particularly on the Sabbath. To decry this kind of thing as anti-semitic, as someone said upthread, simply gives anti-anti-semitism a bad name.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:21 PM

Muswell,

I am with you on this.

The true test to this silly discussion would be to ask someone who is actually antisemitic if the song is agreeable to them and their beliefs. If so then we have the straight stuff and we will all know which side of our high horses they can truly be mounted from.

Since I am not antisemitic my opinion won't matter or have any weight.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:29 PM

"Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?"


                   Ask Abe Foxman. According to him, everything is anti-semitic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:33 PM

If we could all find a way to stop getting our panties in a bunch over such interpretations as these, we might well have peace on earth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:34 PM

Like Howard Jones there, I have never come across the expression "the holy people" - as opposed to "the chosen people" as a term for the Jewish people. Except of course in the context of this very strained, tortuous and daft "controversy" about Sydney Carter's song.

And that article and discussion "A Quaker acknowledgment of anti-Semitism subtext to Lord of the Dance" doesn't make it any less strained tortuous and daft - Quakers are just as capable of the occasional outbreaks of daftness as anyone else, they just tend to be rather better mannered in arguing out such matters than the rest of us.
.........................

As for the song being "trite", I think that falls into the same trap as the complaint that Shakespeare and the Bible is full of quotations and hackneyed phrases.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:00 PM

No - is the word we are all searching for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:29 PM

Define 'no'!!

Sorry, but it's a daft remark in the vein of all the other daft remarks preceding.

How about all the 'sinister sub-plots' in Enid Blyton's 'Noddy' books?

The written word is capable of being interpreted and misinterpreted as many ways as there are people reading it, if not more!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 02:52 AM

McGrath of Harlow (I have never come across the expression "the holy people" - as opposed to "the chosen people" as a term for the Jewish people.):

Deuteronomy 14:2 ... For you are a holy people to the LORD your God,

Deuteronomy 7:6 ... For you are a holy people to the LORD your God;

Isaiah 63:18 ... Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, Our adversaries have trodden it down. ... Your holy people possessed the land for a little while. ...

Deuteronomy 28:9 ... "The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself,

Deuteronomy 26:19   and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God ...

Deuteronomy 14:21 "You shall not eat anything which dies of itself ...... You may give it to the alien who is in your town, so that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner, for you are a holy people to the LORD your God. ...

Leviticus 20:26 ... Be my holy people because I, the LORD, am holy.

Exodus 22:31... "You must be my holy people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 03:23 AM

How to put this without sounding as though I am condescending to an idiot:-

I imagine Sydney Carter was pretty well versed in The Sermon on the Mount, but really he wasn't the sort of person that would spend his time examining the books of the OT looking for salvation.

And he certainly wasn't the man who would look through those pages seeking for ways to denounce and insult a tranche of his fellow man.

His brand of Christianity was people based. And very gentle and decent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 03:46 AM

"His brand of Christianity was people based. And very gentle and decent."

WLD, if I were a Christian, I'd say 'Amen' to that. Seeing what's happening amongst right-wing Christians the world over at the moment, it's a great pity there aren't more like him


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 04:49 AM

Perfectly put WWD and the leveller


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 05:22 AM

"Deuteronomy 14:2 ... For you are a holy people to the LORD your God,"

That's "a holy people" not "the holy people". There's a world of difference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Betsy at work
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 05:28 AM

This topic won't keep me awake at night - come on - it's almost a religuous version of McNamara's Band . Lord of the Dance / Leader of the Band - same difference.
Get a life and worry about something offensive which this song was clearly never intended to be.
Only zealots can see such a meaning .
As TJ of San Diego (sort of )said earlier, no wonder we can't get "peace on earth" if we're digging up and raking round shitlike this. (With full apologies to TJ for my colourful paraphrasing).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 05:28 AM

I happen to have some sympathy with what you say, but you are quoting from a translation of the Bible (unless you happen to own the original) and arging over a single word of this type is rather pointless


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 05:29 AM

My previous post was directed at manitas at work


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 07:50 AM

As mattkeen says we are looking at a translation which is, at best, questionable when it comes to meanings. However, in Guest, Gerry's list there is not one single mention of THE holy people. By his own logic (it accuses the Jews, 'the holy people' etc.) his examples prove that the song is not anti-Jewish (semitic would include other Arabic peoples of course). THE holy people must be something different to 'A holy people', 'MY holy people' and 'YOUR holy people'.

Ta-da!

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

Anyway, the only thing the holy people - whoever exactly they are - did was to say it was a shame. In other words, they spoke. Those who actually carried out the whipping and stripping and hanging were the governing Romans. Nowhere does the song contradict this historical fact.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 08:03 AM

I always used to think Agatha Christie was a good plotter of thrillers - a good writer.

Then one day someone pointed something out to me. The reason its so damn difficult to spot who the murderer is, is that they are not real characters - they are stereotypes.

A good writer writes proper characters, whom you can imagine sitting down with and talking and you will be able to guess some of their opinions - and what it feel like to be in their presence.

Sydney Carter was not a stereotype. His character had no elements in it that would consider harbouring the criminal intention of which you accuse him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 08:42 AM

Is the piece of cloth on the back of an armchair antimacassar ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 09:38 AM

WLD on roll now
+1 from me


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 10:47 AM

I'm an Israeli Christian with Jewish background. I think the song is incredibly corny, but don't find it offensive (well, not anymore so than Louey, Louey or My Sharona) or anti-semitic. It's one thing to say that the Jews killed Jesus, which is the same thing as saying that the French massacred the Hugeonots on St Bartholomew's Day, but entirely another to claim that all the Jews did so and that their descendants are responsible and guilty of the same.

I think the issue is bigger than who actually thrust in the nails.
Is there any evidence of any sort that the Romans didn't care one way or another about Jesus?

"By his own logic (it accuses the Jews, 'the holy people' etc.) his examples prove that the song is not anti-Jewish (semitic would include other Arabic peoples of course)."
Anti-semitic is a term specificaly coined for hatred of JEWS. That comment just shows ignorance about the subject.
Whatever the article or possesive pronoun used, there is only one people in the Bible reffered to as holy. I would recommend picking up a nice grammar book and reading up on usage of articles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: glueman
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 11:28 AM

It might be appropriate here to say Jesus was a good Jew with some very unconventional views - but still a practicing Jew. The song's worst trait as Volgadon says is its corniness, an easier thing to prove than race hatred and appreciable by anyone who likes Jewish humour.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 11:33 AM

NeilD--that wasn't addressed to you. I know you're a regular member. So relax, OK?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Arkie
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 01:15 PM

There are those who are searching for something to offend them. I have known people who could be offended by the 'abc's if they worked at it hard enough. Are they really thin-skinned or simply trying to make people around them uncomfortable.

From the accounts in the Scripture, we can find examples of Jews doing terrible things as well as good things. The prophet Micah describes a scene from his day "you who hate good and love evil: who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who eat my people's flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot." While this is probably not a literal description of the actions of the people it does suggest unacceptable behavior enough to warrant the destruction of a nation. Christians have done horrible things as well. One only has to scan the pages of history. Terrible things are done by one group of people to another around the globe in our own day. It is a mistake to deny that a group with which one is associated has done the atrocious acts recorded by history. It is also a mistake to condemn people in the present for wrongs that were done in the past. But if we acknowledge the evil perpetrated in the past we can guard against a repeat of the actions far more effectively.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 01:52 PM

I can't see the words "the holy people" in any of those texts Gerry cited. That's niot a quibble - a difference between "a" and "the" - the latter is excsusive, the former isn't.

And in fact all those texts are routinely used in Christian liturgies, where they are used to refer to the body of Christian believers, addressed as "a holy people".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 02:12 PM

Scores on the doors. Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic when Carter wrote it? A resounding No.

Is 'Lord of the Dance' sometimes seen as being anti-semitic? Yes.

Do the people who see 'Lord of the Dance' as anti-semitic present a persuasive case? My answer is No; your mileage may vary.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 02:18 PM

I keep hearing a kind of muddying of the distinction between Sydney Carter's intentions, along with the intentions of his interpreters and those of us who respond positively to the song and intuitively catch its conscious drift, and *Others* who bring to it a very different historical background and set of assumptions that may not be transparent to us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 02:46 PM

The most minute examination of the features of one side of the coin might throw hardly any light on what lies on the other side of the coin--that just occurred to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: oggie
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 04:34 PM

"Isaiah 63:18 ... Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, Our adversaries have trodden it down. ... Your holy people possessed the land for a little while. ... "

With semantics you can argue almost anything. In this case, quoted by Gerry, IF God is addressing the Jews then there is obviously a distinction between the priestly caste and the Jewish people. If the Jews as a whole where the "Holy People" then it should raed "...You holy people...".

Now it is possible to argue that this is a translation of an oral text etc etc but if you are going to base your argument on semantics that doesn't wash IMO.

Given the state of the world I can see much more important things to worry about than whether one song is anti-semitic (like the further proliferation of nucleur weapons in the Middle East for example).

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 06:35 PM

I've just checked the GNB Cocordance, and that translation only uses the phrase "Holy people" three times, once as "Your holy people" (Is 63.18) and twice as "God's holy people" (Ezra 9.2 & Is 62.12), and never in isolation.

As SC said

Whenever there's a lynching
The Devil will be there-
A witch or an apostle,
The Devil doesn't care.

No doubt if he were writing now he'd have written something about Jews, Muslims etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Gulliver
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 09:04 PM

The Jews couldn't have been the "Holy People". See what Martin Luther said about them here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 11:36 PM

And that was necessary to this discussion in what way?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 03 Jul 08 - 11:54 PM

But Martin Luther is widely admired still for his courage in taking on the church hierarchy, etc. But what a godawful and unacknowledged shadow side to the founder of Protestantism!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 02:55 AM

Kind of illuminates the idiocies of religions over the years!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:27 AM

Oggie, that does reffer to the Israelites. Isiaiah is addressing the Lord.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:36 AM

Oggie, I think it's pretty clear that God is not addressing anyone in the Isaiah quote; rather, someone (maybe Isaiah) is addressing God. And, yes, there are more important things to worry about than whether one song is anti-semitic, but then there are more important things to worry about than folk music - does that mean we should wind up Mudcat? The question Len Wallace asked at the start of this thread has generated well over 100 posts, so I guess some people think it's important to worry about whether a popular song is anti-semitic.

Phil Edwards: it seems to me that to be unpersuaded you have to
1. hold that the "they" who thought it was a shame he danced on the Sabbath are not the "they" who hung him on a cross, and/or
2. hold that the Jews (or some Jews) really did crucify Jesus, and/or
3. hold that no Jews crucified Jesus but that it isn't antisemitic to say anyway that they did.
Or do you hold some 4th position that I've overlooked?

Volgadon, I have no idea what you mean when you say, "It's one thing to say that the Jews killed Jesus, which is the same thing as saying that the French massacred the Hugeonots on St Bartholomew's Day...." It's my understanding that the French - at any rate, some of the French - did massacre Huguenots on St Bartholomew's Day, whereas it was the Romans (OK, some Romans) who killed Jesus. Are you really saying that telling a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

Weelittledrummer, I've had nothing to say about Carter's intentions. Once you write a song or poem, it stands on its own - you aren't there to explain to everyone who reads it or hears it what your intentions were when you wrote it. My claim is that a reasonable person hearing or seeing those lyrics could well come to the conclusion that the "they" who said it was a shame he danced on the Sabbath were the same "they" who hung him on a cross. Forget what you know about Carter; can you not agree that a person coming across those lyrics could reasonably come to that interpretation?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 03:58 AM

I just grabbed the first example that came to mind. If you were to say that the French murdered Hugeonots you wouldn't be accused of francophobia, would you? Ok, is Capone less culpable in the St V's Day massacre than Burke, Goetz and Carey?
The Romans were the ones that did the actual crucifying, but at whose insistance?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 04:41 AM

Tsk, tsk Volgadon. Tell you what. I'll do a deal. You send me a book on grammer and I'll send you a book on internet smileys. I thought the 'ta-da!' at the end of my 'logic argument' was enough to show it was intended to be humourous but surely the ':D' should have given it away! As to your comment about anti-semitic, well, here is what the Meriam-Webster dictionary has to say -

Main Entry: Sem·ite
Pronunciation: \ˈse-ˌmît, especially British ˈsç-ˌmît\
Function: noun
Etymology: French sémite, from Sem Shem, from Late Latin, from Greek Sçm, from Hebrew Shçm
Date: 1848
1 a: a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs b: a descendant of these peoples
2: a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language

Main Entry: 1Se·mit·ic   
Pronunciation: \sə-ˈmi-tik also -ˈme-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: German semitisch, from Semit, Semite Semite, probably from New Latin Semita, from Late Latin Sem Shem
Date: 1813
1 : of, relating to, or constituting a subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family that includes Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Amharic
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the Semites
3 : jewish

So, yes, anti-semitic may have been changed to be specificaly anti- Jewish but it is still incorrect usage of the term. If people mean anti-Jewish then why not say anti-Jewish?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:10 AM

Ia a canary up the side of a certain lady's underwear auntie-mary ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:19 AM

Gerry, those of us arguing against the proposition are not denying that it's impossible to come to that interpretation, but we do disagree that it's "reasonable".

Just because the Bible calls the Jews "a holy people" does not mean that any reference to "the holy people" must always therefore refer to the Jewish people. That's a big step, particularly when viewed in context - it's about "the holy people" objecting to Jesus breaking the Sabbath to cure the lame, and I would argue that a more reasonable interpretation would be that it means the priests and religious authorities who enforced the Sabbath.

The verse in question falls into two distinct sections, each telling a different and unrelated part of Jesus's story. It's possible to conclude that "they" in the second part refers to "the holy people" in the first part, but is it reasonable? I don't think so. But even if you do accept that interpretation, that's still just a summary, necessarily abreviated, of the Gospel story - the (Jewish) religious authorities brought Jesus before the (Roman) civil authorities as a means of ridding themselves of a troublemaker. They weren't responsible for the act of crucifixion, but they were responsible for bringing it about.

I don't believe it's anti-semitic to tell a historical story just because it may show Jews in a bad light (we'll leave aside the question of whether the Gospels are accurate history) - what is anti-semitic is to then use it as an excuse to persecute the entire Jewish people, but there's nothing in the song to suggest that. As I said, I believe the two halves of the verse are unrelated and the more obvious interpretation is that "they" just means those in power.

Gerry, it's possible to come to the conclusions you do, but I think it takes some effort and ignores the more obvious interpretations. If some wish to go to that effort in order to take offence, that's up to them, but don't expect the rest of us to agree. In particular, don't expect the rest of us to adopt lyrically inferior words just because some are over-sensitive.

A final point: LOTD is a Christian song, and Christianity and Judaism, whilst they have much in common, are inevitably in opposition as they disagree over the fundamental question of whether or not Jesus was the Messiah. That is not to excuse anti-semitism of any sort, but it is inevitable that any expression of Christian belief has the potential to be offensive to Jews, and vice versa. Both sides should learn to live with it, like many of the Jews who have expressed an opinion on this thread, rather than seek out petty offence when there are many more real and intentional examples of anti-semitism to address.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: mattkeen
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:50 AM

Regarding the quality of the song and its triteness etc.

Its a childrens song isn't it? And taken on that level a good one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:52 AM

I misread the ':D', I thought it was a regular 'D', for Dave.

"So, yes, anti-semitic may have been changed to be specificaly anti- Jewish but it is still incorrect usage of the term. If people mean anti-Jewish then why not say anti-Jewish?"

It hasn't been changed, it was coined to mean anti-Jewish and that was how it was used. His name eludes me right now, but an Austrian Jewish scholar used it in the 1860s to criticise some virulently anti-Jewish scholar and 20 years later, Wilhelm Marr widely used the term to reffer solely to Jews.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Bob L
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 06:30 AM

At the risk of lobbing in a smoke bomb, may I point out that the fourth Gospel consistently refers to Jesus' persecutors as "The Jews". Now a moment's thought should disabuse anyone of the idea that this means Jews in general, let alone all Jews: Jesus himself was Jewish, and so were his (original) followers including the Gospel's own author. Nevertheless, it has been grievously misinterpreted in the past as an excuse for antisemitism.

The point being that a phrase like "holy people" is just as open to being misunderstood, given a conspicuous absence of common sense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 06:33 AM

Phil Edwards: it seems to me that to be unpersuaded you have to
1. hold that the "they" who thought it was a shame he danced on the Sabbath are not the "they" who hung him on a cross, and/or
2. hold that the Jews (or some Jews) really did crucify Jesus, and/or
3. hold that no Jews crucified Jesus but that it isn't antisemitic to say anyway that they did.


I hold position 1 and always have. So did Sidney Carter, who actually said that when he wrote the word 'they' he didn't mean it to refer to 'the holy people' - which in itself is a very odd way of referring to the Jews in general, and a very straightforward way of referring to contemporary people who were ostentatiously holy.

I think all you've persuaded anyone of here is that people can take offence at anything if they try hard enough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 06:46 AM

BTW the holy people is one way the Jews reffer to themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 07:35 AM

Dear Guest Gerry,

i can honestly say that before joining mudcat, I had never encountered anyone who gave that interpretation to the song.

I was once ordered to teach some 16 year olds in the remedial class the Jane Austen short story which is in the form of a letter and begins:-

My Dearest Fanny

I think the class would have agreed with you that it doesn't really matter what the artist intended. After all a fanny is a fanny.... and mention of one in an English lesson doesn't happen every day.

Whilst I could understand and even sympathise with the need for a bit of smut, I really can't understand why you need to insist that this song could bear this interpretation.

Much has been said of the lyric's corniness. To myself it conjures up to me the memory of the funeral service of a dear colleague who had been killed in a motor accident.

it was a multi-racial school and there were colleagues of every religion - sikh, christian, muslim, jewish - plenty of atheists. And there we all were thinking about this friend whom we had known as a lively, goodlooking, humorous young man - less than a week before.

someone just read the verse of Lord of the Dance about, 'I am the life that will never, never die.....' And it was one of the most moving and consoling moments I have ever experienced.

You take what you want from Carter's lyric.

My personal feeling is that if you get into the habit of looking for hatred and negativity in the works of your fellow man, you run the risk of developing a talent for abuse that you will find hard to control. And one day people will be counting the seconds til they can be quit of your company.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:00 AM

Bravo, Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:10 AM

has anyone mentioned the similarity of the tune to Haydn's Surprise symphony?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:39 AM

"My personal feeling is that if you get into the habit of looking for hatred and negativity in the works of your fellow man, you run the risk of developing a talent for abuse that you will find hard to control." Weelittledrummer, I find this very rich, coming from the one who began an earlier post with "How to put this without sounding as though I am condescending to an idiot:-" By the way, you may be amused to know that a fanny is not necessarily a fanny - in American usage, fanny means backside, but in Australian usage, it refers to a woman's genitals, and is considered a rather vulgar term.

So let me propose an experiment. Write out the stanza from LotD on a piece of paper, show it to a friend who is not familiar with the song, and when the friend has read it, ask whether your friend thinks that the "they" in the second half was meant by the author to refer to the holy people of the first half.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:43 AM

From everything I know about Sidney Carter, he was a gentle, sincere, and loving Christian who would have never intentionally written an anti-Semitic verse. But he was also a product of a religious tradition that has a long and dark anti-Semitic past. Could he have used phrases and images from that tradition that can be interpreted as anti-Semitic? Apparently he did.

I recall a discussion in an English class long ago on whether or not Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness was racist. Certainly Conrad's message was anti-racist. That is what we call civilization is just a thin veneer, and that if the white man is moved to a different environment, he is no different than the black. However, to make that point, Conrad used what we have come to understand as racist imagery, very disturbing racist imagery. But then Conrad was a product of his own times and traditions. Let's cut both him and Carter a break, and let's look at their intentions, not just their metaphors.

