Thursday, February 15, 2007

Religion, Dr Phil and knowing our limitations.

Religion in most cases is a wonderful thing. I see the wonderful life of my Brother the Beloved Rav Roov and his family as part of this. Religion forms the framework of the life for the Beloved Rav Roov and family. The only thing odd about the Beloved Rav Roov is his love of Spiderman. We sometimes think of clergymen as aloof apart from us, but they have some of the intrests and sometimes weaknesses as we do. We are dismayed when clergymen fail due to human weaknesses. However, some of us forget that a clergyman is a human mediator whose job it is to serve his congregation. All humans have the potential of sucumbing to human weakness it is just part of the human condition. We shouldn't be shocked that a Rabbi likes Spiderman or that a Roman Catholic Priest likes the Dodgers even long after they left Brooklyn or a Minister that likes Nascar.

Now what if Rav Roov sudenly decided that instead of liking Spiderman he is Spiderman. His problem would have nothing to do with religion. He would have an amusing condition that would be best handled by a skilled professionals and possibly
medication. Currently Rav Roov only dresses as Spiderman on Purim and at Bar Mitzvahs
so there is no concern.

Life is not a sitcom and if it were mine would be canceled. Life's problems are not solved in 30 minutes. Dr Phil can't fix a life that has decades of problems in twenty minutes. The practice of psychology is a long process that entails much training. In many ways there is an element of art to it as well. I do have a BBA but I have 2O credits in psychology, mostly industrial. I am by no means an expert in the practice and my educational experience has taught me dealing with these matters especially the more serious types belong in the hands of skilled professionals. You would not send a Rabbi to fix your car, nor should you send your car mechanic out to do a circumsicion.

Islam posses some rather ineresting and serious problems. When we look at our own religion the notion is mostly guiding and improving lives. The notion of Christians, Jews, Hindus and most other people blowing themselves up and wasting lives is incongruent with reality. The challenge of Islam is that it is not religion as we understand it. There are a few quirky types who dream of a Jewish theocracy, but it is luckily a distinct minority. Even those types do not dream of global conquest.

The begining of what is and isn't a pathology is a complex issue. The notion of blowing one's self up for 72 virgins to me is a sign of a mental defect. The word cult has a negative impact when paired with a religion. We talk of the Cult of Jim Jones and have an image of Koolaide drinking lunatics out of touch with reality. There are certainly cult like aspects of Islam. There is a dehumanization process
in certain elements of Islam. A regular person has neither the desire or motivation
to shoot schoolkids in the back, behead a bound captive or toss a senior citizen in a wheel chair off a cruise ship. The reality is that the fiery utopian rhetoric deconditions some of its followers on the value of human life.

This deconditioning of our common humanity is similar in the political arena. The utopian rhetoric of Nazism with its master race created endless wars and the Holocaust. Communism produced class genocide, Gulags, Killing Fields, Boat people and brain impaired film devotees in MA.

The common denominator is the quest for a magic solution to all of lifes problems
itself may be the sign of a mental defect. In our lives we all have ups and downs.
Some of us have quirky tastes and those differences are part of lives. We all burn
meatloaves, get flat tires, have annoying relatives and these are just aspects of a normal life.

The other point is that if utopia did exist most of us would be bored to death. One of the running jokes is that family life was peaceful except when meatloaf was served. All the folks in the house would square off in gladiator style confict to get those end cuts. Vegtables, dishes, relatives anything not nailed to the ground could end up airborne. As an adult I learned that slicing the meatloaf 3/4 of the way through cooking and placing the sclices back in the oven turned twice solves the old family problem. I now have a whole mealoaf that tastes like end cuts. Yet, I also devalued the whole meat loaf experience and it is just another day in the kitchen


Farmer John said...

And I thought I usually got the ends because the Mrs. didn't like them... Hmmmm.

Jason_Pappas said...

Life is like meat loaf? A few too many weeks in the high altitude of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Beak?

We all know like is like a pastrami sandwich at Katz’ where you have to slip a deuce to the cutter to get a few lean pieces.

Always On Watch Two said...

Quick comment here before we take our youngest cat to the vet. She's taken a turn for the worse.

The challenge of Islam is that it is not religion as we understand it.

As Jason has pointed out on several occasions.

Important point here, IMO:

The reality is that the fiery utopian rhetoric deconditions some of its followers on the value of human life.

beakerkin said...


Do not let that news out in public.
You mighht have a stampede of members of my family looking for end cuts. My recipie turned meatloaf mayhem into another day with the Beaks.

Jason I haven't gone native. A local wanted to know what country I emigrated from.

One of the kids nearby is a huge Sopranos fan and he mimics my mannerisms and accent. The poor kids had me on the floor when he described the episode he watched.
He said Big Pussy ( charachter on the show) was whacked off in the finale.

AOW sorry about the younest cat.

The Merry Widow said...

Oh, AoW, you didn't need this! I'm so sorry, especially after what you all went through to get her better after that tomcat bit her! Is there any way that cat can be pulled off the streets as a carrier?
Use onion, garlic, fresh chopped tomatoes, and green pepper with crushed cracker crumbs and an egg, with worschester sauce. Spagetti sauce on top. Yummy! Makes great sandwiches too!


Always On Watch Two said...

Off topic....

Good news: Our beloved cat Cameo does NOT have FIV (feline AIDS)or FeLV (feline leukemia).

Bad news (besides the vet's bill): Cameo has an unusual skin lesion, idiopathic in origin. Treatment = massive doses of steroids, which can trigger diabetes, but which also have the best chance for completely curing the problem.

All this trouble because a neighbor's tomcat bit Cameo, who did not take kindly to the courting ritual. Cameo is spayed and uninterested in certain activities.

beakerkin said...

Cats can get diabetes?

Always On Watch Two said...

Yes. It's fairly common in obese cats and in Siamese.

Cameo is portly (not obese, yet) and 1/4 Siames.

The Merry Widow said...

Beaker-We had a poodle who got diabetes, she got her shot every morning. As long as she got her lettuce leaf afterwards, she was a happy camper(plus some cheese to counter the bloodsugar drop).