Help me understand this photo. This is the 21st century. Why are they wearing that ridiculous garb? What do they keep in those hats, birds' nests? Why are they all bearded and why do the beards look like they have kooties in them they are so long and have never been trimmed? Why are they all wearing those ridiculous long black coats on hot summer days? You'd think they'd find some contradictions in their 4-5,000 B.C.E. holy books and what what the fossil record, carbon dating, and other sciences tell us about the age of the earth. You'd think they would figure out that when they say, "Oy, vay" about something Y*H*V*H has told them is insane, the writings of desert warlords trying to impose their will on their tribes and using some graybeard loon in the sky as an authority. Don't they know that Mosheh is a fiction? Why did it never occur to them that the O.T. God is nothing but myth and superstition, justification for their misogyny and abhorance of a perfectly good meat that, when it spoiled in the hot desert sun, attracted a type of worm that would kill if eaten. Wake up, you old fools! Today, we have REFRIGERATORS!!!

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Apparently, you never saw Fiddler on a Roof.  The answer is simple: TRADITION!  Someone told someone, who told someone else, who told someone else, who told someone else, who told someone else that THIS was the proper way to please their god, whom no one has seen, no one has talked to, no one has any evidence of ... but who MUST BE THERE.

And that god told them that you can't eat pork and you can't eat shellfish and you can't have clothes with two different fibers in them and you can't have men making it with men and that women are essentially property and that these rules are fixed and invariant and you MUST FOLLOW THEM, regardless of what some iconoclastic heretic may say.

Meanwhile we enjoy pulled pork and shrimp scampi and stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer with blended fabrics.  Gays and Lesbians live among us (and do us no harm!  Shock And Amazement!!!).  Women prove to be far more than just home- and baby-makers and society doesn't disintegrate when they come into the work force.  Their rules were a product of ignorance and fear and a patriarchal desire for men to remain in control.  And they still cling to those rules because they are afraid ... of death or of progress or a loss of their influence.  And so long as they fail to be able to think outside of the box of their holy book, they'll continue to dress like that pic, not wear clothes with blended fibers, avoid pork and shellfish and attempt to live as though it were 4,000 years ago and not the 21st century.

Hey ... you asked!

He (God) must be there only because the Torah says so.  This is, of course, classic circular reasoning.  These people are fools.  Lately, I've tried to pick up where George Carlin left off; that is, try to be amusing about it.  George wondered why it was that anyone would believe in a God so arbitrary as to say to one group of people that their women could not wear headwear in synagogues but must wear headwear in cathedrals.  But when you examine George's "logic," you come up with nothing but different faiths.  The Vedanta people claim that all gods are the same.  But they don't appear to be.

On a related but slightly different note, there is an amazing story in the new Church and State magazine about Chris Christie currying the favor of an orthodox group in New Jersey that wanted to build a new religious study center, so they lobbied the pols and got a bill passed giving tax-payer money to institutions of higher learning in N.J.  The fly in the ointment was, some of the money went to both Jewish and Christian learning centers that blatantly said they were in the business of training rabbis and pastors.  This is foul, a 1st Amendment no-no.  But it illustrates how influential religion has become.  The latest issue of C&S is eye-opening, also carrying an interview with a lawyer who has written a novel about a future USA where Christianity is the official religion.  Terrifying thought, isn't it?

Both Loren and James seem to be covering this pretty well, and some of it is scary. Meanwhile, I'm stuck reading the sign "Free Palestine - End Israeli Occupation." Just how is that going to happen? Who will give up land and government to make room for this other nation? My view is that it will never happen. Back before Israel became a state I suspect that some (USA) Bible thumper had figured out that this act would "fulfill prophesy" and the Arabs were thrown to the wolves.

So, you ask this man what time it is and he opens up his holy writings and points to a scripture. Now that is scary!

The very establishment of a modern-day state based on an uncorroborated religious text, combined with the insistence by fundamentalists of the veracity of that text makes the undoing of any action taken by that state, however immoral or bigoted against a non-subscribing minority, either impossible or highly improbable.  Such action very nearly amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy in favor of the state-holders, and those who believe will hear no argument against it.

God said it, they believe it, that settles it.  Scary, indeed, Dennis.

It's clearly a PhotoShop of something else in their hands.  In fact, I don't have PhotoShop but only a cheap imitation called ACDSee, more of an "editing" software, but a pretty good one.  I can blot out a banner like the one they are holding and insert whatever slogan I wish.  And that is what we all wish: that the Jews would consider Palestinians their brothers. Even with regard to their mutual religious origins, they had a common ancestor-prophet-pater familias: Abraham.  You'd think they could get along.

I have a hard time with this stuff because they raise their children in this tradition without giving them much choice the thing critically about there religion. The costumes are interesting but everyday, it's kinda silly.

The thing is, Kirk, most parents raise their kids the way THEY were raised, whether it's in Judaism, Christianity, Islam or something else.  The kids generally get NO choice about that and worse, they're told that they MUST believe it or go to hell in most cases.  This is why most atheists consider such indoctrination of children as child abuse and (IMHO) rightly so.

I absolutely agree. Raise children to critically think and they can decide for themselves what they believe.

These guys are from a Haredi sect called Neturei Karta. You'll often see them going to Iran, in the News, and having chats with the Iranian government. And they are also anti-Israel. 

When it comes to Israel, there basic premise is that the land of Israel should not be taken back forcible,  but it will be given back when the messiah, who Christians think was Jesus, comes back. 

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