Thursday, April 2, 2015

We're not on the savannah anymore

     This was in the paper Wednesday, but I held it so I could run my April Fool's Day puppet extravaganza instead (for readers who were excited about Puppetry Month, who shared the post with friends in breathless anticipation, my humble apologies. You can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs). 
     Which means I've had the chance to dip my hand into the septic stream of confused prejudice that runs through the mind of certain conservatives. When reading this, ask yourself: "Where's the part I would violently object to?" Then check back on Sunday, I'll run a few comments from those who were sputtering in anger over this, so you can marvel at them too. 

     Perhaps a review is in order.
     Ten thousand years ago, humans lived in tribes—extended families really. A useful system for, say, hunting woolly mammoths and battling other tribes for scarce resources.    You stuck with your tribe, painted yourself blue like they did, hunted with the men, if you were man, gathered with the women if you were a woman.
     And the millennia rolled by.
     Meanwhile, trying to figure out the vast, lush, complicated, brutal, world they found themselves in, with its twirling cosmos and whirling seasons, these tribes formed all sorts of faiths, worshipping trees, rivers, the sun. Doing so gave them a way to understand existence, plus provided rituals and traditions to embroider their brief lives with meaning.
The mammoths died out. Food was often scarce. Some ancestors discovered they could stack the hunting/gathering deck by raising animals and planting crops. The tribal unit still worked. But with the abundance that agriculture was kicking off, people had time to build cities. Suddenly various families congregated all in the same place, but that was okay, you were all Carthaginians, or Florentines, or whatever. People still felt duty toward their families, but now you could get in trouble putting their interests above your city's.
     And the centuries rolled by.
     Religion got complicated. Worshipping plants was old school. Jehovah was a beefier deity than a tree. Then Jesus showed up. And Mohammad.
     I won't burden you with the formation of countries, but form they did. Then 250 years ago, a dangerous notion got loose: people were not just the pawns of kings, but had their own inherent autonomy and worth, "a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" as Thomas Jefferson put it. Think of that concept as a virus. The Founding Fathers let it escape, because it was supposed to help them, to help rich white Virginia planters justify their treason against the British crown. It did. But it also spread.
     And the decades rolled by.
     Those for whom it was never intended started to imagine this liberty thing, which worked so well for white guys, should also apply to others, who sometimes weren't even considered human--say black slaves. Or women, who not only couldn't vote, but couldn't own property.
     Two generations ago (!) in the 1960s, black people had to lead American society through the difficult process of accepting them as full citizens, who could vote and eat at lunch counters and everything. That process continues, obviously, with the push to encourage police not to kill them unnecessarily. This generation, the past 25 years, has seen the journey duplicated by gay people, who started pushing hard for society to care that AIDS was killing them, then shifted to civil rights, causing this surprising general collapse of bigotry against them, thanks to marriage.
     Underline "general."
     And the years rolled by.
     But old ways linger. Some tribes hunted to the last mammoth in the shadows of the growing cities.  Not everyone can adapt to new ways. That is what we're seeing in Indiana, with it's laughable "religious freedom" law. The confusion is palpable. The Republican business owners and Gov. Mike Pence were truly gobsmacked by the general outcry over their bit of legislated bigotry, a law found sleeping in the books in half the states.  Religion., which was such a unifying force a thousand years ago, which worked so well in the Crusades, now commands the more tribal Hoosiers, ordering them to harass gay people (though the opposite is actually what is occurring: the desire to oppress comes first, the religion, seized as a convenient club). They passed a law because they thought they could get away with it. And five or 10 years ago, they could.
     But not now. The modern world says: you put your Mastercard down; if it clears, you get cake. There isn't room for the baker to squint and decide not to give you cake because he doesn't like you. That unravels the whole system because we all have our dislikes. This isn't either disrespect for religion or particular affection for gays; it's an acknowledgement that the world changes, and if faith didn't change too, we'd still be praying to trees. Progress is sporadic, and there's always that poor guy who shows up to the battle with a club when the other side has swords. That's Indiana, decked in feathers, armed with a pointed stick, and put to flight by those would could change. Don't feel too bad for them. Some part will get with the program, late, and some smaller fragment, clinging to tradition, will dab on their war paint and find another savannah to make their stand. They always do.