Bottom line: if you don't like that "holy people" verse in Lord of the Dance, don't sing it. No one is forcing you to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:44 AM

Do you mean "take the words out of context and see what you can read into them", Gerry? Not much of a test, then - anyone can read whatever they like, it becomes just an elaborate association game. I will have a go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:45 AM

> show it to a friend who is not familiar with the song, and when the friend has read it, ask whether your friend thinks...

What on earth is that going to accomplish? So one more person thinks something and adds their interpretation to the stewpot, so what? We have a whole thread full of them already.

Al does a very nice line in subtlety. Think you missed it...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:53 AM

OK. My two cents:

I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame
But pious people
Said it was a shame.
I was whipped and stripped
And hung on high
And left up there
On a Cross to die.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 08:58 AM

Don't worry about the mistake, Volgadon. Many people read what they believe into a message rather than what is actualy there or what is intended. That's what this thread is about :D

So, anti-semitic was first coined by an Austrian-Jewish scholar in the 1860s was it? I have no reason to doubt that he did use it in the context you suggest but I seriously doubt that the phrase had not been used earlier. The Etymology of the word appears to be Late Latin / Greek / Hebrew so, when the Romans took over the area they were oppressing not only the Jews but also the Gentiles who lived there. The invaders took the land regardless of creed so they were not being particularly anti-Jewish but they were indeed anti-Semitic in the true sense of the word. I would have thought that the Phoenicians, for instance, who were non Jewish semites would have complained severely about the anti-semitism of the Roman government!

However, as I can offer no proof of this I must accept that your Austrian scholar did indeed invent the phrase. Now we come to another point. If he did, who is to say he was right? Was everything that scholars said in the 1860s correct? Did he realise that by hijacking the phrase 'semite' he corrupted the description of a whole peoples of Asia. How dare he! It's as bad as hijacking the word 'gay' and giving that a whole new meaning.

I fully understand that most people believe the term means anti-Jewish. But again it is not necessarily true that most people are right. You carry on using the term anti-semitic and I will stick to anti-Jewish if you don't mind. And if I believe my fusilier is a happy chap I will also continue to call him gay...:-)

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:05 AM

OK, George, don't take them out of context. Write out the entire song, and after your friend has read it, point to the "they" and ask whether it might refer to "the holy people."

Bonnie, I gather that by Al, you mean weelittledrummer. Maybe I have missed his subtlety. Maybe you could explain it to me. As to what my experiment might accomplish, I'm amazed that anyone could hear that verse and not think the second half referred back to the first, and you're amazed (and I apologize in advance for pretending to speak for you) that anyone could think it did. The experiment might convince one of us that the other is closer to being right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:12 AM

Well, many people on here think it did, so that equals a lot of amazement.

Al is perfectly capable of speaking for himself. If he feels like it.

Don't know if anyone is ever going to convince anyone that anyone is Right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:32 AM

In your defence Gerry, I must say I thought I was being fairly direct.

Can I ask how old you are?

Everybody of my generation knows Lord of the Dance. And all our parents fought in the war against nazism, (which strange though it may seem) didn't leave a vast reservoir of empathy in the English people for anti semitism. I really do not think an anti semitic chant would have struck much of a chord, with people who had the job of liberating the concentration camps of that era. Whereas Lord of the dance was very popular withthat same generation. how could that be?

And furthermore all our generation know and can distinguish between English and American fanny. And one is tempted to add, ones arse form ones elbow - but that would be condescending.

Please don't mistake my impatience with abuse. There is a qualitative difference. Saying that someone has no knowledge of, and respect for our culture and customs, or is maybe a little deficient in understanding - that's not quite the same as accusing Sydney Carter of perpetrating an act of vile racism.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:35 AM

Did I ever tell you about the poster I saw for the American Girl Rock Group

Fanny (with supporting band)

The mind boggles.

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:37 AM

Using the term "The Holy People" to refer to members of the Jewish nation may have been very common among the Jews of Jesus' day. It may be common among Jewish people today. I don't know. I'm not Jewish. The question is not: "is it possible to find anti-jewish sentiment in this song", but rather: "is it reasonable to believe that someone of a non-jewish background writing a song C. 1960 would associate the term "The Holy People" exclusively with the Jews."

I personally think this is a bit of a stretch. If the song actually referred to "The Jewish leaders" instead of "The Holy People" I think you would find a lot more support for the anti-semitic argument.

One might just as well argue that the Bob Dylan song "with God on our side" is anti-native american, since it contains the lines "the cavalries charged, the Indians died/For the country was young, with God on its side"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:58 AM

Dave, the terms semite and semitic were coined in the late 18th century. August Ludwig Schlozer, who coined the terms, had the idea that languages like Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic all originate from one original language, a 'proto-semitic' one. Extending that thought, if they all spoke one language, they must all be one people, a semitic people. Moritz Steinschneider was the first to coin the term antisemitic. If you know of any earlier mention, please share. He used it to describe the French scholar Renan who held that the European races were superior to Semitic ones. Renan himself used the term semitic reluctantly, for want of a better one. Many German writers and demagogues in the 19th century used Semite to reffer to Jews. Steinschneider aside, the person who came up with the noun and concept that is antisemitism was Wilhelm Marr. Marr also coined the term Judenhass (Jew-hatred).
He founded the Antisemite League in 1879.He wanted to stop what he saw as the Jewish threat to Germans. You wont find mention of Arabs or anyone but Jews in Marr's rhetoric.

If you want to use the Biblical classifications, the Phoenicians aren't the children of Shem!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:58 AM

The difference I suppose is that Dylan's line is one of deep irony.

Whereas Carter is wearing his heart on his sleeve. The song (corny though some may find it) is as good a setting out the Quaker creed and their pantheistic take on things, as could be compressed into a song or single prayer. Carter would never have looked for the word of god in the testaments, particularly not the old testament..

The word of god (I think Carter would have agreed) is written by us in the dance - the joy which we create, the love and commitment we give to others, the generosity of spirit.....

that's the atrraction of mudcat - you get to spread your generosity of spirit hither and thus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:38 AM

If the Jewish people are in the habit of referring to themselves as "the holy people" then I can see that a Jewish person may feel that it refers to them. But it's not how other people generally refer to the Jews, and before taking offence it would be better if that person could first reflect on whether another interpretation might be more reasonable.

Seeking and finding offence where none is intended, especially where that offence is fairly obscure, as in this case, does nothing to help situations where the offence is real and needs to be stood up against.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:43 AM

I am quite happy with your explanation, Volgadon and I have already said that I cannot provide any proof of earlier usage. Which, again, if you had read my full post you would have seen! What I am saying is that because a term has been hijacked to mean one thing doesn't mean that thing is right. Does the word 'gay' mean homosexual? No. Does the word semetic mean Jewish? No. Part of my extended family, by marriage, are Jewish in faith. They are certainly not semitic in race.

No amount of common usage will chage the original meaning of a word just as no amount of spin will make LoTD anti-Jewish! I hope you now understand that I am not ignorant of the subject, as you suggested earlier, but maybe have a better understanding than most.

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:56 AM

I did see that, Dave and I did read your full post. I thought I'd put the challenge out. My point is that the term wasn't hijacked. It was coined about Jews. Period. Semitic, when reffering to anything but a language group, is very inaccurate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: goatfell
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 11:08 AM

it is just a song, if anyone has a pronlem with it then tough, get a life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 12:02 PM

Ok - look at the verse under discussion.

'I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame
They whipped and they stripped me and they hung me on high
And left me there on a cross to die'

Maybe it is a little misleading but, in order to make it scan, how could SC have phrased it? Try putting in 'The Romans' - it won't scan.

Occasionally a songwriter might have to play with the accepted story in order to make a song that satisfies. I would warrant that very few people, unless, as Al says, they are looking for insult and slight, would take Carter's words as being anti-semitic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 12:11 PM

Semitic, when reffering to anything but a language group, is very inaccurate

Exactly! So why keep using it?

Goatfell- Not as easy as that. Wish it were! Would any offensive material be acceptable as long as it was in a song? Don't think so. Not that I think LoTD is offensive but I think you know what I mean!

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 12:16 PM

"I would recommend picking up a nice grammar book and reading up on usage of articles."

TOO TRUE!

It would be way-far gauche to use an article like a suitcase as formal wearing apparel. However, were the invitation to specify that one should wear a suitcase to a formal dinner, then check with your grammar (mine passed away in 1967) and ensure that your socks match.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 12:18 PM

Well, you know that there are always going to be some people who will find offence in just about anything, they make it their life's work to seek offensiveness out wherever they think they can find it. This is one of those cases, and, of course, there are always the gate-keepers ready to deny the charges leveled. There are far worse things going on in this world even as we all type these posts, perhaps it is those things that need addressing rather than the alleged offensiveness of one phrase in one verse in one song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 01:58 PM

If the song had said "The chosen people" there would have been some justification for the accusation.

It didn't. As for the term "the holy people", this is not one which has ever been used used as an equivalent to "the chosen people" as a way of referring to the Jewish people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM

Anyone who can start a thread on this topic or even think of agreeing with its premise really needs to:
1. become familiar with the work of Sydney Carter - read his other song words, read his poetry, read the testimonies of those who knew him, found out what he did with his life
2. do something more productive with your life than looking for offence where none was intended, or where none can reasonably be inferred
3. get yourself an absorbing, *constructive* hobby, preferably one that helps others or brings real happiness (which amounts to the same thing)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 02:54 PM

4. Totally ignore this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:08 PM

Just out of interest, does anyone agree with Gerry?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:13 PM

Do I agree with the poster Guest,Gerry? Absolutely not, I think his posts say more about him than about Sydney Carter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM

Does "Gerry" agree with "Gerry"? Or just taking the piss?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 07:59 PM

Just out of interest, does anyone agree with Gerry?

I don't. Dunno about anyone else.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:30 PM

"I danced for the scribes & the Pharisees,
But they wouldn't dance, and they wouldn't follow me.
I danced for the fishermen, for James & John,
They followed me, and the dance went on."

Surely not anti-semitic (leaving apart that the Jews aren't the only semites), Just anti-establishment. Those who should know their scriptures & be looking for a messiah (the scribes & pharisees) missed the relevance of Christ's appearance. The common people (the fishermen, tax gatherers etc.,) recognised him for what he was.

At this point I must admit to being a practising Christian (if there were any doubt)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:31 PM

I think I can see Gerry's side of the question. I've been trying to say, you can't really invalidate other people's experience and assumptions. And they grow out of a background of troubling history.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: olddude
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:46 PM

You know what, It is an awful song ...and if it is anti anything then shame on the author ... but for me any song I don't like I could care less about. It is like TV, if I don't like the show ya know what, I turn the channel ... if I don't like a song ... I don't give it a second listen. So if the song offends anyone, hey don't listen to it because who cares about a bad song right ... I don't mean to offend anyone but I don't want censorship of any song or any literary work ... if it offends don't read it, don't listen to it don't watch it if it is on TV .. We are going way over the deep end anymore with political hair splitting .. and it is a very sad. I dispise bigots of any type. If your take on this song is that of bigotry then constant discussion only only gives it attention that is not needed. You see for me when we allow certain words to effect us so, then we are giving the words a power over us that we should not allow. No song or author that I dislike will make me want to give them a second of my time. If you feel the song is anti anything then for you and me and others who don't like it shouldn't even bother with it. My take anyway


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 09:52 PM

No, McGrath of Harlow, I am not just taking the piss. I honestly believe that
1. a reasonable person, seeing or hearing that stanza of LotD, and not having Carter at his shoulder to disabuse him of the notion, could very well be convinced that the "they" who hung Jesus on a cross were meant to refer to the holy people who said it was a shame he danced on the sabbath,
2. "holy people" is a reference to, if not the entire Jewish people of the time, then to a segment thereof - maybe the Pharisees, maybe the Sanhedrin, maybe the priests, maybe some other Jewish authorities, but, in any event, definitely not to the Romans,
3. it is a lie, and, historically, a horrendous lie, to say that the Jews, or the Pharisees, or the Sanhedrin, or the priests, or any Jewish authorities, legal or religious, hung Jesus on a cross.

As to whether anyone agrees with me, I'm not sure what difference that makes, but I hope that George will report back with the results of the experiment to see about the first point above. Those who are sure that no one agrees with me may also wish to conduct the experiment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 10:17 PM

On the other hand, Gerry, if you understand the "holy people" ironically to refer to constituted religious authorities at large, they have a very poor record indeed, including the Zoroastrian priests who engineered the judicial murder of the the Prophet Mani, the masterminds of the Crusades and the Inquisitions, the Sunni judges who condemned Mansur-e Hallaj and other Sufi martyrs, the architects of the Salem witch trials, those responsible for "disappeared" dissidents in Iran, ....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:07 AM

>>It hasn't been changed, it was coined to mean anti-Jewish and that was how it was used. His name eludes me right now, but an Austrian Jewish scholar used it in the 1860s to criticise some virulently anti-Jewish scholar and 20 years later, Wilhelm Marr widely used the term to reffer(sic) solely to Jews.<<

That seems to me to be a very specious and dark argument. Its like fundamentalists saying that the only meaning of "Anti-Christian" was to be against them. Or for Mexicans to say that "anti-immigrant" means anti-Mexican. Or for "pro-life" to refer only to people who are anti-abortion.

Wilhelm Marr using common english words to his own purpose does not make his usage correct. He did not trade mark the word, so "anti-Semitic" meaning against Semites, as Semites are defined is obviously the correct usage.

"Anti-Jew", is a much more precise and honest term. It is what most people mean when they say "anti-Semitic". Certainly it is what anyone who shares Mr. Marr's definition means. I don't know why they do not just use the former. I know its an old tradition to use the broader term for the specific group, and apparently we have Mr. Marr to thank for that, but I feel that there is a certain unintended comedy in hearing an Arab called an anti-Semite. Its as if a Mexican immigrant called me anti-immigrant, when I am also an immigrant.

Which brings me to Len Wallace's point. Carter is pretty blunt and specific when he names the pharisees in that song. I am sure that if he had meant to name the Semites or the Jews or anyone else and specifically blame them for the crucifixion he would have. Anyone who sings the song and doesn't interpret it as that is also in the clear.

It is very clear that in the scenario of the trial and execution of Jesus, some Jews caused his death. Most people, all sensible people, do not share that belief. If someone is determined to believe such tripe, censoring this song won't help. I think that the songwriter used a horrible metaphor to express the story as told. It is no more or less anti-Semitic than the story in the Bible, which I do not believe was anti-Semitic at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:16 AM

.....correction.

It is very clear that in the scenario of the trial and execution of Jesus, some Jews caused his death. Most people, all sensible people, do not share the belief that all other subsequent and contemporary Jews are to blame. That would be like blaming all arabs for what Bin Laden has done. If someone is determined to believe such tripe, censoring this song won't help. I think that the songwriter used a horrible metaphor to express the story as told. It is no more or less anti-Semitic than the story in the Bible, which I do not believe was anti-Semitic at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 04:03 AM

Speaking of gay being hijacked to mean homosexual, did anyone else hear about the website with the online language filter which caused them to post an article about a certain Mr. Homosexual, who beat the world record for the hundred metre dash? (wind aided).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: oggie
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:01 AM

St Luke 23,vs 21-24 (The whole saga beguns at 22, v66)

"Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required."

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:36 AM

Gerry, a person may well come to the conclusions you say. And they would not be entirely unreasonable in doing so, since there is a clear train of logic in what you say. But it is not the most reasonable conclusion. The song taken as a whole is clearly not anti-semitic, and to try to infer that from a few words is not reasonable.

If someone is going to ignore the more reasonable interpretation in order to take offence at the less reasonable one, then while I will take note of that offence I do not feel obliged to avoid giving it.

Is LOTD anti-semitic? No
Could someone be offended by it? Possibly, but only by wilfully misinterpreting the words.
Should we alter the words to avoid giving that offence? No


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:36 AM

As to whether anyone agrees with me, I'm not sure what difference that makes

My point, Gerry, is that if your views are shared by a sizeable group of Catters then it's worth having this discsusion - but if it's just you the rest of us are wasting our time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:48 AM

There was and old saw about 'an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters wouuld eventually write the works of Shakespeare.' I never thought it would happen, but it has. Tell me though, WHY have we chosen "Much Ado About Nothing"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:18 AM

Thank you Nigel Parsons and Jack the Sailor. At least I now know I am not the only one who feels anti-semitic is incorrect. Unless you are 'just showing ignorance about the subject' as volgadon suggested I was. If so I am proud to be in the company of such estemed ingnoramii!

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:43 AM

I have to confess that, as an atheist the subject of Judaism, or any other religion, holds no interest beyond a curiosity I have in all superstitions.
This subject does does raise one important point in my mind - to what extent should we be prepared to censor any creative art for fear of giving offence.
I have in mind particularly the fad of some time ago for either altering, or omitting completely, songs that were considered derogatory to women, which was, in my opinion, responsible for removing some very fine and important songs from the repertoire.
It seems to me that, unless the songs were designed to give offence, or that their contents were so strong so as to enable them to be deliberately used to give offence, there is no case whatever for alteration or omission. Certainly in the case of 'anti-women' songs, there are plenty of 'anti-men' songs to counterbalance them - or are these to be banned too?
It's back to the old question really "what are we going to do about The Merchant of Venice?"
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:48 AM

Good point, Jim. And then what do we do about "Othello"? He's presented as a Moor yet described as a Black African. What Hell hath William wrought?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:56 AM

Howard, the stanza we've been discussing, on what I hold to be the plainest interpretation, propagates the antisemitic belief that the Jews, or some of their number, hung Jesus on a cross. I infer nothing about the song as a whole - I object strongly to the stanza. As to whether one has to wilfully misinterpret the words to reach the conclusions I have reached, I await the outcome of the experiment George has undertaken to carry out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Phil
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 08:26 AM

Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic? Jesus, get a life people.
Phil*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 09:15 AM

Gerry, you're entitled to your interpretation. However I, and it would seem nearly everyone else who's responded, including some Jews, don't share it.

Also, I don't think it's correct to look at the stanza in isolation. If the tone of the song as a whole isn't anti-semitic (and I don't believe it is), is it then reasonable to put an anti-semitic interpretation on a few words which are at worst ambiguous?

If you choose to be offended by it, that's up to you. Don't expect the rest of us to feel guilty about it.

I don't care very much one way or the other about this particular song, but I do share Jim Carroll's views about censorship.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 09:22 AM

>So let me propose an experiment. Write out the stanza from LotD on a piece of paper, show it to a friend who is not familiar with the song, and when the friend has read it, ask whether your friend thinks that the "they" in the second half was meant by the author to refer to the holy people of the first half.

It's harder than you'd think finding someone who hasn't heard this song, and hence already has a "take" on it, but the (non-Jewish) person I asked was inconclusive about it. When asked whether he thought "they" referred to the holy people, he said it could but it didn't necessarily, and that he had never really thought about it. When pressed, the most definite answer he would give was - this is going to be a huge help! - "it depends on how you want to read it." Square one, here we come.   

I enquired if he thought "the holy people" referred to the Jewish as a defined group, and he replied Not particularly, just anyone who was super-religious. I then asked if he thought the song was anti-Semitic (he's well aware of what that term means) and he said, "What??!" Not What-as-in-I-didn't-get-the-question but What-as-in-are-you-kidding?   

It's entirely possible that someone Jewish would react in a different manner. The fact that this horrendous historical lie even exists at all must create a grievous sore spot in the sensibilities of anyone who has suffered from it. That I do not and have never believed it (and don't know anyone who does) must be scant comfort. But I do think you're being oversensitive with regard to these lyrics. However, I'm also respectfully aware - as far as a non-religion-practicing Gentile can be - of the horrors that have made you so.   

But, even after the grammar and semantics have been dissected, the overall meaning the words seem to convey is the fact that this gruesome execution was inflicted on Jesus, not that any specific group was responsible for it. "They" was read by my friend - as indeed it is by many of us here - as being whatever authority or agent was empowered to carry it out. That pronoun just has too many associations in the popular vocabulary to ever be pinned down to a single usage. Even if someone does associate "they" as indicating "the holy people" it doesn't mean they think these holy people are exclusively the Jewish. My friend didn't. I don't. Others above don't.

