Rabbi’s Conclusion: God is the Problem

March 5th, 2013

Last weeks Torah Portion by Rabbi Paul Kipnes was thoroughly less than enlightening.  The approach by this rabbi, to basically make God the problem is incredibly arrogant and self-defeating.  However, with a history such as Jewish history, self-defeating is certainly the course Jews have been proudly on, with people like Rabbi Kipnes leading the way.

 

Rabbi Kipnes states in the first paragraph, “There God goes again, getting pissed off.”  Actually the approach I take, as any God-fearing, intelligent, self-respecting person would take is, there go the Israelites (or people in general) again pissing God off.

 

Then Kipnes describes God’s anger as, “Out of control!”?  Maybe Kipnes in his eternal wisdom would like to have God committed to a psychiatric unit and placed on Thorazine or some other debilitating medicine?  It seems the God Rabbi Kipnes prefers is like that of many Gentiles, engraved out of wood, stone, or metal.  Now that would be a safe God who won’t get angry.

 

Then he says, “the child (the Israelites) learns from the parent and lashes out harshly.”  That would not be called learning that would be called reacting.  Learning in relation to God would and should be to KNOW that YOU are the problem, not God.  God would be the solution.  Yet this egomaniac, like so many Jews, is either too smart to actually believe in God, or thinks himself to be God.  He is also too arrogant to see that it is he and the Israelites that must change, not God.  Incredulous!

 

What lesson does this rabbi take from Noah and the flood story of Genesis 6-9?  The rabbi concludes that God has an “anger-management issue.”  Amazing!

 

Same lesson unlearned from the Towerof Babelstory (Genesis 11).  Rabbi Kipnes arrogantly states that, “The trouble… with… Divine rage, is that we have grown to expect our Divine to be better than that…”  Now Mr. Kipnes is judging God, the ultimate judge.  I’m sure God is just fine with that (sarcasm).  This rabbi sites example after example of Divine rage and concludes that “we (not sure who we is, but he dare not speak for nor include me) have grown to expect our divine to be better than that.”  First the arrogance of judging God while drawing a completely inverse conclusion.  Sickening!  Obviously God does get angry as the many examples the rabbi cited illustrate.  Since He is God, the obvious conclusion would be to watch one’s step, words, thoughts and deeds.  This way you avoid God’s wrath.  Oh no, the rabbi instead concludes that God does not meet up to the rabbi’s standards.  Hence, concluding again that God is the problem.  I’m sure the smug rabbi would ridicule me for pointing out this obvious conclusion.  Disgusting!

 

This so-called rabbi posits theSodomandGomorrahstory, then what he calls genocidal slaughtering of the inhabitants of the land in Deuteronomy 20 and 25, and finally decides that verses in Leviticus 18 and 20 are slandering all homosexual acts unnecessarily as abominations.  I’ll leave out the Deuteronomical chapters as he may have a point, though I would certainly trust God well ahead of Rabbi Kipnes.  As for the two Levitical verses which reference homosexuality, they do not even come close to slandering or even condemning “all homosexual acts.”  Not one word, reference or inference mentions female homosexuality, though rabbis (besides priests and ministers) like Kipnes have managed to conclude as such for over three millennia.  Now this “rabbi” wishes to blame God.  Neither verse says that a man should not lie with a man, which would condemn male homosexuality.  Both verses basically say as 18:22 does “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman,” which means that between 2 (or more) men there are NO female body parts, so don’t pretend that there are.

 

Kipnes concludes this part with his one tiny glimpse of humility, “either we are missing the point…”  Talk about an understatement.  At every point, he has completely missed the point.

 

Kipnes continues digging his arrogant hole of contempt for God when he says “we (Again speaking for me?  No way!) see God acting imperfectly rashly (in the deaths of Nadav and Avihu in Numbers 3)…”  With his logic Nadav and Avihu or any Cohen afterwards should do whatever it was that Nadav and Avihu did, because it’s not they who were wrong, God was wrong.  Keep doing the same thing and expect different results, because God will learn.  Insanity!

 

Long ago I concluded that (Orthodox) Jews and their leaders are the greatest enemy ofIsraeland the Jews.  I concluded that Reform Jewish leaders were quite often wiser, more sensitive and understanding.  Finding out that Rabbi Kipnes leads a Reform congregation was surprising and disappointing.  I hope Rabbi Kipnes is an exception to the rule in Reform Judaism.  Nevertheless, some institution graduated this person with such arrogant contempt for God and made him a leader and hence a representative of Reform Judaism.  I’d come to expect and usually find a reform of such arrogance and egotism that I often find amongst many non-Reform Jews.  In my humble opinion, at least one Reform Jewish leader still needs some serious reforming.

Death Penalty

November 25th, 2012

I appreciated the Jewish Journal Opinion piece (Nov. 2-8) in support of Prop. 34, which attempted though failed to rid California of the Death Penalty. I also support doing away with the Death Penalty with reasoning similar to Mr. Rohde and Mr. Reuben. However I am much harsher on the whole concept of the death penalty. That goes for today as well as for over 3000 years ago.

One statement made in this Opinion piece noted, “Some may object, however, that the Bible endorses capital punishment.” I heard similar objections a few days earlier in a discussion group I attended. It is laughable yet disgusting that people, some of whom claim to and others who claim not to believe the Bible, Torah and/or God, feel God’s voice or some other voice speaking to them, in order to play God and put someone to death for this or that crime or sin.

Just prior to this discussion group I heard on the radio from the two candidates running for L.A. District Attorney, both opposing Prop. 34. Ms. Lacey protested that certain horrific cases make the Death Penalty a necessary option. These arrogant egomaniacs, you see, want to protect me and keep me safe. It is they whom I need protection from. First of all, the alleged murderer has been convicted and locked up. I am already “safe” from them. Secondly, now that society has locked this person up, society now has the opportunity to LEARN, that is correct, to learn from them. Since many egomaniacs, much like the Nazis whom they emulate scoff at the idea of learning from a convicted murderer, as well as so many other categories of persons, murdering the murderer is their enlightened solution.

Learning from a murderer is unlikely to be pleasant, positive, or happy like the fairytales we are told that EVERYBODY likes. Besides it is much more efficient to stifle and suffocate such people and couch this in terms of keeping society “safe.” If there was any real interest in safety however, people would listen to this murderer/person, encourage them to write or record what led them to commit the murder or murders. THEN society can observe similar signs from others in the future and intervene before things go this far. This seems to me to be common sense, though obviously not very common.

My point regarding the written Torah is also that while God (if you believe, as I do, that God authored these laws) said ‘should be put to death’ for many laws, God (or whomever wrote the Torah) did not say YOU should do the killing. In fact one of the 10 Commandments explicitly states YOU should not. Exodus 20:13- “You shall not murder.” While the (alleged) murderer in jail may have murdered for a variety of reasons, the execution of the death penalty on someone whom society has already captured, convicted and locked up is calculated and hence first degree murder, in my humble opinion. So Ms. Lacy, Mr. Jackson (the other candidate for L.A.D.A.) or any other persons involved in this process, such as wardens, the judge and jury are also murderers. Of course they were just “doing their job” as many Nazis are alleged to have professed. Guess what, when your job becomes murder, it’s time to quit your job. Not so easy, I know, but many of life’s choices are not easy. Especially when all you really care about is what your nosy, judgmental neighbors and family will say or think of you and $$$$.

Allow me to quote form another book written by a Jew, though rejected by most Jews. Revelation 21:8- “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers … their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Just as the Torah often repeats itself, so does Revelation, just in case people didn’t get the message the first time. Rev. 22:15- “Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

Of course Jews are way too smart to believe in such narishkeit (nonsense). Hell and heaven and God and judgment, well that’s for them, the goyim (the nations). Of course many of them certainly overdo their talk of Hell, especially when their own actions, such as the death penalty, may take them to Hell as murderers. Then again that may be why many talk so incessantly about Hell.

Back to the Jews and their great morality and alleged hand-wringing over ever imposing the death penalty. Uh uh, not buying it. It was Jesus for whom the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious leaders sought the death penalty just over 2000 years ago (Matthew 26:57-68), not because he killed someone, nor because he stole something, but because he SAID something. Whatever Jesus said is not really significant. Because you see, saying something does not make the statement true. However when people want to kill/murder you for saying something rest assured that whatever you said in all likelihood was the truth.

