Sunday, May 03, 2009

Christianity: No Ifs, Ands, or Butts

Jave Neyland is seven years old. She lives in Texas. She is a persecuted Christian.

The godless school board of Irving, Texas (no doubt named after a godless New York Jew) has ordered Jave to tuck in the shirttails of her blouse in accordance with school dress codes. Her mother, Dyker Neyland (named after the flood control devices of Holland and not indicative of the woman’s sexual orientation) claims that the school board is persecuting her daughter because she is a Christian. Christians, as it turns out, are required to wear their shirts untucked.

Dyker’s proof is 1 Timothy 2:9 which requires women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation.” Allowing Jave to parade around school with her butt uncovered by shirttails would violate the New Testament and endanger Jave’s eternal soul.

Critics of Ms. Neyland will not doubt argue that little Jave could wear skirts or dresses rather than buttocks enhancing jeans that need buttocks covering. After all, when St. Timothy wrote his injunction against immodesty women weren’t wearing pants. Indeed neither were men. First Timothy could not have imagined tight jeans (though it is rumored that Second Timothy was a butt hound), and could not have been writing with shirttails in mind. Dyker is thus adding her own interpretation to the Bible, which she should be condemned to hell for doing, and which should not be imposed on Texans as a whole.

Now most of my readers will assume that I support the school board in this issue, but in fact I don’t. Texas is one of the fattest states in the United States. If it follows through on its threats to withdraw from the Union it will be one of the fattest nations on the planet. Fat tends to accumulate in the buttocks of many people, and forcing students to confront fat buttocks day in and day out in school will lead not to licentious thoughts, but painful and cruel jokes. Therefore it is my contention that all butts should be enshrouded with as much flowing fabric as possible. This should be true for the butts of boys as well as girls.

The whole point of a school dress code is to create an environment conducive to learning. Forcing students to stare at a sea of giant butts will not only fail in that regard, it will achieve just the opposite of its intended effect. Proof for this also comes from Timothy, in this case 3 Timothy 15: 38 which, in the King Jane’s translation tells us, “the cheeks to which our Lord referreth be not the cheeks of the butt but that of the head, yea the face, and it is these we must turneth to one another and not the lower which must remain hiddeneth behind a shroud, yea even a vast blanket, yea even angels’ wings, for should the nether cheeks capture the eye of the sinner thy neighbors beam will causest thoughts of lust and secure for them a place in the land of burning, gnashing and writhing in which the Lord castest all whose cheeks go unchecked and those whose eyes behold them.”

The Bible is clear: no ifs, ands, or butts allowed.

31 comments:

TheNote said...

Okay - I'm laughing really hard . . . perhaps that will burn off a bit of my excess . .reducing my need for yards of flowing fabric . . .

still giggling here.
g

Jordan said...

Shalom Rav,

You wrote:
"not indicative of the woman’s sexual preference."

I didn't realize homosexuality was a preference. Perhaps an orientation but not a preference i.e., a choice!!!

You continued:

"Texas is one of the fattest nations in the United States."

Huh?? You continued:

"3 Timothy 15: 38 which, in the King Jane’s translation tells us,"

King Jane's??

Make it a good day for yourself and others as well.
Biv'racha,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

Jordan

1. Good call on the "preference" issue. "Orientation" is better.

2. As mentioned in the blog entry, Texas recently threatened to secede from the Union. Hence, the rav's joke re: Fattest Nation in the US.

3. "King Jane's" Bible: another joke, announcing the fraudulence of the quotation (itself clearly a fabrication and thus not attributable to the King James' Bible).

Close reading is good, but don't sacrifice your sense of humor!

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

Re Texas: A quibble. The quote was ""Texas is one of the fattest nations in the United States."

What other "nations" are there in the U.S.? The Native Americans?

Re my sense of humor: You know from my past
responses that I'm not a fan of sarcasm that borders on (and oft times violates that border)
smug condescension. My teacher Max used to say,
"Don't make yourself big by making someone else small." In my never to be humble opinion, these are most definitely NOT Rabbi Rami's best moments.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Rabbi Rami said...

Thanks for catching "orientation" rather than preference, and "state" rather than nation. I fixed them in the post. "King Jane's," however was a joke. Not sarcasm, but a joke. So I left it alone.

As for sarcasm, I don't find it demeaning. Wikkipedia says, "Hostile, critical comments may be expressed in an ironic way such as saying "don't work too hard" to a lazy worker. The use of irony introduces an element of humour which may make the criticism seem more polite and less aggressive but understanding the subtlety of this usage requires second-order interpretation of the speaker's intentions. This sophisticated understanding is lacking in people with brain damage, dementia and autism..." Maybe that helps.

As for this not being one of my best moments, thank you for demeaning me and yet implying that I actually have best moments.

Jordan said...

Shalom Rav,

You quoted and wrote re sarcasm: " 'This sophisticated understanding is lacking in people with brain damage, dementia and autism...' Maybe that helps."

Thanks for the diagnosis. I'll seek treatment ASAP

You wrote:
"As for this not being one of my best moments, thank you for demeaning me and yet implying that I actually have best moments."

I wrote: "In my never to be humble opinion, these are most definitely NOT Rabbi Rami's best moments."

You replied: "As for this not being one of my best moments, thank you for demeaning me and yet implying that I actually have best moments."

As you can see my statement was an opinion (and you know what is said about opinions) about your "moments" not about you that is unless you'd argue (which you just might), that we're all nothing more or less than the sum total of our "moments." In which case I'd humbly change "moments" to "work."
Then once again it would be a judgement about some of your work and not about you.

And yes, you as well as the rest of us actually have
"best moments." Which moments those are is once
again a matter of opinion (and you know what is said about opinions).

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Patti said...

Jordan...in my own humble opinion you continually miss Rami's point and then blame it on him. You should stop trying to play with the big boys. Sorry dude.

Jordan said...

Shalom Patti,

Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.
Make it a good day for yourself and others as well,

Blessings,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

I'm not sure I can agree about sarcasm. In some situations, yes, I can see that it would soften a critique. But in the very first sentence of that same Wikipedia post, the authors have pointed out that:" Sarcasm is a form of irony that is bitter or cutting, being intended to taunt its target." Moreover "It comes from the ancient Greek σαρκάζω (sarkazo) meaning 'to tear flesh'"

This is the definition I prefer, because despite the social niceties of sarcasm, I think the intent is always to sharpen, rather than soften, critique. Which is why I find it an important rhetorical tool: the keen edge of the pen, if you like. As Twain put it: "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." Or, to quote Oscar Wilde: "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence."

AaronHerschel said...

Jordan

Ouch! So much for your stand against sarcasm.

By the way, it was the "is" in the "fattest nation" thing that got you, wasn't it. Good eye. I didn't even see it.

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

You wrote:

"Jordan

Ouch! So much for your stand against sarcasm."

My stand on sarcasm remains as I stated
a few posts ago: "I'm not a fan of sarcasm that borders on (and oft times violates that border)
smug condescension."

If you're referring to my responses to Patti or Rabbi Rami, there's no smug condescension, not even close. In fact my response to Patti could be liked to
"turning the other cheek." Check out Rabbi Rami's comments on this at :

http://mountandmountain.blogspot.com/2008/07/rami-response-to-mikes-627-post.html

You continued:

"By the way, it was the "is" in the "fattest nation" thing that got you, wasn't it. Good eye. I didn't even see it."

Nope. It was simply the idea of "one of the fattest nations in the US.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

You wrote:

"This is the definition (of sarcasm) I prefer, because despite the social niceties of sarcasm, I think the intent is always to sharpen, rather than soften, critique."

We're taught in D'varim (Deut)6 "V'shinantam l'vanecha," often translated as "teach them (the commandments) diligently to your children." Actually, since "v'shinantam" is derived from the Hebrew word for tooth (shen) and thus for sharpen
(l'shanen), my very free translation is "sharpen your children with the commandments" or give them some into which to sink their teeth."

And then again, I wouldn't do it sarcastically.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Jordan said...

Shalom All,

Sorry for the typos in the last two posts. In the one before last, "In fact my response to Patti could be liked to 'turning the other cheek.' " "liked" should read "likened."

In the last one, "or give them some into which to sink their teeth," the word "some" should be something.

There are probably more and I'm sorry if this is the case.