93 comments:

  1. Mr. Steinberg has a tendency when he gets self-righteous to avoid the harder cases. Take circumcision, or as opponents call it, "male genital mutilation." Some places around the world have banned it. Some of the arguments against it strike me as tenuous, but one seems well-backed by science: it negatively impacts sexual pleasure and performance later in life. Some of the defenders cite health arguments, which seem less tenuous but also overblown: the REAL justification for circumcision is its deep religious history. It's mysticism. But I suspect that many people would feel uncomfortable not protecting such irrational mysticism in the name of religion.

    I think there's reason to treat gays as a protected class, so I'm fine with the attacks on the Indiana law and am happy in joining the boycott movement until they repeal or fix it. But we might not want to give up our rights to conduct that offends the majority quite so breezily.

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  2. First, I've written about circumcision, though admittedly, not recently. Second, it's not a "harder case" in that parents have the right to do whatever they please with a minimum of consequences. Third, I'm not against harmless religious ritual, which this seems to be. Finally, gays aren't being treated as "a protected class" -- that's your bias showing. The places in the country who don't want to subject them to the small minded meanness of the religious conservative are insisting that, if you are a place of public accommodation, that you accommodate the public, and not those who meet your morality test. This is you trying to point out a hypocrisy where none exists because otherwise, you got nothin'.

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    1. Neil, you're simply wrong: the term "protected class" has a legal meaning. It IS legal to discriminate in public accommodation unless a "protected class" is involved. Why do you think Chicago and later other governments passed laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

      http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html (You might also have noticed the Indianapolis Star wrote pretty much the same thing in their front page"End This Now" editorial - calling explicitly for such protections to counteract the disaster the "religious freedom" law has caused).

      Also, I don't mind if you disagree with me, but willfully ignoring arguments I make is beneath you. Harmless? How is taking a baby without its consent and, if the research is correct, increasing the risk of sexual performance problems and decreasing their pleasure in sex, harmless? And even if you think the modicum of evidence pointing to other health benefits justifies the practice under the umbrella of "parental rights," you don't seem to object to an Indiana-type law that would allow a doctors to refuse to do the practice on the basis of moral objection.

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    2. I should add that the science here isn't settled - there's a counter to this counter, but this is a good presentation of the refuting case (PS - the author - Yair Rosenberg, is an excellent reporter on Jewish issues around the world). The legal question remains the same though - I don't think anyone would think it's right to tell a Doctor "we don't care if you object, if you do these kinds of minor surgeries you MUST perform this one." http://tabletmag.com/scroll/155448/landmark-study-circumcision-doesnt-reduce-sexual-pleasure

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  3. Harmless ritual? Only a doctor should be doing that, not the special rabbi who doesn't even have anesthetic crème like they do in the hospital. Never understood that and a rabbi isn't a doctor even a specially trained one. What's the name moshe? not sure of spelling

    The reasons pro they say are for cleanliness and less chance of disease, but more and more these days are not automatically doing it for their sons, well at least the non Jewish ones aren't doing it as much.

    While I don't agree fully with A not A, Mr. Steinberg, do you really think you have no biases and are above it all?

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    1. Non Jews at least aren't doing it just for a religious ritual.

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    2. P.S. How did we get from this article to circumcision topics?

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    3. No, non-Jews do it for hygienic purposes. And where, from my writing, do you get the impression that I fancy that I "have no biases and are above it all?" I'm deeply biased--that's what you pay for (well, not YOU, sadly, but somebody). Refer back to today's column. Anon, having nothing to add, again, drags circumcision into it, as if he's discovered some chink in my armor. He hasn't. He's ascribing some kind of loftiness I don't feel -- I'm just pointing out obvious bigotry. Nothing in Christianity says you can't bake a wedding cake for queers. Nothing. Just the opposite. Jesus ate with prostitutes. They turn their backs on their own tradition and Anon, having nothing, says "So do you," and brings up circumcision which, even were it true, doesn't diminish my argument. If a hypocrite says, "You're house is on fire," it's still burning whether he's consistent or not.

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    4. Well both you and anon not anon are arrogant so there's the problem. Though at least you can be entertaining as well.

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    5. Mr. Steinberg, I didn't accuse you of hypocrisy or " turning your back on your own traditions." I accused you of taking a serious issue and using the easiest arguments. I think circumcision is the best example of a practice based in mysticism that most people would feel uncomfortable either banning and, like the Indiana law, also uncomfortable forcing doctors to practice if they had a moral objection.

      And I do pay for your biases as I'm a suntimes subscriber and this column ran in the paper.

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    6. Exactly, I'm writing for a mass audience, not geniuses such as yourself. What you consider "the easiest" arguments I consider plain sense. Simple though they may be, lots of people don't get it.

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    7. lol, good one "geniuses such as yourself"

      some posters here do indeed have a puffed up version of ego, for a fact-they are probably insecure in real life or doormat types

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  4. Oh I do pay as a subscriber and happy to do so, Love the ST and how you give us food for thought, rock our boat- even if we don't agree.

    Well sometimes, it appears as if you think you don't have a bias.

    Anyhow, couldn't my delivery person notice it was raining this morning? Why isn't the paper double wrapped, lol? THen on Monday I got the Sun. paper delivered. MOre delay, well still cheaper then going to the store each day or waiting till I get there. No, it's not the same online. I know the delivery people have it tough sometimes but...

    Believe me, I know gays have their civil rights and should get them. But I don't know if a baker should be sued and ruined and have to close shop if making that cake would bother them. As for me, I'd have just made it.

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    1. I guess telling gays to go to another bakery is too simplistic.

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    2. No, Im not a sr citizen by the way.

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    3. Yeah, and those black people back in the day had other lunch counters they could have gone to.

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    4. I support racial Civil rights a lot more and despise what the South did and was allowed to get away with. It's not the same at all.

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    5. Yes it is. It's very much the same, no matter how often people like you deny this.

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  5. Awwww man, no Puppetry Month! :-(

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  6. I'd have to admire "not kill them unnecessarily" even if I didn't agree with your general argument.

    John

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  7. Neil, I admire you for allowing these people (who, of course, don't use their names) space to vent their ridiculous comments.

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  8. I don't admire it. They are hijacking threads and going off topic.Isn't there a way to use ISP to see who that is or better yet, remove any ridiculous posts.

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    1. @anonymous 8:10 - Mr. Steinberg has removed my posts on occasion (not for bad language - I think I know the reasons but I could be wrong and it was "ridculousness")

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    2. Actually, A not A, I wasn't even thinking of your posts when I said some should be removed.

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    3. @anon 8:58/9:20 - thank you - my head (which is not nearly as egotistical as people here think - I suspect it's the "dryness" of tone that comes in electronic text) is suitably swelled!

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    4. I remove people who are, in my estimation, excessively insulting. I don't do this to have anonymous people tell me what an asshole I am.

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  9. Anon not anon, to gentiles circumcision started getting it's practice in hosp. after WW2 mostly and for hygiene purpose, not mysticism. You aren't as smart as you think.

    Mrs.A

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    1. Mr., Why do you subject yourself to these attacks on a public forum? You must be a glutton for punishment. Perhaps you should go back to email replies only.

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    2. Happenstance. I just got drawn in by the personal attacks of Anon etc., which were low grade enough not to delete. Generally I don't, I'm not in charge of mistaken people. But it happens. This isn't "punishment," it's just sorta annoying.

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    3. @Mrs. A. -- Yes, post WWII this was considered to be true. Today whether the health benefits outweigh the risks (leaving *aside* the potential effect on sexual performance and enjoyment) is muddled. Since I'm too busy today to give you primary sources, here's Wikipedia (which at least will have the sources in the footnotes).

