April 2005 Archive
April 25, 2005
We are two days into the Jewish holiday of Passover. Passover is the celebration of the liberation of the Jews from slavery to the Pharaoh in Egypt. On the first two nights of Passover, Jews around the world gather with their families and Jewish communities for the Passover Seder, a meal dedicated to retelling the story of Passover as described in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament.
There are a number of reasons why, in my adulthood, I have become an Orthodox Agnostic. The Passover Seder is one of those reasons.
The Passover story relates that Moses told Pharaoh that unless he allowed the Jews to leave Egypt, God would punish the Egyptians. When Pharaoh refused, God delivered on Moses' promise by unleashing a series of plagues on the Egyptians, the last, the straw which broke Pharaoh's back, being the smiting of the firstborn of each Egyptian family, including Pharaoh's son. Indeed, Passover gets its name from the fact that Jewish homes were passed over by this avenging God.
Which brings me to my objection to this holiday. First, why would I pay homage to a God who, despite having omnipotent powers, would resort to genocide to teach a lesson? Second, isn't there something unseemly about a religion which celebrates the genocide of their enemies?
Some misinterpret my opinions as support for terrorism or, I suppose, Pharaoh's enslavement of the Jews. Unfortunately, the mindset of the Chosen People that the holy land is their birthright and that the rights of any non-Jews who disagree or have competing claims are not recognized by God has justified a political and military position which has exacerbated the divisions in the Mideast rather than seeking a meaningful and lasting peace.
If there was a God worthy of our worship, wouldn't he want better?
April 23, 2005
Jay Leno -- "The cardinals said they have to be very careful in the process of electing a new pope because the pope will be interpreting God's law for them. You know, kind of the way Republican leaders do for us in this country."
April 21, 2005
April 20, 2005
Jay Leno --"A man in West Bend, Wisconsin who bought a shirt at the local goodwill store found $2,000 stuffed inside the pocket, isn't that amazing? The more amazing part is how did one of Tom Delay's old shirts wind up in Wisconsin?"
April 12, 2005
April 11, 2005
April 9, 2005
April 7, 2005
April 5, 2005