Hence while the Jewish egomaniacs want to tell me how their religious leaders hated to enforce the death penalty, I scoff. They may have introduced the death penalty. To look at Torah and see the numerous laws which one can violate for which one ‘should be put to death’ and not therefore understand that most people need to work their way through some or many of these sins, in order to find a good God on the other side, is inexcusable.

Now that the political winds point towards doing away with the death penalty, these cowards jump on board. I am not impressed. However I KNOW and hear continually how impressed you are with yourselves. It is disgusting and embarrassing, if I still considered myself a Jew. However I do not. Hence, unlike Jewish law seems to require, I do not have to feed the overinflated egos of people I only trust to lead me to a gas chamber or some other nefarious end.

As a Levite (notice the last name) I pray, as I believe I have been called to do, for all Israel (not just the Jews). I pray for God’s continual judgment on these murderous leaders and those who support and encourage them, whether through cowardly silence or covert support. I pray for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the Messiah, a Jew to send these people to Hell on Earth. Then maybe I can begin to actually feel safe. Then I pray that God will send all these murderous cowards to eternal Hell (whether we believe in Hell or not). Then I can truly feel safe.

Just in case my point was unclear or not believed the first time. May God damn the murderous cowards [i.e. The (Orthodox) rabbis, and other partakers and supporters of the death penalty at all levels) to Hell on earth and then to eternal Hell (whether you believe in Hell or not). I pray in Moshiach’s Name (whether you believe in Him or not). With such evil, murderous, cowardly leaders finally in Hell then I can actually begin to feel “safe.”

While you laugh, scoff and mock I will continue to pray. That is until my prayers are answered.

Leviticus & Homosexuality

May 20th, 2012

There are two particular Biblical laws in the Five Books of Moses with which I have wrestled since initially reading the Bible, over thirty-one years ago, at the age of 20. It is possible I wrestled with them prior to ever having read them. These two laws are quite similar, with the second being an expanded version of the first.

Due to the title of this article many of you may already realize the two laws to which I refer. First is Leviticus 18:22- “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” The second is Leviticus 20:13- “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

As a student of Jewish history, I was not about to run to the Jewish “experts” to guide me on these nor any other Torah/Biblical laws. The track record of the Jewish community and its leaders speaks for itself. For one thing there was the Jewish belief in an oral law which was something I rejected. Such a concept seemed ridiculous. I’d learned in elementary school how information which depended upon word of mouth was likely to be communicated incorrectly along the way, even if a secret merely went around a classroom. Any orally communicated message could be significantly altered or inverted due to one person’s misunderstanding or malice. Besides, having read the written laws, I recognized the challenges of the written laws were more than enough to handle in and of themselves.

These two particular laws are quite ambiguous. In spite of this obvious ambiguity however, society until recently deemed homosexuality an evil and an abnormality; claiming the Bible and these laws as a primary source for this condemnation. Upon reading these two Levitical laws I immediately had serious doubts about society’s conclusions and hoped to challenge those conclusions one day. That day has arrived.

First of all, without a corresponding law or two stating that ‘A woman must not lie with a woman as with a man…,’ female homosexuality was neither being condemned nor even addressed in these two Levitical laws. Yet people (meaning religion) have condemned female homosexuality basing it upon Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 20:13. I completely disagree with that conclusion. However since there is no condemnation in either of these two laws, or any other written Torah law for female homosexuality, it seemed unfair that God would only condemn male homosexuality. However, things are not quite that black and white. Hence there is ambiguity. Obviously men are different from women, or at least this is obvious to me. To be both blunt and clear, men have a penis, women do not. Women, on the other hand have a vagina, men do not.

If Leviticus 18:22 had simply stated “Do not lie with a man…,” then God’s condemnation of male homosexuality would have been clear. If Leviticus 20:13 had said “If a man lies with a man…, both of them have done what is detestable,” then God’s condemnation of homosexuality would have been clear. However this is not the way these laws are written. Instead Lev. 18:22 says, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman.” Hence, this law is neither saying to men, do whatever you want with and to each other, nor is this law saying no sexual contact at all is allowed. Specifically, and this is the key, these two laws explicitly infer that neither male in a male-to-male relationship or encounter should consider himself, nor the other male, the female. As obvious as that may sound to those unaware of the male homosexual scene, or to those who feign ignorance, this is precisely what the majority of gay males do. That is the overwhelming majority of homosexual men determine that they are either a top (the male) or a bottom (the female), usually able and willing to play both roles (versatile). What the overwhelming majority of gay men do is to pretend, or actually believe, that their anus or rear-end can substitute for a vagina. While biologically absurd, this is the thinking or lack of thinking, amongst the great majority of male homosexuals.

Being that the great majority of male homosexuals engage in sodomy (anal sex) and hence are violating both Lev. 18:22 and Lev. 20:13, should they not, as Lev. 20:13 states, “… be put to death…” Apparently yes, they probably should be put to death, except by whom? A scenario recorded centuries after these laws were handed down illustrates one logical way to handle this and certain other alleged violations of laws which contain a “death penalty.” This can be found in the Gospel of John 8:7.2 “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone…” Nobody threw a stone, because all have sinned and should recognize this about themselves. Also as stated in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.” As far as I am concerned, the death penalty is murder. While debatable, this is my current opinion, unlikely to be changed.

Over the past 30-40 years society has witnessed the decriminalization of sodomy. The 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence vs. Texas decriminalized sodomy across the United States. There are many people who may therefore conclude that sodomy is OK. Of course most persons who engaged in sodomy when it was not legal thought there was nothing wrong with sodomy then. Legalization takes away the fear and concern that such behavior may cause travails with human authority. With legalization, sodomy becomes a matter of individual morality and choice. Consenting adults may now choose sodomy without the fear of law enforcement busting down their door.

What I believe has developed, as a result of such behavior, both before and after legalization, is the spread of the deadly virus of HIV. HIV which leads to AIDS once the body’s immune system has broken down to the point it can no longer prevent the spread of HIV. Hence, as harsh and insensitive as this may sound, God or nature’s wrath has delivered the death penalty to millions of homosexual men for over thirty years now. As horrible as HIV and AIDS have been, I believe this is preferable to having humans take matters into their own hands, killing the allegedly guilty.

One could analogize this with abortion. Abortion is now legal across the United States. Does this make abortion a wise choice? Does legalization make abortion an easy choice? One certainly hopes not, but just as some have absolutely no qualms about sodomy, others may view abortion similarly.

Another related concern is homophobia, the fear of homosexuals and homosexuality. While the homosexual community is quite concerned about this matter, few seem to acknowledge the justified fear of HIV and AIDS which hence reinforces the fear of the male homosexual and male homosexuality. By and large the gay community is seeking and anticipates a scientific cure for AIDS. Hence, little if any responsibility is taken for HIV and AIDS. Very few are willing to believe that certain actions are unwise and unnatural. Condoms are strongly encouraged throughout the male homosexual world for anal sex. Many are also taught that monogamy will keep those who are HIV- from becoming HIV+. As a result many gay males seek to mimic the heterosexual monogamous world in their relationships. Whether one man is the top (the male), the other the bottom (the female) or both versatile (alternating as top and bottom), the basic comprehension that neither male should play the female role is usually not considered.

This behavior harms not only those who engage in it. It harms others who might be seeking a male-to-male relationship without having to worry that such a relationship would lead to a deadly disease. Also harmed are those male homosexuals who reject sodomy. Because they consider themselves gay, they nonetheless are assumed to engage in and enjoy anal sex. Hence they face homophobia for being sodomites, though untrue in such cases.

In conclusion, it is not male homosexuality that is sinful. Males learning to appreciate their own bodies with other males and females doing likewise should and could be a natural, beautiful and harmless development or lifestyle. However, those homosexual or bisexual males who refuse any limitation in their sexual encounters with other males do cause harm and are likely to eventually become infected with HIV. As a result they not only destroy the beauty that such encounters could otherwise bring, they also reinforce negative stereotypes against gay males. This vicious cycle increases the homophobia most claim to be concerned about. To further conclude, whether Sodom and Gomorrah is a fairy tale or not, the action known as sodomy is the problem. It is time for gay and bisexual males to develop some self-respect and intelligence enough to understand what specific parts of their bodies are designed for and not designed for. Frankly it is patently obvious.

I Don’t Have A RELIGION, I Have A GOD!

October 23rd, 2011

I apologize for being so, so, so long in posting on my blog. I have been very busy. Basically it was last November, 2010 that I returned to the classroom. Seeing how my last post was Oct. 2010, this seems to me to be the logical reason for my long delay, now that I see this.

In any case the following is something I wrote recently in response to an article I read in the Fall, 2011 issue of Reform Judaism magazine.  The website is reformjudaismmag.org.  You can find the article “Lennonism vs. Judaism” in the archives if you wish to see and read the actual article which I am responding to here:

 

I was unpleasantly stunned to read Ze’ev Maghen’s piece “Lennonism vs. Judaism.” Ze’ev criticizes the song Imagine, which remains a classic in spite of critics such as Ze’ev. Hence I read Ze’ev Maghen’s “Lennonism vs. Judaism” with a mixture of both disgust and surprise.

Early on I was disgusted as Ze’ev passed judgment on three Israeli born Hare Krishna’s he met at LAX airport. One of the Israelis, Ofer was criticizing Judaism and Ze’ev snidely remarks, “This from a guy shorn down to his cranium, with paint on his face, wrapped in linen and dancing to a mantra beat all day long in an airport.” Judging Ofer on his “different” appearance, not on anything Ofer actually said.

This cultural arrogance made clear that Ze’ev, like so many think that “western” style of fashion is “normal” and any divergence, abnormal. This all too common, disgustingly arrogant and disrespectful attitude (though Ze’ev will no doubt deny these obvious conclusions) really says it all.

Ze’ev then calls John Lennon’s killer a “fruitcake,” a term which bullies/cowards like Ze’ev generally reserve for homosexuals. Hurtful name-calling is something I expect from the many bullies/cowards of the Jewish and Christian communities. However it is something I’d like to have believed Reform Jews would reject, whatever Mr. Maghen’s excuse may be. Apparently I am mistaken, and now know to not necessarily expect different behavior from Reform Jews, than so many other arrogant white people (and yes, I am white).

Ze’ev quotes Leviticus 19:18 “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and falsely claims that Jesus and Rabbi Akiba placed this law as paramount. I know that Jesus placed God as paramount. Then again people like Ze’ev (and many Jews) are usually too smart to believe in God. Besides they’ve got religion (people and community). Who needs God? Leave that to the goyim. This explains how Ze’ev conveniently misquotes Jesus, just as he (like his and my ancestors) misunderstands Torah. I choose to admit my ancestors’ mistakes and work to correct them, as opposed to taking pride in and perpetuating their errors. Matthew 22:37-39 shows what Jesus did state as paramount, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” This is quite different than what Mr. Maghen stated. This puts life on a different level. One’s primary dependence is upon God. Frankly with the track record of the Jewish community (i.e. 6 million cluelessly massacred), I wouldn’t trust you folks to give me the correct time of day. This leaves trust in God a much more viable option.

Then Mr. Maghen makes some points with which I partially agree and partially disagree. From his approach I suspect such thinking would be foreign, as it is to many. Ze’ev, like so many, sees things in a black and white, all or nothing mentality. He will no doubt consider my nuanced approach “crazy,” and other belittling names just as he called those young Hare Krishna’s. However, I do not allow people like Mr. Maghen to impact my self-esteem nor stifle me, however innocent they may proclaim themselves to be.

When Ze’ev states, “Anyone who claims or aspires to love everybody the same simply has no idea what love means. Love that means anything distinguishes and prefers.” Much of that statement I would tend to agree with. I would wish to know the context of those claiming to “love everybody” however.

When Ze’ev concludes that quote by saying ‘“universal love” isn’t love at all.’ I’d say that this is reactionary and typically Jewish. Because certain non-Jewish groups overstate certain points, I all too often see a Jewish response which is reactionary in the other direction. For example, many Christians speak about Hell over and over and over. This is quite annoying. Next thing you know, we Jews don’t believe in Hell. Actually it seems “we” don’t even think about it. We’re just annoyed at hearing about it so much from certain Christians. We’ll show them and say just the opposite. Just to annoy them. All while living under their system. This is one example of why I am no longer Jewish, or any other religion. If people can insult my intelligence by dismissing the concept of Hell (or Heaven) because others over-emphasize the concept, then such people will not make any decisions in my life, including whether or not I am a Jew (or a Christian).

More of this egotism and brain-washing is displayed when Ze’ev states that by Jews keeping the Sabbath they are saying “I love this day more than any other day of the week.” Oh really, is he in their heads to determine what they are saying? The sad fact is that most Jews will say whatever their leaders put in their brain-washed heads. The sad fact is that many are keeping the Sabbath more as part of their egomaniacism, feeling that their relgion is better, and to avoid being ostracized, than anything to do with God. As for myself, I am simply resting on Shabbat. Whether I love or revere this day above others may be a logical conclusion, however it is erroneous. I don’t need to feel that my day of rest is better than others, nor than any other day. Shabbat simply is what it is. People like Ze’ev continually feel this need to say what is best and what is worst. Also conveniently, everything Ze’ev is associated with always turns out to be the best. This is egotism run amok and is all too prevalent and even encouraged in Jewish circles. I find it repulsive.

I don’t keep the Jewish Sabbath, I keep the Sabbath. I do not do so to feel superior or to be part of a community that can and would ostracize me for one or another inane reason. I do so to rest. I do so because there is only one seventh day of the week. It is very much in the spirit of John Lennon’s message in his beautiful song Imagine that I chose this path of seeking a universal truth. Discovering, much to my dismay, that much of this truth lies within Judaism as well as Christianity. Dismay because this meant having to deal with the egomaniacs and name-callers like Ze’ev Maghen. This meant trying to wrestle the truth that Maghen and his precious religions have mangled and distorted to divide and control. Well, looks like another one, like those Israeli Hare Krishna’s, has slipped through your mind-controlling and mind-numbing fingers, Ze’ev.

I not only imagine a world without religion, I have recently designed, display and sell two bumper stickers which very much reflect the message of John Lennon. It states in English with a matching one in Spanish, I Don’t Have A RELIGION I Have A GOD! Now that I have made my position clear for all to see, I have ironically been willing to join a temple for the first time in my life. I also found one, a Reform one at that, which has accepted and tolerates me. I belong to Beth Chayim Chaddashim in Los Angeles, the world’s first GLBT synagogue. This is a unique temple and contains some unique individuals. I am very much an individual, something most organized religious cults do not tolerate. This should change so that at least Jews can stop having people like Mr. Maghen speak for and represent them. Then maybe people in Hare Krishna linens with paint on their face will be accepted. Maybe they will also accept dreamers such as John Lennon. As he stated, he is “not the only one.”

 

Mr. Levik Goes to Washington

October 28th, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                  21 Cheshvan 5771

My fourth and final day in Washington D.C. was also interesting, fun and fascinating, as the previous two days had been.

I decided to go to Congress and deliver to my Congress people the handouts which I had passed out during the One Nation Rally on Saturday, October 2nd. First I went to the Capitol Building, forgetting how Washington was laid out from when I’d last been there in 2007.

From the Capitol I was directed either to the Russell Building which was one of the three Senate buildings, or to the buildings for the House members which was in the other direction. With about four hours to kill I decided to start with the Russell building and try to hit each Senate office. I knew that Congress was not in session and that most, if not all the Senators would be at home. Those up for re-election would be campaigning. The others, who knows.

This is the handout which the lucky and select few received until I ran out.

I began in Russell and went to all the first floor offices. I then went to the top floor and worked my way down. I had more than 100 of my Christianity=Freedom handouts, but less than 100 of my other Christianity=Paganism=Heathens handouts.  This handout has on the back the Gospel of Matthew 7:21-23 and most also have Matthew 5:17-19.  All the Chrisianity=Freedom handouts have both gospel quotes on the back.  I decided to give Christianity=Freedom to everyone and to be selective with the other handout. It generally came down to the following senators receiving both: Southern senators, Jewish senators, and California senators. There were other exceptions to whom I gave both here and there. I cannot recall exactly which other Senators received both handouts.

This is the handout which I graciously gave to every Senate office I visited. All of the Senate offices received them graciously. God only knows what was said or done after that though.