      The positions of the world's major medical organizations range from considering neonatal circumcision as having no benefit and significant risks to having a modest health benefit that outweighs small risks. No major medical organization recommends either universal circumcision for all infant males (aside from the recommendations of the World Health Organization for parts of Africa), or banning the procedure.[7] Ethical and legal questions regarding informed consent and autonomy have been raised over non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision.[8][9]

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    4. It seems to me that circumcision has little to do with the subject at hand. If a doctor refused to do the procedure he could fairly do so on medical, not religious grounds. since the medical pros and cons are still disputable. My own religious conviction regarding the practice is that the Great JuJu gave us sexual pleasure for a purpose, and a physical intervention apt to diminish it would necessarily be against her grand design. However, I wouldn't dream of denying anyone the different belief they receive on their own spiritual wavelength as long as it, in the words of Mr. Jefferson, "neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

      Historically, I think the practice started gaining traction among Christians in the 19th Century, when the Victorians began obsessing about what they termed "self abuse." It was believe to be an aid to chastity and a guard against such fictional ailments as "masturbatory insanity," beliefs akin to those that still support the abominable practice of female genital mutilation still practiced in much of the third world.

      Back to the subject, I think it hilarious that the "fix" about to be enacted by the Indiana legislature will end up giving gays better protection against discrimination than in some other states, hardly the outcome the original drafters would have intended.

      Tom Evans

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    5. tom in the mid 20th century, circum, was for hygiene and disease prevention according to docs of the time

      not still tied to some old vict. thought

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    6. anon not anon, the west is too obsessed with sexual pleasure, health should come first and hygiene- so much so that common sense is often forgotten in the pursuit of anything goes, pleasure

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    7. Who is the poster who wrote that people know Jewish culture only from watching Seinfeld. Some people here have studied fascinating Jewish immigrant history, so don't be so condescending.

      No torment intended to the main author, just adding to the discussion. Didn't want to be personal.

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  10. IMO, progress would be less sporadic if the government would just butt out. Where are the puppets?

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    1. to hell with the puppets

      yawn on the puppets

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    2. Hey.... back off the puppets, pal. What did puppets ever do to you? Poor little comical fellows with googly eyes...

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    3. they are creepy

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  11. but if govt butted out in the south , philippe, blacks might still be getting lynched and unable to go to certains schools, jobs , lunch counters or voting booths

    but as to the gay thing, I agree with you

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    1. or women would still be unable to vote or go into cert. prof, or corporations can put poison in foods and meds or poison air , soil and water, govt can't always butt out

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    2. Anonymous, remember Jim Crow was largely a government-imposed system.IM
      O, it is more due to the evolution of society and attitudinal changes that we no longer have the bad things that you mention. Progress usually happens before the laws change, rather than a result of it.

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    3. PHilipe, it was southern govt imposed because that's what the people thought and wanted and approved of.

      And since you said you are gay, why would you give a pass to the anti gay sorts? Why do you shoot yourself in the foot?

      Thank you for allowing this discussion, Mr. S.

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    4. PHilip? times changed the southerners? are you for real

      the south had to have the civil rights act, fair schooling, etc shoved down it's throat, I doubt time would change them much

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    5. Anonymous,
      I don't see that I'm shooting anyone in the foot, much less myself, I happen to think that everybody owns their own labor and is free to exchange it willingly with whomever they choose to. If someone doesn't care to make me a cake, a pizza, or whatever, for any reason at all, stupid or not, I can find plenty of other people who are willing to make an exchange with me.I don't want or need the government to force anyone to trade with me.

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  12. From reading other blogs as well as this one, it seems to me that there are, unfortunately, usually a few folks -- often lawyers (or lawyer wannabes) -- who, despite their possible good intentions, are always putting the blogger's posts under scrutiny, nitpicking about everything they believe isn't stated to their perfect standards. It's as if some people are just waiting in gleeful anticipation of pointing out every minute supposed error (i.e. "What can I find wrong TODAY!"). Meanwhile, the whole point of the blog post gets lost. I just shake my head sometimes...

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    1. @SandyK - though I disagree with some of this (I think my point was on topic and people got all hung up on the precise analogy to circumcision) but I'll try not to be the first commenter (I'm an early riser) and "hijack" the comments so to speak. Hope that help!

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    2. Sandy, you are so right about lawyers or lawyer wanna bes

      anon not anon, many here enjoy your posts, don't stop commenting and if it's first so be it, you gave food for thought and Neil doesn't fool you or himself as easily as some here do , as compared to your comments

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  13. Allow me to preface this comment by noting that I'm on your "side" about all of this, Neil. But, you write "When reading this, ask yourself: 'Where's the part I would violently object to?'" I'm not sure what the correspondents that you refer to in the post are "sputtering in anger" about, but I'll take a crack at answering the question.

    If I were religious, I'd be upset that you essentially conclude that Christianity is simply an updated version of "praying to trees". IIRC, though you are nominally and ethnically Jewish, you've never really been a religious believer, or certainly not for a long time. Thus, it seems to me that it may be somewhat difficult for you to acknowledge the fact that there are modern, intelligent, reasonable people who actually BELIEVE in the tenets of their religions. Who believe that, while people used to worship Athena and other people currently believe in religions other than their own, that has no bearing on their own faith. Who don't just shrug and say to themselves, "well, it's all a bunch of nonsense, but this is the way I was raised".

    For such people, this issue is genuinely problematic, I daresay. While I agree that for some, "the desire to oppress comes first, the religion, seized as a convenient club", this is surely not true for all. Whatever the original basis behind the Biblical prohibitions with regard to homosexuality, they are there. And many folks have been taught to abide by them. Yes, there are other countless other prohibitions and requirements that have long been ignored, while this one had more staying power, likely at least partly because of "the desire to oppress". But, it seems to me that, while the attitude of the Catholic Church, for instance, with regard to homosexuality MUST be amended, and sooner rather than later, it's easier said than done. It's actually just a thread in a whole fabric of belief with regard to human sexuality that went over a lot easier in the 13th century than it does in the 21st. Now, clearly, a great many of the faithful have dispensed with the outmoded attitude toward sexuality, while maintaining their faith in other aspects of their religions. But these folks are often considered heretics by those who follow the tradition. Many stick with what they've been taught, though it may be disconcerting for them, if they actually do intellectually realize that things need to change, at least in this instance.

    This may seem simple to you -- gays are people with rights just like heterosexuals; live and let live, love thy neighbor, the Golden Rule -- what's the hold-up? In fact, it calls for a whole revolution in thought and doctrine in Rome and elsewhere that will be very difficult to achieve anytime soon. And that will need, for conservative Catholics, at least, to come from the top down. In the meantime, you're blaming a subset of folks in the pews for not adapting to the current secular reality, when they are fully supported by the doctrines and leaders of their Church.

    All that being said (and I realize it's WAY too much!), I still think, whether one believes that homosexuality is an abomination, or not, if we're to have a functioning civil society, one should be required to sell flowers to someone else whether they believe the customer is a sinner, or not.

    Now, as I said, I agree with you. As far as I'm concerned you and Bitter Scribe are right -- this IS just like the civil and women's rights movements and a change in official religious teaching needs to be effected. But there are many who disagree with that, and when you suggest that their faith and lives are dedicated to a Creator who is simply "a beefier deity than a tree", it wouldn't surprise me much that they'd be perturbed about that.

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  14. Well-said Jakash, and I don't disagree with any of it. Although I do have sympathy with believers, or try to. It's very difficult to be taught a system of morality, and then be asked to set it aside. Perhaps impossible. That said, we have to push civilization's wheel up the hill, and because people are sincere in trying to drag it backward, and because human progress clashes with their worldview is not a reason to defer.

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  15. You can't legislate morality. Jackash, very well said indeed. Remember there are some who many not be religious but think that homos are perverts. Remember it isn't just Cath. who are against homosexuality but many evangelical types as well or conserve. Prots.

    Neil is just so hateful to Christianity in general, that it is a turn off at times. I can appreciate science and like some of the New Test. The OT one can see as myth, especially genesis. Why bother with that anyway it's part of the Torah. If one wants to study that, then go to a synagogue, not church. As you say, Neil must think any moderate somewhat religious person is equal to a Pat Robertson. Not so...your hatred is blinding you, Neil. Talk about haters, but you are one.

    Sandy, K, I agree with your thoughts.

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    1. For the record, Neil, I don't think you hate me. Although my ancestors were no doubt bad to yours. But then they were hard on Catholics too.

