“To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.  

     - The Renaissance, Walter Pater, 1873.

    Pater was an English critic, essayist and humanist. He advocated art for art’s sake, l’art pour l’art. Pater became a cardinal doctrine of the movement known as Aestheticism. To some of you this might sound awfully familiar; the name Wilde might surface in thought. Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater were good acquaintances, some would even say friends, others rivals.

    “𝐼 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑎 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑓𝑢𝑙 𝑙𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑙𝑒𝑒𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑛𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑒 ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑛𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑔𝑜𝑛𝑒: 𝐼 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑖𝑛 𝑎 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑠𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒 ℎ𝑢𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑤𝑎𝑦. 𝑌𝑜𝑢, 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑢𝑛-𝑑𝑢𝑚𝑏 𝑙𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠, 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑤𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑠𝑜 𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑦 𝑝ℎ𝑟𝑎𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡; 𝑝𝑒𝑟ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑𝑛’𝑡 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑖𝑡.”

    My hand slipped

    omg YES there are more bingo cards. 

    Can someone explain the majority of these to me?

    Broadly, almost all of these fall into a few categories: “Judaism = Christianity” “I don’t know much, if anything, about Judaism but I feel entitled to talk about and criticize it from a place of ignorance” “I am entitled to whatever I want from Judaism, even things that never had any connection to me or my heritage, despite the fact that it is a closed religion”.

    To expand on each of those in order:

    Judaism is not Christianity. We’re not even particularly similar. Given how much Christian history has tended to go for a path of  “murder or exile the Jews and steal their culture (and belongings and children...),” we tend to object to being conflated with them. Most problems about Christian hegemony impact us. Frequently, they impact us a hell of a lot harder than they impact you, particularly if you’re still functionally culturally Christian. They damn sure dont benefit us; there’s no special solidarity relationship going on there -most Christians don’t know much about Judaism either. 

    The problem with a lot of criticisms of Judaism in this context is that they come from people who don’t know much, if anything, about what we believe, what we practice, how long we’ve been around, why we do/say what we do, and what our cultures look like. And... well, I’ve seen a lot of people going off on downright antisemitic rants complaining about “the Jews for stuff that we dont actually do. If you’re going to have a problem with Judaism as someone who is not and never has been Jewish, you’d better make damn sure you know what you’re actually talking about, because when you don’t, there is a decent chance that not only are you spreading misinformation, you are spreading misinformation that can and does get us killed. 

    Taking things that are sacred from a closed culture without permission is appropriation. Taking things from a minority group that they get penalized for doing is appropriation. And, if you come from a [functionally] Christian background, you’re just continuing the misbehavior your people have practiced towards us for centuries. Our practices don’t exist for your spiritual benefit. Join us, join another group, or make up your own, but we’re not window-dressing for other spiritualities. 

    I really appreciate you answering me and that did help a bit! 💙💙💙

    However I have difficulty processing and correlating information so if it wouldn’t be to much to ask could you break it down into each bingo square with however much information you want? I just want to make sure I understand and I don’t say the wrong thing.

    If not that’s ok too! I understand it can be taxing on a person to explain stuff all the time 💙

    The above categories are pretty spot on. Here's a box by box rundown cause why not.

    Spirtual but not religious - already answered

    Abrahamic - already answered

    Organized religion - already answered. people sometimes say this when they actually should say "Christianity." They don't know about Judaism, but they're judging it from their place of ignorance.

    Blaming Judaism for spreading Christianity - exactly what it says on the tin. Christians have killed and oppressed more Jews than any other group - don't blame us for their existence, that's on their own heads lol

    Saying religion when they mean Xianity - self explanatory. don't judge other religions you know nothing about. And as a Xian or former Xian, I can almost guarantee you know nothing about us.

    One Twue Way - a mocking phrase from the kink community for a dom who thinks they're the divine gift to all subs, that their way is law, and that they have the ONLY twue way to practice BDSM correctly. Similarly, lots of culturally Xian antitheists and alternative religious people are reacting strongly against their Xian upbringing or culture. They now think that they're enlightened about religion and their approach to religion is the One Twue Way and that all others are in the dark.