Have you tried conducting this experiment yourself, Gerry? If so, was it with someone Jewish or non-Jewish? As I've said, we can all go on asking people and getting their opinions (because Opinion is all it ever can be) until the next ice age, and in the end we will not have any conclusive verdict, just a great big pile of conflicting opinions. It's the five blind men and the elephant all over again.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: I gotta stop smokin' that stuff . . . .
From: Peace
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 09:48 AM

"Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?"

It's a sorta Zen question, isn't it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 11:17 AM

Now and Zen you get questions like this


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Arkie
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 12:04 PM

I find nothing at all in Lord of the Dance that could be construed to be anti-semetic, either by intention or otherwise. Jesus was a Jew and most of his followers were Jews. The song is about Jesus and paints him in a very respectful light. On the other hand, "the holy people" is an ironic term used to describe those who thought that they, by means of their position in the temple and wealth, were superior to the common citizenry. And they acted in a most unholy way. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish governing body, pronounced the death sentence on Jesus and prevailed upon Pilate the Roman magistrate to carry out the sentence. There may be those who find that offensive but those who come to the defense of those first century religious bureaucrats would not have been all that popular on the streets of Jerusalem in that day. From the reports of writers of the first century the Sadducees, the priestly caste, were generally hated by the populace. The Pharisees were the sect most trusted by the people and some scholars associate Jesus with the Pharisees rather then the Essenes. If I am wrong, I hope someone with greater knowledge of first century history will correct me, but I read somewhere, from Josephus I think, that when the temple was destroyed by the Romans, Jewish rebels sought out the High Priest, the head of the Sadducee sect, found him hiding in a hole and dragged him out to be executed. Josephus also reported that animals sacrificed in the temple were purchased from the Bazaars of Ananais who was the most influential Sadducee of his day. The priest of the temple were the ones who approved a sacrificial animal and there were accusations that animals not purchased from the priestly bazaar were not perfect and therefore not acceptable and that the cost of animals through the bazaar were inflated well above the normal cost. I suppose being from the American south, I could claim that anyone who writes or remarks about the slave holders in the south is prejudiced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 01:35 PM

I was reading the Wikipedia article "Pharisees." It makes the point that the Gospels that were selected for us as canonical, coming as long after the fact* and full of polemics as they are, present the Pharisees in a very distorted and unfavorable light. So there's a credibility gap between the image of the Pharisees in literature and songs such as Lord of the Dance, and their real role in history and as progenitors of modern Judaism.

*By contrast with the Gospels of Thomas, Philip, and Mary Magdelene, with their very different emphases.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 01:56 PM

Gerry,

If you are saying that it is a "lie" that some Jews were responsible for Jesus' death, then you need to read that part of the New Testament. There is no lie, as oggie, and others have pointed out, the text is clear. He would not have died that day if it were not for the prodding and insistence of certain Jewish religious leaders and a Palestinian mob presumably made up of nominal Jews.

If you are saying it is "anti-Semetic" because these Jews were not the ones that actually hung him up and pierced his side, then you are splitting some pretty irrelevant and silly hairs.

Is Dick Cheney not responsible for any deaths in Iraq because he never pulled a trigger nor dropped a bomb, or indeed never directly ordered such actions?

By the same token, perhaps Hitler could be absolved of blame for not only the Holocaust, but possibly even World War Two.

The stories in the New Testament with regard to this are not only clear but they are quite nuanced and granular. Read them and you will see who exactly is to blame. Jewish "holy men" of the time and a Palestinian mob whose religion and/or ethnicity is not specified. Jerusalem was a world crossroads at the time it seems unlikely to me that the mob was completely homogeneous. As many members here have said, by no means are all Jews blamed, in the New Testament, for Jesus' death. By the same token, not all Saudis are blamed for 9/11. Not all Americans are blamed for the Iraq War. Not all Canadians are blamed for Celine Dione.

It is obvious, that LOTD is a sincere metaphor for that story. It is also clear to me that the writer of the song understood that story. He meant to say, and rightly so that these particular "Holy People" (those words used rather sarcastically), caused Jesus to be tortured and die. There is not a single word in the song that could reasonably interpreted to mean that he meant, or the song means, ALL JEWS from then to the present day. Perhaps it may be reasonably interpreted otherwise by a Jew. But if that is so then the reasonable remedy is to explain the Christian context of the song to the offended Jew, not to censor the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:07 PM

Jack, as I just said or at least thought I implied, the canonical gospels are not a credible source for this story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:12 PM

A beer would be nice! What a load of rubbish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:16 PM

a beer would be nice is a load of rubbish? Well you said it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:18 PM

You may not think it a reliable source, but it those gospels are the starting point and main source for about 1.3 billion Christians including me and the dude who wrote the song. I think that any discussion of "anti-Semitic" (anti-Jew) content of the song has to start there.

Your point may be valid in another context, but when talking about the meaning of a song sung in Christian churches by people who believe in those Gospels, I do not think it is relevant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 02:34 PM

"the Gospels that were selected for us as canonical, coming as long after the fact*...*By contrast with the Gospels of Thomas, Philip, and Mary Magdelene."

If the suggestion is that these non-canonical gospels were earlier than the canonical ones, or even as early as them, that is not an opinion held by many scholars.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 03:03 PM

I don't know anything about first-century law, so I have a question: Was Pilate legally required to act upon the wishes of those who prevailed upon him to levy this death sentence? Or did he still retain the power to go over their heads and refuse their wishes, however clearly expressed, if he wanted to? He put it to a vote - was this mere bottling out (no question there) or when he passed on the responsibility did it become some sort of mandate?   

He was the government official in charge, and if he did still have the final say as to whether the crowd's will should be carried out, then in my view the blame is Pilate's because that's where the buck stops: nobody could actually force him to act on this public exhortation. (Politicians ignore those all the time when it suits them, and slither out of unpopular decisions if they can find a scapegoat to bear the liability. No change there, then.)

Or was that call for crucifixion legally binding on Pilate? Either way, he's culpable for ducking out of his duties as the authority in charge. They always try to wash their hands of difficult issues, but that doesn't mean their hands are clean. (Lady MacBeth comes to mind.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 03:12 PM

OK. I gotta ask. Has anyone here heard "My Boomerang Won't Come Back"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 03:43 PM

McGrath, maybe what especially appeals to me about those alternative scriptures is that they appeal more to our understanding of symbolism and less to our acceptance of historicity.

Oh, the boomerangs always come back in the end.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Arkie
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 03:44 PM

I would not think anyone is trying to absolve Pilate of any blame. The buck starts and the buck stops. Those who start an action and those who complete it are responsible.

One can not simply ignore the four gospels content because the final edits came three or four decades after the events if a person is actually concerned about getting to the source of a situation. There is some evidence that the gospels were developed around existing documents and eyewitness accounts. The Gospels of Philip, Thomas, and Mary Magdalene are intriguing and worthy of consideration but hardly more reliable than John, Matthew, Mark, and Luke and are generally considered as being from an even later date.

People have a nasty habit of reading an "all" that is not present in actual texts. The Pharisees or Pharisees does not necessarily imply "all". Again, my understanding is limited but I have seen indications that there were even several divisions among the Pharisees. While Pharisee now has negative connotations for many people, the actual evidence that this is deserved is pretty shaky and based upon a few "bad" apples.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: goatfell
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM

it is the story of Jesus from heaven to earth and back to heaven as it says in the bible, so what you're saying is that the new testement is anti-semitic because it tells the story of our Lord and God Jesus, and if you lot have aproblem with then GOD help you, because I see as just a song about Jesus's life, and how can he be anti-semitic after all he was a Jew.

but that's my opinon, as for those who have a problem with this song, as i have said before TOUGH GET A LIFE. After all it is just a song, the church that I go to a member of the church got up and there were 'Christians' there said that the song was wrong for a church becuse it it was full of dancing, look at the new testement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 04:05 PM

In my opinion Arkie is right on both counts, from reading the Gospels there is no implication at any but those described in the narrative were culpable and Pilate, while responsible for the act in that he could have prevented it if he were determined to do so, was obviously not among those screaming for Jesus' blood. Certianly he was only involved in the process at the end and was not instrumental in bringing the charges which lead to the execution.

As far as the law is concerned, as governor for the region, Pilate had close to absolute discretion in the region only tempered by the occasional order from Rome and his desire to keep the peace over his local subjects. It is my opinion that he did not involve himself as an advocate for Jesus because it was politically expedient and also because jesus did not as him to intervene.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 06:10 PM

"No doubt if he were writing now he'd have written something about Jews, Muslims" , wrote Dave Mackenzie way up the thread. No need to speculate:

There's a light that is shining
In the heart of a man,
There's a light that was shining
When the world began.
There's a light that is shining
In the Turk and the Jew
And a light that is shining, friend,
In me and you.


from "George Fox".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:14 PM

Thanks, MacGrath, though I was talking in the context of LotD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 05 Jul 08 - 07:31 PM

Ooops, I meant in the context of "the Devil Wore a Crucifix".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 02:06 AM

Howard, I don't expect anyone to feel guilty about my being offended. I'm trying to convince people to be as offended as I am, by explaining why I'm offended. I'm not having much success.

To those who cite Saint Luke et al.; Genesis is not a biology text, and the gospels are not history texts. The gospels are the beginning, not the end, of any inquiry into the life and death of Jesus. But perhaps this is a matter best taken up somewhere other than a music discussion forum.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 03:12 AM

No Gerry,

The Gospels were Carter's SOURCE MATERIAL FOR THE SONG. Many Christians believe that they are the infallible Word of God. For pretty much all Christians, to determine if their intent is anti-Semitic when singing this song that is a far as you have to go. Christians understand the story and who is blamed for what and that they accept that as Truth. If you are offended because you have a different interpretation of Christian writings than pretty much every english speaking Christian then perhaps the fault is in your interpretation.

Surely anti-Semitic behavior is a matter of intent just as surely as the words of this song do not pass any negative message that is not stated more clearly in the Gospels which are the ORIGINAL source material for the METAPHOR expressed in the song. No offense was meant virtually no one of the millions who have sung or will sing the song see or are trying to express anti-Semitism. You have no reasonable cause to take offense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 03:39 AM

You you could start a forum called Conspiracy Theories for Nutters.

Go forth my son, your work here on this planet is only half done...........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 05:50 AM

There a many things in this world at which someone might take offence, if they are so minded (and many are). The real issue is whether or not it's right or useful to take offence. I can understand that, in view of their history, many Jews will be determined to root out anti-semitism wherever they find it, but with respect I feel that can go too far where the offence is unintentional or even imagined.

My question is, what good is served by taking offence where none is intended? This can sometimes increase divisions rather than break them down. It can reinforce stereotypes of perpetual victimhood which are neither attractive nor helpful.

I have in mind the recent furore over a police poster featuring a puppy, which was withdrawn because a Muslim was offended by it, although it was not directed at Muslims nor did it refer to them. Or the fuss over English mummers and morris-dancers blacking-up, although it was traditionally done for disguise rather than to represent or denigrate black people.

Gerry, I can understand why you may be offended. The reason why you're not having much success pursuading others is that most people seem to share my view that it's based on a double misunderstanding of the words (firstly, the meaning of "holy people" and secondly the connection between the two halves of the verse). And if you don't want us to feel guilty, presumably you'd prefer us to amend or omit that verse from the song. But the song as a whole is not anti-semitic - it's certainly not "openly anti-semitic naming Jews" as the OP was asking, and if it's encouraging people to blame the Jews for Christ's death it's doing it in such an obscure way that most people, Jews among them, are not aware until it's pointed out, and even then find it difficult to agree.

So I ask again, what is the point of taking offence? Even if Sydney Carter has succeeded in smuggling an anti-semitic message into the song (which I don't believe), he's done it in such a way that most people singing or listening to it are unaware of that message. Even if I were to agree with your interpretation, is that worth taking offence over? There are more important issues, surely?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 09:02 AM

Gerry,
Are we to assume by your continued argument that you are in favour of censorship - if so - where do you draw the line, women, old men pat their prime..... or do you reserve it just for real or imagined slights against Jewish people?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 10:23 AM

Jim, I have not advocated, or even mentioned, censorship. I've explained why LotD offends me. I don't expect anyone to ban a song just because that song offends me. I hope that one day you (plural) will find that the song offends you, too, and when that day comes there will be no need to censor it, since no one will want to be associated with it.

Howard, you ask, what good is taking offense when none is intended. If, in a private conversation, you were to say something offensive to me, and if I was convinced that this was not your intention, I would not take offense. Publishing a song, singing it on stage, putting it on a CD - that's different. At that point, it stands on its own, and the author's intentions are besides the point.

I understand that most of the contributors to this thread disagree with my contention that the holy people refers to some or all of the Jews of Jesus' time (although why anyone among Jesus' contemporaries other than some of Jesus' fellow Jews would object to Jesus dancing on the sabbath is beyond me). I understand that most of the contributors to this thread can read "The holy people said it was a shame. They crucified him." and not conclude that the "they" in the second sentence refers to the holy people in the first, although this also mystifies me. You (plural) think I'm misunderstanding the words, and I think you are. I think that's about as far as we're going to get with that. So let me skip to your last couple of questions.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the "there are more important issues" argument leads us each to decide what is the single most important issue in the world, and then to devote all our attention to that - after all, if we spare even a thought for the second most important issue in the world, our conscience will remind us that there is a more important issue that we are neglecting. What we all actually do is apportion our time and efforts among a number of issues, some of great importance, some of lesser importance, maybe some of no importance at all. We all reject the "there are more important issues" argument in practice. It's a red herring.

The issue of antisemitism is of great importance to me. The origins of antisemitism lie in the lie that the Jews killed Jesus. The song perpetuates that lie - so I feel, although I know I've not been convincing. That's why I take offense, even though there are more important issues.

Jack, I agree that the people who sing LotD are not trying to express antisemitism, and I am utterly convinced that they don't see the song as anti-semitic. I'm trying to convince people that it is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 11:14 AM

">>It hasn't been changed, it was coined to mean anti-Jewish and that was how it was used. His name eludes me right now, but an Austrian Jewish scholar used it in the 1860s to criticise some virulently anti-Jewish scholar and 20 years later, Wilhelm Marr widely used the term to reffer(sic) solely to Jews.<<

That seems to me to be a very specious and dark argument. Its like fundamentalists saying that the only meaning of "Anti-Christian" was to be against them. Or for Mexicans to say that "anti-immigrant" means anti-Mexican. Or for "pro-life" to refer only to people who are anti-abortion.

Wilhelm Marr using common english words to his own purpose does not make his usage correct. He did not trade mark the word, so "anti-Semitic" meaning against Semites, as Semites are defined is obviously the correct usage.

"Anti-Jew", is a much more precise and honest term. It is what most people mean when they say "anti-Semitic". Certainly it is what anyone who shares Mr. Marr's definition means. I don't know why they do not just use the former. I know its an old tradition to use the broader term for the specific group, and apparently we have Mr. Marr to thank for that, but I feel that there is a certain unintended comedy in hearing an Arab called an anti-Semite. Its as if a Mexican immigrant called me anti-immigrant, when I am also an immigrant."

Wilhelm Marr was a very militant GERMAN nationalist and antisemite. There is a certain unintended comedy in seeing someone point out a spelling error of mine whilst saying that Marr used English words.
Did not trademark it??? That's seem very specious.
For most Germans and Frenchmen who weren't linguists, the group most associated with Semites were Jews. Wilhem Marr formed the ANTISEMITIC League, to combat Jewish influence on Germany. Read some of his works. Arabs are neither here nor there. Antisemitism has to do with Jews. Period.

"2. "holy people" is a reference to, if not the entire Jewish people of the time, then to a segment thereof - maybe the Pharisees, maybe the Sanhedrin, maybe the priests, maybe some other Jewish authorities, but, in any event, definitely not to the Romans,
3. it is a lie, and, historically, a horrendous lie, to say that the Jews, or the Pharisees, or the Sanhedrin, or the priests, or any Jewish authorities, legal or religious, hung Jesus on a cross."

Jeremiah, Isaiah and Malachi must've been rampant antisemites.
Anyway, nobody said that the Jews, Pharisees, Sanhedrin, etc., hung Christ on the cross, just like nobody has claimed that Al Capone pulled the trigger himself on St V's Day.


Pilate had the authority to overrule the Jews, but they made a very potent threat. John 19:12. "If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar." There was plenty with which they could blackmail Pilate. He didn't have the cleanest record.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 12:00 PM

Volgadon, I don't think anyone is disputing that Wilhelm Marr or any other 19th century Austrian scholar coined the phrase to mean anti-Jewish. But you have said yourself that the word semitic is incorrect when used in anything but terms of a linguistic group. I ask, once again, if that is the case why keep using it and insisting it is the correct term?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 12:06 PM

Because the term antisemite means something now. Because most of the antisemitic literature and literature dealing with the phenomenon uses that term. Two good reasons.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 12:11 PM

OK - So even though you believe that Semite is incorrect in any conetxt other that a linguistic group you will continue to use it as meaning Jewish? I can't argue against that apart from to say it seems a bit odd to me but, hey, If we were all the same wouldn't life be boring!

Cheers

Dave (IrwellKuban :D )


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 12:41 PM

I hope that one day you (plural) will find that the song offends you, too

And I'd hope that one day you will find that the song does not offend you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 12:44 PM

I won't use the term Semite, but antisemite is something different. It is the technical term for hatred for and opposition to people and things Jewish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: john f weldon
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 01:22 PM

Chickery Chick Chala Chala
Checkala romeo
In a bananica....

Secretly written by St Dominick... ...deftly encoded anti-Albigensianism! Shameful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 01:25 PM

I would certainly agree that antisemite is something different to semite:-) Just in the way histamine and antihistamine are different.

Exactly what is wrong with saying anti-Jewish when you mean anti-Jewish anyway? Surely it is the best option all round? I would guess that Herr Marr coined the phrase to disguise the fact that he and his organisation were anti-Jewish. Why should we say anti-Jewish feeling is anything else?

I also dispute the that it is a 'technical term'. Why is it technical? Did a scientist discover an anti-Semitic hormone? Is it engineered in some sort of factory? Sorry, but the only technical term for a fear or hatred of Jews, as far as I know, is the medical condition known as Judeophobia!

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 01:58 PM

Volgadon,

I respect you opinion and your point of view, but I certainly do not share it.   

I have to say the the further information that you provide leaves me even less convinced. You say you use this term in english because some nasty Jew hater used it in German? Was it even the same word or is the current term "anti-Semite" simply a TRANSLATION of the misuse of a term?

I am not at all comfortable taking cues on the use of my own language from some racist german speaker of the distant past.

As for it being a "technical" term, Dave has made one good point, I shall try to make another. Technical language generally strives for clarity. This word diminishes clarity. If it is a technical term it is a poor one. I submit that it is a term of propaganda in the same way the "Pro-Life" is among antiabortionists. From what you have told us, using Herr Marr's word is perpetuating the propaganda.

May I also point out that any inclined to be anti-Jew is just as likely to be against all of the other Semites, and probably against any other religion that is not their own as well. Prejudice is seldom that selective.

I mentioned trade mark, because it is the only way I know for a person to cement the meaning of a made up definition in a legally binding and enforceable manner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 02:24 PM

>>Jack, I agree that the people who sing LotD are not trying to express antisemitism, and I am utterly convinced that they don't see the song as anti-semitic. I'm trying to convince people that it is.<<

Gerry,

I am embarrassed that I seemed to have utterly failed to make my larger point. I shall try one more time.

There is nothing expressed in that song that is not more clearly and overtly expressed in the Gospels. The Gospels make it very clear that SOME Jews were very much responsible for the death of Jesus. Who actually did the stripping and the nailing is not in dispute because the Gospels are clear about that as well. Again it is clear from the Gospels that Jews killed Jesus. Just Bin Laden killed nearly 3,000 Americans and Dick Cheney and Doug Feith killed Iraqis.

It is also clear to me and to the vast majority of Christians who read that text understand All Jews are not responsible any more than they believe that all Arabs or all Muslims or all people with beards or all of any other group that Bin Laden may happen to belong to, are not responsible for 9/11.

The Gospels are the Gospels. They are Christianity's ultimate source documents for this information and Christian belief on this subject. You may not believe that they are historically accurate. But you do not look at them through the lens of faith. You seem to be implying that Luke was lying. You will get no where with that argument. You seem to be saying that because Carter repeated the lies of Luke then the song offends you. If you are saying that then you are denigrating what is arguably the holiest part of the Christian Bible. The sacrifice of Jesus is the very basis of most Christian's faith. Christian understanding of that sacrifice is rooted in the Gospels. Calling any part of the Gospels "a lie" is playing with dynamite.

On the other hand, I will grant you that some people who call themselves Christians believe that all Jews past and present are responsible for Jesus' death. But there is no way that they got that idea from reading the Gospels or singing Lord of the Dance. The source of that vile prejudice most certainly lies elsewhere.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 03:00 PM

Gerry, on a tangent, when you say that "The origins of antisemitism lie in the lie that the Jews killed Jesus," are you open to the idea that these are not simply the origins, but the expression of a kind of symptom?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 03:42 PM

The name Osama bin Laden came up. Bin Laden by all accounts is a True Believer who can only understand things literally and take them at face value. This he may have inherited from the Hanbali rite and Wahhabi sect he grew up in (whether you would call these things true Islam or not).

When true believers' belief systems fail to align perfectly, they class heavily. This is not a question of religion as such; the class could easily involve a couple of Marxists or biology professors.

I think Sydney Carter was not a True Believer in such a sense--when it's said of him, "Partly inspired by Jesus, and partly by a statue of Shiva as Nataraja, Sydney wrote the lyrics 'Lord Of The Dance...,'" you can see that he sensed how the truth could appear through different formal guises.

I think symbolically aware people have always had a very difficult time expressing themselves in ways that don't set traps for True Believers, because language naturally tends to come down on one side or the other of ambiguity and paradox. The best poetry and lyrics come close to this kind of expression.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 05:34 PM

Gerry, if the heart of your problem with the song is over the "lie" that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, then you have a problem not just with LOTD but with the Christian story, which does indeed have the Jews responsible for bringing Jesus before the Romans, and pressurising Pilate into having him executed. In this tradition, which the song follows, it is not a lie.

If you're Jewish, that may be a reasonable position to take. But it is no reason for others to censor, or self-censor the song, any more than they should alter those hymns which refer to Jesus as the Messiah, or indeed should alter the New Testament. This is one of those things on which different religions must agree to disagree. The traditions and practices of any religion are potentially offensive, if not blasphemous, to those of a different religion.

As a final thought, I suspect that there are some Christians who take offence at the dance imagery in LOTD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 06:55 PM

"The origins of antisemitism lie in the lie that the Jews killed Jesus. "

Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with your own Jewish history. I was under the impression that repeated attempts to eradicate the Jewish people have been made throughout history. I believe that the Assyrians and the Babylonians both made several spirited attempts, well before the time of Jesus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 07:15 PM

This is the longest thread on the shortest idea I've seen since my last visit to a guitar newsgroup. So, in honor of what it reminds me of, I'll just say, as they say on rmmg,

"ENOUGH! NOW WE DANCE!"

[Sheesh!]

Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Gulliver
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 07:31 PM

Agreed!

As long as it's not on the Sabbath, because (Exodus 35:2):

"For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death."

Just don't make too much of a mess...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 08:03 PM

Jesus told us to form a circle and hold each other's hands, and he himself stood in the middle, and said "Respond to me with 'Amen.'"
...
"I will play the flute. Dance, everyone."
"Amen."
"I will mourn. Lament, everyone."
"Amen."
"A realm of eight sings with us."
"Amen."
"The twelfth number dances on high."
"Amen."
"The whole universe takes part in dancing."
"Amen."
"Whoever does not dance does not know what happens."
"Amen."

--from the Round Dance of the Cross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 08:28 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Arkie
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 09:28 PM

Anti-semitism is based on an irrational hatred and is unlikely to change due to a reasonable argument. However it can change as the person with the hatred changes.

The deny that Jesus was killed to satisfy a segment of Jews is the equivalent of sticking one's head in the sand. First century Jews killed people they believed to be offensive. Stoning was the usual method. Since the Sanhedrin wanted Jesus to suffer a more severe and painful execution they enlisted the aid of the Roman government. Does that mean that every person of Jewish ancestry forever more should be held responsible. NO!!! Christians have also killed people they considered to be dangerous and included Bible translators among the offenders. Does that mean all Christians forevermore are to be held responsible? No. But Christians should be vigilant and not permit that to happen again.

And I repeat, "holy people" was used purposefully by Sydney Carter to describe the irony of so-called holy people acting in a most unholy way. The phrase was meant to offend those who live under the pretense they are something they are not. It is not meant as anti-semetic. I did not know Sydney Carter personally, but do find him an intriguing person and wonderful writer so I have read a bit about him. His system of belief and un-belief was such that he had the utmost respect for Judaism and those who practice that faith. One of his closest friends was a Rabbi.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 10:03 PM

Howard, the Bible says that the universe was created in seven days. It says woman was created from a man's rib. It says homosexuals should be put to death, for they are an abomination unto the Lord. It says a lot of things that most of us - those of us who are not fundamentalists - reject. It is possible to reject these things and not reject the good things in Judaism, in Christianity, in Islam. The central beliefs of the great faiths are not shaken by the discovery that the Sun doesn't actually go around the Earth.

The belief that Jesus was the son of God, the belief in the Immaculate Conception, the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, the belief that Jesus rose on the 3rd day - these beliefs are un-Jewish, but not anti-Jewish. I don't accept those beliefs, but I don't find them offensive, and I have no wish to censor them, or the hymns based on them. The belief that some or all of the Jews of the day were responsible for the death of Jesus is a different matter. It's not for me to tell you what is and what isn't central to your faith, but I'll speculate that Christianity could still get along quite well if it were confronted with documented evidence that the crucifixion was a Roman affair from go to whoa, one in which no Jews (except Jesus, of course) played any significant role. And if the only documentation for your view of things is the Bible, the same Bible that insists that people used to live for 900 years, and that the origin of different languages is explained by God's anger at the Tower of Babel, then I think you have to explain why you accept the literal truth of one part of the document, when (presumably) you're content to go for other interpretations of other parts of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 01:56 AM

Gerry,

That part of the Bible is, for most, the whole point of being Christian. I take it you have some knowledge of Easter as a religious holiday?

Lord of the Dance is one thing, but asking people to change their belief in the Gospels because you have imagined some universal offense to current Jews is beyond the pale.   

You have no way of knowing it was a lie. It would be charitable to say that you are talking nonsense. Your problem is obviously not with LOTD but with all of Christianity. Perhaps you are simply trying to be offensive yourself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 02:07 AM

From an outsider's perspective (I'm neither Christian nor Jewish), it's obvious to me that there are elements in both religions that are offensive to people who are not of those religions.

The idea, for instance, that Jews call themselves THE Holy People, simply by virtue of their being Jewish (and exclusively so, from what I can gather) is pretty offensive on the face of it. There are aspects of the Christian religion that I have found offensive as well. I wonder if the Jews who are saying they want Christians to change one of the most fundamental aspects of their religion would be willing to change their understanding of themselves as The Holy People if people who were not Jewish said they found it offensive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 04:10 AM

'I'll speculate that Christianity could still get along quite well if it were confronted with documented evidence that the crucifixion was a Roman affair from go to whoa, '

yeh blame it on the wops, I'll never eat spaghetti on toast again....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 04:37 AM

Gerry, actually I'm not Christian, but I was brought up in that tradition. I'm not sure quite why I've got myself so involved in this discussion - I think I was a bit offended by the implication that we should censor, or self-censor, a song because of what I still see, with respect, as a largely imagined offence. Maybe I've just enjoyed the debate.

I had understood your earlier argument to be that "the holy people" is how Jews refer to themselves, therefore "the holy people" in LOTD was a reference to the whole Jewish people past and present, and was implicitly accusing all of them of responsibility for the crucifixion. You now seem to be agreeing that it refers to just a few Jews at that time, the priests and religious authorities, but deny that they had any involvement. Your problem seems to be, not that LOTD misrepresents the gospel story, but with that story itself.

I agree, it is probably not really important to the Christian story who was responsible, the essential element is the crucifixion, and what happened afterwards. And I don't know to what extent, if at all, the Gospels represent historical truth, or even if these events actually happened. The point is, to Christians this is how the story unfolded, with the Jewish authorities bringing Jesus before the Romans and encouraging them to punish him. LOTD is a Christian song and is based around this story.

If you feel that simply repeating this story is anti-semitic, then you are saying that Christianity itself is anti-semitic. Whilst it is unarguable that both the Church and individual Christians have been horrifically anti-semitic at times, you are in danger of making the same sweeping generalisation about Christianity that you object to when its made about Jews.

I think the origins of Christian anti-semitism are actually more complicated, and were more to do with economic reasons (the Jews were the financiers of Europe at a time when Christians considered usury a sin, and their perceived economic power has always made them convenient scapegoats), and the theological arguments were used as an excuse. None of which excuses or forgives the treatment Jews have suffered over centuries as a result.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 05:07 AM

Is misopates orontium antirrhinum ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 06:15 AM

The origins of Christian antisemitism are much older than the institution of Jewish moneylenders. It may well have been inherited from Hellenistic pagan converts- there was much friction between Hellenes and Jews in pre- and early- Christian times (see Josephus' history of the Jewish Wars).

As for Carter, I doubt if he had an antisemitic bone in his body, and despite the mention of the crucifixion, he was one of that generation of Anglicans who thought the implementation of Jesus' teachings on social justice as more important than "conjuring tricks with bones".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: oggie
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 07:02 AM

"As a final thought, I suspect that there are some Christians who take offence at the dance imagery in LOTD."

Yes, a large number in fact. Although other churches can find scriptural support for the use of dance within worship. 'Tis a tangled world out there :)

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 07:03 AM

I'm feeling some need to explain my own usage of the term "lie" in an earlier post, though no one has challenged me to do so. But, just to clarify things:   

I do not for one moment believe the Gospels have lied in their recounting of the events that took place. Scripture states quite clearly what happened, and I accept that this is what happened. Knowing human nature, it's all too plausible and doesn't strain credibility in the least.

When I made reference to "horrendous lie" above, what I meant was the distortion which has been imposed on the Gospel narrative. The Nazis famously come to mind, but plenty of others throughout history have used Bible writ to rationalise their dirty work. They're the same types ("holy people"?) who quoted Thou Shalt Not Suffer A Witch To Live while hoisting Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty high on a gallows in Salem and setting alight Alison Balfour in Edinburgh and Johan Reichardt (all of nine years old) in Würzburg. It is this warping and twisting of sacred text to serve one's own ends that becomes The Lie.

So once again we are left to interpret words as they have been set down; and - although I do not deny the role played in Jesus' death by those standing before Pilate that day - my own gut reaction is that the final blame lies with the Romans. They were the ones with the ultimate, unstoppable power. Jesus was a thorn in their side and it suited them to get him out of the way. No one could make these rulers do anything they didn't want to, or prevent them from doing anything they did. Crowds call for things all the time - but (unless they morph into a mob and take violent action) raised voices are not where the power lies. Action is. With dominance and control come responsibility.   

To feel this way is not to deny anything that's written in the Bible. No one is disagreeing - whether it's scripture or the song words - about what has been written. It's a matter of where your judgment falls, and that's always going to vary with each individual.

Certainly I do not believe the Gospels to "be" a lie in the sense that the so-called Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a lie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 09:29 AM

Bonnie, Scripture states quite clearly that the universe was created in seven days, that woman was created from a man's rib, that everyone spoke the same language until the unfortunate incident at Babel - do you accept that those things happened, too?

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was composed with the sole aim of discrediting the Jewish people. The Gospels were written with the main aim of spreading the good news about God redeeming mankind through his only son. I would suggest that while that was their main aim, it was not their only aim. You are willing to apply your knowledge of human nature to the Jewish authorities of the day. Are you also willing to apply your knowledge of human nature to the authors of the Gospels, who were, after all, human?

If so, then consider this: the occupying Romans are making life miserable for the Jews. They are also making life miserable for the Christians, whom they view as just some other kind of Jew. You're writing up the life story of Jesus. If you pin the blame for his persecution and death squarely on the Romans, you are asking for trouble. If you blame it on the Jews, maybe you can put a little distance between yourself and them, and get the Romans off your backs. Who exactly it was that wanted Jesus dead won't make any difference to your message that Jesus died for our sins So, knowing what you know of human nature, is it plausible that there was a secondary, political aim to the Gospels? Does it strain credibility?

Howard, Christianity changes with time. There was a time when Christianity (or, at least, Roman Catholicism) was anti-heliocentric. To affirm the Earth's revolution around the Sun was heresy, and one could find oneself seriously dead for one's efforts. Eventually, Christianity decided that its anti-heliocentric parts were not essential to its central message. It rejected them, and we are all the better for that.

Christianity is not antisemitic, but some portions of the Gospel story are. Perhaps some day Christians will decide that those parts are not essential to its central message, and will reject them, and stop singing about them. We will all be the better for that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 09:46 AM

Gerry - Examples you cite come from the Old Testament, which springs from different sources and does not have to do with Jesus' life. No, I don't believe every statement from the Bible is literally true (did you actually read what I wrote?) and never said I did.

But though I'm not a church-goer I was raised as a Christian and have no reason to dispute that Pilate asked the crowd whether he should pardon or execute Jesus, and that their answer was to execute. That's all I said. Please don't take my words and extrapolate them.

I'm out of this thread now -


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 09:56 AM

Christianity is not antisemitic, but some portions of the Gospel story are. Perhaps some day Christians will decide that those parts are not essential to its central message, and will reject them, and stop singing about them.

Gerry, you haven't demonstrated - to anyone's satisfaction but your own - that anyone is singing antisemitic material. This is Lord of the Dance, not Send the Buggers Back. I've known this song for 40 years (I learned it in primary school) and it's never so much as crossed my mind that it's saying 'the holy people' crucified Jesus, let alone that 'the holy people' is special sekrit code for 'Jews'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Grab
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 10:02 AM

Bonnie, problem is that the Romans were only the ones doing the dirty work for the local establishment. The reason the Romans did so well in establishing an empire is because, like the British empire after it, they devolved power to the local rulers (or at least to the local rulers who'd give tribute to the empire). In day-to-day matters, the Romans didn't care - in fact the Roman empire was famously tolerant of different religions, and one rogue preacher wasn't ever likely to cause them any problems. But it was a big deal for the local politicians, because they could see their support vanishing. Like Protestantism moving against Catholicism 1500 years later, a grass-roots movement threatened the stability of the overbearing established political organisation.

So Jesus was only hauled up before Pilate on the say-so of the local political elite, who happened to also be the local religious elite. Pilate's hand-washing was in rejection of official Roman involvement in the decision. If we're quoting Bibles, remember that Pilate gave the crowd the option of releasing Jesus, but the Pharisees' agents in the crowd called out for Jesus to be executed.

But none of this makes the Bible, or the song, anti-Semitic. Jesus wasn't anti-Jewish, he was anti-Establishment. Gerry's argument is the same specious argument used by supporters of Israel when they say that by criticising Israeli actions in Gaza, their critics are anti-Semitic. When there's an official state religion, it's essential to differentiate between actions which are based on religious doctrine and actions which are matters of state politics, even though the same people may be making those decisions. Failure to make this distinction is at best naive.

Assuming that the Bible is an accurate representation of events, it's blindingly obvious that a few Jewish people 2000 years ago were responsible for the death of Jesus. It's also blindingly obvious that the Jewish religion had nothing to do with this fact, since Jesus's aim as a fellow-Jew was to move Judaism from empty sophistry back to an appreciation of the basic principles behind the religion. And it's equally clear that none of this has any relevance to Judaism past, present or future, nor to any Jews who weren't directly involved in the event.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 11:25 AM

Note on Nazi antisemitism: it was based only very indirectly on traditional Christian antisemitism.

Actually, the "master-race" Nazis claimed that Jews were inferior biologically. That was partly on the basis that after two thousand years had not staked out their own militarized, independent nation based on conquest - as the Teutonic "races" had done. That supposedly showed they were parasitical, unfit to live, blah blah blah blah. To Hitler and other Nazi ideologues they were "microbes," "vermin," "a cancer in the blood," etc. A bastardized pseudo-Darwinism was enlisted in support of these weird and diabolical fantasies.

Besides being antisemitic, Nazi ideologues like Alfred Rosenberg were also antichristian. They regarded Christianity as a weakling's religion based on "Jewish superstition." A postwar goal was the replacement of German Christianity by some kind of symbolic, romanticized paganism with an element of Nordic gene-worship added.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jerry Epstein
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 11:46 AM

Well, I can provide some history here.

Lord of the Dance ALWAYS ends the first act in the many annual performances of the Christmas Revels around the country, going back to its founding by John Langstaff, with a show in 1957 in New York, and revived by his daughter Carol in 1970 in Cambridge. THere are now companies in something like 14 or 15 cities. The last chorus is repeated over and over, with the brass quintet, and the audience knows from experience to get out of their seats, take hands in long lines, and be led, largely by morris dancers, dancing all around the hall. It is a really treasured tradition for long time Revels goers.

But that being said, there has been a lot of discussion of this issue, and a significant part of the Revels audience (certainly in NEw York but also elsewhere) is Jewish. Regardless of Sydney Carter's intent, which I profess not the slightest knowledge of, some audience and potential audience DO take real offense at this song. John (Jack) Langstaff was really quite upset at understanding that the one verse in particular could easily be taken in a quite offensive way, especially given the history of the last 2000 years.

As others have noted, the most difficult verse is
"I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame,
The holy people said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped, and they hung me on high,
And they left me there on a cross to die."

I always knew (I am Jewish, though not particularly religious in any formal sense) that the obvious reading of this verse is that the Jews killed Christ. I too also chose to interpret this as the priests, but not the people, but that does not end the difficulty.
About 15 years ago, I proposed an alternate wording to Jack:

I danced for the people and I cured the lame,
The high and mighty said it was a shame.
They whipped, etc. . . . . . .

This has to the best of my knowledge become the standard text in the Revels performances. It makes it into a class distinction, instead of a sectarian distinction. I have no idea what Carter would have thought of it, I wish I could know. It is a lot more comfortable for me, and for quite a few others that I know.

If any of you have never seen the song done in a Revels, try to get to one if for no other reason than to see the Morris dance that was written to go with the song, written by Carol Langstaff, with help from Shag Graetz and I think Jonathan Morse. It is a remarkable thing, and I think a very effective visual for the song.

Jerry Epstein,
once upon a time Music Director of Revels-New York.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 12:00 PM

I think Carter knew what he meant when he said "holy people"- note not "chosen race" or anything like that. He would have used the same phrase to describe the vile bigots who describe themselves as "Anglican traditionalists", and who reserve their venom for good women who are priests and loving couples of the same sex, while being studiously silent about torture of homosexuals in Africa.

To his generation, the "holy people" included the Anglicans who had failed to stand up to fascism, condoned mass unemployment, and blessed the cold war, and he was clearly making a direct comparison between suchlike and the hypocritical Pharisees of the Bible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 12:05 PM

Gerry, Lord of the Dance is NOT antisemetic and I believe that your comments say more about you than they do about Sydney Carter's lovely song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 01:25 PM

Paul Burke--BINGO!

"To his generation, the "holy people" included the Anglicans who had failed to stand up to fascism, condoned mass unemployment, and blessed the cold war, and he was clearly making a direct comparison between suchlike and the hypocritical Pharisees of the Bible."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 02:27 PM

Paul Burke,

I also agree. That's what I have always taken those words to mean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Timo_Tuokkola
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 02:35 PM

Gerry, unless you can come up with a verifiable historical document that proves no Jews were involved in the events leading to the crucifixion, your argument is no more compelling than that of the Gospels.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 02:42 PM

I just found this note in the basement:-

'It was us two Italian boys - Mario and Gino. We did it. theres a statute of limitations - you can't touch us!

JC sleeps with the fishes.

Arrivederci!'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 02:47 PM

Et Tu weedrummer?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 03:03 PM

From what Gerry and Jerry are saying, there appears to be a genuine cultural difference here. They appear to be saying that Jewish people do not believe that Jews were complicit in the execution of Jesus. The Christian tradition (whether it's history or myth is besides the point) clearly says that they were complicit.

What Gerry and Jerry also appear to be saying is that, for Jews, the obvious conclusion is that the original words blame Jews for the death of Christ. For others, that is not an obvious interpretation. It seems to hang on the Jewish use of the words "the holy people" to mean the Jewish people, although it appears that this usage is unknown to most gentiles. Whilst a Jew might assume that meaning, therefore, it seems unlikely that others would, and the risk of taking an anti-semitic meaning therefore appears small.

I'm not a historian, and I don't know if there is alternative documentary evidence to support the first point of view. As for the second, the gospels were written some time after the event and were not independent or unbiased, nor were they intended to be. So who knows the real historical truth?

Jerry, I'm sorry you and others were made to feel uncomfortable by the original lyrics. But whilst the Revels are not explicitly Christian, by celebrating the Christmas season it is probable that there will be some Christian content, and it seems to me that anyone of other faiths, whether Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or whatever, should respond accordingly, just as I would if I were to attend an event with a Jewish theme, and which might contain elements which would make me uncomfortable. It is about respect for other cultures. You say the words make you uncomfortable - it makes me uncomfortable that these words, which I genuinely believe do not carry the message you think they do, should have to be altered to something which loses the true meaning of the original.

If you were attending a Christmas service, rather than a music event with Christian overtones, would you expect the Bible readings to be altered to remove those references to Jews in the trial of Jesus? I'm sure you would not. So why feel the need to change this song?

If you are saying that the Christian story is inherently anti-semitic then the difference may be irreconcilable. However I believe that most people of goodwill, whether with faith or not, should be able to overcome such institutional differences and focus on the things which unite us, and concentrate on fighting hatred where it genuinely manifests itself. I don't think it does in LOTD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 08:05 PM

It wasn't the high and mighty - they had no interest in the keeping of the Sabbath, just the avoidance of disturbances in Jerusalem during Passover. The point is that the people who objected were those who had a narrow interpretation of their faith which left no room for God.

Both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism started out as Pharasaic sects - the Sadducees and Romans (and Herod) governed Jerusalem, and after Massada, life for the rest of the Jewish people carried on pretty much as before, with a few less oppressors.

Anyway, some of the contributions to this thread remind me of Humpty Dumpty as reported by C Dodgson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 08:56 PM

In that case we start afresh, and it's my turn to choose a subject. So here's a question for you.

Does anyone else think that "Lord of the Dance" is simply too cute to be sung in Church?

I remember liking the song well enough as a child when it was played on the radio. But then, while I was still quite young (Certainly I was under ten years old) being told it was supposed to be about Jesus and saying "No! It can't be! Jesus was a teacher! Not a dancer!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 08:58 PM

Timo, if you are saying that my argument is just as compelling as that of the gospels, well, that's good enough for me.

Paul, in the stanza in question, the holy people said it was a shame that Jesus danced on the sabbath. I'm sorry, I can't read that as a reference to the Anglicans who didn't stand up to fascism, etc.

Grab, assuming that the Bible is an accurate representation of events, it's blindingly obvious that the universe was created in six days. This is one of many reasons why some people suspect that the Bible is not an accurate representation of events.

"Jesus's aim as a fellow-Jew was to move Judaism from empty sophistry back to an appreciation of the basic principles behind the religion." Grab, I think the revered Jewish thinkers of the time, Hillel and Shammai and that crowd, had a pretty good appreciation of the basic principles behind the religion. I'm sorry, but I don't take the gospels as a credible source on the history of Jewish religious thought.

Howard, I did take the position that "the holy people" meant "the Jewish people," but I have elsewhere in this thread noted that there is still a problem if "the holy people" is interpreted as the priests, or as the Pharisees, or as the Jewish religious or political or legal authorities of the day. You'll note that Jerry also says that interpreting it to mean the priests does not remove the difficulty. The holy people, in the stanza in question, are the ones who were upset at what they viewed as the desecration of the sabbath, and, in the stanza in question, they are the ones who crucified Jesus. Who would be upset at the possible desecration of the sabbath, other than (a faction of) the Jews?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 01:39 AM

Mr. Dumpty. ;-)

No one is doubting or disputing that both the Gospels and Mr. Carter was referring to "a faction" of the Jews. I believe we are all in agreement on at least that much. What is troubling is that you somehow have included yourself among that faction when he and the Gospels were referring to a specific small "faction" from that time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 03:18 AM

Who would be upset at the possible desecration of the sabbath, other than (a faction of) the Jews?

Rabbi Meir Kahane's Kach party was a faction of the Jews (of Israel). I think it was a stupid and evil organisation, and that Kahane very nearly deserved his fate. I hate Kahane-ites with a passion. Does that mean I hate Jews?

The holy people, in the stanza in question, are the ones who were upset at what they viewed as the desecration of the sabbath, and, in the stanza in question, they are the ones who crucified Jesus.

No, they're not, and I'll prove it to you (well, I can dream). Each of the five verses of LOTD consists of two couplets. Each of the couplets makes a separate statement, with the second line completing or amplifying the first one, e.g.

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,

I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.

With me so far? Now, two of the couplets have a second line beginning with 'they', and here it's obvious that 'they' refers to the previous line:

I danced for the scribe and the pharisee,
But they would not dance and they wouldn't follow me.

I danced for the fishermen, for James and John -
They came with me and the dance went on.


However, three couplets begin with 'they':

They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high,
And left me there on a Cross to die.

They buried my body and they thought I'd gone,
But I am the dance and I still go on.

They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that will never, never die;

"They buried my body" and "They cut me down" have no grammatical antecedents: 'they' is obviously meant generically -
'I was cut down'
'somebody buried my body and people thought I'd gone'

The 'they whipped' couplet can be read the same way - in fact, it only makes sense if you read it that way (every Sunday School child knows that it was the Romans who had Jesus stripped and scourged).

There is no reason to believe that 'they' refers to 'the holy people', and no reason whatsoever to believe that 'the holy people' refers to the Jews collectively. End of story.

If what you're saying is that somebody who already believed that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion, and was already predisposed to blame the Jews collectively for any crime carried out by Jews individually, could read the words of that song in such a way as to confirm those beliefs, then you've got a point. But any such person would already be an anti-semite, and would be able to find confirmation for their beliefs from a multitude of sources. I can think of good reasons to rewrite songs, but trying to avoid the risk of appearing to confirm the prejudices that a minority of people already hold isn't one of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 03:40 AM

Gerry, saying that the Jewish religious authorities were involved in the crucifixion is not the same as saying that the whole Jewish people were responsible, which is how you seemed to be interpreting it.

The only documentary evidence, or at least the best known, is the gospels, which clearly implicate the Jewish authorities, and to a lesser extent the Jewish mob, in bringing Jesus to trial and execution. Of course, the Romans carried out the actual execution, but somewhat reluctantly, and it seems to have been a political rather than judicial decision by Pilate, who decided to sacrifice one troublemaker to smooth things over with the Jewish establishment. According to this version, both Romans and Jews were responsible.

I agree the gospels should be treated with caution as a historical text. But it is plausible - Jesus was undermining Jewish authority, not Roman. If you say that it is a lie that any Jews had any involvement at all, on what basis? Do you have any alternative evidence, or is it just wishful thinking?

If the "lie" is that all Jews should be held responsible for Jesus's death and that justifies what has been done to Jews down the ages, then of course I agree. But that is not what LOTD is saying.

Anti-semitism is a wicked thing. Can't you see that it's just as offensive to accuse people of it where it doesn't exist? Crying wolf doesn't help anyone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 06:51 AM

Is Piriton antihistamine ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Grab
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

Gerry, the Bible certainly isn't 100% accurate. But the Christian religion (a religion I don't follow, incidentally) is based on it, so your argument that claims anti-Semitism in Christian teaching needs to refer back to the Bible. (It's also worth noting that Genesis which you just mentioned is as relevant to Judaism as Christianity - so how accurate is the Torah then, the document which tells us that this is the direct word of Jahweh?)

Frankly I don't care if you don't share my view of what Jesus (assuming he existed) was trying to do. But you say:-

The fact remains that it was the Romans who crucified Jesus; the Romans, and not some or any or all Jews. To attribute the crucifixion to (some of) the Jews is an anti-semitic lie, the original anti-semitic lie on which all the others are built.

As has been asked before, where is your evidence that all records of Jesus's crucifixion (namely the first four books of the New Testament) are lies?

The fact remains that those records squarely put this in the hands of the local religious authorities, a situation which matches perfectly with records of how the Romans governed their empire. And the Bible does attribute it to "some of the Jews", it attributes it to "some Jews". Note the missing "the". Any implications that the Jewish people as a race or a religion are linked with Jesus's death are clearly anti-Semitic rubbish. But that certain specific Jewish individuals were responsible - where#'s your evidence that this wasn't the case?

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 09:45 AM

Jack the Sailor says that no one is disputing that Carter was referring to a faction of the Jews. Phil Edwards says he has proved that Carter was not referring to the Jews. Perhaps the two of you could settle this amongst yourselves and report back to us, so I can know just what the status of the discussion is.

In any event. Jack, I agree that Carter & the gospels were both referring to Jewish contemporaries of Jesus, and not to Jews of today or of the intervening years. While I am grateful for small favors, I am mindful of the historical consequences of the accusation that Jewish factions brought about the death of Jesus; and while I am aware, and extremely grateful, that no one on Mudcat would dream of visiting the (alleged) sins of some Jews of yesteryear on the Jews of today, I am also mindful of the fact that not everyone is as sensible as the members and guests of Mudcat. Antisemitism did not disappear in 1945, it just took a lower profile. When I see the old accusations raising their head, I respond.

Phil, I have never accused, and do not now accuse, you or anyone else who has contributed to this thread, or Sydney Carter himself, of hating Jews. By the way, did you know that when Arlo Guthrie was studying for his Bar-Mitzvah, he took lessons from Rabbi Kahane? This was, of course, before Kahane became notorious.

Howard, I do not accuse you or anyone here (or Sydney Carter) of antisemitism. I maintain that the belief that the Jews of the day brought about the death of Jesus is an antisemitic belief, but I make a distinction between holding an antisemitic belief and being an antisemite, in the same way that I make a distinction between lusting after your neighbor's wife and being an adulterer. To be an adulterer, it's not enough to think adulterous thoughts; you have to actually act on them. It's the same way with antisemitism.

Graham, I think I've already made my opinion of the scientific accuracy of Genesis quite clear in previous messages in this thread. But as you and Howard write, what it all comes down to is the question of the accuracy of the description of the last days of Jesus in the gospels. If it's really true that Jewish factions wanted Jesus dead & did whatever they had to to achieve that end, then the gospels are simply telling the truth, and can't be called antisemitic, and belief in them can't be called antisemitic belief. If the death of Jesus was desired, planned, and enforced by the Roman authorities with no Jewish input, then the passages in the gospels that say otherwise are an antisemitic lie, and the belief in those passages, an antisemitic belief (which, as I've said above, does not make the believer an antisemite).

So, what does the evidence say? Before I get to that, I want to repeat something else I wrote earlier in this discussion, namely, that (so far as I can see) rejecting these passages in the gospels does not mean rejecting the gospels in their entirety, does not mean rejecting the divinity of Jesus, the redemption of mankind through the suffering of Jesus ... in short, does not mean the rejection of Christianity. I am convinced that Christianity, which has thrived despite the modifications it needed to make to accomodate Galileo and Darwin and such, will not be in any way weakened by a change in its attitudes towards these passages in the gospels.

Now to the evidence. First of all, to the best of my knowledge, there is no independent evidence whatsoever of the events related in the passages of the gospels that implicate Jewish groups of the day in the death of Jesus. The case in favor of the gospels begins and ends with the gospels.

The case against the historical accuracy of the passages that implicate Jews is a long and complicated story. I'll give just a taste of it now, since it's nearly midnight here. The gospels say that the trial before the Sanhedrin took place on Passover. The case against says that this is an absurdity; it was against all Jewish law and custom for the Sanhedrin to convene on a holiday, and Passover was the most important holiday in the calendar. But then the Christian apologists (and that term does not carry any negative connotations) reply that that just proves how eager the Jewish leaders were to see Jesus dead, that they would break their own most sacred laws just to see Jesus on the cross. So it tends to be a matter of, if you believe the gospel accounts, then you can turn any evidence against into evidence for, much as you can argue that hundred million year old dinosaur fossils are really only a few thousand years old but God made them look much older.

I have to leave it there for now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 10:32 AM

Gerry, on what basis do you reject those passages? Seems a little arbitrary. I would love to hear your reasoning. There have been some very good studies made of the ILLEGALITIES of that trial, according to Jewish law and tradition. It doesn't come across as a mistake by an ignroant author/transcriber.

As for days in the opening chapter of Genesis, why must we assume that it means a 24 hour period (or less) and not a way of describing a period of time? It can be used figuratively in English as well!

If you read closely, you'll notice that there is a lot about Christ being rejected by his own.

What evidence do you have that the Romans wanted to get rid of Jesus? They rarely took an interest in local religious affairs (take a look at Acts the chapters where Paul is held captive by the Romans, for instance), unless it threatened their rule. Where in the teachings of Christ in the Gospels do we see anything like that? Do read Matthew 22:21.
You could reject that, of course, but then I would be certain that you are trying to force your preconclusions on the evidence.

WHY did the Romans want to kill Jesus? Everything begins with a motive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 10:59 AM

Gerry, on what basis do you reject those passages?

More to the point, Gerry, on what basis do you reject my analysis of the song that we're actually supposed to be discussing? Telling me that 'Jack the Sailor' disagreed with my interpretation (before I'd posted it) doesn't really answer the question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Greg B
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 01:14 PM

In every occupied country, there are the occupied, the occupiers, and
somewhere in between, the collaborators. The latter, for reasons of
their own, "work the system" to their own ends. Often ruthlessly.
Often in the guise of doing good things for their people, when in
fact they're just doing the best thing for themselves.

Then there are the occupied who 'go along with the crowd' in order not
to stand out, afraid, as it were, to question authority lest the
authorities question them. They all too often find themselves on the
wrong ethical side of a situation. And...they often make convenient
pawns when the powers-that-be need a loud, angry, mob of "protesters"
to come out and declare blasphemy and generally make the establishment
afraid that civil disorder will soon erupt.

Much evidence points to such being the case in Judea, some two
millennia ago.

It wasn't a uniquely Jewish/Roman problem; we have ample examples over
the last several centuries that point to the same thing taking place.

Maybe that's one of the things that make empires intrinsically evil
and military occupations distasteful.

Similarly, in *every* organized religion we see people who rise to
the heights of organizational power for reasons which are, to one
degree or another, self-serving and cynical. These people do some
horrible things, things in direct conflict with the ideals of their
religion, in order to retain power. And THAT is not a uniquely Jewish
problem, nor is Judaism immune to the problem. They likely didn't
invent it, either.

And we know, from historical experience, that vesting religious and
civil power in the same place has always been a recipe for trouble.

In any case, troublemakers like Jesus of Nazareth tend to get caught
up in such situations, especially when the politics of hostile
occupation meet the vested interests of puppet governments and
civil and religious authority converge.

There were a lot of places in the ancient--- and modern--- world
where a character like Jesus of Nazareth would have met some sort of
bad end at the hands of authorities who disagreed on much but would
agree that people like him threatened their position and standing.

If you understand that, you then understand that "the Jews killed
Jesus" misses the bigger point--- that the nature of evil lies not
in some imaginary "devil" but rather in the really rotten things
men will do in order to hold on to whatever little snippet of
power and prestige they come upon. The nature of man, sadly, is to
turn on its own when threatened.

If Jesus had been a Roman, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or a
Buddhist or a Hindu at the wrong or similar time and place, it is
likely that his own people would have killed him. That he was a
Jew, from that perspective, was just an accidental detail.

And to me, that just disarms the whole question.




his own people


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 02:38 PM

the only difference between my position and Mr. Edwards' was that he says there is no link IN THE SONG between "the holy people" and those that
whipped him, stripped him and hung him up to die." And I am saying that that doesn't matter.   

"the holy people" had him charged, arrested, and brought before Pilate.

Gerry said,

"I do not accuse you or anyone here (or Sydney Carter) of antisemitism."

Since the above statement, can be taken as a withdrawal of this one,

"accuses the Jews ("The holy people") - not the Pharisees, but the Jews - of crucifying Jesus. With all due respect to Rabbi Sol, that is an antisemitic lie - indeed, it is THE antisemitic lie, the one that led to terrible suffering by Jews down the ages."

It might be a good time to end this discussion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 02:40 PM

I'll second it might be a good time to end this discussion. The whole thing is simply going round and round in circles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 04:27 PM

Something that never really came out: 'Catters could reach however rich and nuanced an understanding of the basis for the lyrics and of the original historical circumstances, and maybe reach some kind of consensus over them (or give up trying), but that does little to affect how the song is heard in the wider cultural setting we're in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 05:41 PM

Ravenheart, the perception of the song by the wider Christian audience was discussed. As well as the perceptions of that much smaller group, those who apparently think of themselves as "the holy people" and who somehow seem to think that others, who might sing the song, might at the same time be anti-Jewish enough to blame all Jews for Jesus' death and also at the same time think of those same Jews as The Holy People.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 06:42 PM

Ravenheart - as I said this morning, I can think of good reasons to rewrite songs, but trying to avoid the risk of appearing to confirm the prejudices that a minority of people already hold isn't one of them. To put it another way, I don't believe that anyone who wasn't already antisemitic would find (and welcome) an antisemitic message in LOTD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:36 PM

Phil, I haven't rejected your analysis of the song, I just haven't had time to give it the careful reading it deserves. I'm too busy brushing up on Roman history....

Jack, it is possible to hold & even propagate an antisemitic belief without being an antisemite, as I took some pains to explain above. I hold that Carter was not an antisemite, but that one stanza of a song he wrote reflects and propagates an antisemitic belief.

Greg, generalizations about occupied countries don't necessarily tell us what happened in specific cases. The evidence that Jewish groups wanted to kill Jesus (rather than, say, protect one of their own from the brutal occupiers) comes from Christian Scripture, but it is precisely the historical accuracy of portions of that scripture that is under question here. The Jews have been an unusual people in many ways down through the years, and if they did not conform to your generalizations about military occupations, it wouldn't be all that surprising.

Back to the evidence.... Well, first I hope you'll indulge me in a little "thought experiment." Imagine that there are two early Christians, let's call them Mark and Remark, who want to write up an account of the martyrdom of Jesus. It is many years after the fact, and neither of them was actually there at the time, so they both go by what they've heard at second and thrid hand. Mark has heard that the Sanhedrin convicted Jesus of the capital crime of blasphemy, and that the Jewish mob demanded the death of Jesus, and that's what he writes. Remark has heard that the Jewish people and authorities closed ranks around Jesus, and did all they could to protect him from the bloodthirsty occupiers, but the Romans had the might and they let no one get in the way of their mission to murder him, so that's what Remark writes.

Mark and Remark write up their versions of the events and circulate them among their friends. Remark's version stirs his friends into an anti-Roman fury. The Romans get wind of this, and come down on Remark and his friends and their followers like a ton of bricks. They're all executed, and all copies of their gospel are burned. The Romans do such a thorough job that, to this day, no trace of the gospel of Remark has been found.

Now as I said, this is just a thought experiment. I'm not suggesting there really was a lost gospel of Remark. I suspect that if there was an early Christian with Remark's beliefs, he would have known the likely consequences of writing them up and sharing them with his friends, and he would have thought the better of it. The point of the experiment is simply that it's no surprise that the only surviving accounts of the martyrdom are the ones that shift most or all of the blame from Pilate to the priests and the Jewish mob. And since those are the only accounts that had any chance of surviving, they cannot be used as evidence in favor of the version of events they describe.

More to come.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:50 PM

I think it far more likely that the Romans would not have had a problem with Remark's account, and probably would have encouraged it's spread rather than destroying it. The Romans love making examples of people in order to keep the masses in line. Most likely that's why they used crucifixion as a method of punishment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 09:25 PM

Gerry,

The only way your theory about the works is if Anti-Semites believe that the Jews were "The Holy People". That, on the face of it is silly.

Since Jesus' story was one of martyrdom and sacrifice in the face of persecution which inspired similar sacrifice when Christians were persecuted by the Romans, your other theory is equally silly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 03:10 AM

CarolC, if Remark's account had the effect of inciting the population to rebellion against Rome, you think the Romans would have encouraged its spread? you think the Romans would not have made an example of Remark and his followers in order to keep the rest of the population in line?

Jack, I don't understand your remarks. The song (the one stanza, anyway) says (on my reading) that the people who objected to the (perceived) desecration of the sabbath (and those people would have to be some or all of the Jews of the time) killed Jesus. That stanza presents an antisemitic belief, and the question of whether antisemites believe that the Jews are or were the holy people doesn't enter into it.

I don't know what is silly about suggesting that of two accounts of the martyrdom of Jesus only one was likely to survive to our time, but perhaps I am misunderstanding your second remark.

So, let's talk about Pontius Pilate. Here's what Mahlon H Smith, a Christian Bible scholar, has to say about Pilate at http://virtualreligion.net/iho/pilate_2.html

"The Pilate described by Josephus & the Roman historian Tacitus was a strong willed, inflexible military governor who was insensitive to the religious scruples of his Jewish & Samaritan subjects & relentless in suppressing any potential disturbance. This stands in sharp contrast to the impression conveyed in the Christian gospels which, for apologetic reasons, portray him as reluctant to execute Jesus. Pilate's decade long tenure (26-36 CE) testifies to both his relative effectiveness in maintaining order & to the aging emperor's lack of personal attention to administrative affairs. The ruthless slaughter of thousands of Samaritan pilgrims by Pilate's cavalry (ca. 36 CE), however, led to such a strong Palestinian protest that Pilate was eventually recalled to Rome."

I like the part about Pilate being so ruthless that even his Roman superiors thought he went too far.

The Jewish Encyclopedia - I don't know how much credibility this source will have in this discussion, but here it is, anyway - says of Pilate,

"According to Philo ("De Legatione ad Caium," ed. Mangey, ii. 590), his administration was characterized by corruption, violence, robberies, ill treatment of the people, and continuous executions without even the form of a trial.... Pilate appropriated funds from the sacred treasury in order to provide for the construction of an aqueduct for supplying the city of Jerusalem with water from the Pools of Solomon; and he suppressed the riots provoked by this spoliation of the Temple by sending among the crowds disguised soldiers carrying concealed daggers, who massacred a great number, not only of the rioters, but of casual spectators."

It's things like this that put me off whenever I see advertisements for the Pilates Method. I have to remind myself that it's about physical fitness and not a massacre of spectators. Anyway, it suggests to me that Pilate needed no encouragement from Jewish leaders or Jewish mobs or anyone else to send Jesus to his death. He was quite capable of doing it on his own.

Now it has been suggested in this discussion that the Romans didn't care about the religious beliefs of their subjects and that therefore Pilate would not have wanted to do Jesus in. The Jewish Encyclopedia has a different take on the issue:

"Many of the Jews suspected of Messianic ambitions had been nailed to the cross by Rome. The Messiah, "king of the Jews," was a rebel in the estimation of Rome, and rebels were crucified (Suetonius, "Vespas." 4; "Claudius," xxv.; Josephus, "Ant." xx. 5, section 1; 8, section 6; Acts v. 36, 37). The inscription on the cross of Jesus reveals the crime for which, according to Roman law, Jesus expired. He was a rebel. Tacitus ("Annales," 54, 59) reports therefore without comment the fact that Jesus was crucified. For Romans no amplification was necessary. Pontius Pilate's part in the tragedy as told in the Gospels is that of a wretched coward; but this does not agree with his character, as recorded elsewhere (see Suchrer, "Gesch." Index, s.v.)."

More to come, by and by.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 03:15 AM

Gerry, you've succeeded in

a) generating a lot of traffic...
b) with heated opinions and extended arguments...
c) on a non-folk topic...
d) about which most people disagree with you...
e) although you refuse to engage with their arguments...
f) and carry on posting regardless

Classic trolling. I think the rest of us would be better off ignoring you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 04:52 AM

Gerry,

You are claiming that merely to say that the Jews were involved in the death of Jesus is anti-semitic. I disagree. It is simply repeating a matter of historical record (accepting that historical "fact" is rarely set in stone, and is always subject to revision). OK, the record may be partial, and if evidence emerges that Jews had absolutely nothing to do with it, that's fine by me. It may be possible to question whether it's "fact", but you will have to do more to pursuade me that it's a "lie", and I'm trying to look at it objectively, without the eye of either faith.

For the time being, that's the version that most people accept. It's not anti-semitic to repeat it, any more than it's anti-Italian. What is anti-semitic is the conclusion that some have drawn from this: that the Jews as a whole and for evermore are culpable, and that this justifies the treatment which has been meted out to the Jews over the following centuries. That I think is what you really object to, and I am 100% in agreement.

The two things are separate. The fact that an erroneous conclusion can be drawn from it does not make it anti-semitic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 05:08 AM

It's nowt to do with Lord of the Dance though, which doesn't mention Jews or The Jews at all.

BTW I was under a misapprehension that Carter was Anglican- in fact he was a Quaker. It doesn't change the fact that he would probably have torn his face off and thrown it in the corner if he'd read this discussion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 05:33 AM

|Is a long word "antidisestablishmentarianism" ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 09:24 AM

Pip, guilty on all six counts, but with the mitigating circumstance, as regards e), that when there are 30 of them and only one of me, it is hard to engage with all of the arguments put to me. If there is any particular argument you'd especially like me to engage, please name it, and I'll do my best to engage with it.

As far as trolling goes, I have begun to wonder about Len Wallace, who started this thread, but has never returned, not even to thank the rest of us for expending so much energy on his question. Perhaps we have all been well and truly trolled by Mr Wallace.

Howard, the main point of several of my recent long posts has been to build the case that involvement of Jewish entities in the death of Jesus is not a matter of historical record. The sole evidence for involvement, so far as I know, is the gospels, and I am trying to show that for all their greatness as spiritual testimony they cannot be taken seriously as historical documents. The arguments I have brought up so far are

1. taking the Bible as a whole as a true historical document commits you to the absurd positions taken by the fundamentalists - and if Genesis is not literally true, why believe that Mark is?

2. the positions taken by the gospels can't be understood without an eye for the political situation of the day, which favored trying to patch things up with the Romans,

3. the gospel description of Pilate as weak, indecisive, manipulated by the Jewish elite and bullied by the Jewish mob, is in stark contrast to the historical description of Pilate as a monster.

You know, Kolmogorov, one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, started out as a history student. He found indisputable evidence that the taxation system in 13th century Moscow was very different from what all the experts thought it was, and proudly told his supervisor that he had disproved the older theory. His supervisor was not so impressed, informing Kolmogorov that one proof wasn't enough - he'd need ten to overturn the accepted beliefs. It was soon after that that Kolmogorov left history for mathematics, where one proof is enough.

But we're doing history here, not mathematics, so I must present more proof. It comes under two headings:

4. impossibilities in the gospel accounts (such as one I've already mentioned, convening the Sanhedrin on the greatest holiday in the Jewish calendar), and

5. inconsistencies between the various gospel accounts.

I'll get to these.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 09:43 AM

So, the bible is not to be believed. OK so far? The song in question contains lines based on this biblical fantasy and in itself cannot be believed. Yes? So the song is about events that took place, or maybe didn't, in a work of fiction? What are you all arguing about then?

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:24 AM

I don't see Remark's version having the effect of inciting the population into rebellion. I see it has having the effect of suppressing rebellion. Had crucifying Jesus had the potential to incite a rebellion, the Romans would have killed him in a much less public way. Crucifixions served as a warning to others about what could happen to them if they didn't behave in the way the empire wanted them to. That story didn't need someone like Remark to tell it. The story would have spread on its own, and that's what the Romans would have wanted. Had the Romans done something like that to Jesus, it would not have been possible to suppress the knowledge of it or prevent it from spreading far and wide.

Had the Romans simply wanted to kill Jesus without the masses knowing about it, they would have simply had him assassinated and not taken credit for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:29 AM

Gerry,

Your argument about the song being ant-semitic, hinges on anti-Semites (Jew haters) believing that the Jews are THE HOLY PEOPLE.

Your argument about the Gospels is equally silly. On the on hand you say that The Romans (Pilate) had enough legal to kill Jesus because people were calling him the Messiah, and also that they (he) were arbitrary and evil enough to just do it for no reason. On the other you are saying that the writers of the Gospels who obviously knew the Romans much better than any of us, somehow thought that they could escape Roman punishment by blaming the Jews for making Jesus a Martyr when they would most certainly know the capital crime would have been writing the parts where they say Jesus is Lord and King.

You seem to be simply finding, newer, progressively weaker arguments as your earlier ones get picked off.

You have little hope of having the song censored for what you perceive as "anti-Semitic" material. You have NO hope of getting the Gospels censored for that reason.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:48 AM

Gerry, your Mark/Remark theory is silly. It's called wishful thinking. I find it as likely as the Chariots of the Gods. I could use your reasoning to justify anything. Well, you see, there might have been another writer who wrote a true, alternative account, but all traces were COMPLETELY destroyed.....

Are there any serious or irreconciable inconsistencies in the Gospels?

Those examples of Pilate's behaviour which you cited were what was being held over his head that day. Also, they threatened to tell Caesar that he had ambitions to the throne. With Pilate's track record, that story would have been swallowed hook, line and sinker.
Pilate's weakness here is of personal integrity. Anyway, here are some points to consider. I'm drawing from the 4th volume (the Roman Byzantine Period) of the History of Eretz Israel. Edited by Menachem Stern and published by the Yad Itzhak Ben-Tzvi centre, one of the most respected academic institutions in Israel. At the start of Pilate's rule, he placed banners in Jerusalem bearing depictions of human and animal figures, a big no-no. A Jewish delegation left for Caesarea, to protest, but Pilate called his army and threatened to massacre the crowd unless they all returned to their homes. Those gathered prostrated themselves saying that it was better to die than to see graven images in Jerusalem. When Pilate saw how serious they were, he gave in to their demands. Seems to me that he realised that it might spark massive unrest.
Another point that encyclopedia makes is that for the early part of his rule, there was nobody in Damascus for the people to complain to. When there was, Pilate was a little more cautious.

As for the 'impossibilities' of the trial, the Gospels make it clear that this was done very improperly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:51 AM

I forgot to add that those Messianic Jews you mentioned were executed for opposing Roman rule, advocating it's overthrow and replacement by the kingdom of David. Where in the writings of Jesus as we have them does it mention anything like that? Quite the opposite, "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's", "My kingdom is not of this world", etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:05 AM

One of the problems with questioning the accuracy of the Gospels because of conflicts with historical accounts (something I don't mind doing myself, but I'm not selective about which religious doctrines I'm willing to question), is that it leaves open the possibility of questioning the Jewish version of events also, and not just Genesis.

There is no historical documentation for the existence of Moses, or even of the Hebrews having been enslaved in Egypt or of the Exodus. We have no way of historically verifying whether or not the Jewish religion came into being in the way their holy books describe, or if it was entirely invented by people who wanted to start a cult following.

It seems to me that no religion is in any position to question any other religion when it comes to being able to verify their version of events historically.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:29 AM

Good point, CarolC.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 02:45 PM

Dave, to say that, for instance, scriptures are best understood symbolically and subjected to interpretation is a far cry from saying they should be ignored.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: oggie
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 05:25 PM

"BTW I was under a misapprehension that Carter was Anglican- in fact he was a Quaker. It doesn't change the fact that he would probably have torn his face off and thrown it in the corner if he'd read this discussion."

Your original thought was correct. He was an Anglican who found himself more at home with the Quaker affirmation of the presence of God in all human beings and it's lack of ritual. He was however buried according to the rites of the Church of England. He was a man who thought that religious "truth" was more important than the label you gave to the church you attended.

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 06:50 PM

I think this should be banned as well. Absolutely outrageous in it's suggestions that Morris Men drink!

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 09:55 PM

Dave, I think you have it right this time. It does indirectly legitimatize Morris dancing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Haruo
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:02 PM

Please, Dave, Morris Peroffspring. Let's not inject noninclusive language into this by calling them Morris Men. (And Persons contains that suspect "sons", while "Perchildren" sounds ageist. ;-)

Haruo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 10:21 PM

CarolC, I'm well aware that once we question the historicity of one religious document, we invite questioning the historicity of all the others, and I don't see doing so as a problem. This thread was provoked by someone's question as to whether LotD is anti-semitic, and the historicity or otherwise of the narrative in the book of Exodus will not shed any light on that question. The gospel passages implicating Jewish groups in the death of Jesus are the only scriptural passages whose historicity is directly relevant to the question raised about LotD (although I suppose that if you could prove that Moses never existed, that would make it even easier to believe that Mark got his facts wrong).

Volgadon, I believe there are serious inconsistencies in the gospels. I'll get around to that. You mention Pilate's track record. It is not clear to me whether you are referring to his record of tyrannical brutality, a record which does not show through in the gospel accounts. And may I remind you that we do not have the writings of Jesus, only the writings of those who came along years after the events, and with their own circumstances and motivations.

Jack, my claim that the stanza expresses an antisemitic view does not hinge on antisemites believing that Jews are the holy people. Here's what I wrote earlier: "The song (the one stanza, anyway) says (on my reading) that the people who objected to the (perceived) desecration of the sabbath (and those people would have to be some or all of the Jews of the time) killed Jesus. That stanza presents an antisemitic belief, and the question of whether antisemites believe that the Jews are or were the holy people doesn't enter into it."

Concerning your other point, I hold that the gospel writers were making a compromise. They couldn't very well refrain from saying that Jesus was Messiah, Lord, and King as without saying that there'd be no reason to write a gospel at all. But they could try to get that central point across while minimizing offense to Roman sensibilities by shifting as much blame as possible from the Romans to the Jewish mob and authorities, and by attributing to Jesus the words that Volgadon quotes (Render unto Caesar, my kingdom is not of this world, ...).

As for censorship, that's a straw man. I have never, never, never, never, never, never, never aspired to have song or gospels censored. I have only expressed the hope that the day will come when the antisemitic aspects will be as clear to everyone else as they are to me; when that day comes, no one will talk about censoring the song, because no one will want to sing it.

CarolC, if you pass out literature in Kashmir, alleging atrocities committed by the Indian army; if you pass out literature in Darfur, alleging atrocities committed by Janjaweed militia; if you pass out literature in the West Bank, alleging atrocities by the Israeli authorities; do you think these activities would suppress rebellion against India, against the militia, against Israel, or incite it? Do you think the Indian, the Janjaweed, the Israeli leaders would welcome your efforts, or prefer to see you go away?

When you tell your people about the horrible things some other people are (allegedly) doing to you, it may scare them off, but I think it's at least as likely to harden their resolve to resist.

I'm having trouble understanding the rest of your argument. The Romans crucified Jesus because they saw him as a threat to their rule, and as with all punishment they hoped this would have a deterrent effect on others. The story spread on its own, as the Romans wanted. Contemporary accounts, if there were any, have not come down to us. Many years later, some people who weren't actually there at the time wrote up an account of what happened. Their write-up reflects the times in which they lived. If this doesn't seem responsive to your points, it's for want of understanding (on my part), not for want of trying.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Jul 08 - 11:08 PM

It started out as a question about the LotD, but if I recall correctly, someone in this thread has said that Christians should disregard the part of the New Testament that specifies that some Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, which goes beyond any questions about the LotD.

If passing out literature (passing out literature before the invention of the printing press?) about the Roman authorities executing people would have the effect of instigating popular uprisings, I would think that the Roman authorities would have rethought the expediency of using crucifixion as a means of executing people. It seems to me that it would become very expensive if they had to put down popular uprisings every time they carried out a crucifixion that the local populace felt was unjust (which I would expect was rather often). The Romans may have been brutal, but they weren't stupid. There was a reason that they used crucifixion as a means of executing people. They did it for the purpose of controlling the masses.

My point is that the speculative version of events proposed using the fictional character, Remark, doesn't make any sense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Ken Hunt
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 06:10 AM

I am responsible for Sydney Carter's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Biography and I interviewed him. I read a fair amount of his writings from the 1960s onwards and I still read him. Sydney was no stranger to people misunderstanding his words or twisting what he said. Even if he had a grave he wouldn't be spinning in it: he would be relishing the polemics of the debate, the absurdities, the misrepresentations, the fact that his song is keeping people thinking and guessing. He'd been through it with religious factions and "Friday Morning".

Sydney was brought up as a Christian ("I could not believe half the things I was supposed to") but that was only the starting point of what was beautifully summarised as his "questing theology" in his Guardian obituary. What nobody here seems to have picked up upon is that the song's underlying image also refers to Hinduism. The Lord of the Dance is Lord Shiva, the Cosmic Dancer. He did this knowingly. He had a figure of Lord Shiva at home. He worked with images. And "Lord of the Dance" is a series of images.

As he writes in Green Print for Song (1974, 86) in his commentary on the song that is kicking up the sawdust so, "Scriptures and creeds may come to seem incredible, but faith will still go dancing on." (Carter, Green Print, 86).

I can't speak for Sydney's social conditioning as a child. Growing up in London he would certainly have come across the casual racism of the day. As an adult, he soaked up faith, religion and philosophy. He kept looking. He was no racist. Quite the opposite. Ken Hunt

PS Dave Polshaw's clarification of 4 July 2008 about anti-semitic and anti-Jewish is spot on. The two terms are most definitely not synonymous. Just because the words are misused in day-to-day speech does not make them the same. Unaware and oblivious are not synonymous either. Oh, and what's this Jewish language people are talking about?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:22 AM

OK, Gerry. Lets try another tack. You believe that LoTD is anti-Jewish because it, in your opinion, tells us that the 'holy people', which you believe can be interpreted as the all Jewish people, from then to today, put ol' JC on the cross. Yes? Your issue with that is that it is not historicaly accurate because, in your opinion, it was the Romans who put him to death? OK. So what you want us to do is blame the decendants of the Romans instead. Is that it? Well, I know he wasn't born Roman but I guess the most influential Roman at present is the Pope. What should we do then? Rewrite the song so it puts the blame fairly and squarely on Herr Ratzingers shoulders? Sort of works for me. Jobs for the boys and all that...

Anyway. What about songs that blame the Jews for something else? The 'Coventry Carol' tells us that -

'Herod the king, in his raging
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight
All children young to slay'

Now, Herod was King of the Jews was he not. With support from Rome if I understand correctly. Upon hearing that another King of the Jews had been born he ordered that every child born at a certain time should be slaughtered. Presumably by his own men? Jews themselves?

I would submit therefore that the Coventry Carol is far more likely to stir anti-Jewish feeling than the Lord of the Dance. Yet it is biblicaly more accurate so, do we ban that or not?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 09:34 AM

Bloody hell, Dave, have you read anything I've written in this thread in the last few days?

09 Jul 08 - 03:10 AM

The song (the one stanza, anyway) says (on my reading) that the people who objected to the (perceived) desecration of the sabbath (and those people would have to be some or all of the Jews of the time) killed Jesus.

08 Jul 08 - 09:45 AM

I agree that Carter & the gospels were both referring to Jewish contemporaries of Jesus, and not to Jews of today or of the intervening years.

