Anyone who regularly reads this BLOG can attest to two things:
1 – I don’t like Donald Trump.
2 – I always refrain from writing about religious beliefs, with the exception of Islam, since I don’t see Islam as a religion . . . but rather as a cult built upon dominating all people.
SO IT’S VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME . . . to wade into this topic, and not offend people I have no desire or intention of offending – BUT . . .
I’m not a woman . . . but I’ve lived with women from the time I was first acquainted with my mother, one second after taking my first breath, and I grew up with two sisters, so I am indeed somewhat of an authority.
I have never had homosexual tendencies, and directed all of my sensual aspirations to the opposite sex. And as a younger man, before meeting Anne, I had the extreme pleasure of being a close friend to many young women.
NO ONE HAS TO TELL ME THAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT:
I don’t need a Gloria Steinem or Hilary Clinton to tell me that women and men are different. I know they are, and that’s what makes our relationships so wonderful.
What I really don’t agree with . . . is this cockamamie idea that women should be more like men – and men should be more like women.
THAT SAID . . . I will never be convinced that women are in any way inferior to men.
AND THIS IS WHERE THIS DELICATE EDITORIAL BEGINS:
As a younger man, I was an observant Jew, and went to our Orthodox Synagogue every Saturday, and on all Holy Days. And during services, I often glanced to my left, where the women sat separated from the men.
And always felt somewhat uncomfortable during the services . . . that ONLY men over the age of Bar Mitzvah (13-Years Old), could participate in any of the religious rituals.
It also bothered me, that women could not make the Minyan, which is the mandatory number (quorum) of TEN Bar Mitzvahed Men, needed in order to hold services and pray.
And the fact that women couldn’t be Rabbis, Cantors and Active-During-Service Synagogue Officials, disturbed me to no end.
All of this bothered me so much, that I rethought what kind of a Jew I should be, especially after becoming married, and watching Anne sit in Synagogue separated from me because of male ritualism, to the point that we moved away from the religiously restrictive Orthodoxy of Judaism, to the more welcoming Conservative view, which in most every other way is the same as Orthodox beliefs, but with a far more accepting belief in the equality of women.
IT ALSO BOTHERS ME TO WATCH . . . the absolute Separation of Women from Men in the Chasidic Jewish Movement, which is very Orthodox, where women are treated much like Baby Factories and Personal Slaves to their husbands, especially in this day and age, and most specifically in countries where FREEDOM should be everything. But that’s their business, which they don’t try to make mine.
BUT ALL OF THIS SAID . . . At least amongst the Chasidim, young girls and women aren’t murdered who wish to leave the fold. And to the best of my knowledge, from personal experience, these women (and men) who leave the Chasidic life are not shunned, as if they are somehow Lepers.
AS A RESULT OF THIS ON-GOING PERSONAL EPIPHANY . . .
I discovered . . . that the prayers and rituals I was raised with from the time I was born, do not make the man or woman, since I’ve known no shortage of men and women who were personally devout, or so they believed, who were otherwise scum in many ways.
BUT IT’S NOT JUST JEWS:
We are all born of Flesh and Blood . . . with the gift of knowing Right from Wrong, and the ability to do GOOD or EVIL, which has nothing whatsoever to do in my mind, with the Orthodoxy of any Man-Directed-Religion, when we have it all laid-out before us in the TEN COMMANDMENTS, the MAGNA CARTA and the US CONSTITUTION.
And if we believe as strongly as we should . . . in the importance and message that encompasses Judeo/Christian Values – and live by those values, and accept that Men and Women are equal, as are all people of various colors and ethnicities, who share those Same Basic Values with us . . . we don’t need approbation from a Rabbi, a Priest or a Minister.
What we could all use from these men and women who represent their religious beliefs . . . would be guidance, inspiration and a helping hand.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO . . .
TO ME – THE POPE . . . is a Regular man, elected by other regular men of religious prominence, to an incredible position, where he can offer moral guidance to people who want to be guided on the path of redemption.
BUT HE IS NOT ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE TO A POLITICAL HIERARCHY:
There have been, and still are many Priests, Rabbis and Ministers, who have given up the Tending of their FLOCKS to enter the world of Politics, where they think they might have a HIGHER-CALLING.
IN THE BRILLIANCE OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS . . .
They understood that Freedom OF Religion, is no more or less important, than Freedom FROM Religion, in as much as no power on earth should have the right to keep people from their legitimate beliefs, anymore than any power on earth, should compel anyone to believe in what they wish not to.
TO ME . . . THIS IS A MESSAGE THE CURRENT POPE SHOULD UNDERSTAND:
More than once . . . I had begun to write editorials, on what I truly believed were important POLITICAL circumstances, where the Pope had seriously crossed the line between Religion and Politics, certainly during his last visit to the United States of America.
I SAY THIS WITH SHAME . . . Like far too many other writers, I too was intimidated by the fear, that people would accept any Papal Criticism by me, especially because I am Jewish, as an attack on the Catholic Religion, which was very wrong of me, since no one should get a FREE RIDE, no matter who or what he or she is. WRONG IS WRONG.
I have also kept my mouth shut, as this Pope openly criticizes Israel, for how he perceives Israel unfairly “treats” Palestinians, while he studiously ignores how Palestinians and other Arabs brutalize each other, while the Israelis show more restraint than one could possibly believe, as innocent Jewish Blood flows in their streets.
I GET IT THAT THIS POPE IS A SOCIALIST . . . SO HOW DOES THAT MAKE HIM RIGHT?
It’s hard for me to side with Donald Trump on MOST things he says that he will do if elected President, and I write about it all the time, because writing about Politics is what I do.
But, when Trump, or any other Political Candidate becomes the Target of a Religious Attack from the HIGHEST ORDER, that’s where I draw the line and circle the wagons around Trump.
If this Pope wishes to engage in the Politics of the world, let him say so, and let him turn the Catholic Church into a Political Party, if that’s what the Catholic people want. Otherwise, he should simply MINISTER to those who want to find guidance and comfort through their belief in God, and leave the Politicking to the Politicians.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov