Catholic vs. Jew – 2017-02-04 – Natalie


Natalie and I know each other. She welcomed me into her home for this friendly chat. I was just coming down with a cold, and so my voice is a little off.

Transcript

Please excuse any errors as these captions were automatically generated by YouTube.

0:00 hi this is Natalie and you’re listening
0:01 to Catholic vs. jus I’m just going to
0:07 ask you to tell the audience a little
0:09 bit about yourself who you are what you
0:11 believe and why you believe it okay um I
0:14 was born and raised Jewish I went to
0:17 Jewish school since the age of five
0:20 since kindergarten so I learned three
0:23 languages english hebrew and french my
0:26 family was more secular certainly my
0:29 father was my mother and my brother were
0:33 more into the religion and into going to
0:35 synagogue and and my brother has often
0:38 toyed with the idea of becoming a rabbi
0:40 as for myself I was always interested in
0:43 religion and different religions and I
0:45 was also very worldly so I was
0:47 interested more in other religions not
0:50 just Judaism and also I studied history
0:53 so of course i always like to know the
0:55 context of religion and how it came
0:57 about and what was before and during and
1:00 after so what branch or what form of
1:04 Judaism was most present in your
1:06 childhood we were conservative I belong
1:09 to a conservative synagogue the women in
1:12 the men sat separately we went mostly
1:15 for high holidays I’m Ashkenazi Jewish
1:18 so it was I don’t know if it is still
1:21 but at the time it was mostly in
1:23 ashkenazi jewish synagogue did you ever
1:26 pray of your own free will like when he
1:29 went to bed at night would you say a
1:31 little prayer to God did you ever did
1:32 you have a connection to God at all no I
1:35 didn’t really think about God when I
1:37 went went to bed I thought more about
1:39 the universe and I thought more about
1:42 chaos and what the world looked like
1:45 before you know it was created or what
1:47 the solar system looked like or our
1:49 galaxy or other galaxies I would also do
1:53 this weird exercise where I imagine my
1:55 parents weren’t my parents and I do this
1:57 like dissociation detachment I would
2:00 close my eyes and look at patterns that
2:02 form in the darkness in my eyes so I
2:04 wasn’t really thinking about God I mean
2:07 I wasn’t really thinking about him since
2:10 your childhood like during adolescence
2:12 in your
2:13 life have there been times where
2:15 uncharacteristically maybe you reached
2:17 out to go out of desperation no but
2:20 there was this one time where my
2:22 long-term boyfriend and I broke up and
2:25 it was a bad breakup and I was really
2:28 depressed for about a month but the
2:30 first week it was like really acute and
2:32 nothing could call my anxiety and my
2:35 depression at that point and then it was
2:39 weird but just one day I said to myself
2:41 okay well you don’t have this you don’t
2:44 have that you don’t have him anymore
2:45 okay so what do you have what’s always
2:48 there what’s always good to be there and
2:50 then I realized it’s God who’s always
2:53 there and religion is always there and
2:55 that I could rely on that and I could
2:58 fall back on that and that’s when I
3:01 realized that this is probably why a lot
3:04 of people become religious later in life
3:06 they have traumatic experiences and they
3:10 figure it out so that was the only time
3:13 where I contemplated it it was just more
3:17 of a realization like oh god is always
3:19 there God is there if if I’m feeling
3:21 this way I can do something for God and
3:24 it’ll make me feel better so that was
3:26 the only real time the thing is I could
3:29 be more religious and I could be more I
3:32 mean observant but the reason I’m not is
3:35 that because God is both good and bad
3:38 everything seems to be based on fear of
3:41 God not just love of God but fear of God
3:43 and I don’t want to do something for God
3:45 because I fear him I want to do
3:47 something because i purely love him I
3:49 don’t want to think of him and be good
3:50 to him and pray to Him in this net for
3:52 selfish reasons which are caused by fear
3:54 Judaism teaches that God has a good side
3:57 and a bad side are you sure about that
3:58 not a hundred percent sure but I know in
4:01 the Bible he just does things that are
4:03 both good and bad okay it’s not really
4:04 written probably but it just never says
4:07 God is bad but I could tell you without
4:09 any doubt whatsoever that God is not
4:12 capable of any evil ever so I think if
4:15 you talk to a Muslim a Jew or Christian
4:18 if they practice their faith they will
4:20 all agree that God is all capable of
4:22 error and he’s not capable of evil he’s
4:25 not capable of sin he’s not capable
4:26 even anger or jealousy these are
4:30 condescension Xin the Bible it’s hard to
4:32 put into words what God is so we use
4:34 human language so I think it might
4:36 change your relationship with God to
4:39 investigate that side of god if god is
4:43 all good and all loving and incapable of
4:45 evil and how to explain certain writings
4:48 in the bible and how do you explain evil
4:49 in the world what do you think about the
4:51 idea that God allows evil to happen
4:54 because he can bring good out of it
4:56 that’s how powerful he is how does that
4:57 idea strike you is that a good solution
4:59 to the problems okay yeah that makes
5:01 sense I guess it’s similar to a trauma
5:04 where a trauma being a negative
5:06 experience but there’s good that comes
5:07 out of it because if you grow from it
5:09 which a lot of people do then it’s a
5:11 good thing so then it you can like turn
5:14 the negative into a positive you sent me
5:16 a link to a video with the rabbi can you
5:19 tell me a little bit about how that
5:20 impacted you that story of the sister
5:22 rabbi anova with the near-death
5:27 experience he was a very wild guy we
5:31 went to a party one night and some
5:33 friends passed around a bar or something
5:35 and he started not feeling well after
5:38 and him and I think it was his current
5:41 girlfriend at the time decided to leave
5:43 and they took a cab and in the cab he
5:46 collapsed unconscious and during that
5:50 episode he experienced death and he was
5:55 first looking at himself from like a
5:59 ceiling like he felt he was floating and
6:01 he was about ceiling height and he saw
6:03 him lying on his female friends legs in
6:07 the back of the cab and and after that
6:10 he rose higher kept rising and then he
6:13 saw like the taxi driving through
6:16 Manhattan and then he would rise even
6:19 more and he saw like all of Manhattan
6:21 and then he rose even higher where he
6:23 could see the whole world like he was
6:24 orbiting in space or something and then
6:28 once that happened he felt something
6:31 pull him down just pulled him and then
6:34 he was in this place where it was pitch
6:36 black and he was there for a very very
6:39 long time
6:40 and the whole time he was praying to God
6:43 to get out of it and he he said the
6:45 first thing he did when he died when he
6:47 realized he was dying and he had this
6:49 out-of-body experience he immediately
6:53 said a prayer Jewish prayer culture
6:56 morale it’s a form of chuva it means
7:00 forgive me and I will become religious I
7:03 will pray to you I will do good deeds I
7:06 will that’s what chuva is it’s kind of
7:08 like a return you notice I got born
7:09 again it’s and this was very much like a
7:12 rebirth so he was in this purgatory for
7:15 2 billion years as he describes it was
7:18 dark he was in pain there were blades
7:20 finally he sees a little speck of light
7:24 and he knew like okay there’s an opening
7:27 you know there’s an out so he was just
7:29 praying and and praying and and and then
7:34 eventually it was all light it was all
7:38 white and then there appeared all these
7:41 like angels before him and millions of
7:45 them as some I guess were demons because
7:47 every time he’s explained every time you
7:50 sin you create a demon and the angels
7:54 they said let’s look at your good deals
7:56 let’s look at your bad deeds and let’s
7:57 see like with the result is and then
7:59 they realized they said you cut the cord
8:02 which is the 613 meets wat you cut that
8:05 cord and you have like one strand maybe
8:09 and he he realized oh my god I I really
8:13 didn’t do anything good I hora didn’t do
8:15 enough good to you know overshadow the
8:18 bad and basically they said the only
8:22 good deeds you did well one was
8:25 circumcision but that was more your
8:26 father’s deed and the second was you had
8:29 a Bar Mitzvah because your grandfather
8:30 made you have it after this lake led the
8:33 judgment final judgment process first he
8:37 had two options he was like you could
8:38 die or you could go back to the real
8:40 world and then you have two conditions
8:42 one is being a Jew when one is spreading
8:45 the word and telling everyone what you
8:47 experienced so he of course he chose he
8:50 said I want to go back and then the next
8:52 thing he
8:53 I was back in his body in a hospital bed
8:57 so that was his out-of-body experience
9:01 when I listened to the rabbi talk about
9:04 his near-death experience it kind of
9:07 reminded me of when I broke my wrist
9:08 when I was biking and it’s the first
9:11 time I’ve broken a bone and it’s the
9:14 first time that I had to go under
9:15 general anesthesia for surgery and I was
9:19 very scared I didn’t know what’s gonna
9:20 happen I was an atheist I had nothing on
9:23 the other side it’s just the end if I
9:26 die and when I woke up I was a changed
9:29 man it was a kind of death for me and I
9:32 did experience something on the other
9:33 side I did I just had no memory of it I
9:36 have zero memory of anything but
9:38 everything changed from that point
9:39 forward I started becoming interested in
9:42 religion I had always been interested in
9:44 philosophy that’s what led me to
9:46 religion but my interest increased and
9:48 there was a sort of peace and a joy that
9:50 came when I came out of the general
9:52 anesthesia and looking back I always
9:55 make a connection between that sort of
9:59 quasi death that I underwent and my