Blessings,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

Oh no! I think we shuold be as literal as possible with our translation. Rub your children against the stone tablets of the ten commandments until their heads become nice and pointy and sharp, and thus more effective and deadly when they (as they must) butt heads with others.

AaronHerschel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AaronHerschel said...

Sorry about the multiple deleted posts. Computer glitch reposted the same comment three times.

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

Upon what text were you commenting?
Do you have any children of your own?

Blessings,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

Jordan

I was just playing around with your translation of Deuteronomy. You wrote: "my very free translation [of Deut 6] is 'sharpen your children with the commandments' or 'give them some into which to sink their teeth.'" My literalism was intended as a joke: instead of "sharpen your children with the commandments," "sharpen your children on the commandments."

Judaism has a long tradition of critical argument (head butting), and I was unseriously suggesting that Deuteronomy was telling parents to prep their kids for full contact intellectual debate by literally sharpening their heads.

As an aside, I don't have kids, no. But if I did, I would absolutely (metaphorically) sharpen their heads, hopefully to a fine point. As a teacher, I feel my job is to sharpen heads, and I keep a (metaphorical) grindstone in my classroom for that purpose.

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

Achaaaaaaaaaaaaa........

And thanks.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Rabbi Rami said...

I really appreciate the comments. The exchange between AaronHerschel and Jordan was fascinating. I suspect that AaronHerschel will make a wonderful father, and look forward to the day when his sharp-headed children are loosed upon the world.

Jordan said...

Shalom Rav,

You wrote:

"and look forward to the day when his sharp-headed children are loosed upon the world."

Just curious; when that time comes, which permutation of grandfather will you prefer? For the record my two grandaughters call me Zaide at my request.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

For my part, I'm all about Zayde (or Zadie, or whatever spelling is most yiddish).

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

You wrote: "For my part, I'm all about Zayde (or Zadie, or whatever spelling is most yiddish)."

Perhaps zayin, yod, dalet, aleph?

Biv'racha,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

Jordan

By the way, I never realized my identity was known on the site. It's fine that it is. I just wondered how you parsed my relationship to the Rav.

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

Somewhere along the line, on a previous iteration of
Rabbi Rami's website there was I believe a class or workshop that you and he offered together. I've been
reading Rabbi Rami's work for the last 12-13 years
back to rasheit.org aka The Virtual Yeshiva. In fact he ands I had a short exchange in the beginning of 1997 on that website. Add this to the fact that you and he live in the same town (just click on your name on this blog for that info), and voila!

I hope that this doesn't cause Rabbi Rami any unnecessary angst; but then again the name of this blog is "Toto: Behind the Curtain with Rabbi Rami"

Biv'racha,
Jordan

AaronHerschel said...

No! No angst for me anyway. I'm amazed (and pleased) that you've been reading Dad's work for so long. I think I felt a certain... I can't say. A Freudian "I don't know what" in being anonymous--just another reader and commentator, but c'est la vie! The curtain has been pulled at last.

Patti said...

OMG!!!!! That is all I have to say. OMG!!!!

Love that.

Grégoire said...

This has been such a fascinating conversation, and I'm grateful to all parties for their persistence.

I too wondered about the Aaron/Rami dialectic, and during an earlier argument assumed our host might have been playing trickster to enhance the aforementioned conversation. I didn't bring it up because it didn't seem apropos. Interesting to note the relationship.

I only wish I lived in proximity to Aaron... I'd be eager to enroll my own kids in whatever course he teaches. They could use a bit of head-sharpening.

Best to all...

G

Peter Schogol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Schogol said...

Jordan,

"Zeyde" is spelled זיידע. Its derivation is Slavic ("dziadek" in Polish, "дедушка" in Russian) rather than Semitic, hence the need for the Yiddish tsvey yudn rather than the Hebrew yod as the first vowel.

Peter

Jordan said...

Shalom Peter,

Thanks for the correction. My only real memory of seeing written Yiddish is from when my Zeyde (we pronounced it Zaidee long "a" as well), would read the Jewish Forwards, as well as the few Yiddish books he and my Bubbie had. I probably never saw the word in print and now that you've actually spelled it it makes total sense from what I remember of the phonetics.
Thanks again and Shabbat Shalom

Biv'racha,
Jordan