I do recall stepping into Senator Isakson from Georgia’s office, a southern senator of course. Also his name Isakson, all of a sudden stood out for me. I already believe that the English and other Northwest Europeans are the “lost” tribes of Israel and a senator named Isakson is just one more piece of evidence, though I have gone beyond the seeking evidence phase, and I have already drawn my conclusions. As I walked in, the first intern who was on the left side, was just getting up. She politely took the handouts and walked behind her desk to the girl behind her. They were both looking at the handouts with great intent. Directly across from Sen. Isakson’s office was Sen. Ensign of Nevada. This is one reason I noticed their great interest. In fact I pretended to walk down the hall a bit, so I could sneak a peek and see just how long they would look at the handouts. As I came back, 3-4 seconds later, they and particularly the brunette young lady sitting behind the first girl were still looking rather intently.

Often I mentioned upon entering these offices (particularly Southern Republicans) that I am certain that these Senators and their constituents appreciate my point of view, or at least my right to have such a point of view. Of course I was not at all certain that many of these right-wing Christian/pagan types would understand my right to have nor to express such a point of view. Nonetheless and nevertheless this is my point of view and I believe that I have the right to hold it and to express it.

When I entered the office of Sen. Inhofe of Oklahoma I recalled his comments from approximately a year or so ago in which he had stated that there was no homosexuality in his family. I suggested to the interns, who were not busy when I came in, that ‘Sen. Inhofe should look in his closet a little bit deeper. He might find some homosexuality there.’ The secretaries didn’t say anything. They were polite and I just went on my way.

I gave the English version to Sen. Hatch's office. These 'gifts' were refused by CA Sen. Boxer's office. Apparently no 'gifts' are allowed.

I decided at some point that I should give at least 1 or 2 Senators a bumper sticker or two. The bumper stickers are in English and Spanish. They have the same message in both languages. They say, I Don’t Have A Religion I Have A GOD. As I was approaching the end, I decided that I would give one of each to Barbara Boxer. I had decided against Diane Feinstein. I had corresponded with both senators a couple of years ago and Sen. Feinstein’s reply did not make sense to my issue. Barbara Boxer’s reply was more related to my concern, and was pleasantly diplomatic. Plus I read that Feinstein had gone to Catholic school growing up and she is a bit more conservative than Boxer and I suspect that my message might not be well-received there.

Sen. Boxer’s office is on the first floor of the Hart building. After Russell I had gone to Dirksen and I had begun on the seventh floor. Dirksen and Hart are directly next to each other. One can walk through doors on each floor to the other building and I went back and forth between buildings. By the time I reached the first floor of Hart I was finished, three hours from when I’d begun. However, I had trouble finding Barbara Boxer’s office. Soon I was approaching a Senate office, which you could tell was a Senator’s office via the flags outside on either side of the entry door. As I approached I also noticed a mezuzah on the right-hand doorpost. I was like, ‘since when did Boxer become so religious?’ I know that Boxer and Feinstein are Jewish (though it remains somewhat unclear, who or what is a Jew?), but I did not expect a mezuzah on her doorpost. Well, a bigger surprise awaited inside. This was not California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. No, this was Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s office. ‘Oy vey iz mir (Oh woe is me),’ I thought. That was too funny.

His secretaries informed me, ‘Oh yeah, he’s got them on all his doors.’ I had read something last year in either The Jewish Journal (of Los Angeles) or on www.jewishjournal.com about Sen. Hatch having celebrated Hanukah and having written and sung a Hanukah song. Of course the sad thing is he seems to have gone to the Orthodox version, at least that’s the way I see having a mezuzah on every door. Of course I gave one of the two interns there both handouts. I also mentioned something regarding gay rights. I’d recently seen the documentary, “8: The Mormon Proposition” and it shows many Mormons in a negative light on gay rights issues. After I left that office I decided that Senator Hatch might appreciate my bumper sticker. I figured someone who has left one religion or who is open to another religion as he clearly is, is a candidate for the message of my sticker. I went back over there and gave one of the girls the English version of my sticker.

Around the corner from Sen. Hatch’s office I finally found Barbara Boxer’s office, directly across from Illinois Dem. Senator Dick Durbin’s office. In Boxer’s office were three interns. The first was busy and I went to the one behind him and gave him my handouts. Then I said that I had a small gift for Sen. Boxer. Well that was a mistake. The female intern at the desk behind where I was standing, heard me say gift and said that ‘we cannot accept partisan gifts.”

I said, ‘It’s not partisan. It’s not political at all.’

She replied, ‘We can’t take any gifts.’

I said, ‘Well then it’s not a gift.’ However it was too late. I had said the wrong word, ‘gift,’ and knowing the Republicans, they would send out some undercover agent to try and entrap some Democrat. For all they know, I was doing just this. I had to accept what they said and they returned to me everything. Not only the bumper sticker, but the handouts.

The girl behind me told me, ‘You could mail these things to Senator Boxer.’

Of course three weeks later I haven’t mailed anything to Sen. Boxer. Now that I think about it, I may as well wait until the election to make sure that she is re-elected.

The end of this 3 hour journey was just so surreal. The one senator whom I’d planned to give both the English and Spanish version of my bumper stickers was the only senator I visited who I could not give anything to. Of course the Orrin Hatch discovery was hilarious and profound and beautiful, I hope.

My journey ended there and what impact I had on Washington D.C. is difficult to determine, but I know I had an impact. Of course none of the actual senators have probably even seen the handouts as yet. These interns I now realize are the political future and many of them have now seen them. What they think of them, who knows? What I do know is that they have impact on people, whether positive or negative, they have definite impact.

My beliefs and my decisions and my understanding of religion, of Christianity and of Jesus leave me no option but to have impact. Who I believe I am and what I believe contradicts the accepted norms and the accepted norms treat me as a non-entity. This leaves me no option except to speak out and to speak out boldly. I am doing so and I intend to continue to do so, until the things that I believe God promised my ancestors are acknowledged, recognized and finally established.

National Holocaust Museum Propaganda

October 18th, 2010

 

9 Cheshvan 5771

October 3, 2010 was the third of my four days in Washington D.C. and I decided to visit some museums. I was particularly interested in the Holocaust Museum even though I had been there previously back in 2006 on my first trip to D.C.

I went first to a couple of Smithsonian Museums but they just did not pique my interest. The Holocaust Museum is in the same vicinity as the Smithsonians (there are 17 different Smithsonian buildings I was told) and I walked over there. I looked through the bookstore and there was a lot of interesting material there. I figured I would come back afterwards and consider purchasing an item or two.

I went to the front desk and the young lady informed me that a small group tour had just started. If I went downstairs I could catch up with them. The current exhibit is about Propaganda in Nazi Germany. There were about 5 or 6 other people in this group and one docent.

Through all the religious zombie groups that I have been a part of I have somehow retained my critical thinking skills. I remain highly skeptical and suspicious or any expert or experts on any subject. Here we were having propaganda explained by a young Jewish man whose recent relatives were likely victims of such propaganda. If he and the (Ashke)nazi Jews are now so smart as to recognize propaganda, why could they not recognize it back in the 1930’s? Of course the situation is quite complicated which is also why I have zero confidence in a Jewish organization to have any answers.

My first question and challenge for the museum docent was his mention of Nazi laws which distinguished German Jews from Germans of other religions. I find this amazing and ridiculous that Jews still cannot understand who they are. I asked him, ‘Didn’t the Jews come from Egypt through the Red Sea?’ ‘How then could they be Germans just like people of German descent?’

He said to me, ‘They felt they were Germans, just like other Germans.’

I replied, ‘That’s very nice. Guess what, they weren’t. One would think you would know this by now.’

He stated, ‘They were German citizens.’

I replied, ‘And that can obviously be taken away.’

A woman replied about her being American. I replied quietly to her that, ‘America is a different story.’

The docent stated how, he knew a couple in Michigan who had converted to Judaism. I explained that Judaism is a religion and does not change a person’s ethnic background. This apparently was too complicated for this young man as it is for most religiously brain-washed Jews who only define themselves by their religion. Apparently these idiots think because they live a few generations or maybe even one generation in a country that this makes them German or French or whatever that nation is. Yes they may be citizens of that country, but they are foreigners or alien to those countries. It is completely inexcusable for people to not understand this. I blame their creepy four-eyed rabbis for this stupidity. I also blame the idiots who can’t understand how idiotic their leaders are.. Yet at the same time Jews claim to be in a diaspora from their ancient land.  They also generally consider themselves to be the “chosen people.”  Germans are a “people” too, but they do not claim to be “chosen.”