    Raised in an Xian family - nothing wrong with that obviously but its always a pattern that when you see a Wiccan or a pagan or an athiest shitting on Judaism and Islam, that they were raised Xian. They keep the evangelizing "my truth is the only truth" pattern and assume that the Xian view of other religions is how those religions actually are, which it never is.

    Still proselytizing but without Jesus - what I just said above. They're still convinced that ONLY THEY know the truth about theism or G-d or religion or culture, and they keep centering themself as an authority and eclipsing other groups to serve their own agenda

    Speaking over LGBTQ+ Jews about intracommunity issues - I've gotten so many nasty comments about being religious and queer, about being jewish. It's so antisemitic and 99 times out of 100 it's based on Xian misconceptions, NOT on judaism

    Appropriating from Judaism - lots of high ceremonial magic, hermeticism, and witchcraft/ritual/etc is appropriated from Judaism. Its gross. Stop it.

    Studies C/Q/Kabbalah - Kabbalah is ONLY for Jews. Xians steal it and sell it with a C, hermetics steal it and spell it with a Q

    The old gods - already answered

    Everything they know about Judaism they learned in Xian sunday school - Xian interpretation of the OT and Jewish interpretation of the Tanakh are NOT the same. We don't have a lot in common with Xianity and they don't understand us as a religion. If you only know about Judaism through an Xian lens, you don't know shit

    The bible says/doesn't say [speaks over Jews] - similar to above. don't tell us what our Tanakh says, we know what it says, and unless you're Jewish or listening to Jewish voices, you probably don't.

    Unnecessary uncensored tetragrammaton - the name of G-d is the most holy thing. We can't say it, and if its written down it cannot be erased, it has to be buried with full funerary honors. Attempts to render the name in english (the Y name or the J name) are blasphemous. Lots of atheists use the name to deride our religion, and pagans use it for similar reasons.

    Judeo-Christian - already answered. It doesn't really exist. Just say Christian.

    Opinions based on personal experience, not study - the problem is that culturally Xian people have personal experiences with Xianity, NOT with Judaism. Your personal experience with your religion cannot tell you anything about MY religion.

    But you can't be religious and an athiest - I assure you that you can. When people say this, they're erasing and shaming Jewish athiests, and talking over them about their own identities. Athiesm isnt consistent with Xianity, a belief based religion, but many Jews find it consistent with Judaism, which is a religion based not on belief but on practice.

    Old Testament - we don't call our scripture that, that's a Xian term and its frankly offensive. If you arent Xian and talking to other Xians, don't use that term. Say Jewish/Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.

    Chosen People - people don't understand this term, and they either fetishize us or assume were racist and think we're better than other people. Neither is true. It just means that we were chosen to have this religion, it doesn't make us better or more special than anyone else, and Judaism doesn't believe that our religion is for everyone, so why should it matter if you werent chosen for our tribal religion? And like if you want to be chosen that much you can convert. People constantly twist this term to either fetishize us or attack us, and sometimes it even makes people steal our identity and pretend they are the lost tribes or the real jews. Unfortunately TONS of groups and people do this. It's so gross.

    All religion is bad (except my own) - this is the enlightened witch railing against the evils of organized religion and saying her spirtuality is somehow different, its the fiery anti-theist who has decided all religion is evil but hasn't yet realized that their own belief and practice are a form of religion, usually still STRONGLY rooted in Xianity, and that they're still colonizing, just not in the name of Jesus anymore

    Raised in an Xian country - same as family. Xian hegemony is so dominant that most people from Xian countries (even debatable ones like the US) know nothing about Judaism, but still paint it with the same brush as Xianity

    Speaking over religious athiest Jews about athiest - same as the former religious atheist one

    The Hebrew G-d - same as the Old Gods/Abrahamic/Tetragrammaton ones. It's a weird archaic phrase that 9 times out of 10 means they are uninformed and intentionally inflammatory.

    this opened my eyes to so many things i hadn’t even thought of before. pagans, wiccans, atheists, etc. please read this whole thing and the links as well.


    One reason we know Shakespeare wrote his plays and nobody else did is that they're rather poorly researched and full of basic facial errors. Shakespeare was clearly and poorly educated idiot, and well-educated people like Francis Bacon were significantly smarter than him. In fact, Shakespeare wasn't even smart enough to come up with original ideas for most of his plays. So why is his work so popular and not anyone else's from the same time period?

    I’m not really sure what to say to this. Though I don't think it ultimately matters who wrote the plays, Shakespeare was the author of his plays because there’s no convincing evidence or lack of evidence to think the contrary.

    As to the rest... I am a Shakespeare scholar. I dedicate a significant part of my life to studying and teaching Shakespeare. You can probably tell from this that it’s very unlikely I’d agree with you. Of course, you’re free to think what you like, but I would like to point out that your assumptions are based on a number of misconceptions.

    The first is the assumption that factual errors and poor research means bad writing. This might be more or less the case for modern writing, where one expects writing to be as realistic as possible, but in a time where realism is not being expected in plays or literature, it’s less relevant. Even in more recent times, a good book or play or TV script need not be accurate for it to be thought-provoking or worthwhile. Who cares if Bohemia has no coast? Does that fact negate what’s interesting about The Winter’s Tale and its story of jealousy, madness, rejuvenation and forgiveness? Plays explore themes, tell stories and provide entertainment, and there might be something wrong in looking for fact and accuracy in fiction if it’s to the detriment of good storytelling. Other dramatists can equally be accused of misunderstandings and ‘errors’ if you put it that way.

    The second is that poor education makes one an idiot. Education gives people opportunities to learn, but intelligence isn’t the same as educatedness. One can be extremely well-educated but stupid, and one can be extremely intelligent with no education. I think Shakespeare is one of the most brilliant minds I’ve encountered in writing. I’m always blown away by his ability to see what he sees and to put it into words and action the way he does with such imaginative empathy. Francis Bacon has a different kind of intelligence, but comparing intelligence is a futile and possibly even pointless task.

    The third is the assumption that Shakespeare was ill-educated. He didn’t go to university, but a grammar school education in a town like Stratford would have provided a pretty robust education in the arts especially. In fact, it’s very likely that Shakespeare had a better classical education than most people receive now (there are lots of other subjects to learn now, like science). Part of such education would have been in rhetoric, debate, Latin and classical theatre, all skills Shakespeare puts to use. Besides which, the key thing with education is what one does with it, not how much one has.

    The final point is about originality. Originality wasn’t always a valued part of writing. In fact, concepts such as genius and originality are much later, largely eighteenth-century ideas. In Shakespeare’s time, people appreciated the ability to copy masters of rhetoric (the university-educated humanists were very interested in mimicking great classical rhetoricians, for instance), and were more interested in hearing a well-known story being retold masterfully than to see something original. The key thing is how well one tells a known story, and this is the case not just for Shakespeare but for other (even aristocratic and educated) writers of the time. To take your example of Francis Bacon, for instance, his New Atlantis is a self-conscious copy of the style of More’s Utopia and Plato’s Republic. Poets like Wyatt or Spenser copied, sometimes even directly ‘plagiarised’ or loosely translated the works of writers like Petrarch and Chaucer. This wasn’t looked down on, but seen as a mark of skill and intelligence. Other dramatists like (the university-educated) Marlowe based their works on known stories like Doctor Faustus or Tamburlaine. In fact, you’ll find most early modern plays are based on direct sources or are variations of a marriage comedy featuring stock characters commedia dell’arte style (the city comedies are like this). To take some non-dramatic examples, Sidney’s Arcadia is full of retellings, and Milton’s Paradise Lost? What even to say? You can’t accuse Milton of being ill-educated, stupid or lacking in skill, but that’s hardly ‘original’. Original works like Shakespeares A Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Tempest are extremely rare.

    There’s no straightforward answer to why his works are more popular than others from the period. It’s not that the others aren’t popular, but it is true that Shakespeare is more popular by far. Part of it is no doubt reputation. Shakespeare is popular and draws in audiences, so he stays popular. I personally think it’s because his plays are not entirely period-specific and still have a lot that speaks to many people. It’s fine if they don’t speak to you; I make no claims about universal appeal. Still, whatever the reason, I’m certain that lack of accuracy, intelligence, education and originality are not acceptable reasons to disparage his work.