07 Jul 08 - 08:58 PM

I did take the position that "the holy people" meant "the Jewish people," but I have elsewhere in this thread noted that there is still a problem if "the holy people" is interpreted as the priests, or as the Pharisees, or as the Jewish religious or political or legal authorities of the day.

06 Jul 08 - 10:23 AM

I understand that most of the contributors to this thread disagree with my contention that the holy people refers to some or all of the Jews of Jesus' time (although why anyone among Jesus' contemporaries other than some of Jesus' fellow Jews would object to Jesus dancing on the sabbath is beyond me).

04 Jul 08 - 09:52 PM

2. "holy people" is a reference to, if not the entire Jewish people of the time, then to a segment thereof - maybe the Pharisees, maybe the Sanhedrin, maybe the priests, maybe some other Jewish authorities, but, in any event, definitely not to the Romans,

Evidently I have to say it once more: I believe that stanza of LotD presents an anti-Jewish belief if it says that ANY of the Jews OF THE DAY brought about the crucifixion of Jesus.

And if you can show me where I said that I want you to blame the descendants of the Romans, I will personally come, at my own expense, to sing Lord of the Dance at your next family celebration (provided only that it isn't a Bar Mitzvah).

CarolC, that part of the Christian Bible is central to the question about LotD. If I believed that some or all of the Jews of the time worked to bring about the death of Jesus, I would not be here objecting to LotD - the song would only be guilty of some exercise of poetic license in putting all the blame on those Jews, rather than some on them and some on Pilate.

It was in Roman interests that people fear them. It was not in Roman interests that people hate them. A story that Pilate only executed Jesus because he was manipulated by the Jewish elite and bullied by the Jewish mob would stir up less hatred of Rome than a story that Pilate planned it and brought it about entirely on his own. It would also put more distance, in Roman eyes, between the Christians and those troublesome Jews. It had to be the politically more savvy way to go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 09:51 AM

300


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:16 AM

I believe that stanza of LotD presents an anti-Jewish belief if it says that ANY of the Jews OF THE DAY brought about the crucifixion of Jesus.

WILL YOU BLOODY LISTEN, GERRY?

Carter was NOT referring to any Jews at all- the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the mob, not any of the Jews. Nor was he talking about Romans. He was talking about HYPOCRITES. Of all nations, of all ethnicities, of all sexes (but especially clergymen), of all ages, of all epochs.

Carter himself probably took the Bible not as a historical record in any very important way, but as a largely METAPHORICAL record of the background and teachings of someone he respected. The historical "fact" of whether "Jesus" (if he existed) was executed by a,b or c is utterly irrelevant to LotD, which is a song about love and joy, not blame. Your boneheaded niggling about antisemitism is as stupid as the commissioner who recently reprimanded a colleague for referring to a "black hole"- which he said was a racist comment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:30 AM

OK - I admit to being a little thick to get the point across. I'll let you decide if it was intentional or not;-) But it has done the job of getting you to clarify your stance. I think!

You now make it crystal clear - I believe that stanza of LotD presents an anti-Jewish belief if it says that ANY of the Jews OF THE DAY brought about the crucifixion of Jesus.


So you mean that anything that says that any Jews of the day brought about the crucifixion of Jesus is anti-Jewish. I note that you use the phrase brought about the crucifixion. By that I take it that you mean they didn't actualy hammer the nails in. That they CAUSED it rather than actualy did it? If so then every Christian teaching in my knowledge can also be construed as anti-Jewish. Should the teachings of 2000 years be modified because they are anti-Jewish? Maybe the world would be a better place if they were but, tell you what though, it ain't gonna happen!

Besides - You only addressed one part of my last post. Should the Coventry Carol be done away with as well?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:48 AM

"It was in Roman interests that people fear them. It was not in Roman interests that people hate them. A story that Pilate only executed Jesus because he was manipulated by the Jewish elite and bullied by the Jewish mob would stir up less hatred of Rome than a story that Pilate planned it and brought it about entirely on his own. It would also put more distance, in Roman eyes, between the Christians and those troublesome Jews. It had to be the politically more savvy way to go."

No, the Romans would have stressed that this is what happens to those that act against Roman authority. Roman rule was hated and resented plenty and apart from the consul in Damscus, who generally tried to placate the Jewish elite to stop them from revolting, the Romans didn't do much to patch things up.
Gerry, show me a source or any piece of evidence that in those first years of Christianity the Romans saw them as anything more than another Jewish sect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:54 AM

Basically the argument seems to be that, if an account of an event, based on whatever historical records exist, is capable of being used to justify oppression and persecution, the right thing to do is to reject this version, and replace it with a different version which is less likely to be used in that way, even if there are no historical records which justify it.

Interesting. I wouldn't wholly disagree, historical records are often very defective - but a revisionist version such as that should always be identified as a speculative and tentative hypothesis.

There doesn't seem anything improbable about the story of the Crucifixion that emerges from the Gospel accounts. It's quite easy to imagine a similar train of events in modern colonial and post-colonial times.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 11:01 AM

I did take the position that "the holy people" meant "the Jewish people," but I have elsewhere in this thread noted that there is still a problem if "the holy people" is interpreted as the priests, or as the Pharisees, or as the Jewish religious or political or legal authorities of the day.

Kindly identify this problem. As I said earlier on, if Meir Kahane were alive I would have no problem saying that I hate his guts; that doesn't mean I hate Jews, and nobody sane would imagine it did. Similarly, saying that Jewish holy people of Jesus's time objected to his teaching and activities doesn't say anything about the Jewish people of the time, let alone present-day Jews.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 11:04 AM

Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?/Is'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?

the answer, quite simply, is, no it's not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 11:05 AM

Saint Stephen was executed by the Jewish elite of his time (stoned to death), essentially for preaching the teachings of Jesus, according to the gospels. In his final speech, he is reported to have said...

"Which one of the Prophets did your fathers not persecute, and they killed the ones who prophesied the coming of the Just One, of whom now, too, you have become betrayers and murderers."

I wonder if we can pin this one on the Romans, too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 01:29 PM

Imodium is definitely anti-emitic.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 01:32 PM

St. Stephen was stoned...no...wait a sec let me re-phrase that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 02:28 PM

Dave, the teachings of about 1700-2000 years are being modified and reinterpreted right and left, and nothing's going to stop that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM

I might have said "1700-1900-odd years."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 04:48 PM

Aye, they are indeed Ravenheart. The 'truth' we were told only a few years ago is the same. Now, let me see, there was something to do with weapons of mass destruction wasn't there?

Anyway - back to the plot. I just noticed post number 2 on this thread, from a Rabbi Sol - I don't think we have anyone much more Jewish do we?

I have heard Tommy Makem sing this song for over 30 years and have never thought of it in this light. It is describing an incident that is related in the New Testament. Although as a Jew I do not believe in the New Testament I can not expect the Christians to rewrite their Bible to meet the standards of political correctness that exist in the 21st century. In my opinion It is not at all anti-semitic.

You post shortly after, Gerry says 'with all due respect to Rabbi Sol.' Just how hypocritical is that? You completely ignore the words of possibly the only contributer to this thread that gives us the Jewish point of view! If someone tells you that they are not offended and that the message is not interpreted in that way by the very people it is supposed to be against, why will you not believe them? What is your agenda in perpetuating this myth?

Maybe if you get enough people to belive that the Jews are offended by such trivia then you could start a whole new wave of anti-Jewish feeling? Maybe it is akin to the myths about Moslems being offended by the flag of St George? I think we may have seen posts from you before in different guises. Hats off to you though - this was the sneakiest!

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Tootler
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 05:09 PM

Let's face it. Gerry is another WAV. He won't listen and inflicts his peculiar theology on us - rather like WAV does with his so-called poetry.

This thread is going nowhere and it is high time it was closed.

Can some Mud Elf do the honours?

Geoff


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 05:14 PM

Tootler's right, Gerry's theology is decidedly wonky, at best, and there is simply no telling him.

I second the call to close this thread


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 05:42 PM

Dave, it's a good point: I might have said "for better or worse" or "for better and for worse." But I think recent scholarship and archaeological discoveries really are helpful clues if we are to hope to understand Jesus' true intent. And if for instance we can reach a better understanding of the role of women (cf. Mary Magdalene) in Early Christianity, we can also form a clearer picture of Jesus in relation to Judaism and the Jewish movements of his time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 05:48 PM

It's fine with me if you want to close the thread now. I just wanted to have the last word on everything.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,The Last Word
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 05:56 PM

the whole thread has drifted so far off course that it's barely recognisable anymore.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 08:54 PM

Paul, I assure you, I am listening (well, reading). Hypocrites of all nations, of all ethnicities, of all sexes, of all ages, of all epochs, would have had no reason to object to Jesus profaning the sabbath - only his fellow Jews, and perhaps only the hypocritical among them, would have given a stuff what Jesus did on the sabbath. Carter may have been aiming at the hypocrites, but with that part of the stanza, he hit (some of) the Jews (of the day).

Dave, I believe it is a Christian teaching that God sent His only son to redeem us through his suffering. I have explicitly said elsewhere in this thread that that Christian teaching is not anti-Jewish. I probably don't know as many Christian teachings as you do, but the ones I do know of, they aren't anti-Jewish - except the one that says that (some of) the Jews (of the day) brought about the death of Jesus.

The Coventry Carol is a new one on me. I'll look into it. Thanks for the heads-up.

Volgadon, we agree that in those first years of Christianity the Romans saw the Christians as nothing more than another Jewish sect. I've been suggesting that the gospels were, in part, an attempt to move the Romans away from that view.

McGrath, the account given in the gospels is, to the best of my knowledge, supported by no historical records whatsoever. There are many improbable things about the gospel accounts. I mentioned one, way back upthread somewhere, and I will detail others, when I have all my ducks lined up in a row.

Pip, in the first place, the gospels (and, by my reading, LotD) don't just say that the Jewish holy people of Jesus' time objected to his teaching and activities; they say that those people brought about Jesus' death, a rather more serious accusation. And as I have written elsewhere in this thread, while the members and guests of Mudcat are far too sensible to hold the Jewish people of today guilty for what they believe some Jewish people in the past have done, the world out there is full of people who are not nearly so sensible, as any reading of history will make clear.

CarolC, the key phrase in your post above is, "according to the gospels." What if the gospels are not 100% historically accurate? Where does that leave St Stephen?

Dave, with regard to the quotation from Rabbi Sol - I grant that Rabbi Sol is not offended by LotD. I never said that "the Jews" are offended by LotD. I said that I am offended by LotD, and I've tried to explain why I'm offended by LotD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 09:13 PM

The Gospels may indeed be 100% inaccurate. And so may the old testament. I'm inclined to think they are myself. But if that's the case, we really can't say there's any such thing as either Jews or Christians, can we? Or Muslims, either. And if that was the case, seems to me there would be a lot less bickering in the world (I won't say violence, because it's money and power that are the root cause of that).

In both the Christian and Jewish religions, there's a central theme of being persecuted by authority figures. The Jews being persecuted by the Egyptian rulers, then the Roman rulers, and then Christians. The Christians being persecuted originally by the Jewish elite, then the Romans, and then, the Protestants being persecuted by the Catholic rulers, and Catholics being persecuted by Protestant rulers. I don't think either religion could function without this central theme. Maybe the early Christians fabricated their tradition of being persecuted by Jewish authority figures. But maybe the idea that this Christian tradition is a form of persecution of Jews has been fabricated by the people promoting this idea.

We'll never know. So I guess the best thing to do is just let everyone keep their own traditions and stop bickering about them, and we can all strive to speak out against anyone who uses any of these traditions as an excuse to treat other people badly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 09:18 PM

Gerry,

You are not offended. You are just playing with folks heads. If you were actually offended, you would make an effort to make more sense.

I don't see any reason to close the thread. Then again, I don't see the point in going the WAV's threads to abuse him. If you don't like what they are saying, no one is forcing you to read it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Greg B
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:03 PM

Some good points, here, just up above.

To put it in a less intellecual way, there is a great tradition
of the powers-that-be amongst any people f***ing their own people
over.

A similar tradition in the powers-that-be, once they finish
f***ing their own people over, going out and f***ing other people
over.

Such is tha nature of powers-that-be.

The Egyptions and Babylonians did it to the Jews. After they did
it to themselves.

The Greeks did it to each other, then to the non-Greeks, then the
Romans came along and did it to them.

The Jews did it to one another, then got it done to them by the
Romans, and kept doing it to one another, (as did the Romans).

Eventually the Romans got it done to them, but first they did it
to nearly everyone else.

Britain did it to the Indians and some of the Africans while France
did it to the rest of the Africans.

The Americans did it to the Native Americans (to the extent that
they're stuck with being called something-Americans to this day)
and to a bunch of the Africans, whom we still screw over. Then we
did it to a whole bunch of other people in Asia, and it looks like
we're still at it.

The Christians and Muslims have done it to the Jews for a coupla thousand years, but then again, the Jews have found ways to stick it
to the Muslims (who continue to commit violence against one another)
and the Catholics and Protestants while the latter have been at one
anothers' throats for a few centuries or more. While the Orthodox,
Conservative, and Reformed give one another hell and deny each
others' legitimacy, the Shiites and Sunis kill each others' babies,
and the Papists, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians etc., find fault
with one another.

It just so happens that, in the Christian world, one of these
inevitable screwings-over at the hand of the local and remote
screwers-over has been super-mythologized.

And nearly every Christian and Jew misses the point that it wasn't
about who did what to whom but the fact that when some SOB actually
stands up and speaks the truth nearly everyone gets up and says
'crucify him' in order to break the mirror that said SOB holds
up to us so we can see ourselves at our worst...while calling us
to be better.

For us Christians, the lesson isn't so much 'the Jews killed
Jesus' but rather (to borrow a phrase) 'everybody must get
stoned.'

Most of the time, when we get offended, it isn't so much that
someone is really doing us wrong as the fact that someone is
holding a mirror up to us that we really can't handle.

Me, I'd rather do the tune as 'Simple Gifts' than 'Lord of the
Dance.'

But heck... let's all get offended. Then angry. Then really mad.
Then let's get a cross or a noose or a boycott or some such
violent crap and get rid of the guy who upsets our little apple-cart.

The thing about this historical Jesus, is that he was at least
one guy who said 'enough,' cut it out. As did a lot of other guys
who got done in before their times.

So he was an archetype.

Get past the whole Jew/Roman thing and understand that the Passion
Play is all about what man does to his fellow man...again and
again and again and again.

And you know what?

It usually starts with some a**h*** taking "offense."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 10:27 PM

Good article on crucifixion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 10 Jul 08 - 11:13 PM

I've heard that just having a nail driven through the hand at the point described is a hideously painful thing, because of the nerves affected.

It's a token of the kind of history we're dealing with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 04:44 AM

So, now we have what it is realy all about do we? I never said that "the Jews" are offended by LotD. I said that I am offended by LotD

So, in a nutshell, the Jews are not offended by it. It is not anti-(current)Jew. It is not anti-(current)Roman. It may prove to be offensive to some guys that lived in the middle east 2000 years ago and to Gerry, guest of the Mudcat? Well, whoopie-do. Lets ban it, desecrate the name of a wonderful songwriter, ignore the words of a wise Rabbi and stamp all over Christian tradition! I'll tell you what, for good measure, lets get Moslem terrorists involved as well.

Sorry, Gerry (or is it Len?), your arguments have become too ridiculous to even think about.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 04:50 AM

Yes, Gerry, you've explained why you're offended by LotD. Actually you explained it perfectly well in your first comment on this thread, nine days ago(!). Let's refresh our memories:

The verse,

I danced on the Sabbath
And I cured the lame;
The holy people
Said it was a shame.
They whipped and they stripped
And they hung me on high,
And they left me there
On a Cross to die.

accuses the Jews ("The holy people") - not the Pharisees, but the Jews - of crucifying Jesus.


Nobody, as far as I can see, agrees with your interpretation of the line
'They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high'
to mean
'The holy people [subject of the preceding sentence] whipped and they stripped and they hung me high'

I am not at all surprised that nobody agrees with this reading, as there's no support for it either in Christian tradition or in the Bible. The Romans scourged, stripped and crucified Jesus; the Gospels are quite clear on that point.

Nobody, as far as I can see, agrees with your interpretation of the preceding line 'The holy people said it was a shame' to mean 'the Jews said it was a shame'.

Again, I am not at all surprised that nobody agrees with you on this, as there's no support for it either in common usage or in the work of Sydney Carter.

With respect, Gerry, you're thinking like an antisemite - you're looking for any possibility of an interpretation which would support an antisemitic reading. Relax - there's nothing there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 06:03 AM

With respect, Gerry, you're thinking like an antisemite

Spot on, Pip, and acting like one too! I can just imagine the shaved heads at the bar of the old Dog and Jackboot discussing this over their pints.

"'ere, Dwaine, 'eard about them f'in Yids wantin' us to change our good British Christian songs now? Lets go down Beffnal Green and kick a few..."

"But I fort we wuz Paki bashin' tonight!"

"Ah, they can wait, plenty of immigrants to go round..."

Like I said before. it is akin to the false reports of Moslems being offended by Christmas or St Georges day. Funny how Guest Len Wallace, who started the thread, possibly with trouble in mind, has never returned, but Guest Gerry popped up shortly after in support isn't it?

Cheers

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 06:06 AM

Ravenheart: I had to have what's called a 'blood gas' done many years back. Nurse/doctor takes a needle and goes 'looking' for a vein or artery that's in the middle of the wrist on the inside of the arm. Most painful thing I ever felt in my life--and they had to try a second time when the interns could hold my arm down.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 06:11 AM

A point that's just occurred to me is that LOTD isn't actually telling the story of Christ's life and death. It's so abbreviated that without prior knowledge of that story it is all but meaningless. Both the singers and target audience are almost certainly aware of that story, and the song simply cues references to different parts of it. So the first part of the contentious verse refers to one incident, and the second part to an entirely separate, later incident. Anyone listening to the song with that background knowledge would realise that and would not make the connection that Gerry is claiming, unless they were determined to find the most tenuous excuse for anti-semitism, which Gerry appears to be doing.

Also, I think it's possible to be anti-Jewish, in the sense of being critical of the actions of certain Jews, without being anti-semitic, which means hatred of all Jews. Even then, the verse in question is only critical of the hypocrisy in the first part - the second part simply references the events (whether or not you accept their historical accuracy) without comment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 02:50 PM

Peace, yes, that makes the point well.

Another thing that the article on crucifixion brought home to me is that you have to think of the psychologies and politics of minorities when the dominant discourse is a reign of terror or the constant threat of a reign of terror. Maybe comparisons between the Roman Empire and the Third Reich would not be out of place, and how some people knuckle under and compromise, become Quislings, form Vichy states, act as some religious leaders (the church hierarchies, Jewish leaders in the ghettos and the model camps that were opened to view) did under the Nazis, hoping and praying for survival but always sensing any shift in the winds could lead to their liquidation.

Of course, there was the well-known religious "tolerance" of the Romans, who accepted all kinds of cults as long as they paid obeisance to the official idolatry. That too (the "carrot") must have made for an enormous pressure on people to reframe their beliefs in ways that conformed to the sanctioned models.

It makes the stories of the few who found a way to "dance in the dragon's jaws" (as Bruce Cockburn said--hey, I'm not so far off-topic, I hope) all the more amazing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 11 Jul 08 - 04:50 PM

Would people take a few minutes to consider the second-century figure of Irenaeus and the role he played in our story?

The story goes, he lived through a massacre of his own Christian community in Gaul and decided to throw his hat in with the emergent forces of orthodoxy to ensure the wider community's survival.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Haruo
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 12:56 AM

At some point here someone said Shiva is the Lord of the Dance. Unfortunately, that actually might support the "antisemitism" charge, since the Hindus invented the Swastika...

In any case, I am glad for this thread because it reminded me of "Friday Morning" (which I may or may not have seen before), and actually motivates me to try to get ahold of Carter's Vol. 2 which contains it.

Haruo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Rowan
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 04:19 AM

I've been away for a while and am surprised by what I've found.

Gerry wants to convince us that LotD is antisemitic; no success there, yet.
Dave wants us to use 'anti-Jewish' as a more accurate substitution for 'anti-semitic'; more likely to succeed but only if we care about truth.

Some want to use scriptural quotes (in English) of texts that were less than accurately translated from various ancient forms of language (always a dodgy prospect) and seem to ignore the fact that the New Testament was a book (compiled by a committee at Nicea some three centuries after the events) of texts written at least a century after the events by heirs of the participants; no acknowledgement of the effects of oral history, either.

Shiva (not even Semitic, let alone Judaic not Christian) is the "real" LotD and it takes 300 or so posts before a nonCarter song (the Coventry Carol) is mentioned.

I must admit I'm with Joe Offer and others about Carter's LotD; I've always preferred "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day" (apparently written at about the same time, by John Gardner) because the tune lends itself to better (IMO) harmonies. The words as Gardner published them (I sing a different text) are even more pungent than Carter's, so I shall probably have to reassess its effect on others' perceptions of political correctness.

If Gerry wanted to convince people, I think he's lost his chance, but it has been comforting to know (as if I didn't already) that there are some good people at Mudcat, who try do deal seriously with any and all questions.

Cheers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 08:11 AM

I'm going to try to show that the gospel accounts which implicate Jews in the death of Jesus can't be taken seriously.

If you aren't interested, please read something else instead.

If you've just come to this thread and you're wondering why I'm going to do this and what it has to do with Lord of the Dance, and you'd rather not read through the first 300 messages to see, here's a brief summary.

One stanza of LotD, to my reading, accuses the Jews of complicity in the death of Jesus. Just to make things clear, in this context when I write "the Jews" that's an abbreviation for "some or all of the Jews of the time of Jesus." I maintained that the Jews had nothing to do with the death of Jesus. Several people responded that the Jews must have had a great deal to do with the death of Jesus, since the gospels say so. I responded that the gospel accounts were wrong. I was asked, by several people, to provide evidence for this belief of mine. Since they asked, that's what I'm going to do, in this message.

Again, if you aren't interested, you have the option of not reading.

I have already noted in earlier posts that there is, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence outside of Christian scripture for a Jewish role in the death of Jesus (and no one has contradicted me, so perhaps we can now take that as given). I have also noted that the gospel writers had a motive for shifting as much blame as possible from the Romans to the Jews, as this would serve to differentiate the Christians from the Jews in Roman eyes, and perhaps spare the Christians of some of the persecutions that the Romans were visiting on the Jews at the time. Now let's look at the description of events given in the gospels and see whether it is at all credible.

In Mark, Chapter 14, Jesus is arrested at night, on the first night of Passover. He is brought for trial before the Sanhedrin at the house of the high priest that night. (Mark doesn't actually use the word, Sanhedrin, referring instead to the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes, but that's the Sanhedrin). Now, this is all impossible. The Sanhedrin is not the Mafia; it's the highest judicial body of the Jewish community. You wouldn't be far off if you thought of it as analogous to the British High Court, or the American Supreme Court. Like those courts, it had a long list of laws to follow. It did not meet at the house of the high priest, any more than the Supreme Court would ever meet at the house of its Chief Justice. It did not meet on Passover, the most important religious festival of the day. It was forbidden to have people arrested at night, and forbidden to try capital cases at night.

Mark has the Sanhedrin looking for testimony against Jesus. In fact, the Sanhedrin was commanded to look for testimony exonerating the accused. In verse 62, Jesus speaks, and in reply, in verse 64, the high priest declares Jesus' words to be blasphemy, and gets unanimous agreement (I'm not going to write out quotations from the gospels, because then we'd get into arguments about whether I'm using a reliable translation; rather, I'll ask you to look at a translation you consider reliable, and see for yourself). But in fact blasphemy has a very narrow definition in Jewish law; it means using the special name of God. Jesus didn't do this, so it is not believable that the Sanhedrin unanimously finds him guilty of it.

Interestingly, Luke 23:50-51 says that there was a member of the Sanhedrin who didn't agree with the Sanhedrin position. If that's correct, it stops the action immediately, since by Jewish law a death sentence had to be unanimous.

John 19:7 gets around the blasphemy problem by having the Jews say that by their law Jesus ought to die for saying he is the son of God. But in fact there was no such law, nor anything like it, and the Jewish leadership could not have made such a ludicrous claim.

Back to Mark. Then comes perhaps the most incredible accusation of all; in verse 65, some members of the Sanhedrin spit at Jesus, and strike him. Again, picture the Sanhedrin as the British High Court, and imagine the justices spitting at a defendant, and hitting him.

Now evidently the Sanhedrin reached its verdict on the spot, and, according to Mark, Chapter 15, took Jesus to Pilate as soon as it was morning. This can't have happened; Jewish law required the Sanhedrin to take a full day before passing sentence in a capital case. Then 15:6 says that every year Pilate would release to the Jews any prisoner of their choice. There's no independent evidence for this, and it's about as likely as the US having a custom of releasing to al-Qaeda the prisoner of their choice once a year.

There are some other impossibilities in the Pilate story. Luke 23:6-7 says that Pilate sends Jesus to Herod when he finds out Jesus is from Galilee, because Galilee is in Herod's jurisdiction. If you commit a crime in London, and the London authorities find out you're from Liverpool, do they hand you over to the Liverpool authorities? In Matthew 23:24, Pilate washes his hands before the crowd and says he's innocent of the blood of Jesus. Have a look at Deuteronomy 21:6-9, which is presumably where Matthew got the idea, and ask yourself why Pilate would adhere to such a Jewish custom.

Finally, in Luke 23 (and also in John 19), Pilate repeatedly proclaims Jesus innocent, but sends him off to be crucified anyway. Now, judicial murder is, alas, not unknown to us; many is the judge who has sent a man off to his death, knowing full well that the man is innocent. But it's generally done in secret - Pilate is the only one I know of who announces to the public that he is about to commit judicial murder. Is it credible that he alone acted that way?

So, to sum up: there's no external evidence that it happened the way the gospels say it did; there's plenty of external evidence that it couldn't have happened the way the gospels say it did; and the gospel authors (and their sources) had good political reasons for saying what they said, whether it happened that way or not. There is no good reason to think the Jews were complicit in the death of Jesus, and more than enough reason to think they weren't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 09:22 AM

The words hole, digging and stop spring to mind.

You have just proved the bible cannot be believed.

Now, tell us again, what was the evidence you provided to 'prove' the Jews called themselves the holy people?

Go away and stop trying to stir up anti-Jewish feeling.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: oggie
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 10:25 AM

So everthing in the Old Testament is true and the Gospels are false?

The Old Testament can be taken seriously (and exists in contemporaneous record) and so the Jews are per se "the Holy People" is unassailable?

Out of interest does Guest Gerry accept the existence of Christ?

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 11:01 AM

Gerry, you're confusing two different issues. Your argument has moved beyond the interpretation of a few lines of a song to challenge the beliefs of millions of people, most of whom would emphatically deny being anti-semitic.

The version of the events as it is understood by millions may or may not be historically accurate, but is it anti-semitic? Webster's defines anti-semitism as "The intense dislike for and prejudice against Jewish people".

Is Christianity inherently anti-semitic? I think most Christians would emphatically reject that idea. Some Christians, and some Christian institutions, certainly have been anti-semitic , but to use that to tar all Christians with the same brush is to use the same false logic which holds all Jews responsible for the death of Jesus. You're falling into the same trap which you find offensive in others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 11:03 AM

I would suggest that the real problem with Gerry is, is that he has no historical perspective just the biblical, and as such is crippled in his explanations, by those limitations.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 11:06 AM

Ignore the argument that LoTD is anti-Jewish. It is an old ploy of the right wing press.

Flag of St George is anti-Moslem therefore Moslems are anti-English
Blackboards are racist therefore black people are anti-White
LoTD is anti-Jewish therefore Jews are anti-Christian

It's just done to stir up the Sun readers that believe this twaddle. Took me a while to see it this time but it's there all the same. Once you realise where that sort of specious argument can lead it becomes obvious that all the justifications for it are equaly false.

D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 11:40 AM

After reading this thread as it has gone along I feel that all the anti-jewish arguments here and sepecially those phrased so passionately by Gerry can best be summarized by the statement, "Look! There goes Eunice with a tin coffee pot."

I think that's something all can agree on and its now time to end this fascinating and scholarly treatise............

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 11:47 AM

Oh dear, it doesn't look like it's over yet, Eunice or no Eunice...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 11:48 AM

All of the arguments made against the Gospels involve making large assumptions. In order for the arguments to be valid, assumptions have to be made about the Jewish authorities and their motivations and behavior. For instance, the assumption has to be made that they were honest and not corrupt, that they would never break any Jewish law or distort any Jewish law in order to make it possible to do what they wanted to do.

We know from recent experience that authority figures who are corrupt do indeed break and distort their own laws in order to do whatever they want to do. It's against the law for the US government to hold prisoners indefinitely without charges, and to torture people. This didn't stop them from doing these things, however.

The charge against the Jewish authorities (and not "the Jewish people"), is that they were corrupt. So in the context of the New Testament, it would make sense for them to break Jewish law in order to accomplish what they wanted to do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 12:57 PM

or go to your local folk club before it closes down!
Too late for that it's closed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 01:00 PM

We were once in a cafe in Fleetwood, at the Folk Festival oddy enough (No grass, no dog and it's only 6pm, unnamed Guest), when a policeman came out of the station across the road put down 2 tin teapots on the pavement and went back in. 2 minutes later he came out, picked up the teapots and went back in. Dunno if he was called Eunice though. Aye, spaw, let's call it a day.

:D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 02:16 PM

Gerry, do you feel assured that all the Jewish laws and customs you cite extend back unchanged to at least that time? I wonder how the gospel accounts would find credibility with readers of the time, who may have been Jewish or had some familiarity with Jewish customs?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Ravenheart
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 03:34 PM

Folks, here is another possible way to sum up one of the threads of this thread, at least:

The lyrics can be heard as resonating with the slights, slurs, discrimination, and occasionally worse (consider the recent experience of Elie Wiesel) that remain a (not necessarily universal) part of the Jewish experience even in the modern English-speaking world. We have demonstrated that is not the only way to look at them, and not the best or most solidly grounded way to look at them, but we can't dismiss takes on the song some people have who are not part of this dialogue as mere perversity.

Various thoughtful people have noted the problem and taken some action on it, maybe by adroitly altering the lyrics, as the Revels producers have.

This happens from time to time with songs. Songwriters struggle to get across some key ideas in images that hearers can understand and embrace, and sometimes levels that they weren't focused on can have unintended consequences.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,paddy
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 03:57 PM

The whole song is an insult to our inteeligence. Why this assertion that a man was the son fo a mythological figure and was crucified? all mythology and black magic. I for one will not look at this thread agin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Lord Batman's Kitchener
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 04:00 PM

In the end, despite all the arguing and carrying on, each of us will do what we do, sing what we want to sing, and life will go on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 04:46 PM

Catspaw49 wrote:

"I think that's something all can agree on and its now time to end this fascinating and scholarly treatise."

Well said, spaw. I entirely agree with you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 05:59 PM

Tin coffee pots?

Clearly a reference to a song which clearly has some very dodgy connotations in the context of this thread, what with lines such as:

Now, King Solomon and his wife would carry on
When we heard in the ancient scandals,
He bought her lots of silver coffee pots
With diamond legs and handles
And said the Queen of Sheba,
"I'd rather have any old tea-ba!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 02:41 AM

oggie, perhaps you have overlooked the many occasions in this thread when I have indicated my disagreement with passages in Genesis. Please have a look and then report back to us.

Howard writes, "Your argument has moved beyond the interpretation of a few lines of a song to challenge the beliefs of millions of people, most of whom would emphatically deny being anti-semitic."

Howard, those people are not anti-semitic, and I have never said that they are.

Howard continues, "The version of the events as it is understood by millions may or may not be historically accurate, but is it anti-semitic? Webster's defines anti-semitism as "The intense dislike for and prejudice against Jewish people". "

The gospel version of events blames (some of) the Jews (of the time) for something they didn't do. That, by itself, should be enough reason to condemn that version. Then that version of events formed the foundation for centuries of religiously inspired persecution of Jews, and as long as people hold and teach and sing about that version of events they prepare the ground for more of the same in the future.

Howard continues, "Is Christianity inherently anti-semitic? I think most Christians would emphatically reject that idea."

Yes, Howard, and so did I, 07 Jul 08 - 09:29 AM, when I wrote, "Christianity is not antisemitic."

Howard continues, "Some Christians, and some Christian institutions, certainly have been anti-semitic , but to use that to tar all Christians with the same brush is to use the same false logic which holds all Jews responsible for the death of Jesus."

I do not hold that all, or most, or many Christians are antisemites. If they believe the gospel accounts of Jewish involvement in the death of Jesus, then they hold an antisemitic belief - but I do not call anyone an antisemite for his beliefs, only for his actions.

CarolC, where is the charge that the Jewish authorities were corrupt? where, that is, other than in Christian scripture?

Ravenheart, I think that by the time the gospels were written most of the Christian evangelical effort was directed at the Gentiles, not the Jews.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 04:58 AM

Gerry, you are the one asserting that they didn't do it. You have practically no evidence for that. You want us to assume that position from the get-go.

Jesus was not tried by the Sanhedrin, but by many of the sanhedrists. The Sanhedrin was not in session and could not have been so at that time. This was not a proper trial, to make sure that the guilty are punished and that the innocent go free, they had already decided on Jesus' death quite a bit earlier. The point of this trial was to be able to go to the Romans as quickly as possible with a sentence that could be executed.
You couldn't just go up to the Romans and say we want this guy to be put to death. Have you tried him? Err, no..
In the which case, after the Romans flogged you for wasting their time, they would have instructed you to try the guy.

That "History of Eretz Israel", which I have mentioned earlier, agrees with me in supposing that Pilate was playing 'pass the parcel' with Herod, one of his personal foes. If the mob grew nasty, he could shift the blame to him.

As for releasing a prisoner, that was magnaminous, showing that Rome was both powerful and merciful, that they had no reason to fear by releasing a prisoner.
Remember, you were the one that said that it was in the interests of the Roman to be feared, not hated.
Pilate thought that it could be used to save face. The accusers would be satisfied, because guilt was admitted, and the mob would have it's darling.

Washing your hands like that seems to have been widely done by Jews, is there any reason to suppose that Pilate didn't know of it and didn't use it to drive home a point?
Pilate was telling the ones who demanded the 'judicial murder' that all blame was to lay at their feet.

As for blasphemy, that is more than just saying Jehova. It is any action which denigrates the Lord or lowers him in the eyes of the people.
Chilul in Hebrew stems from the same root as 'Chol', the closest English equivalent being ordinary.
You'll find that that is quite in line with Leviticus

The line "We have no king but Caesar" scuppers your theory about politics. The Jews, in the esteem of any Roman reading those lines, would have gone up a notch.

" I have already noted in earlier posts that there is, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence outside of Christian scripture for a Jewish role in the death of Jesus (and no one has contradicted me, so perhaps we can now take that as given). I have also noted that the gospel writers had a motive for shifting as much blame as possible from the Romans to the Jews, as this would serve to differentiate the Christians from the Jews in Roman eyes, and perhaps spare the Christians of some of the persecutions that the Romans were visiting on the Jews at the time. Now let's look at the description of events given in the gospels and see whether it is at all credible.

In Mark, Chapter 14, Jesus is arrested at night, on the first night of Passover. He is brought for trial before the Sanhedrin at the house of the high priest that night. (Mark doesn't actually use the word, Sanhedrin, referring instead to the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes, but that's the Sanhedrin). Now, this is all impossible. The Sanhedrin is not the Mafia; it's the highest judicial body of the Jewish community. You wouldn't be far off if you thought of it as analogous to the British High Court, or the American Supreme Court. Like those courts, it had a long list of laws to follow. It did not meet at the house of the high priest, any more than the Supreme Court would ever meet at the house of its Chief Justice. It did not meet on Passover, the most important religious festival of the day. It was forbidden to have people arrested at night, and forbidden to try capital cases at night.

Mark has the Sanhedrin looking for testimony against Jesus. In fact, the Sanhedrin was commanded to look for testimony exonerating the accused. In verse 62, Jesus speaks, and in reply, in verse 64, the high priest declares Jesus' words to be blasphemy, and gets unanimous agreement (I'm not going to write out quotations from the gospels, because then we'd get into arguments about whether I'm using a reliable translation; rather, I'll ask you to look at a translation you consider reliable, and see for yourself). But in fact blasphemy has a very narrow definition in Jewish law; it means using the special name of God. Jesus didn't do this, so it is not believable that the Sanhedrin unanimously finds him guilty of it.

Interestingly, Luke 23:50-51 says that there was a member of the Sanhedrin who didn't agree with the Sanhedrin position. If that's correct, it stops the action immediately, since by Jewish law a death sentence had to be unanimous.

John 19:7 gets around the blasphemy problem by having the Jews say that by their law Jesus ought to die for saying he is the son of God. But in fact there was no such law, nor anything like it, and the Jewish leadership could not have made such a ludicrous claim.

Back to Mark. Then comes perhaps the most incredible accusation of all; in verse 65, some members of the Sanhedrin spit at Jesus, and strike him. Again, picture the Sanhedrin as the British High Court, and imagine the justices spitting at a defendant, and hitting him.

Now evidently the Sanhedrin reached its verdict on the spot, and, according to Mark, Chapter 15, took Jesus to Pilate as soon as it was morning. This can't have happened; Jewish law required the Sanhedrin to take a full day before passing sentence in a capital case. Then 15:6 says that every year Pilate would release to the Jews any prisoner of their choice. There's no independent evidence for this, and it's about as likely as the US having a custom of releasing to al-Qaeda the prisoner of their choice once a year.

There are some other impossibilities in the Pilate story. Luke 23:6-7 says that Pilate sends Jesus to Herod when he finds out Jesus is from Galilee, because Galilee is in Herod's jurisdiction. If you commit a crime in London, and the London authorities find out you're from Liverpool, do they hand you over to the Liverpool authorities? In Matthew 23:24, Pilate washes his hands before the crowd and says he's innocent of the blood of Jesus. Have a look at Deuteronomy 21:6-9, which is presumably where Matthew got the idea, and ask yourself why Pilate would adhere to such a Jewish custom.

Finally, in Luke 23 (and also in John 19), Pilate repeatedly proclaims Jesus innocent, but sends him off to be crucified anyway. Now, judicial murder is, alas, not unknown to us; many is the judge who has sent a man off to his death, knowing full well that the man is innocent. But it's generally done in secret - Pilate is the only one I know of who announces to the public that he is about to commit judicial murder. Is it credible that he alone acted that way?

So, to sum up: there's no external evidence that it happened the way the gospels say it did; there's plenty of external evidence that it couldn't have happened the way the gospels say it did; and the gospel authors (and their sources) had good political reasons for saying what they said, whether it happened that way or not. There is no good reason to think the Jews were complicit in the death of Jesus, and more than enough reason to think they weren't. "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: Gulliver
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 06:53 AM

there is, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence outside of Christian scripture for a Jewish role in the death of Jesus

There is, to the best of my knowledge, no evidence outside of Christian scripture for the existence of Jesus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Was 'Lord of the Dance' anti-semitic?
From: CarolC
Date: 13 Jul 08 - 02:06 PM

I was referring to Christian scripture. I will rephrase my earlier post...

The charge being made by the Christian Gospel against the Jewish authorities (and not "the Jewish people"), is that they were corrupt. So in the context of the New Testament, it would make sense for them to break Jewish law in order to accomplish what they wanted to do.

This doesn't prove that the Jewish authorities were corrupt, but it does demonstrate a context within which the actions taken could have made sense, and it does prove that it is not "impossible" for the events to have taken place as they are described in the New Testament.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 December 2:29 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.