      TE

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    2. FInd a line you consider hatred. Otherwise, it's just another example of somebody grabbing at words that he thinks sounds powerful. It's a lie.

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    3. If not hate, you make it clear you don't like Christians much, esp. Catholics. You never met a Muslim you didn't prefer.

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    4. Remember, you're anonymous because some sentient fraction of your mind knows how self-pitying that is. "You never met a Muslim you didn't prefer." Wah. Please. Nothing sounds more pathetic than a member of the most powerful religion of all time complaining that someone took his lips off their ass to draw breath. There are plenty of Opus Dei blogs where you can find like individuals. Don't torment yourself, or me.

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  16. How condescending indeed to compare mainstream religions to a tree.

    Remember folks, not all Christians are the born again nuts who think the earth is 10k years old or don't believe in climate change.

    Complaining to editors in feedback,about NS doesn't seem to do much good.

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    1. People prayed to trees, then they prayed to more complicated deities. It's like climate change—the fact that you don't like it doesn't make it less true.

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  17. I was shocked when you said yesterday you never knew about Jesus or crucifixion until you saw the musical. JCSS. How could you not know? Did you parents insulate you from this? I hope they didn't hate Christians or Christianity.

    Many jump on what Caths did but never say that Caths mistreated by Prots too, especially in England. ANd the Muslims weren't so nice either on those crusades. They tried to take over more than just southeastern Europe. Good thing they were stopped. To some even a muslim terr. is better than a cath, unfort.

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    1. No, but they didn't believe it either. Why would they teach their kids the crucifixion story? Do you teach your kids, oh, the story of Mohammed? I bet not. You might want to reflect on your expectations here, because they are not unrelated to the problems they're having in Indiana.

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    2. again, I may not say much about Mohammed, just a little at least, but we mention the Jewish figures and the horrors of anti-Semitism and it's childish to retort that your stories were better

      I saw in the paper that mayor Rahm marched in an anti Nazi rally, good for him, it makes me respect him more

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    3. I prefer "childlike," myself. You don't like it, scram.

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    4. abuses in non Christian rel. and not the only story

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wffN3mYWCCw

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  18. TE, do you think no Jewish person ever said or did a bad thing to a Christian or thought it? Was it on a large and dangerous scale, no, of course not. But let's not put other rel. groups on pedestals.

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  19. I'm a little taken aback as well that you didn't know about the crucifixion (almost spelled it with a ct instead of an x), because of course all serious Christians know (or think they know) a whole lot about Jewish beliefs of 2000 years ago, so it's seems reasonable to think that Jews would be equally knowledgable about Christian beliefs. Of course, it doesn't take too much pondering to realize the absurdity of that assumption. Moreover, no matter how well versed Christians might be in Old Testament lore, very few know anything at all about current Jewish beliefs and practices, unless found in a Seinfeld episode.
    John

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    1. Well, Jesus Christ Superstar did come out in 1973, when I was 13. My gut tells me you weren't as up on Jewish theology when you were 13 as you might remember yourself being.

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    2. Christians automatically learn about Abraham, Moses, the Israelites running out of Egypt as part of regular Bible study. So we have the advantage since we look at the OT, whereas Jews have no need to look at the NT.

      However, perhaps those persons meant since Christianity is all over the place and in the culture and society, some points may have been picked up in that way, Sir.

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  20. I don't think this is about a religious objection to a sexual act; that's just an excuse. The various Christian religions have discarded many former moral objections over the centuries. It's about how that religious objection has tainted a certain demographic into a pariah: unclean, foul and perverted. A view many have held for so long it's almost impossible to change. This isn't much different from the former view that Negros were unequal, immoral and not to be allowed rights whites took for granted. It's a cultural change they're fighting, not a religious one, and it seems younger generations are better able to adapt to what's right and just.

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    1. well put, Wendy

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    2. That's a good point, Wendy, but the cultural changes with regard to sexuality, in general, precede the recent emphasis on gay marriage by about a couple generations. With regard to Catholicism, at least, the traditional moral objections go way beyond just a concern with the "pariah" demographic, which is why change with regard to some of the doctrine will be difficult to implement, indeed, even if it were desired by the powers that be, which it largely is not. Sadly, for them, many in the younger generations are adapting to what's right and just by simply leaving the Church, or ignoring its teachings on the matter.

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    3. Uh, by "for them" I meant the powers that be, in case that's not clear. : )

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  21. John, I agree. At some point unless you lived in a cave, one would have seen on tv or in passing a cross or mention of Jesus. At least you'd think they'd have said they thought him a prophet.

    I like Seinfeld because Larry David the writer is an atheist and he points out how ridic. some of these things are, especially a briss. See a person of Jewish culture can get away with saying that. If a Presbyterian said it, they'd be called anti semites.

    ANd no, one shouldn't make out during Schindler's list.

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  22. Well today, this has been an interesting conversation.

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    1. Neil, stop putting all Christian eggs in one basket.

      no pun intended

      I hope you and the Mrs. haven't closeted your kids from Jesus. Jews who do that might be afraid they'd convert. Even if you just want to say he's a prophet if you can't handle the truth, wink.

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    2. No, I discuss the most interesting basket at the time, and you make up the rest. Plenty of columns celebrating positive aspects of Christianity, which make no impact on you, apparently. Look within. And consider the dynamic -- what I teach my kids isn't your business now, is it? I certainly don't hope ... well, let it go.

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    3. It isn't my business, I was just making a point.

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  23. Do you know who hates religious , kosher practicing Jews the most, outside of some Nazi or Muslim? The secular jewish writers in Hollywood.

    See , even Irving Berlin could handl e xmas songs, but beware of the left and some non Christians, ahem, wanting to make xmas just some secular winter festival . Luckily Neil isn't as crabby about xmas as he once claimed Art Buchwald was, rest his soul but that was a hater.

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    1. Do you know who hates jerks who make breezy, offensive assumptions about things they obviously know nothing about? Me.

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    2. I never mentioned Art Buchwald in my life. Maybe you have him confused with Buchenwald.

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    3. some writer on the suntimes you said a few years back, got crabby when he saw a Christmas tree in the lobby, obv. I have the name wrong

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    4. Oh I forgot, only bitter scribe knows everything.

      Delete
    5. Maybe it was Richard Roeper. We often get confused.

      Delete
  24. Jesus said to love God and your neighbor. And so, it's a bit hard in my opinion to justify treating gays any less fairly than you would anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't mention Jesus, Neil might have apoplexy or think you are an idiot

      Delete
    2. Actually, Anonymous person, I quote the line from John that David is referring to in my column tomorrow. So, wrong again. Are you going for a record or something?

      Delete
    3. One of those anons has too much time on their hands.

      They must think if they subscribe to delivery they can say whatever. Not so.

      (not quite anon)

      Delete
    4. It's nice to see a cross on a certified type mid size grocery store in the far sw suburbs. They don't worry about atheist activists. Also, the Jewish population is prob non existent in this area so no one would complain if no Passover symbol was included.

      yeah, over 90 posts here

      Delete
  25. another not anonApril 2, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    then there is the alternative 'Idiot Theory' which posits that 15 % of all people are idiots. when the thirteen colonies became the thirteen states the population was about 2.5 million. that yields 375,000,000 idiots, who, due to the area of the country were not highly concentrated, and thus did not have a great effect, specific or general. move forward to today and there are 328 million Americans and that yields 50 million idiots. adding that we are much more concentrated it can be hypothesized that we have reached a tipping point and idiots have too great an effect on all aspects of life and living, including the production of legislation.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Bitter scribe, stop being such a brown noser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to post less-I don't go along with the followers opinion here.

      Delete
    2. Well don't resent it because it is the biggest religion in the west, please.

      We wouldn't want a Muslim take over would we now?

      Delete
  27. That veggie stew in the pic looks delish. Is that a seder dinner recipe? I'm getting hungry-perhaps with some challah bread along with it.

    You always have interesting photos up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Edie's making soup for tomorrow.

      Delete

Thanks for commenting. As soon as I vet your remarks, they'll be posted, assuming they aren't, you know, mean and crazy.