Why Can’t We Admit That Religion Is F***ing Crazy?

rabbi_plasticThe quote of the day comes from a Facebook commenter to a story that’s making the rounds on the internet right now. It concerns an ultra-orthodox Jewish rabbi who covered himself head-to-toe in clear plastic during a recent commercial flight and apparently remained that way for the entire trip. Speculation is that the self-Saran Wrapping was done to uphold the orthodox tenet requiring men to keep themselves completely separated from women.

The very simple quote in response to the image of a man sitting on a crowded airplane, covered entirely in transparent plastic?

“Respect his beliefs.”

Now I want you to join me in a little thought experiment. I want you to imagine that the guy under the plastic isn’t dressed in the familiar vestures of an orthodox Jew but is instead wearing soiled, beat-up jeans and a dirty shirt while sporting a ratty, unkempt beard and long hair. In other words, what if the man on the plane hadn’t been expressing an extremist religious belief but was just, you know, nuts? Would anyone really be cavalierly demanding that people, particularly the people stuck next to this guy on the plane, “respect his beliefs” and not regard him as a run-of-the-mill whack-job?

I’ve made the argument plenty of times but this is such a perfect example of what I often complain about that I just couldn’t let it pass without saying something. Basically what I’d like to know is this: Why are we expected to respect beliefs that are clearly outlandish and completely divorced from reality simply because those beliefs happen to be the foundation of one faith or another? The simple answer, of course, is that as a society we’ve decided that certain kinds of crazy aren’t crazy at all, and that there’s sanity in numbers. You can get away with just about any kind of behavior that would otherwise be considered unacceptable in civilized society as long as you’re doing it in the name of your god and absolutely if your god happens to be one of the three or four most popular gods on the planet, the ones who won a few rounds of the Mr. Universe Pageant a couple of millennia ago.

But again, why is it necessary, even in the opinion of some self-professed nonbelievers, that the general public show respect and deference to the thought processes that would lead a man to wrap himself in plastic, presumably to avoid touching women and therefore offending God? How about this for a change: It’s not. It’s not necessary at all.

With the exception of those who allow their faith to lead them to do despicable things — those whose behavior isn’t simply eccentric but dangerous — I do my best to respect people who claim to be religious. I respect the people themselves. That doesn’t mean I respect their beliefs, because I don’t. I don’t feel the need to show one ounce of deference to the beliefs of someone who thinks that God listens to his entreaties any more than I would feel the need to show deference to the beliefs of a guy talking to a telephone pole on a street corner who thinks the same thing. Neither of the two has evidence to back up his claims and the only difference between them, really, is that one probably has a roof over his head and isn’t considered crazy by most of society.

The fact is that when you peel away the culturally sanctioned rationale for not eating meat on a Friday, or sitting on a box and covering the mirrors after someone dies, or making sure that a woman’s body is clothed almost completely, what you’re left with is just plain old nuts. And what’s worse is that the rules and restrictions adhered to by the faithful all too often negatively affect people who should be well beyond the jurisdiction of any one particular religion. It’s one thing for someone to make a personal decision not to work on Sunday because he believes his god demands it — it’s another thing entirely for a pharmacist not to dispense the morning after pill for the same reason.

I quite frankly don’t give a damn what your god wants; the rights, privileges, and even whims of living, breathing human beings supersede the requirement you’ve imposed upon yourself not to offend the imaginary friend you talk to before you go to bed every night. The rights of a gay person to get married or of a woman to have an abortion should at no point be considered equal to the “rights” of the faithful to adhere to the regulations imposed by Jesus, Yahweh, Muhammad and so on. Yes, you’re allowed to believe what you want, but when that belief collides with reality, reality shouldn’t be the one forced to submit. In the game of chicken between what’s proven and what can’t be, guess which one has to veer off?

No, a religious belief doesn’t need to be respected just because it’s a religious belief.

Because if you stripped away the religion, guess what a guy wrapped head-to-toe in plastic on an airplane would be?

Just plain, old crazy.

Update: Apparently it’s possible the rabbi had wrapped himself in plastic because the plane was going to be flying over a cemetery. That obviously changes everything. My sincerest apologies.

  • MrBiggunz28 .

    I think anything is truly possible. We can’t prove or disprove anything….. aliens abducting people sounds a little crazy yet the universe is so big it seems impossible that we are alone. Bigfoot sounds crazy but some sort of creature probably roamed the earth at some point…. i think everything & anything could be true or untrue….. as scientists they say they need proof but some believe in theories like the big bang…. unless it can truly be proved or disproved who really knows. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs…. i personally just keep an open mind as something that hasn’t been proven or disproven than who knows….. it really makes you think doesn’t it? Where is everbody!
    Kevin Nash

  • Gearmoe

    We are much closer now than ever. The WWW has brought science and information. Think, it’s only been 10~12 years a great number of USA has had decent WWW access. In 30 years it will be very difficult for current religions to seem anything other than the myths they’ve always been.

  • barry waterfield

    Religion is a social control, that was its original purpose, in other words’ power, and so many people have suffered under religion, that the world deserves a rest. Currently it is the gays and single women that are the target, in the past it has been old women and even black cats, indeed in England during the 1500’s ministers would encourage their ‘flock’ to throw black cats off the church steeple because ‘ they were the devils familiar.’ There is no rationale, no logic, nothing provable behind any religion, and it has to be that way to keep the faithful in line. America in particular, suffers from a religious fever as strong as Islam in some southern states. From time to time I have pondered whether a brain abnormality lies behind the activities of some of the more extreme leaders but frankly I just don’t know. The only thing I would advise, to both young and old is, steer well clear, it is infectious for some people.

  • rideon

    Yep. Most would think persons who believe in superior “Grey” aliens that are amongst us, manipulating behind the scenes of government, that walk amongst us with cloaking devices, and that cloak their ships to be essentially unseen and invisible, and engage in mass indoctrination/brain washing to be crazies…yet people of “faith”, believe in superior/omnipotent beings, supernatural creatures, demons, and angels…that walk amongst us invisably, and engage in indoctrination/brain washing of children at an early age to blindly believe in an God/Devil/Angles/Demons “faith” its called, belief in that which cannot be proved…what’s the difference?

    The best part is they try to prove it be twisting the law of entropy (third law of thermodynamics).

    Then you got the crazies who believe that different races are because of evil/sin, that if you truly believe in the one “true” God, you miraculously become “white” (Mormons).

    If enough mentally ill people become the majority, then do they cease to be mentally ill, and become the normals, and the “normals” then become the mentally ill?

    Religion only works on those who are easily manipulated, and that are gullible (thus children are prime targets).

    How many Christians get offended if you use the word “Hell” ? (my son actually got sent to principals office for this “offense”). Would they be offended if someone said “what the Hades!”, probably not, but if you say “what the Hell”! They get all bent, and offended. The words hell and hades mean the exact same thing though.

    Hell is short for ” Hel” the Goddess of the Underworld in Norse mythology, same as Hades in Greek Mythology. The daughter of Loki, son of the Father of the Gods Odin.

    Hell is not in any Judaic/Islamic/christian scripture, and Sheol was never a place of fire and brimestone, suffering and unendurable pain. Christians/Religious people (aka “Spiritual”) are idiots and crazies…but since they are the majority, they become the normals…

    If a deeply devote religious person heard voices (because they are crazies), that told them that your son was evil, the Antichrist, and the voices told them that they were God’s instrument, his holy hand on earth, that your evil seed/demon child need to die…what do you think would happen?

    Don’t laugh, this same thing has happened throughout the ages…witch hints, crusades, middle east, etc.

    Religious people are dangerous crazies.

    (Image) Hel aka Goddess of the Underworld Hell

  • invisiblegodsdon’tscareme

    humanity needs to move beyond religion. end of story.

  • Azia

    Allowing dangerously insane people to roam around in public clearly endangers the public. We insist on locking up drunk drivers, rapists, and murderers, why not the religiously insane?

  • CL Nicholson

    I’ve lived in LA and New York for the last 10 years of my life, and I can honestly say most orthodox Jews (or Orthodox anything, for that matter) can seem rather weird to an outsider, but ultimately harmless.

    Who am I to judge? I’ve seen plenty of crazier people walking around Santa Monica or in Greenwich Village who don’t have faith as a crutch for their odd behavior.

    Jesus, possibly the most influential of all religious philosophers (mostly due to European expansion and empire, but whatever) would probably agree with Chez, the avowed atheist. The rabbinical law exists to remind people of God and holiness, but its also not a license to act like a fool in public (Matthew 6:5) or to treat non-believers like trash (Luke 10:29-37). Jesus would either talk to this dude and tell him to tone it down or openly mock him (Jesus insults people way more than most pastors preach about) for going a wee bit overboard.

    I’m probably one of the more religious people on this message board. Do I think religion is innately crazy? On some level, I can that agree faith calls for one to believe despite not having direct evidence (hence it’s not really faith) but no, I obviously don’t think religion is absurd. A religion itself isn’t crazier than any other human endeavor. People are crazy and will use almost anything to justify their craziness.

    • Sean Lee Walthour

      so u talked to those crazy ppl walking around and confirmed their lack of religion? very interesting.

      this just sealed ur fate to crazyland

      “I’m probably one of the more religious people on this message board. Do
      I think religion is innately crazy? On some level,

      (you agree its somewhat fundamentally irrational, good, u do have some sense.)

      I can that agree faith calls for one to believe despite not having direct evidence,hence it’s not really faith

      ( this like saying water calls for hydrogen and oxygen, but its not really water)

      but no, I obviously don’t think religion is
      absurd. A religion itself isn’t crazier than any other human endeavor.
      People are crazy and will use almost anything to justify their
      craziness.”

      ( u just summed up your own argumentright here…. bat. shit. crazy )

  • asher2789

    Why does it matter if he was flying over a cemetery? He’s still crazy.

  • Kirk

    Chez, thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope life is treating you well my friend.

  • Jacqui Arias

    What’s really crazy to me is going through all these bullshit rituals in the eye of the public and as to use as a weapon over other’s heads while at the same time living, and doing some very immoral and down right illegal activities…religion has proven to be good for 2 things, for killing those who don’t agree w/the fairy tale, and to control the one’s the were left behind to be enslaved.

  • Cpt_Justice

    Interesting how you pick on something silly (to you), bit it’s something that DOES NOT & CANNOT affect YOU, & demand that he stop. & why? Because “reasons”. And it’s a further shame that you refuse to understand exactly how the cemetery actually did explain everything.

    • That River Gal

      It. Is. ALL. Silly.

    • Sean Lee Walthour

      are u on heavy drugs?

  • citizen144

    Not only ready to admit it. Ready to testify to it in court. Too many people I’ve cared about in the past have been infected with this obviously transmittable disease. Some peoples immune systems are weak, some peoples brains are weak and susceptible.

  • hutzpappy

    why didn’t he suffocate? one less degenerate to take up our precious oxygen.

    • hutzpappy

      oh and…

      religion is created by people… thus it’s rather a tautological reference?

    • Collin237

      You realize the impossibility of someone being covered in plasting and not suffocating. And yet you refuse to admit the obvious conclusion. — This is a hoax. There isn’t anyone in that bag.

      You and Chez both — you’re accepting something impossible just because it furthers a talking point. If the linked article weren’t tied in to religion, you’d have no problem identifying the rumormongers as the degenerates. This is what prejudice is — when your disagreement with a group of people gets so strong that you let a hoax pass as truth without even realizing it.

      • Johnny__Fever

        1) people of this religious persuasion actually do act like this all the time, it’s not a hoax

        2) even if it was, substitute any other nonsense the deeply religious engage in that you wish, and the point of the article still stands

        My main disagreement with religious groups of people is so strong , in part , because they let a hoax pass as truth without even realizing it.

  • Gregory J Santollo

    Religion is crazy…..

  • Steve

    If you really think the truth claim for the existence of a god is equivalent to the teapot one, then you are a teapot yourself.

    I can see why you wrote the article. You really think you are right. Try getting off you prideful, pompous, subjective horse, and realize that your opinion is not the only one.

  • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

    That ESL class is apparently paying off.

  • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

    Stop trying to argue logic on this. You can’t win. There isn’t a plane of existence where you’ll debate faith from a logical perspective and win.

    • Steve

      Please don’t be a hypocrite, as we all live by faith in things that cannot be argued by logic or proven by “science”.

      Logic has it’s shortcomings in every discipline in life.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=806308057 Sam Chapman

        @ Steve, you sir are full of **it. Religious apologists??? Nothing more than hawkers for an iron-age goat herder religion. I’ll trust reality and logic any day over the nonsense of the bible. Be careful where you sit, Steve; a woman who’s been menstruating may have sat there within the last seven days (Leviticus 15: 19-30). Apologists indeed!!

        • Steve

          How’s this for logic.

          If all life started by time and randomness, then you are nothing but a worthless cosmic accident with no purpose in life except what you decide to create in your own little orbit. Sorry, but it’s true. Read the works of any honest atheists (nietzsche, etc), and they admit life is meaningless. All is meaningless and chasing the wind. What’s the point, honestly, I’d love to know.

          As far as reality, please show me one example of the following (repeatable scientific experiments please):

          1. Life coming from non-life.
          2. Something coming from nothing.
          3. A car that was created by time and chance.
          4. A half-man/half-monkey.

          And please, choose one verse, without any context and dismiss the whole book. You are truly brilliant. I am so sick of people flinging around the word ‘logic’ like they have somehow reached the epitome of wisdom and knowledge. No offense, but no one knows all, and no one, even those who study logic daily know all.

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            How is this for actual logic: Life didnt start or began, its eternal, meaning without beginning nor end. BRUCE LEE was an atheist n he never claimed life was MEANINGLESS, nor do I. quit putting words in our mouths plz…1. is already refuted, 2. is #1 repackaged, which has been refuted. 3. and 4. are hilariously false, we know WHO created the car… millions of those creators use them everyday. and 4 is retarded.
            life is not based on evidence and faith, only our understandings. life is solely based on existence.

            1. a cheating spouse is irrelevant to this argument
            2.same goes for 2,3,4 and 5….

            you are done

        • Steve

          Also, since you live your life by reality and logic, please defend yourself and list these inarguable logical proofs, and bits of reality that are so overwhelmingly obvious that other dumb people like me fail to see.

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            here’s an inarguable, logical proof.. TIME and SPACE are eternal axioms that CANNOT be CREATED

      • Sean Lee Walthour

        nonsense. those disciplies in life u speak of, actually exist, there is evidence for the,. nothing wrong with faith in that. im not certain but i have faith i wont be homeless tomorrow nor ext week, what i dont have faith in is, a imaginary god making sure im not evicted. my hard work n dilligence will see to that end

  • JustAskin’

    Just to clarify, ghost hunters, mediums, paranormal activity, Yeti, Sasquatch, Chupacabra – all fall into this crazy category, yes?

    • bluedolphin14

      I think all of the above may have slightly more real world evidence to support them than most religions do… Just saying…

  • Kathy

    Excellent Article. Thanks Chez. This message needs to be repeated more widely and more often. There are millions who feel this way and yet they are compelled to hide any criticism of religion. That is the tyranny that non-religious people still live under. Go to a small town and listen to the Christian prayers at city council meetings, giant Christian crosses in public parks and pictures of Jesus in elementary schools. Only the very brave or foolish would voice a complaint. The deep hatred of the non-religious individual by the church is rarely disguised or restrained, throughout history and still today. Religion should never be “majority rule.”
    Support the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    • Collin237

      If they say something bad about nonbelievers, or do something bad to nonbelievers, that’s hate. But that’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying that symbols are hateful simply because they represent something you don’t believe. If you don’t believe them, they have no power over you.

      You’re right; religion should not be majority rule. Claiming your own freedom is being violated by other people’s freedom of expression should never be actionable, regardless of whether you’re religious. And having to suppress your feelings about others’ feelings is not tyranny; it’s a two-way street which when held up by both ends prevents tyranny.

      • asher2789

        Separation of church and state specifically forbids the government from establishing a religion (establishment clause – first amendment). That would cover all public buildings and public servants to not force a prayer before a town board meeting and it would also prohibit the display of religion (crosses in public schools).

      • Sean Lee Walthour

        Bullsheet! If i have to suppress my feelings/thoughts as a nonbeliever, and the believers dont, that is precisely tyrannical. a true two way street designed to prevent such a thing, would state that both the non and the religious need be suppressed… nice try tho

  • http://twitter.com/ThePosieParker Posie Parker

    When one relies upon old scripture above common sense for their actions and beliefs then “crazy” is a good a word as any. Religion is crazy, ask any Jew or Christian what they think of Scientology or Hari Krishna. It’s funny that all religions claim they know the “truth” and look upon other religion with judgemental eyes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.latona David Latona

    Perfect commentary on the absurdity of religion… Chez, you’re not a dick (in this case), you’re fucking spot-on.

  • Janean Stepp

    I agree. I am a church elder, and I agree that religion is crazy. I think the world might be a much better place without it at this point. What if we all believed we only have this one life to live instead of focusing on what may or may not happen afterward? What if instead of living in fear because of what may or may not anger some invisible being we actually tried to be rational when deciding what is right and wrong? What if we were kind to one another and believed in loving our neighbor because it’s just the right thing to do, and not because Jesus or whoever you believe in said so? I belong to a church because I found a community that I feel comfortable in, but the truth is that I don’t really think religion in and of itself is a good thing. I think it is far more often a tool used to hurt than anything else. I don’t know if there is a God or an afterlife – but if there is I’m pretty sure He/She/It is really angry at the things He’s given credit/blamed for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.w.davoll John Walter Davoll

    Hey, it’s so much fun watching the right-wing’s infighting, but you know what would be more fun? Starting some infighting of our own! Let’s start off by calling all religious belief “crazy.” “Plain, old nuts.” Never mind all those people that somehow manage to have faith AND left-wing values AND manage to not defecate in their pants while wearing their tin hats each day. Lets treat each other with as much disrespect as the right wing has shown us!

    Sigh.

    I’m sorry, but I’m a Democrat and a pastor and it is really confusing to me when people on the right tell me I’m not a true Christian and people on the left call me a lunatic. Thanks, everybody! I’ll just shut the hell up, would that be okay?

    • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

      You don’t have to shut up, and you are free to practice your religion. We have Amendments to protect both of those things. But our speech is also protected in that we are allowed to comment on our own observations of religion.

      Y’know who gets a tough time here in the USA? Atheists. My goodness, the things people say about us.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.w.davoll John Walter Davoll

        I’m free to be a Christian? Thank you so much. Can I talk about how the life teachings of Jesus (and yes, his death and resurrection) have influenced my progressivism? Oh, I’m a nutjob? Thanks, I feel so free. I guess since atheists have been marginalized in the past, they now are allowed to marginalize others and that will make everything all better.

        I hate it when we emulate the worst aspects of the right wing. Maybe while commenting on your own observations of of religion, we can take the high road and do it in a way doesn’t alienate each other. Or maybe in this new era that’s impossible.

        • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

          I agree that it’s necessary to be wary about demonizing those who stand with you simply because you have a disagreement or two. You have to look at the big picture. That said, I have an issue not simply with faith but with the larger question of why we’re never supposed to acknowledge that faith is somewhat crazy by logical standards. I’m not going to avoid writing about something I feel strongly about simply because, hey, there’s John Walter Davoll, who I’ll bet is a really good guy and who happens to share a lot of my political views but he’s religious and there are probably others like him so I’d better not get near that subject. I said from the very beginning that I can respect a person who believes in God without respecting that belief itself and I’m betting you’d fall nicely into that category. If you take offense to the fact that I think faith by its very nature is irrational, there’s not much I can do about that aside from never bringing this up, and that’s out of the question. You don’t get special dispensation — but make no mistake: You’re also not being personally persecuted. I’m assuming you’re a member of one of the most accepted and powerful religions on the planet — in the big picture nobody’s ganging up on you.

          • Steve

            Please tell everyone these “logical standards” that you talk so much about?

            I’m sure the whole world would love how you have concluded that there is no god.

          • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

            I don’t have to. You have to prove his existence. And you can’t. You can be as smug as you want, in the end it amounts to nothing because you have nothing. Now, if you have nothing else, Steve — and you don’t — feel free to continue to believe whatever nonsense you’d like, just don’t do it here.

          • Steve

            No one can prove the existence of a god, any more then you can prove anything in life. Life is based largely on evidence, of which there is plenty pointing to a creator.

            1. Life comes from life in 100% of the cases I’ve seen.
            2. A complex creation points to a creator.
            a. Imagine I tell you that my wrist watch was created by randomness, time, and chance. You would think I was crazy.
            3. Something does not come from nothing.

          • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

            Your logic, again, is nonsense. But you’re never going to accept that so this is where this stops: with you continuing to believe you’re right when you’re actually wrong. So long, Steve.

          • Steve

            And you continue to fail to provide any logic yourself, and instead choose to live your life according to the teapot, which you actually think is logical proof. It’s a truth statement, nothing more…please look up the definition of the words you are so freely spouting out. Continue living your worthless, cosmic-accident, of a life Chez. Oh, I’m sorry, you evolved higher order single-cell organism, yes you do have purpose. Comical.

          • ssj

            So where did god come from?

          • http://www.facebook.com/john.w.davoll John Walter Davoll

            So it’s alright for person A to treat person B’s beliefs with disrespect if person B is a part of the largest belief system on the planet? Got it.

            But you know what? Forget it. You’re right. Faith is irrational. it’s the assurance of things not seen. it is hope in the face of despair. It is lighting a candle in pitch darkness, Frederick Buechner said it is whistling in the dark. It cannot be measured nor can it be understood through rationality. It is dangerous to many. So in the end, I accept your assessment of me. I am a fool. But I’ll remain this fool till I die.

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            “It cannot be measured nor can it be understood through RATIONALITY”
            (you actually wrote those words, but ur offended by being called IRRATIONAL? that IS crazy smh

  • http://twitter.com/CitizenObservr OccupyYourLocalMedia

    Religion gets its crazy from people. People ARE VERY crazy and Religion is just a convenient excuse for the most crazy. On the other hand, some people have worked very hard in the name of their faith to help others eat, get treatments, and have some semblance of a life. It depends on the person wielding the religion I suppose.
    Now if you will excuse me, I saw someone wearing clothing of blended fabrics and I just bought a sack of rocks…

    • hutzpappy

      so, people can eat bibles?

    • Azia

      Religion is also the cause of numerous wars, is at the root of most discrimination and violence, and is used as a means for these people to further their crimes.

      • Sean Lee Walthour

        Their god would be the first racist lo… After all, he told satan he was inferior to adam, i woulda left that dude n started my own thing too… he seems to always do to his own creations what he doesnt want them to do, because he says its wrong to do.. but yet, its right when HE does it…..you hit the nail right on the head. its not just used to justify evil behavior, it was designed specifically for it

    • Sean Lee Walthour

      what about when the religion itself is in violation of morality? Cant just say oh well the slave traders are GUILTY but the bible is OKAY, when JOEL 3:8 for example has The LORD himself “selling people” to other nations.. People can do good with or WiTHOUT religion, which means religion is unneccessary :-)

  • Jp

    This “article” is somewhat weird. You seem to have a firm belief that every religion is wrong based on the fact that they can’t show evidences of what they claim about the “supernatural world” (or whatever we want to call it). The thing is that your own criteria of what is an “evidence” isn’t shared by everyone.

    Now imagine you travel to some country where the vast majority of the population embrace a certain religion where it is expected that men where men are expected to have their head shaved and have a green symbol painted on their forehead to avoid offense the gods (I’m making this totally fiction to avoid getting into any stereotype). What would you do? Would you conform? Why on earth would the members of this community show any respect for your weird belief that none of the gods exist? Why wouldn’t they throw you in the river to avoid attracting a huge punishment from the gods above? Do you have any evidences that these gods do not exist and won’t punish their country because you’re just a tourist?

    It’s all slippery slope from there. Thinking that God exists is a belief, thinking that he doesn’t is a belief.

    If a friend tells me that he will not sleep with his girl friend before marriage because that’s what the bible tells, that’s fine. If he tells me that Jesus whisper to his ears or appear to him frequently to yell at him when it’s getting to “hot” between him and his girlfriend, I’ll send him for an examination… The difference between mental illness and religion is relatively easy to draw in *most* cases…

    • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

      I’m not sure my first comment on this went through so if I repeat myself I apologize. That said, Google “Russell’s Teapot.” It explains why the burden of proof is on the faithful. That God exists and that he doesn’t are in no way equal beliefs because it’s incumbent upon someone stating a belief for which there’s no evidence to prove his or her case. Also, re-read that last paragraph of yours. Think about how ridiculous that is. You’re saying that it’s not crazy to adhere to the demands of a 2,000-year-old book — a book, by the way, which claims that a guy rose from the dead and now can hear your thoughts and decide where you’re going after you die — but it’s crazy to believe that you’re actually hearing from God. It’s not crazy to talk to God and believe that he speaks to you in ephemeral ways but it’s crazy to believe that he’s ACTUALLY talking to you. See how, well, crazy that is? It’s like that whole rapture thing from a couple of years ago. Everyone thought Pastor Harold Camping was nuts because he claimed to know the actual date of the rapture, but no one thinks it’s nuts that millions of people believe the rapture actually is going to happen at one point. The only thing that made Camping cross the line from sane to insane was that he’d picked a date. Again — crazy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joel.kaemmerlen Joel Kaemmerlen

    i agree with some of the sentiment in this. it’s an interesting thing. but it would be more effective to go at it from a place of curiosity and love than with, oh let’s say, fire and brimstone? what harm is this guy really doing? the blatantly offensive speech within this article only perpetuates a separation between supposedly “2 types of people”. rational and irrational. do people who write these kinds of things have any hopes of bringing people together? it certainly can’t help to demonize one another. i feel some of the practices of major religions are nearly unbearable, like genital mutilation and much of the woman’s rights stuff is abominable. but to demonize someone for ANY practice is far more likely to perpetuate their behavior than change it. if i pray to an imaginary friend before i go to bed and it makes me a better human being, what harm am i doing?! so what?! the fact that we give someone who’s religious certain access to behavior that we deny to another is fascinating. it would be better to be fascinated, not to write an article that presumes you got it all figured out. none of us do! but we get to figure it out. together.

    • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

      I specifically said that you’re entitled to believe whatever you want. But here’s the thing and here’s why it matters what you believe: First of all, your beliefs inform your actions. In other words, you don’t simply believe something — you act on that belief whether you know it or not, and if you believe something completely irrational that can lead you to do irrational things that impact others. Second, the truth — meaning that which is supported by empirical evidence, the same evidence we demand in every situation other than any discussion of religion — is the yardstick by which we measure reality. If we don’t have an at least functionally common yardstick as a society then everything descends into chaos. People can make up any story they want and call it the truth. That’s what faith-based religion is and why it presents a problem.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joel.kaemmerlen Joel Kaemmerlen

        Thank you for your reply! However, i think that valuing rationality over everything else is just as bad as valuing faith over everything else. science has brought us a million atrocities as has religion. Both have also brought us countless acts of good. It has a lot to do with where the heart is, and I’ll take someone who believes something ludicrous and acts kindly than someone who thinks very rationally as they implement fascism, to use an easy go-to example. I’m curious as to what your beliefs are, and how they might impact your own actions, given the disrespectful way you are speaking towards others; even the way you finish your article comes off as snarky and condescending, obviously using sarcasm to insinuate your own superiority on those who differ.
        Personally, growing up in an extremely Jewish world, and having many bad experiences within that community, I could have very easily become a hateful person. But I think it’s really important to be able to distinguish different actions and different people. It’s your responsibility as a journalist to do that, now more than ever. The way most Americans seem to think of Islam is colored by the actions of a minority of Muslims committing atrocious acts, and the media has so much to play in that, as most of our Muslim brothers and sisters live in peace and love.

