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Is following any other religion considered idolatry?
Aaron.Nanach Wrote:Am I understanding correctly that in this regards the Gentile is different than the Jew, since a Jew is not permitted to mention the name of an idol at all?

First of all, we see from Rambam, Laws of the Worship of Stars [and Idols] 5:10, that a Jew would not be sentenced by a Beis Din court to receive lashes for mentioning the name of an idol unless he swears by it. Since a Jew can make ordinary mention of an idol's name without being liable to punishment from a Beis Din, certainly that is not prohibited for a Gentile. This is based on the general principle that the Torah is not more strict on Gentiles than it is on Jews.

However, it is nevertheless unfitting for any person to make a habit of mentioning the name of an idol, since that could bring a person to be drawn after the idol or to respect it, which IS forbidden. The common Jewish custom of not ever, or hardly ever, mentioning an idol's name in any context arose as a way of "making a fence around the Torah."

From "The Divine Code," Vol. 1, p. 252: "Therefore, it is permitted to mention their names if there is a personal need for it and it is not in a respectful way ... Likewise, if one's intention is to mention an idol's name in order to learn or explain the customs of its worshipers (in order to avoid those things), or in order to avoid trangressing the prohibition of practicing any of their rituals, then it is permitted" [as is the ruling of the Torah authority Meiri].

Aaron.Nanach Wrote:Also, if the Gentile still believes in the idol, but is open to hearing about the Torah and the Bnai Noah etc., then seemingly their mention of the idol's name by definition will be one of honor and praise. How then should one deal with this on an internet forum for example - should such posts be deleted with a polite explanation as to why this is being done?

The following is just a suggestion for how to deal with this invited problem in those types of forums. The administrator of the forum could edit the idolator's post so the name of the idol is abbreviated, instead of spelled out in full. That would also convey the message that it is unfitting to make a habit of mentioning the name of an idol.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Is following any other religion considered idolatry? - by Aaron.Nanach - 05-02-2009, 12:53 AM
RE: Is following any other religion considered idolatry? - by Director Michael - 05-03-2009, 02:29 PM
Speaking with idolators - by Aaron.Nanach - 05-01-2009, 02:29 AM
RE: Speaking with idolators - by Director Michael - 05-01-2009, 07:21 PM

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