Tag Archives: religion

Time to Cry Tuesday – Separation of Church and State

Is this bothering anyone else? All this concentration on religion in government? Not because I am a Jew, for I don’t believe my Synagogue has any place in politics either. Or because I am a Democrat, because quite frankly I am none to comfortable with our President speaking about his faith or those who doubt it. It is completely irrelevant to running a government. Period.

Hey, land of the free and brave… Wassup?

The absolutely most horrifying comments of the week come right off the front page of the NYT Sunday paper:

Rick Santorum warned of the “dangers of contraceptives” and rejected JFK’s call for strict separation of church and state. He went so far as to tell George Stephanopoulus that Kennedy’s ideas are so terrible that they make him want to throw up. (lovely)

On the first point, let’s do one of those pros and cons lists for contraceptives and show me exactly how the dangers of using them compare to all those unwanted pregnancies. I get if you choose not to use contraceptives due to your religious leanings, I expect the same respect in return. Lose the fear mongering on dangers.

On point two… seriously? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that he gets to reject the concept. Since we, as Americans, have been kicking the idea of separation of church and state since around SINCE 18-friggin-02, why is this up for discussion now?

For those that might want a refresher on JFK’s speech in question from 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote. … I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish … where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Yeh, I can see why he found that offensive, can’t you?!

Plainly put. YOUR religion, is YOUR religion. Not mine. Not my neighbors. Not the Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist… Atheist for that matter.

Ok, admit you are glad I did not get started on that slut Rush Limbaugh…

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Filed under politics, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – I Am Jewish

I struggled with whether to post this here, and whether to use its title. Not for any other reason than I believe that there are certain topics that are personal. Ones that are sacred and are not about link love, blog traffic or public discussion. I have always held to the idea that religion is either something you are born into or you choose. And sometimes it is something that you consciously choose to abandon. I do not think it is something that should be pushed on others, used to breed hatred or a vehicle to define someone. Sadly all three are the root of some of the most horrifying chapters in history.

All that said, this public declaration of what it means to this young man to ‘be a Jew’ moved me to tears. Even more so as he is someone that my kids know from camp. I have written about this camp here before, many times, and its effect on our children and ourselves. The core of this place is its pride, the sense of belonging, of being part of a tribe.

See where I am going with this? In this crazy world of ever-changing social rules with its constant shifting of how we live our daily lives and relate to one another, there is something so important about that sense of belonging. It breeds the most important thing of all – a sense of self. It is easier to thrive with the continuity of something that you can count on; something that makes you feel ‘at home’.

I relate to the words of this young man. I am not a religious Jew, Judaism is simply part of the fabric of who I am. I do not live a ghettoized life – hey some of my best friends are Goyim (ok you had to be a Jew or around them to get that joke, and yes it is counter to everything I am saying here. Hey, I am a wiseass, what can I say). To a highly religious Jew I might not be considered Jewish. And yet it matters not.

This video is the embodiment of a young suburban Jewish man who has fallen victim to every stereotype and yet is still able to articulate his Jewishness. He is considered hip and current yet the content of his message would hold true even when my dad was his age.

He does not preach. He does not try to convert. He does not ask you to validate his Judaism or to argue its validity.

It is simply a declaration.

I am pretty sure this would translate to any culture or religion, and I am equally sure that the parodies of this video will be abundant in the weeks to come because… well, because that is what social media breeds. However, I do not think that any of that will dilute its message.

Enjoy, and feel free to comment.

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Filed under communities, religion, Time to Cry Tuesdays

What do Jesus and Sushi Have in Common?

Tough question, right? I am sure you are squinting at the details of the back of this car trying to find the answer. Disclaimer, no religious disrespect intended, I am just a lover of parody.

I came across this little gem of a Subaru in the supermarket parking lot. At first glance I thought, wow, this is one religious dude. On second glance I saw that this guy was hysterical. A closer look at the left side and I saw this:

Classic Jesus fish, or Ichthys. Not  so classic Sushi fish.

Panning  to the other side of the car I found these little gems of religious parody:

The ever popular Vegan fish. The FSM fish (I will get back to that one) and the completely irreverent Theory of Evolution Darwin fish. In the center was simply an empty fish. I think that one was trying to stand out. Or perhaps it was the void of religion in contrast to the other parody of religion types. Nonetheless they all clung proudly to the back of the trusty Legacy.

I had to do a little Googling on FSM and here is what I found. This stands for Flying Spaghetti Monster. Here is what Wikipedia served up for me on this.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the parody religion[1][2] the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism.[3] In 2005, Oregon State physics graduate Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter about a “Flying Spaghetti Monster” as a satirical protest against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools.[4] In the letter, Henderson parodied the concept of intelligent design by professing belief in a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs. Henderson further called for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism to be allotted equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution. You can read the rest here. (totally worth the click to see the artwork on that page)

In closing, all I can say is this whole thing only cements the idea that I MUST meet the person who drives this car.

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Filed under absurdities, religion, signage

Florida Soundbites

Florida: Day 4 and leaving.

I thought I would wrap this one up with some funny things that were said or seen over the weekend. But first I would like to give a big shout out WHAT THE HELL to the two women who just sat behind me in the Jet Blue terminal at PBI. I am an hour early for my flight because I love airports my brother’s flight was earlier and I am literally one of 4 people at the gate. These two blabbermouths had to sit in the seats directly behind me and yack away…

in a foreign language. SERIOUSLY!