One man on this tour became annoyed at my questioning and asked that we just go on with the tour. I was then annoyed with this man, who also claimed to be of German ancestry. Like most Germans he demanded order and got it. Actually we had pretty much gone as far as we could in our discussion and seemed ready to move on irregardless.

The tour continued and I wanted to interject if just to annoy this German-American man because I hate to be stifled and did not at all appreciate his making my very relevant, important and on subject questions and comments seem like an annoyance.

Not until the end of this tour was their another issue for me to question and challenge the docent leading this tour. At that point he had just thrown out the term anti-Semitism. He also explained that the tour was over and asked if anyone had any questions. The other people on the tour stood their until I asked my question and they scampered away before I had even completed the question.

I asked this young man, who claimed to have been a former Marine, to define anti-Semitism.

He replied, ‘It is people from the Middle East.’

‘OK, that is correct.’ I was surprised to hear.

‘But,’ he continued, ‘it has come to mean anti-Judaism.’

He began to tell me about the Oxford dictionary and their definition and I sarcastically stated, ‘And of course the experts are never wrong.’ Therefore if the Oxford dictionary said something it must be irrefutable.

He did recognize my sarcasm at least and allowed that, ‘Yes, sometimes the experts are mistaken.’

I asked him, ‘Why don’t you use the term anti-Judaism, if that is what you mean?’

Now he became more defensive and said, ‘If I do not like the way we (meaning the museum) were doing things that I should speak to someone.’

I replied, ‘I don’t know why you need to get so defensive, I’m just asking you a simple question.’

At this point some white lady with blue eyes and blonde hair (another Germanic type), who had not been on the tour with us, and who appeared during our discussion asked, ‘Should I call security?’, in that innocent way that white people know how to make a bad situation worse and feign innocence and usually succeed in coming off as innocent.

This woman’s comment and his lack of telling her to butt out set me off and I yelled in her face and at that point security did show up and I was soon being led out of there. I was not silent either as I damned Jews and white people in general. Interestingly all the security were black, but none seemed to appreciate any of what I was saying. One security guard who was about to grab me, was told sternly by me, ‘Do not touch me. I have not touched anyone, so don’t touch me.’ He barely relented and after I pushed hard the door to leave the museum he again was very close to grabbing me. I again told him, ‘Do not touch me.’ Once he grabbed me it could have made things quite bad for me. Clearly they would have railroaded me in some way, even though all I had really done was ask pertinent and pointed questions.

As I was walking away from the museum another of the security, a heavy-set black guy holding something folded as if to whip me called me ‘gay.’

I replied, ‘Yes I am, but you have nothing to worry about.’

Once again the truth and yes, it may hurt, but I’m not going to be called ‘gay or fag’ by anyone and act like it is some horrible putdown. If they are not attractive to me I will embarrass them for bringing this up. If they are attractive then I may respond by propositioning them back, though probably in a joking manner. Basically I’m saying, keep your goddamned nose out of my personal life, whether to cast general aspersions, or if you have actual knowledge of my private life. I won’t wag my finger at you and tell you how inappropriate you are, like most liberals would do.  No, I’ll make you wish you never opened your stupid mouth in the first place. Freedom of speech cuts both ways.

One Nation Rally- Washington D.C.

October 15th, 2010
Sign reads: Christianity=Freedom: To Rape, Pillage, Murder & Torture. BURN IN HELL

Sign reads: Christianity=Freedom: To Rape, Pillage, Murder & Torture. BURN IN HELL. My new bumper sticker is attached and says: I Don't Have A Religion, I Have A GOD. Also 2 HRC (Human Rights Campaign) equal sign bumper stickers

30 Tishrei 5771

It was an amazing 3 days for me in Washington D.C. I was in D.C. for 4 days but the amazement did not begin until Day 2 on Saturday.

Friday evening I visited Bet Mishpochah, Washington D.C.’s Gay & Lesbian synagogue which meets at the JCC (Jewish Community Center) of D.C. This was a nice service, but it was the next day that the real fun began.

Saturday, October 2, 2010 was the rally at the Lincoln Memorial. I had my signs shipped ahead to the Motel 6. The 3 signs I had shipped are 37” x 18½” and the two poles I shipped are 48” in length. I shipped one extra sign and pole. These signs are extremely provocative. However their purpose is not intended to merely provoke. They are actually intended to educate though many ego-driven people see my signs as offensive, or rude, or nasty, or judgmental. While those judgments may be valid opinions, my message is much, much more.

Sign reads: Christianity=Paganism=Heathens (yield sign) Swastika. BURN IN HELL. Also the same bumper stickers as on the other sign.

I also had handouts approximately 3½”x 8½” with these same graphics and words on the front while on the back are either one or two quotes from the Gospel of Matthew. If just one quote it is Matthew 7:21-23. The newer handouts have Matthew 5:17-19 as well as Matthew 7:21-23. This of course is a huge wrench in the machinery because on the one hand I am condemning Christianity and on the other hand I am quoting from a document that is allegedly central to Christianity.

Reactions to my signs were generally positive and supportive. A large part of that I believe is my attitude. I certainly get looks of disapproval and particularly looks of feigned curiosity. There are also looks of ‘you’re crazy,’ or ‘you’re weird.’ Because I can spot these folks and these looks I don’t engage these people, because at this stage I know better. Many, many people are a waste of time to attempt to share my message with. I have to recall a quote from Jesus, ‘Don’t throw pearls before swine.’ Having done so in the past, I avoid these kinds of people as much as possible. For the most part sadly this amounts to avoiding most white people, Jews and non-Jews alike. Liberals and conservatives, usually for different reasons. Conservatives may know their Bible, but their understanding is usually quite warped. Many liberals, who feign compassion, often calling others ignorant, are usually ignorant themselves of the Bible and what they do know is usually through hearsay. Of course these are generalizations, yet also quite often the truth. I also respond to disapproving looks with a look that says, ‘I don’t really give a damn what you think.’ Frankly anyone holding such provocative signs needs to be ready to be attacked and to understand where such attacks come from. Understanding does not necessarily mean compassion. In fact it rarely does. Because I understand that they feel their precious religion is being criticized and most people feel this is not O.K. Non-Christians may feel I have gone over the line. I feel completely the opposite, that religion should be just as subject to criticism as politics and I am doing just that.

There were a couple of encounters which I experienced at the rally. One stands out for me.

Seemingly out of the blue came a small contingent of 4 or 5 gay activists. One of them noticed my sign only as we were standing in front of each other. He asked me, ‘Where do you stand?’

While I knew he meant on the gay rights issue he seemed to say it as if it were the only issue which should concern me. I replied, ‘On what?’

He said, ‘On gay rights. You have an equal sign (The HRC- Human Rights Campaign logo) but I’m not sure where you stand.’ I assume he also saw the word Christianity and possibly BURN IN HELL and the flames. He probably assumed I was a Christian fundamentalist, but was not sure. You really have to take some time to think about what my sign is saying. Rash judgment will usually not be correct. Not that he was doing this, but others often do. My signs use the right-wing vitriol, except I am using it on them.

Then a young woman with this same group of 4 or 5 people asked me what I thought about the recently publicized spate of gay suicides. Being a survivor of such a situation I responded, but not as they might have expected. I explained how from around the day I was born I understood what comes out of my rear-end. If gay men do not yet understand this and think that it is OK to stick their penis into someone’s asshole or vice versa and if people still can’t figure out the cure for AIDS is to stop this behavior, then it is easy to blame the alleged bullies. Of course people are scared of gays (homophobic). Gay men are over there killing themselves and each other, not just through suicide, but through what they would call love-making. That is a large part of why it took me over 30 years to come out. This is not to say that the bullying or ridiculing of gays is OK either. I’m saying that it is very easy to point fingers and blame others. I’m also saying that such finger-pointing is a losing proposition. Where and how do you need to change? What is wrong on your side of the street? Where do you have control to improve the situation. To put it in the hands of others to change their behavior puts you at their mercy. Knowing history I would not be confident with my life in the hands of too many people out there. The conversation ended with the first young man shaking my hand, seeming to have appreciated my point of view, even though it is not the “blame them” party line.

That was my most interesting encounter at the rally, though there was another one which also stands out.

Towards the latter end of the rally, around 3 PM I was standing in a group of people directly in front of the speakers, just a couple of hundred feet away, directly in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Completely out of the blue and from behind me some woman with strawberry blonde hair and brown eyes began yelling how I was with ‘them.’ I assumed she meant the Tea Party, as them, since this rally was basically a response to the Glen Beck Tea Party rally from August. I was like, ‘How did you come up with that conclusion?’ She was not really into communicating nor inquiring as to what my signs meant. Others who had challenged me earlier and throughout the day generally asked questions. She acted like she had me all figured out, while at the same time completely misunderstanding what I was saying. Because I see this as a theme in Catholicism, and to a lesser degree in Protestantism, to often completely (180º) invert God’s and Jesus’ message, I expect this and have more than once experienced people try and tell me that what I mean is the complete inverse of what I actually do mean. However, I have no intention of letting them get away with this inversion of truth on me. I became angry with this woman which she found humorous and seemed to fit in with her plan. She proceeded to take out her phone and began filming me. I cussed a couple of times during her filming and made it clear that I could care less what she or her kind thought of me, my sign, or anything I have to say, or how I say it. With that I also expressed some contempt for white people in general. She kept grinning and smiling towards two black guys standing to her left. I was not clear if they were with her, though it seemed unlikely. I have no doubt that she and her ilk will edit that video and use it for whatever pre-determined purpose they have. Frankly I have no control of this. However, I won’t stifle myself out of fear of what others might say or do with my words. Like I said, they already invert God’s message so I put absolutely nothing past them.

When she stopped filming I noticed a small cross around her neck, which of course means next to nothing as many, many people wear crosses. I did comment, ‘You’re wearing a cross like all the cowards, and you’re probably one of them.’ I also consider that much more of a symbol of the Tea Party movement than of the liberal movement, though many liberals would also see it as a representative symbol for liberals as well. Also strange was that this woman was wearing a long orange-colored coat. It was stylish but was not appropriate for such a warm and beautiful day. I’m not sure what could have been hidden under the coat, but again I put nothing past these people. I wonder where this video she filmed of me is playing and for whom. It is out of my hands and I’m sure it is being distorted in the way the heathens (Christians) and Nazis distort most things.

The October 2, 2010 One Nation Rally was exhilarating for me. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience which I hope to nevertheless experience again. That is I hope to attend other D.C. rallies in the future.

I was also thrilled to sell 27 of my “I Don’t Have A Religion, I Have A GOD” bumper stickers. Being that it was Saturday I tried to explain to purchasers that this was a donation. All proceeds go into The Levite Line account. I am not making any personal profit on these sales. I believe The Levite Line took in $70 from these sales, at 2 stickers for $5, or 1 for $4. Only one man purchased one sticker yet he gave me $5 anyway. Six or seven of the stickers sold were the Spanish version. It is exciting to think that cars across this country may soon be displaying this message. It is a very important and central message to what The Levite Line represents.

Newest Levite Line product. 27 purchased at One Nation Rally. Look for them on a car near you. Better yet order some for yourself. Go to www.theleviteline.com order some and put them on your car, laptop, wall, etc.

Venice Beach Encounters

October 13th, 2010

23 Tishrei 5771

At Venice Beach 2 years ago. More items and better display now. Just need new pictures.

Last weekend I garnered a space at Venice Beach. I have a permit card and at the Tuesday lottery my card was selected for one of the 100 spots available for vendors. I don’t often get out there to even enter this lottery.  Occasionally I forget.  Sometimes I’m too busy.  Sometimes too lazy or sleepy. Mostly I just don’t sell that much out there and it seems like a waste of my time.

I often get recharged after 6 or 8 weeks or so.  Similar to when I was a teenager and would try marijuana every 6 or 8 weeks after determining 6 or 8 weeks earlier that I didn’t really like marijuana.  Except “everybody” thought it was great, or “everybody” I wished to be like and liked by.  In any case, if I get a weekend spot, I generally do not go out there on Saturday because I believe that Saturday is the Sabbath. I remain somewhat ambivalent about going out there on Saturday. For one thing I am not selling items for my own profit.  My organization is The Levite Line and all proceeds go into a separate account designated specifically for The Levite Line. Hence it is for God. I also try to explain to people that it is a “donation” if an exchange of money takes place on the Sabbath.

In this case I decided to go out there both on Saturday and on Sunday. I staked out my spot and saw where I could conveniently unload all my materials. As it turned out, I sold nothing on Saturday.

Let me be clear that while many of my beliefs and practices are similar to Jews and to Judaism, The Levite Line is not a Jewish organization, for a variety of reasons.  I won’t get into those reasons here though.

On Saturday I spoke with a man who told me that his background was Danish. He showed me a book he had written with Hebrew writing. He complained when I interrupted him, but he went on and on and he interrupted me more than once, each time before I had barely completed a sentence. He left in anger, returning to me the handouts which I had given him.

After that I became aggressive, as he had pissed me off. I began to announce from my spot various expressions such as, ‘This is The Levite Line, God’s priesthood, not a pagan religion, not a lawless, anarchist, child-molesting priesthood.’ All not so subtle references to Catholicism and for some expressions, to Christianity in general. I also said things such as ‘Not a man-made religion, not a religion at all. From God, and not from man.’ I believe this and realize that I should not and cannot afford to be shy or in any way ashamed of this, except maybe for the fact that my ancestors have been shy or ashamed and hence we/I have nothing. That is nothing of what the Torah or 5 Books of Moses say we should have.

Surprisingly, to me at least, people began to take my handouts, without any snide comments, that I assumed I would hear. I felt that even though this was Venice Beach, I would encounter flak. Especially when I began to say, “God’s priesthood”. I figured someone would try and make me feel like, ‘Who do you think you are?’ I also feel that the Levites were always meant to be a counter to what is now the Catholic priesthood, which probably existed prior to Jesus’ appearance on earth, and possibly even prior to the Law of Moses, albeit under a different guise. In general though I find that what the Catholic priesthood stands for and is now finally being exposed for doing, that is child-molesting amongst other things, is despicable. I also believe that anyone who supports the Catholic Church is liable.  I also believe that demanding grown men take a vow of celibacy is emasculating and the results, with child-molesting being just one, are to be expected.

On Sunday I resumed my aggressive approach. One lady commented, ‘you shouldn’t judge,’ as she strolled by. This was also something I expected, since I was judging. I replied, ‘But I can and I will judge.’ Having been judged my whole life and I believe most harshly and unfairly by religious people, particularly Christians and Jews.

I first became religious 30 years ago and feared becoming like these creeps. I believe I have avoided that. Now I judge them to give them what they deserve, a taste of their own medicine, not judging the way they do, by picking out one alleged sin here or there and usually on very personal/private matters.  Actually maybe I do judge much like they do.  It’s fine with me, if you can dish it out, you can take it and if not, even better.

Later on Sunday two young Hasidic Jews in their 20’s I believe, came by. They had lulav in tow, which is a tradition related to Sukkot- The Feast of Tabernacles, an 8-day holiday, which we were in the midst of on that day. One of the Hasidic pair had glasses and he asked, ‘Are you Jewish?’

I replied, ‘No.’

He asked, ‘Is your mother Jewish?’

I said, ‘I am not Jewish and my mother does not decide anything for me and neither do you people.’

He persisted, ‘Is your mother Jewish?’

“Yes,” I relented. “My mother is Jewish.”

Our discussion continued with the guy without glasses complaining that, ‘I was not showing respect.’

I said, ‘First of all, I’m not putting on a show. Secondly, I’m not showing respect because I don’t respect you.’ So there!

I later on stated that, ‘Six million are dead thanks to your leadership.’

He replied, ‘It was the Nazis fault.’

I sensed that he said Nazis as opposed to Germans, to make it seem like the problem was now gone.

He also said to me that ‘the Nazis would still consider you Jewish.’

I said, ‘I decide who I am and the Nazis would know that I’m not like you people.’

I revisited the respect issue and explained how my respect had to be earned. The young man without glasses asked me, ‘How could I earn your respect?’

I again, as I had earlier in our discussion suspected a Pharisaic trap. He would either ridicule my answer or change on the spot for me, which would really only be a people pleasing act, if he tried that. I just didn’t answer him, because the changes I would need to see are so thorough that to even ask me in the way he did, showed me that it was very, very unlikely that he was capable of earning my respect. What I see in the Jewish world generally are external changes with little to no desire nor effort to make the necessary internal changes.  For example, Israel’s resurrecting of the Hebrew tongue is seen as some phenomenal renaissance.

We also briefly discussed the Messiah issue, of which I assured them that they had missed the boat on this issue. I mentioned how they would probably pick some blue-eyed, four-eyed rabbi to be their Messiah. I had heard something to this effect a few years ago, that some of them considered the Lubavitcher rabbi, a four-eyed, blue-eyed man, to be the Messiah. I mentioned to them, related to this that ‘I do judge a book by its cover.’ In other words, appearance and looks are important to me.

The young man with glasses asks me, “Do you think that is fair?”

I replied, “Yes.” I mean why else would I say it?

I did try to explain that it is not just an external look. It is a look that I have determined comes from something within. I was thinking about the hot Latin men which I am most attracted to and knowing that it is much more than their external appearance. I considered explaining this to them and began to, but saw a blank look and decided not to continue. As for what I see in others whom I find attractive, I see developing in myself more and more. In other words, it is from God, from feeling and nurturing my relationship with God, and NOT being stupid in this regard.

I did not mention to them how I observed Hasidic Jews and was not generally impressed. All this religious garb and after reading the (written) Torah I saw how most of their religious garb is not what the (written) Torah asks for.

As we were wrapping up I mentioned to them that I was gay. The young man with glasses said, ‘The Torah deals with that too.’ Saying this to me as if I had no knowledge of the Torah.

I told him, ‘I know, and I don’t lie with a man as with a woman. I lie with a man as with a man.’

As they began to walk away the young man without glasses tried to give me back the two handouts which I gave him initially (the other young man had requested an extra copy at the beginning).

He said, ‘I had not shown respect.’

I again reiterated, ‘This is not a show and that my respect had to be earned.’

He did keep the handouts and I wished them a “Chag Sameach” (Happy Holiday) as they continued south along Venice Beach.

Sunday I sold 4 bumper stickers and one shirt, albeit at a reduced price. Not a total loss. In fact I’d say that the weekend was a big step forward.

What do you think? Let me know. Feel free to leave a comment or two.

Westboro Baptist Church to Protest (Yawn) Gay Jewish Conference

August 13th, 2010

 

August 13, 2010

3 Elul 5770

I received an e-mail from the World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews (WCGLBTJ) regarding their 20th annual conference of which I was attending. The e-mail was fine with one exception. This e-mail mentioned the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) plans to protest outside the conference from 5:30-6:00 PM. This part of the e-mail was very good because previously I had the WBC website, while not saved under “Favorites”, listed in my browser, where I checked it regularly to see when and where they were planning to protest. Since getting my new computer a few months ago, I’d since forgotten all about WBC. I had gone to counter-protest (once at Maimonides Academy and once outside the Jewish Journal office, both here in Los Angeles) them a couple of times. I also wrote a letter which was published in the Jewish Journal less than a year ago after WBC protested in front of Beth Chayim Chaddashim (BCC). BCC is the world’s first GLBT synagogue, a temple which I have since joined. I basically criticized both sides and I see that my message has not penetrated the egos of the “leaders” of the Jewish community. I say this because just as they advised previously at BCC, the “leaders” of this conference do not support and sternly advised against any counter-protests. The Jewish “leaders” mention how WBC have been involved in lawsuits as an excuse for this cowardly Jewish non-response to blatant anti-Semitism and homophobia. In all honesty, having counter-protested these people I do not believe that I have had any impact on them. However I firmly believe they represent much more than just themselves. Also I counter-protest for myself, as doing nothing is not an option in my mind. As far as their being publicity hounds. No. 1- The WCGLBT Jews gave them publicity by mentioning them. No. 2- I also seek publicity, as I stand up to not just them but the millions of other Christians/pagans who judge my private life as well as my and others religious beliefs and practices. Because unlike the smug leaders of the Jewish community I have learned the lesson of Jewish history and inaction is simply unacceptable. Even if it has no direct impact I will take action when I deem it appropriate. It gets tiring to constantly have the cowardly leaders and their brain-washed, bullied and bullying followers in the Jewish community continually throwing up roadblocks. I have long since given up on even seeking the support of the Jewish community. In fact if I do ever get support I will, and I do mean this, I will assume I am on the wrong track. Six million dead is more than enough evidence that Jewish people don’t know and don’t want to know what is wrong. Just pretend all is well and count your money, and believe you’re superior if you’ve got more money. The whole mentality is completely disgusting. Now go into immediate denial all you want and call me all the names you wish. I know what I say is quite true and all too common. Intellectualizing their non-response to the WBC protestors, yet unable to figure out how to counter-protest without being sued. How brain-dead must you be to not know how to do this and then as usual, pressuring all others to “do nothing” just like their grandparents did in Europe. As I have realized a long time ago, the greatest enemy of the Jew is the Jew.

What I also find incredulous is how, for example, Elisa Barrett, President of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, keynote speaker on Friday, the first night of the conference, was arrested in Arizona just one week earlier. Elisa was arrested at the protest over AB 1070, the Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants, predominantly if not exclusively Latinos. On so many levels and in so many ways I find this fascinating. Here is some blue-eyed Jewess getting herself arrested for an important cause, which could eventually affect Jews and/or gays, if one understands these issues as I do. That is that the folks in Arizona like so many white people on the right politically demonize anything and anyone who is different. That would basically be all non-whites and non-Christians. I basically have a tremendous amount of difficulty with people either being or pretending to be so selfless, helping the downtrodden, when they are in no position to do so. And oh how they love to be the voice of the voiceless. Then they can show their true arrogance and couch it under the guise of “helping the downtrodden.” Real help would be to help the voiceless develop their own voice. The problem with these ego-maniacs is they might then hear something they don’t approve of or which might be critical of themselves. A very limited do-gooderism. My main question is, how is it that these same people refuse to stand up for themselves? This is what I find unacceptable. Maybe there is an outside chance that I could convince them that with all their money, influence and power they still should first and foremost use their energy to stand up for themselves. I mean personally, I wouldn’t want help from people who don’t know how to help themselves. Be assured, six million mass-murdered Jews, just 70 years ago says exactly that. It says that you need to learn to help yourselves first. Certainly when you do help others, such as during the Civil Rights era, Jews should not be looking for anyone’s approval, nor expecting a thank you, nor anyone’s appreciation. This way if you get any of these things it is a bonus. Yet Jews were angry because blacks were not thankful enough for the Jewish support during the Civil Rights battles. One only needs to look at the words of Jesus to verify the Jewish communities main concern is man’s approval and God has long since been marginalized or completely removed from the discussion. Hence I reaffirm and sadly conclude, the number one enemy of the Jew has been and remains his fellow Jew.

 

Day2 @ LimmudLA 5770

June 15th, 2010

 

Seeing that I have gotten some nice comments about Day 1 at LimmudLA 2010/5770 I will describe the Day 2 events which I attended that stand out for me.

 

Limmud means learning and there were various and numerous sessions for just that at Limmud. Limmud is focused on Jewish issues and LimmudLA covered a large spectrum of Jewish topics.

 

The Saturday Day 2 sessions were all religious services to start the first session at 8:30 AM, some of them being double sessions. Once again this year I was scheduled in the 9:30-10:45 AM slot. This put me up against all the Saturday morning religious services, though two of them got cancelled due to snow back east (LimmudLA was in February). I was also informed that more secular Jews had been recruited for Limmud this year than had attended the previous year. Not only was the time I was scheduled the same as last year, my session was also the same. Last year only one person showed up, though on Monday morning last year I held the session again at breakfast and had a few people show up with some coming in the middle while others left early.

 

Having so many handouts left over from last year was one reason I had requested this topic again. More than that I believe the Hebew calendar to be a topic of great significance. This years title was “Universality of the Hebrew Calendar.” Seven people showed up and we had a vibrant discussion. I had an outline for myself and I followed it. What I did not do and regret not doing, which I had done at my Friday session, was to advise people at the start to speak for themselves individually and to avoid sweeping generalizations. Words such as we, all, everybody, everyone, no one, etc. What I had said at my Friday session was to say most Jews, or the majority of people, etc. This leaves some opening for individuals, such as myself, who do not necessarily do, say, believe, dress, nor think “like everyone else.” Nor do I want nor intend to. Because these sweeping generalizations usually include me, such as all Americans or all Jews (though I no longer consider myself a Jew, however that is my ancestry, and at Limmud I must be a Jew or I would not have been welcomed). I had not anticipated this being a problem in this session. I was mistaken. One man at this session was speaking in pluralities from the moment he opened his mouth and continued to do so throughout. If I had said something ahead of time this might have made it easier for me to say something once he began doing this. I held back because it would have seemed reactionary and would not have gone over well after the fact. However by my not saying anything initially I allowed him to have too much control of this session.

 

Initially people introduced themselves, then I did so, sharing some of my background. The handout which I gave everyone listed 10 terms at the top. The terms were Race, Ethnicity, Nationality, Citizenship, Religion, Culture, Family, Tribe, Tradition, and Law. Last year we spent way too much time on them, so I decided we’d spend only a couple of minutes on each this year. The terms had also been incorporated into my Friday session on Jewish Identity. I passed out a dictionary and thesaurus which I gave to two people to look up each term as we got to them and read the definition and some synonyms. The last four we skipped as the first six were the most significant.

 

The discussion questions began with whether Jews are equal to non-Jews and who or what is a first, second or third class citizen. This man who was speaking in pluralities said that you need to have your own business if you wish to keep the Jewish/Biblical holidays. Then you will be able to without worry. This would make you a first-class citizen in his mind. Others seemed to agree. The results were similar to last years discussion, as I feared. Money alone, in the mind of most of those present, or at least the most vocal, would determine one’s class in society. The idea of the Hebrew calendar and the holidays associated with it leaving the “Jewish ghetto” was not understood. This is what I firmly believe is absolutely necessary and so I can only hope the seeds of this idea were sown.

 

The discussion became heated and the session basically ended, albeit a bit early, though just around the scheduled time, as we completed the second handout. This handout came from my website page, 58 Century. This page is quite critical of Christianity and this same man along with a woman from Russia were offended by the critique. This man appeared to be of Middle Eastern or Sephardi (Jews whose ancestors lived in Spain and Portugal for many centuries) descent and was Israeli, though without any accent. He made a statement to me that, ‘you are just like them.’ I was not sure who ‘them’ was supposed to be. If my words of criticism were to be comparable to Nazis then I disagree. However I said, ‘Yes, I am just like them.’ Whether he’d meant Nazi or not in accusing me I don’t know. I am a human being however, just like them. The Jewish community, particularly the Orthodox, and those raised under their brain-washing, far too often take any criticism as a personal attack. Many also seem to think others are as hyper-sensitive. I am not finding this to be the case in general. Another thing I see often amongst Jews is being different just for the sake of being different. I’m way beyond such childishness and I have no respect and little patience for such attitudes. Yet this man seemed to expect me to display just such an approach.

 

I recommend for anyone reading this, and wondering about this second handout to look on my website, www.theleviteline.com. Click on 58 Century to read the second handout. Brace yourself however, it is not for the faint of heart and will not feed the egos of those who are supporters of Christianity, or who think religious criticism must kept to oneself or be sugar-coated.

 

I needed to take down and put away some of my materials and recover from my session. Hence I missed the next set of sessions. By 12:30 PM I was ready and attended a session entitled, Jews by Choice. The moderator was uncomfortable with my challenging questions. My initial question was in response to Gregg Drinkwater from Denver mentioning a story about an Asian convert to Judaism being shooed away from a synagogue in Denver. I asked which denomination this synagogue was affiliated with, strongly suspecting it to be Orthodox. Number 1– I wanted to know this for certain. Number 2– Whichever denomination it was should be held accountable, especially if this is a common scenario. Number 3– The Orthodox delegitimize non-Orthodox Jews in Israel, why should non-Orthodox Jews worry about protecting the image of the Orthodox or be associated with it either?

 

The following session at 2 PM was an interesting session with Gregg Drinkwater now co-facilitating. It was about “Yucky” Texts in Jewish tradition. Gregg directs Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. I expected the session to be specifically about gay issues, it was broader than that. Leprosy was discussed and how the skin diseases mentioned in the Torah, in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14, were quite similar to what men infected with AIDS displayed before drugs helped hide their skin lesions. This was quite enlightening and resonated with me. Though frankly I was very much on the outskirts of the gay scene during the early years of the AIDS crisis and don’t recall seeing anyone with these lesions then.

 

The next session I attended was led by a very sweet woman, Ruth Broyde Sharone. It was entitled, “Jews and the Interfaith Challenge.” Following this I attended a large session entitled “Religious Freedom in Israel.” Uri Regev, a Reform Jewish leader in Israel mentioned how Israel needs freedom of religion. Seeing myself beyond this concept I made a comment. I stated, ‘Having been born and raised with the concept of “freedom of religion,” when you translate this into Spanish and back to English you have freedom of or from religion. I prefer freedom from religion.’ I just wanted to put that idea out there, knowing that most of the people at LimmudLA have never considered such a radical thought. Now they can.

 

The next session at 7:30 PM was entitled “Israel and the American Campus.” Jordan Fruchtman who works with UC Irvine through Orange County Hillel led this session and was quite engaging. UC Irvine is often in the news as a hotbed of Muslim/Palestinian/Arab activism against Israel and Zionism. I suggested at one point that if they wanted to work with the Muslim students at UC Irvine that they focus on inter-religious issues, Judaism and Islam. Muslims are generally going to be anti-Zionist as I learned during my M.A. History program. The Ottoman Empire rejected Herzl’s plea to develop a Jewish state in then Palestine because they saw Zionism as a European movement. However I also learned in this Masters program how many Islamic practices and beliefs are rooted in Judaism. One or two of the people there with yarmulkes on, whom I assume were Orthodox could only see that the Muslim students hate them and that all problems are the fault of the Muslim students. I recall how when I was at Hunter College in New York and started a club, Hebrews For Christ, that I met and spoke with some Palestinian Arab/Muslim students who were quite cordial and respectful. The head of the Jewish group, a blue-eyed Jew was extremely rude and abrasive with me and with them, as I witnessed one time. As I see all too often with Orthodox Jews they blame others and show no willingness to be self-critical or to feel they have any need to change. One young man, an Iranian Jew whom I spoke with after this session was completely judgmental of Muslims, calling them crazy and all sorts of other labels and name-calling. I don’t see how people who have such self-righteous and judgmental attitudes can do anything except continue the 3,000 year-old Jewish march towards self-destruction. Like those before them, they will blame the rest of the world.

 

After this with a woman I met there named Phyllis, who lives not far from me, we went to see “SoulAviv in Concert.” They were very good. Phyllis also purchased one of my shirts, Women the New Men! (which can also be found on my website), as a gift for a co-worker friend of hers. Following that was a Comedy Festival which we went to and which was quite funny. The first comedian, Gerry Katzman made reference to me in saying how we had people with fringes on their garments. I was wearing my shirts on which I have had fringes sewn on, with a blue fringe on each corner, as the Torah commands to do in Numbers 15:38. Since I was the only one with such shirts I am certain he was referring to me. While all three comedians were quite funny, the second one, Avi Liberman told one joke that I thought was the most hilarious and as a believer in Jesus as Messiah, even doubly funny. Avi told how he went to synagogue last Shabbos and the rabbi asked him to lift the Torah scroll. Avi complained how heavy it was, saying ‘Jesus, this Torah scroll is freakin’ heavy.’ The rabbi replied, ‘Well for Christ sakes don’t drop it.’ This just cracked me up. I felt like people were watching me as I was keeled over laughing. This also hit home for me and makes me think and realize how Jesus, the Christ or Messiah is what makes the Jews, or the tribe of Judah so unique and distinct. This was from the beginning, well before 2,000 years ago. It was particularly up to the tribe of Levi, to understand this, separate themselves from Judah, and from whichever tribe they were originally placed within, in order to unite all twelve tribes of Israel. This is our calling and responsibility. In other words Jews know or are quite capable of knowing that Jesus is the Messiah. It remains Moses and the calling given to the Levites which is at the heart (‘lev’ in Hebrew) of the problem and the solution to unite all of Israel the people, Judah (Jews) being just one, albeit very significant tribe. This is what I am working to achieve.