        It is so easy for the weird and negative actions of people to grab our attention, and for us to simplify and generalize them is natural. It is just as easy for all the good acts to go unnoticed. I see this article as perpetuating misunderstanding. I’m not diluted; I don’t think that everyone getting together and drinking tea will solve it if we just talk about our feelings. HA! But similarly, writing something like this only serves to divide people, color others with different beliefs as being ridiculous, even when they serve no harm on others. You have to distinguish between things people do that are destructive to others and things they do that don’t even effect anyone else. To sweep them together is to mislead your readers to a place of being condescending towards others for no good reason. Doesn’t that seem a dangerous ideology that could lead to dangerous actions?

        • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

          First of all, I’m a dick. We’ve established that. But it’s interesting that you bring up my supposed responsibility as a journalist, because technically a journalist has only one responsibility and it’s not to make the world a better place. While I’m certainly not always successful at it, the job of a journalist is to be beholden only to the truth. I don’t worry about whether faith does good or bad — there’s little doubt it can do both — only about whether it’s the truth. Since even the most commonly accepted religions of the world espouse beliefs which can’t be proven, I see no problem with disregarding them. If this is offensive or condescending to you and you think I should be more understanding in the name of peace and harmony, guess what? That was the entire point of this piece. To question why that is.

          The original point was to question why religious beliefs are separate from all others in our society because we’re expected to respect them at almost all costs. To your point, even when we spoke of Islam following 9/11, we were obligated to make sure to mention that it was a “religion of peace” and that a vast majority of Muslims aren’t dangerous — which is of course true — rather than concentrating on the the fact that 19 men of PERFECT FAITH committed an unspeakable atrocity in the name of a 100% lunatic belief. Think about how batshit that is: We had to make sure to show deference and respect to a belief system that even a child would know was nonsense if he or she wasn’t led to believe through cultural acceptance that it was to be given credence.

          I’m sorry but I don’t worry about whether or not I’m insulting a person’s religious beliefs because those beliefs — one more time for the cheap seats — aren’t based in anything approaching reality. Again, I can respect a person who’s religious but I don’t have to respect the religion. And again, my point was to stand against everything you’re advocating for, which is to treat all beliefs, particularly religious beliefs, as being worthy of consideration because then we’ll all be able to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

          • http://www.facebook.com/joel.kaemmerlen Joel Kaemmerlen

            it’s not journalist’s duty to make the world a better place any more than it’s an artist’s job to make sure the tweens are getting positive role models. however, what a journalist chooses to report on has bearing about what a reader can glean. For example, if I were to report nothing but the terrible murders that black people commit, and report nothing else on the behavior of black people, that may lead the people who ingest my information to certain obvious and incorrect conclusions about black people. It’s admittedly hard not to supply stories that counter those, because a story about someone who went to a soup kitchen every week their whole lives just isn’t as interesting as them blowing a bunch of people to shreds on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just the way it is.
            Understanding this fact, and thereby choosing what you put out there, especially in the wake of what else is out there, is something to take into consideration. If you’re a dick, you’re a dick. I can’t break you from that own sense of identity you’ve chosen any more than you can shake me from my kindness. However, coloring others with broad strokes, such as myself as being someone who would EVER enjoy singing Kumbaya is more than a silly waste of time. It’s perpetuating the same type of stubborn craziness that you claim to hate, the same stubbornness that is killing us as a species; I think it would be productive to see the commonality between those who infuriate you and the things about yourself that may be frustrating. i say knowing that doing so can provide a little relief and understanding on this planet. a really crazy planet that tends to fill me with rage, too. all my best to you!

          • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

            You’re arguing context and I’ve already provided that. I said that religion can be used for good or bad. The thing is, how it’s used is, again, irrelevant. Whether religious belief fuels despicable acts or noble ones doesn’t make the belief itself any more in rooted in fact. I’ll use this example again: Plenty of kids believe in Santa Claus and it can keep them on the straight and narrow under penalty of getting coal in their stocking for Christmas. Guess what? The believe in Santa does some good — but it doesn’t make Santa real. By the way, if you were an adult and you said you believed in Santa — and you were serious — guess what people would think of you?

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            problem is, without religion, we deal with man and his systems that can be altered if found in error. WIT religion, instead there are commands from the SOURCE which are in error, that can not be altered because belief has made these falsehoods seem true. In lamens, you cant plead for respect for beliefs when the fundamental problem IS those beliefs. i refuse to respect the belief that a God can sell people in slave auctions, simply because he made them. Thos same religions are innately DISrespectful towards those who dont believe.. therefore, returning the favor is all but the only course of action. Aint nobody smackin me in the face, then telling me i shouldnt hit them back

          • Steve

            “What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.”

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            “What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.” right back at u

        • Sean Lee Walthour

          “i think that valuing rationality over everything else is just as bad as valuing faith over everything else”

          the craziest shit on this page yet lol

          pleas to accept irrational behavior never cease to never amaze me

  • Rhek

    Vacuum seal him for later…

  • Gratz Brown

    Wise and Spiritual and Good:

    God, Christ Jesus, true Christians, the
    church of Christ (Romans 16), true religion, true worship that is not
    false and vain, the chosen few, good and necessary works commanded by
    God, before you got corrupted and confused by sin and lies and errors
    your birth from the womb which was created by God in God’s image,
    God’s goodness and mercy in spite of man’s foolishness and
    wickedness.

    Foolish and Crazy and Bad:

    Satan the devil, the followers of the
    devil including his “angels” (imposters), false ministers wrongly
    regarded as “righteous,” false religions, every single sectarian
    denomination and cult, idiots who say all religion is bad when man’s
    Creator told him to have true religion (book of James), idiots who
    say religion is unnecessary when every person on earth either
    worships or serves something (Matthew 6:24) because mankind was
    created incurably worshipful, the word of the truth of the gospel of
    Christ (Colossians 1:5) which answers all questions of honest and
    good and obedient souls and calms all fears and restores hope in what
    is yet to come.

    • jewelbomb

      Is this supposed to make some kind of sense? What on earth are you going on about?

    • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

      That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.canter.94 Mark Canter

      Resorting to scriptural “truth”? Then consider this: in the Bhagavad Gita (which predates the gospels by at least 1000 years) Krishna says everyone already worships HIM, no matter who they think they are worshiping! So if you’re going to base your understanding of reality on some book written by human beings, I guess you’re always going to get trumped by someone else’s cult. All scriptures are written by mortals who drink and eat and piss and shit and die.

  • al_and_his_920

    Imagine what the world would be like if belonging to (or not belonging to) an organized religion or believing (or not believing) in a God and/or an afterlife were on a plane with which service club or cultural organization one joined (or did not join). We do not despise or hate someone because they belong to the Rotarian Club while members of our family elect to join the Lion’s Club (or simply do not belong to any service club). Nor do we feel any animosity towards those who keep their heritage alive by attending Robbie Burns Night in full Scots regalia, learn Gaelic in order to maintain the Welsh language, send their children to a community center to master Ukrainian dancing or sew and wear ethnic clothes.

    We do, however, watch entire nations go to war over ethnic differences that are in large measure based upon religious beliefs (and upon religious events that occurred in the far-distant past, in many cases multiple generations before any of the current protagonists were even born).

    If we could come to view our differences regarding gods, the afterlife and religious organizations as no more socially important than which, if any, sport one plays or follows we would eliminate virtually all of the major conflicts in today’s world.

  • http://twitter.com/iamlittle1 iamLittleone

    I’m admitting it, religion is f***ing crazy. Thanks Chez Pazienza.

  • phoebefeline

    Why be so riled and expend so much energy; unless the absurd, really is a danger to ‘THE’ person or others. Respect the person does run over into respecting their beliefs. Respect and agreeing are two different things. We need to respect individuals and their beliefs; but not necessarily agree. AND…disagree respectfully I might add.

    • Lady Willpower

      So EVERY belief should be respected? Does that extend to things like Honor Killings? I’m having a hard time showing any respect to such a thing. What if someone believes a woman should carry a rapist’s child to term, should I respect their beliefs?
      I’ll answer for you. NO. Some beliefs don’t deserve our respect.

      • Steve

        Who’s to say your beliefs are the right though? That’s the one piece I fail to understand. You believe something, someone else believes something else, ad infinitum. Each person is a unique individual with their right to believe what they want. At what point does someone become the “chosen one” who can dictate the “true” right or wrong? What if that “chosen one” conflicts with your personal beliefs?

        • http://www.facebook.com/josh.olson.330 Josh Olson

          Steve – Flying over a cemetery in a plastic bag will not protect you from the impurities in a cemetery, because the impurities in a cemetery (such as they are) cannot reach you in an airplane that is flying above the cemetery. That’s not my BELIEF, Steve. That’s a fact. You do, of course, have the right to believe otherwise, but in that your belief flies in the face of obvious and verifiable fact, the rest of us get to point at you and go, “Ha ha ha! Look at the loon!”

          • Steve

            I was responding to Lady Willpower regarding her statement, not the one by the Rabbi. Thank you for enlightening me however. You’re so smart.

          • http://www.facebook.com/josh.olson.330 Josh Olson

            You’re welcome.

          • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

            I love the implication, sarcastic though it may be, that it takes being smart to point out that wrapping yourself in plastic won’t help protect you against cemetery cooties coming from 30,000 feet below you.

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            arent cemetaries EVERYWHERE? lol

          • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

            Personally, I think the man’s rebbe had been passing the bong around before the consultation. You’d think they would’ve already come up with a more aesthetically-pleasing way of containing one’s aura from contamination – perhaps a Paddington Bear raincoat combined with a gas mask?

            And anyway, how the fuck did this guy breathe? Did he have an oxygen tank in his plastic bag? Was he wearing Depends? And, if he used them, did he have an oxygen tank in his plastic bag?

            Do the cemetery cooties shoot directly up, kind of like the alien abduction beam in Fire In The Sky? Or is it more like a tornado? Did the rabbi calculate some sort of cootie spread? Is there a physicist in the house?

            And really, couldn’t he have just asked the stewardess to tell him when they’d be passing over the cemetery? Then, he could’ve just gone to the bathroom with his plastic bag, pulled it over his head for the duration (which I imagine would’ve been ONE SECOND, he’s in a fucking PLANE) and gone back his chair like a seemingly normal human being, which it’s already been established he isn’t, because A) he actually did the legwork to see if the flight path went over a cemetery; and B) upon having this knowledge, he went to someone to ask what he should do. Oh wait, I forgot C) he actually KNEW that flying over a cemetery is BAD.

        • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

          So, Steve, are you saying that all beliefs should be respected equally? And what’s YOUR definition of “insane” as long as you’re asking everyone else?

          • Steve

            Theoretically I don’t think one can honestly define “insane” outside of some standard defined outside of ourselves/humans. In other words, some eternal being/creator creates a standards whereby we can use as a yard stick.

            Any other definition is ultimately relative.

            I’d say the next best approach is to base it on societal norms, and the majority, which I think can work in most cases.

            However, when doing so, we have to make sure to realize the boundary, and that other societies, which may be largely defined by a religion, may have a different definition. In some cases, fairly drastic.

          • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

            “You can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg, isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do what you you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!”

          • Steve

            Not sure I completely understand the point of the quote…

            I read it more as an individual should not be seen as a representative sample of the larger collective group they are a part of, whatever level that may be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mario.a.velarde Mario A Velarde

            Animal House quotes, at least to my beliefs, usually trump any and all arguments.

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            more religious poppycock…. u wanna use words but ignore their definition… i guss ur really not STEVE since its a creation of man too. smh, it never ends

        • Lady Willpower

          Each person is unique, and some of those unique people are idiots. Therefore I don’t respect them. Respect has to be earned.

        • Sean Lee Walthour

          when arguing with us atheists, yall need to realize something. YOU are the one with a belief, we are simply at default, meaning we dont believe. im well within my rights to reject your beliefs sice u cannot prove them… my lack of belief is not itself a belief

    • jewelbomb

      Why do we need to respect whatever crazy beliefs people have? I know that it’s something that’s easy to say and that sounds good on (digital?) paper, but what is too be gained by treating beliefs that are clearly insane as if they are not? Sorry, but if a person believes the world is flat, I’m not going to respect their beliefs because their beliefs aren’t worthy of respect.

      • Steve

        In your opinion, how would you describe “insane” or “crazy”?

        • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

          I’m not sure about defining “insane” or “crazy,” but I believe the definition of “pedantic shit-stirrer” is you, Steve.

          • Steve

            Excellent point. Thanks for your input.

        • villemar

          Well, asking over and over again how you define crazy is kinda crazy.

        • jewelbomb

          I would describe dressing oneself in a plastic bag in order to stay away from girl germs as insane, wouldn’t you?

          • Steve

            No doubt. I’m simply asking what your definition is.

            I responded with mine in the previous post.

        • Fabius_Maximus

          “Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact… same fucking thing… over and over again expecting… shit to change… That. Is. Crazy. The first time somebody told me that, I dunno, I thought they were bullshitting me, so, I shot him. The thing is… He was right. And then I started seeing, everywhere I looked, everywhere I looked all these fucking pricks, everywhere I looked, doing the exact same fucking thing… over and over and over and over again thinking ‘this time is gonna be different’ no, no, no please… This time is gonna be different, I’m sorry, I don’t like… The way…

          [...]

          The thing is… Alright, the thing is I killed you once already… and it’s not like I am fucking crazy. It’s okay… It’s like water under the bridge…

          Did I ever tell you the definition… of insanity?”

        • Sean Lee Walthour

          i define it as STEVE

    • Sean Lee Walthour

      no it doesnt, i need not respect a belief because i respect the person. Please produce a sound reason why i should…

      • Sircattitude

        My pic showed up but my written words did not…ain’t going through trying to remember all I said-SHEESH So much easier to just speak to a person right in front of you. If I can gather my thoughts after my brain rests; I will try to reply to you Sean Lee Walthour. Got a nice ring to your name. I am old-fashioned; not necessarily old–just get easily discombuberated with this internet (computer) stuff. My forte is ‘reality-‘ in my face. Anything coming out of our mouth will wound or heal. Respect is the kind even tone; where a person comes away from a conversation feeling good, important, valued. Disrespect is put downs, one upmanship etc.; a person coming away from a conversation feeling bad, sad, angry, worthless etc. So I summarize; WE SHOULD always approach a person/conversation with kindness, and that is respect. Approach a person/conversation from the 180% side and it is disrespectful. just my Opinion; not basing it on any study done etc, WELL…God’s way. Pics are just pretty-no special meaning.

        • Sircattitude

          So now where are the pics. I got the written word this time. But no pics. Is it okay to admit I am very confused; possibly ‘dumb.’ lol

    • Sean Lee Walthour

      i respect barack obama as a man and our president, however, i have absolutely no respect for his belief system

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.negvesky Randy Negvesky

    Ya kinda lame but it is freedom of religious expression. Its called the “Bill of Rights” not the”Bill of Necessity”. As long as they are not hurting anyone than it is and should be a protected right. Rosa Parks didn’t “need” to sit in the front of the bus. She had a “right” to
    .

    • JozefAL

      And people who don’t know the first thing about what happened with Rosa Parks need to not bring up her situation as though there’s any equivalency.

      Here’s what happened with Ms Parks:

      Rosa Parks got on a Montgomery bus, and proceeded to sit down IN THE ASSIGNED COLORED SECTION. Since she was tired, she sat down in the first available row in the section.

      Now, here’s where the problem begins: The bus came to a new stop, and a white passenger boarded the bus. The whole reserved “white” section was full. As was standard operating procedure, when a white passenger boarded and there were no available seats for the white person, the “colored” section became, well, less reserved. Ms Parks was asked to move from her seat–and row. (Part of the segregationist mentality was that black and white passengers couldn’t share the same row.) The problem was that, at this point, the “colored” section that would be left after the white passenger took his seat (and row) would be completely full and Ms Parks would have nowhere to sit. Well, Ms Parks was tired from working all day, and refused to give up her seat.

      But, at NO point, was the issue that Ms Parks had a “right” to the “front of the bus” (and quite technically, not really–the bus was actually owned by a private company though it operated as a form of public transportation, not too dissimilar to that Jewish bus line in New York City that got so much attention last year for ITS gender segregation policy).
      Now, as to the whole “freedom of religious expression,” do you feel that practitioners of Santeria and Voodoo should be allowed to sacrifice animals which sort of flaunts any number of laws prohibiting animal cruelty? The Bill of Rights is NOT absolute. (It’s an oldie but, just try claiming “freedom of speech” after you’ve been arrested for falsely yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. The judge will probably appreciate the joke just before he passes the sentence.)

    • jewelbomb

      The same Bill of Rights that provides these freaks with their freedom of religion provides us with the freedom to mock said crazy beliefs. Is there something in the Constitution that says their rights to religious freedom trumps our rights to point and laugh?

  • NotParticularlyReligiousPerson

    It astounds me how people are so consumed with narrow-mindedness that anything out of the ordinary creeps them out to the extent that they have to write a long, abusive article, while conveniently incorporating their dislike for ‘religious stupidity’.
    People do ‘stupid’ things because it doesn’t seem stupid to them, or because they’re trying to make a point.

    Clearly, they succeeded.

    Live and let live, and I suggest you don’t embarass yourself with adoloscent rants that mix fear of the unusual with such mature topics as religious idiosyncrasies.
    People don’t respect beliefs because it comes under their idea of sane.
    They respect beliefs because they’re beliefs, and beliefs make people happy and secure. World peace is propogated by respect for beliefs, however bizarre they seem to you and me.
    If you were the mature writer you pretend to be, you’d respect the
    guy talking to the telephone pole and you’d respect the guy dressed in
    whatever, sitting in a plastic bag for whatever reason. As long as he’s not hurting anyone, what is your point?

    You don’t need to believe yourself, but that doesn’t mean you don’t respect the belief itself.

    Got the difference?

    So here. Take this lollipop, and go cry to your mommy about the big, bad, scary world.

    • SexBobOmb

      Given that you couldn’t show the author of this piece any respect and resorted to name calling, I’d say you’ve got a problem with consistency.

      • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

        Trust me, I didn’t take it personally. The first rule of condescension is that you can’t do it if you’re a dipshit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/clintlien Clint Lien

      When beliefs inspire people to throw acid in the faces of little girls, fly planes into buildings, curb stem cell research, teach creationism as a science, etc, etc X infinite, then it’s time the rest of us stood up and said “There’s too much crazy going around.” We need more reason and a lot less faith.

      • Steve

        Reason tells me that if there is no god, then all life is a cosmic accident, and I am free to make my own rules. If I want to do those things you mention, then so be it. Am I wrong?

        Please explain your superiority.

        • http://www.facebook.com/clintlien Clint Lien

          I explained it in my post. It’s not people of reason doing those things – it’s people of faith.

        • Sean Lee Walthour

          thats because you clearly have a distorted sense of reasoning. GOOD people do good because its the good thing to do, BAD people only do good when they expect that its something in it for them….. that is the superiority between the two positions

  • hidflect

    We assume it’s just women he’s “hiding” from. But religion is also a perfect cover for rabid racism. A casual glance through the Talmud will confirm that for anyone skeptical of this argument. e.g.

    The non-Jews have to be avoided even more than sick-pigs
    -Orach Chalim 57 6a

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bish-Chan/100001872282834 Bish Chan

    So in the days before plastic how would a Rabbi have coped? Did God intend for man to fly? If not, why is he in a plane?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1704020986 Jack Weber

    Let’s use some critical thinking here. First, unless you have an air hole, how do you breathe enveloped in saran wrap bag (the linked article says it is a bag)? You don’t. So, that is story-breaker number one. Now let’s look at a further distortion of logic and common sense.

    Here are two phrases from the article.

    “Speculation is that the self-Saran Wrapping was done…”

    “presumably to avoid touching women…”

    The author is concerned about reality, yet he does not have a firm grasp on why the man is actually wrapped in saran wrap to begin with. Author goes with the religious bait instead of more reasonable common sense. It is unlikely it to keep separate from women, or else I imagine he would spend his life outside his home wrapped the same way, which is impossible. The entire article is written based on speculation, which to me, given its conclusions and comments, indicts the author as more “crazy” than the rabbi.

    Critical thinking deductive reasoning:

    1) We don’t know why he is doing it.

    2) That makes the article essentially….speculation.

    3) If he were not religious, maybe it would be speculated that he were doing it for…..say…..health reasons. So, maybe that is why he is doing it.

    4) If he were religious, which the report is sure of, maybe he is doing it for…..say……health reasons.

    5) Regardless of why, let him do it. Some people do (seemingly) crazier, legal things that don’t hurt others except to make them uncomfortable with something extraordinary.

    6) Ironically, the article begins with a speculation, which makes the rest of it, essentially a speculative rant, maybe just as crazy as the author judges the rabbi to be.

    Why doesn’t the author speculate the more likely: the rabbi does not want to be exposed to germs.

    Okay, that was fun, for something that is likely a hoax, cuz you can’t breath covered in a saran wrap bag from head to toe. If it’s not a hoax, begin thinking at #1 above.

    My conclusion: the author has a beef with religion and out of the ordinary things (which in this case does not seem to bother anyone) and wrote a sloppy, arrogant article.

    This article says less about religion than it does there are less than astute columnists embarrassing themselves and creating more religious warfare based on their own animosity. My invitation: make an apology, Mr. Pazienzia and be more careful about your apparent projections.

    • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

      Well, those certainly were a lot of words.

      • Lady Willpower

        A LOT of words. Some with multiple syllables.

        • http://www.facebook.com/james.pekoll James Pekoll

          And only a few syntax errors. Way to go!

    • http://www.facebook.com/mark.canter.94 Mark Canter

      So, because the bag surely has a breathing hole or holes in it, the rabbi is certainly NOT crazy? What an utterly goofy attempt at deflection from the points the article makes. And your points are supposed to represent CRITICAL THINKING?

    • http://www.facebook.com/josh.olson.330 Josh Olson

      Jack – Here’s the man’s rabbi, in his own words, explaining what the man was doing: “Before Passover he flew to Israel, and because of a change in the flight he found out that he would be flying over a cemetery. He consulted a rabbi, who ruled that although the plane was a closed place, there was impurity over the cemetery and in order to deal with it – he must reach a situation of a ‘container with a lid fastened on it.'”

      No supposition. No speculation. The man is wrapped in plastic because he’s flying over a cemetery. AKA: Batshit fucking crazy.

      You’re welcome.

      • America’s New Path

        You know…it actually sounded LESS crazy when it was to avoid women.

  • Anon

    I sincerely hope your update was sarcastic.

  • Clear_the_way

    It’s obvious, how can this person inside the bag tie the knot on the outside of the bag as seen in the photo? He did not do this himself as the caption states.

  • joseph2004

    Sounds like you’re ranting against political correctness gone amok! Nice plug for the normalizing affects of the court of public opinion, too, by the way.

    • http://twitter.com/4lex78 Alex Catarino

      I think that you are somehow distorting his “rant”, because political correctness is mostly used to not offend someone by its innate characteristic. However, I would agree that political correctness has gone amok when it starts to be applied to ideas/opinions too.

    • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

      No, actually, I am saying that religion is crazy — which I figured was pretty self-evident given the title of the piece, but then there’s no accounting for someone’s willingness to see only what confirms his personal political slant. Our tolerance of religious beliefs, no matter how crazy, goes well beyond simple political correctness run amok and your take on my little “rant” stops there only if you’ve got much more of a problem with the traditionally liberal concept of political correctness than you do with the traditionally conservative belief that religion — particularly a select few — needs to be defended at all costs.

      • Steve

        Please define “crazy”?

        • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

          What’s say we stick with the traditional definition.

          • Steve

            Which is?

          • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

            Sorry, I’m not in the mood to split hairs.

          • Steve

            I’m just curious in a general sense as I cannot accurately define it myself. Not trying to split hairs.

            Is crazy defined by the majority?
            Is crazy defined by the particular society?
            Is crazy defined by some eternal being/god/whatever?
            Is crazy defined individually?
            Is crazy defined by the government?

          • America’s New Path

            Unlike Chez, I love splitting hairs so how about this: “Crazy is the irrational and total belief in a reality which is unsupported by verifiable facts.”

            And yes, this definition works in science too. So, for instance, if you have a paleontologist who believes that a picarosaurus (not a real dinosaur) only ate grass, and does so in clear disregard of hundreds of picarosaurus teeth fossils clearly designed to tear and eat meat, then that person is crazy…or delusional at the very least.

            Of course, if he believes that picarosaurus only ate grass because picarosaurus, like all other dinosaurs, lived in the garden of Eden…then that person is an evangelical.

        • hutzpappy

          look in the mirror, steve.

      • joseph2004

        I guess I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were a little more nuanced in opinion than to really believe (and state), in overly broad terms, that religion is crazy. Some people think that if it went away tomorrow, the world would be “saved.” I used to approach religion the same way, especially as a science major who saw a lot of people around me denying evolution unconditionally and making all sorts of nonsensical attempts at defending their beliefs on that and other related subjects.
        But, about a month ago, at a memorial service, I (someone who has avoided “church” like the plague) was reminded – again – that sanity backed by faith can be a powerful force to do good.
        So, yeah, there’s a lot of craziness when it comes to religion and many who practice it, but leave the broad brush approach to the narrow-minded.

        • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

          No one said faith doesn’t do good. The same way it’s been — and continues to be — a force for some of the most heinous acts humanity has ever seen, it’s also been responsible for some of the most valiant. But the effect of religion is irrelevant to the argument I’m making. The belief itself is still irrational and while it may indeed get you through the day, that doesn’t prove the belief itself. Kids believe in Santa Claus and it can occasionally keep them from doing bad things — doesn’t make Santa exist.

          • Steve

            Lets not confuse a religion with the acts carried out by certain “members” acting outside of the beliefs.

            If I have my faith in you, but act in a way that you have not approved, then should you be blamed?

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            there are plenty EVIL acts carried out that are INSIDE of the beliefs, what say ye to that?

          • Sean Lee Walthour

            excellent layup!

  • Lady Willpower

    Cue the right wing response:

    “But Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot were ATHEISTS! Atheists are the real crazies!!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822830136 Osama Akhtar

      As well as Hitler. It’s a fact-based response, not a right-wing response. Atheists are the biggest terrorists.

      • Lady Willpower

        You are either insane or stupid, or both.

        • Sean Lee Walthour

          he’s religious, im thinking, BOTH

      • http://twitter.com/BonT_00 Bonta-kun

        Hold on. Tiiiiiiiime the fuck Out.

        Hitler was raised Catholic. He advocated “Positive Christianity” prior to WW2. There are numerous religious statements in Mein Kampf.

        • hidflect

          Hitler used to joke that despite being the Fuhrer he still had to pay his tithes to the RC Church. And to be a in the upper echelon of the Nazi party, a good Catholic was always a step ahead of the rest.

      • merl1

        If that’s the case why did he mandate school prayer?

      • Sean Lee Walthour

        she was being sarcastic lol… hitler wasnt atheist smh

      • barry waterfield

        Oh rubbish

      • Map-DORK

        Hitler was catholic , you fucking moron!