Opinions wanted

September 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Atheism, Religion | 13 Comments
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Several days ago I posted, Your god is a psychopath with a twisted sense of humor.  It begins with a story about some odd religious practices engaged in by a sect of orthodox Jews.  My post was precipitated by a discussion with a a group of friends, a few of whom are Jewish, who told the story of a rabbi in their home town who, to their surprise, engaged in this practice.

A few years ago I had occasion to meet the aforementioned rabbi in a quasi business situation.  To be perfectly clear, this meeting took place in the secular world, where I live, and had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.  When introduced to the rabbi he was so completely detached it was as if I were invisible.  I’m not the most social person in the world but I do have  a considerable amount of experience being introduced to people, and understand how people generally behave upon meeting one another.  This man wasn’t even on the same planet with normal behavior.  During the hour or so the group was together I happened to encounter the rabbi a few times and attempted to be polite and was completely ignored.  I noticed that he was amiable with other men and women in attendance and wondered what the hell his problem, with me, was.  At one point I did check the mirror to see if perhaps I had, by some strange twist of fate, become invisible…I had not.  I concluded that the rabbi was simply a major jerk-off.  Of course, now that I know the somersault story it occurs to me the guy may have rolled on his head one too many times.

I mentioned the rude rabbi, later to another member of the group, a somewhat knowledgeable Jew, who explained the rabbi’s sect segregates men from women and he doesn’t deign to speak with women unless absolutely necessary.  I maintained that is all well and good in his own little religious community, but if he chooses to venture out into the real world he should respect its social mores and conventions…just as I would be expected to respect those of his community should I visit; which I plan on doing as soon as the temperature in hell drops to below freezing.  I expressed the belief that if it’s not possible for him to manage some slight behavior modification perhaps he should either: not venture outside of his community, or live in a place where his behavior is the social norm.  Should I/we be expected to adjust my/our behavior to accommodate the religious beliefs of the outsider, or should the outsider respect the rules of the culture he is visiting ?   My Jewish friend, who I suspect might be biased, thinks I’m dead wrong.  What say you?  I’m very interested in what others have to say about this.

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