Ok, so here are some of the funnier things from the weekend:

My Aunt: My mother told me that she loved my father more after he was dead.

My Cousin: While playing a game with all the grandmothers when they were still with us (this was the generation of my grandmother) in response to body parts that come in pairs my Aunt’s mother (from above) responded, “Penis” This could explain why she stayed with her husband for so many years, even if she loved him more after he was dead.

My Mom: (in response to my dad saying that I had a great sense of humor) Yeh, especially when it comes to poo. (ok, my brother and I discuss bodily functions maybe a little bit more than average siblings).

My Dad: You have to understand all our weather comes from the West. It comes in from the Gulf of Mexico. That means we get used weather.

For a nice little wrap up, here are three of my favorite signs:

1. This billboard sits outside the road leading to my parents’ community. I believe it is placed there just in case all the Northerners of ‘the tribe’ had any questions about His existence.

2. This Derm seems to cover it all. Permanant make-up? WTF? What if you want to change color. Is it like the mood ring material? And would you really trust someone with your skin cancer that does permanent makeup?  Just asking?

3. I will close with the creepy child mannequin and the miracle suit poster, just because this says so much.

In closing, I will quote a dear friend who said this about visiting Florida,  “just remember that you are watching a movie in which you will play the LEADING role some time in the future.”

My answer to that is, “I only pray I will be so lucky.”

Thanks Mom and Dad for a great visit. And Keith, no one makes me laugh quite like you.

Let the Matzoh begin!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under aging parents, family, religion, road signs, things i've heard, travel

Godspeed?

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It may come as a shock to you, but no I did not take this picture in NY. This baby comes to me from cousin Kelly. He said he took it somewhere in Virginia (that would make more sense).

This is quite a vehicle, don’t you think? Screaming religion down the highway is rather odd, quoting all sorts of scriptures and the like.

But tell me, what is an unusalist? Could that be a typo right there on the bumper? Did they mean unusualist? Actually, neither of them is in the dictionary. Can one of my christian friends define this please?

This vehicle gives godspeed a whole new meaning.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, cars, photography, social media

Jesus Toast Tattoo

toast_tatoo

No I did not make this up. Another famous product from my travels. Should have been in the same aisle as the Believe in God Instantly Breath Spray but it was not. Unfortunate missed opportunity in merchandising in my opinion.

Imagine this one at the breakfast table:

Morning honey, do you want butter or jam on your Jesus?

I am not sure what makes people come up with products like this. Do you think it disrespectful, evangelical or kinda cool. It’s polling time folks. For those on email, jump over to the blog online and cast your vote. For all you non commenting lurkers out there (which would be most of you) don’t worry, the voting is anonymous. This is between you and your maker, k?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, humor

Time to Cry Tuesday – Sitting Shiksa

sitting-shiksa2No, there is not a typo in that headline. Keep reading and you will see what I mean.

This past week one of my dearest friends – my wife of sorts –  lost her dad. She and I are known somewhat as the Lucy and Ethel of our community. Our antics are legendary (in our minds, anyway). The following is an adaptation of an email that I sent to our friends:

After a long period of compromised health, my friend’s dad cried uncle and died peacefully. Unfortunately, she was away on vacation with her daughter and had to return quickly to make arrangements. As you can imagine this has been a very difficult time for her. But I am happy to report her sense of humor and love of life is fully intact. Read on.

She will be going to Arizona for a first memorial service on Sunday and then to Boston on March 3rd where she and her brother will have his ashes buried next to her mom, hopefully in an ‘uneventful’ ceremony. Not a chance! (note: as with all families there is the predicted drama that is hard to avoid)

As her life is here in NY now, we know that there are many that want to pay their respects to her since she is always there for everyone else. Only our dear friend, in her grief, could call me this morning with this novel and frankly hysterical request. Let me share our conversation:

Friend: Hi, it’s me again. I decided you are right and I need to do something here.

Me: That’s great, what did you have in mind?

Friend: I think I would like to ‘Sit Shiksa’!

Me: That could be the funniest thing I have ever heard.

Friend: Oh and tell people to forget the boxes of cake, bring wine and have a drink with me to celebrate my dad’s life.

For those who are not ‘of the tribe’, when someone dies in the Jewish religion we sit Shiva. Shiva meaning ‘seven’ in Hebrew, we receive guests in our home to pay their respects for 7(ish) days. (it’s complicated)

Figuring that 7 days of guests would surely put her husband in a psych unit, sitting Shiksa will be an afternoon ordeal. Shiksa, on the other hand, means ‘woman who is not a Jew’. Of course we all know that our friend is a Jew by association by now as she has been to more Bar Mitzvot and Shiva calls than most Jews by birth.

Please join their family, not to mourn, but celebrate the life of the man who fathered our dear friend. One hell of a guy and a man who always loved a good party. He will surely be there with us.

If you have friends of mixed marriages, or live in a diverse community, pass this on. There are few that hear it who cannot relate.

Here is to my dear friend, who can truly make lemonade out of ANY situation in life. And who always keeps me laughing, even through her tears. When she married our dear friend, she married us too. And she has been a hell of a good sport about it for the past 20 years. We love you babe. May your grieving be cathartic and know we will love you forever.

Sitting on my desk is a framed piece you gave me years ago:

Friends are the family you choose.

I choose you!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under communities, friendship, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays