Sermons Without Prejudice

sermons-without-prejudice

 

Sermons Without Prejudice is a stand-alone website that can be accessed directly at http://www.sermonswithoutprejudice.org. Its mission is to offer helpful ideas and resources to clergy and to all who read from the Christian Lectionary during Sunday services so that potential anti-Judaism in these readings can be avoided, not fostered or reinforced. This mission arises from the fact that several dozen of the New Testament readings, if not dealt with carefully, can reinforce, or even introduce, antipathetic attitudes toward Jews and Judaism among worshipers. Historically, these negative attitudes have nurtured anti-Judaism which has caused so much suffering to Jews and the Jewish community. They are among the key ingredients that have enabled Christians not only to stand aside and not object when Jews were being vilified and killed, but also to actively participate in such persecution and even, in many cases, to initiate it. It is worth adding that the negative attitudes have also contributed to a certain corruption, perversion, dishonoring, of the religion which has only been confronted in the last fifty years or so. This harm has been done to the religion and should be stated acknowledged and fixed.

The roots of Sermons Without Prejudice go back over a dozen years when Richard Taylor began to encourage the priests in his parish to understand the nature of Christian anti-Judaism, especially as expressed in some of the Sunday Lectionary readings, and to take steps to address this reality. Because the priests we so open to working on this, Dick began to wonder if a website might encourage the spread of this approach to other parishes and churches. He sought help from Dr. David Efroymson, a scholar long involved in Jewish-Christian relations, and they became close collaborators. Since Dr. Efroymson knew the American Interfaith Institute and its founder, Irvin Borowsky, he put out feelers to see if the A.I.I. might help with the website. This resulted in a meeting on Sept. 29, 2010 between Dick, Dave and Gwen and Ned Borowsky in which the first plans for the website were made. A.I.I. provided vital technical help to get the website up and running and has been a strong supporter ever since. Our desire is to link the two sites closely together so that they will complement one another.

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