10:02 conversion who knows what deal I made
10:04 with God you know cuz he could list sins
10:07 a mile long for me and say this is your
10:10 last chance so probably I’m not doing
10:13 enough that’s the feeling I get back to
10:16 life as usual my will be done what do I
10:18 want what’s in it for me that’s the
10:21 status quo I’m a convert to Christianity
10:24 and I still feel that I just have this
10:26 layer of religion over top saying no
10:28 David no not your will God’s will I
10:30 think that’s how these things happen
10:33 like I said before it’s always a trauma
10:35 right and it’s really hard to change and
10:38 this rabbi innova his first hour is more
10:42 fixed on explaining what happened to him
10:44 his second hour is partially explaining
10:47 how hard it was for him to make these
10:49 changes like he started incorporating
10:51 things and he started making changes but
10:54 he was still doing certain things in his
10:57 old way and you know it’s like me okay
11:00 every time I get really sick okay I’m
11:03 going to take care of myself I’m going
11:05 to eat properly after I’m going to
11:06 exercise I’m going to
11:07 stop eating this and that and then it
11:10 becomes I want to look good for me and
11:12 and you learn to love yourself but now
11:15 it’s about God loving me and it’s about
11:18 me loving God and me not just doing this
11:20 for myself or to please my doctor this
11:23 is for God because if I don’t take care
11:26 of myself I’m shortening my life span
11:29 and I don’t have time to do all these
11:32 good deeds if I’m not well and i’m going
11:35 to die sooner than i should which also
11:37 is related to the free will because the
11:41 dilemma and the Jewish religion is that
11:43 there is free will but God knows what
11:45 you’re going to do in the end God knows
11:46 the path god has chosen a path for you
11:48 but you can change it if you’re on the
11:51 wrong path sort of thing if you’re on
11:52 the bad path you can change it so I feel
11:55 a bit like oh if I’ve come to that fork
11:57 and it’s now time to go to the gym and
12:00 to eat properly into this and that
12:01 because God it’s it’s for God because I
12:06 wasn’t able to do it for myself I wasn’t
12:09 able to do it for someone else but maybe
12:11 I can do it for God people tend to
12:14 overvalue themselves and undervalue
12:18 themselves in all the wrong ways
12:20 absolutely so what Jesus Christ brings
12:24 or what God brings is this idea that you
12:27 are his creature you’re nothing because
12:31 compared to God nothing is anything so
12:34 you are nothing so you can’t undervalue
12:36 yourself you’re nothing you’re worthless
12:37 even if you do everything perfectly to
12:40 please him you’re nothing but a
12:41 worthless slave on the other hand you’re
12:44 a creature about your child of God God
12:45 loves you God created you God is
12:48 watching you as I was converting to God
12:51 the Father from atheism one of the most
12:54 powerful and moving things I read was a
12:57 book called the vision of God and I
13:01 thought this is interesting I’m going to
13:02 learn about what it’s like to have a
13:05 vision of God turns out the book is not
13:07 about me having a vision of God it’s
13:10 about God’s vision of me God is watching
13:14 me that gave me chills as an atheist
13:17 that put my hair on end even as an
13:20 atheist that was so powerful
13:21 think that you even though you may not
13:23 worship God in a traditional sense i
13:25 think you know yeah i have a spiritual
13:28 side and he also talks out of something
13:31 about doing the blessings on the friday
13:34 night with the candles it’s supposed to
13:36 bring you closer to God and most people
13:38 of course don’t feel the closest to God
13:41 they don’t feel anything like they don’t
13:42 feel a change and they’re looking for
13:44 this change to happen he tells a funny
13:46 story about a woman who came over after
13:49 he became religious and married and and
13:51 and he said we’re gonna light would you
13:53 like to light the candles and she was
13:55 like no no no no no and finally she
13:58 agreed and then she looked up at the
14:00 ceiling after slipping cabals so he
14:04 looked up at the ceiling too because he
14:06 was like what’s she looking at and then
14:08 she and then finally she said he asked
14:11 her what are you why are you looking at
14:13 the ceiling she’s like I’m waiting for
14:15 something to happen you said I’d be feel
14:18 closer to God after but that things
14:20 happening so I think in some way I felt
14:26 closer to God like I explained this to a
14:28 friend of mine who is an atheist and he
14:33 asked me he do believe in God and I said
14:36 yeah yeah I do he goes why and I go I
14:40 lost a lot of relatives in a very short
14:43 amount of time I lost my mother my
14:46 father my grandfather his brother my
14:49 grandmother and my uncle within the span
14:51 of seven years so I felt some kind of
14:56 protection weird protection after like
14:59 they were watching me and if they’re
15:02 watching me then God’s watching me and
15:03 that’s why I believe in God and he was
15:08 like whoa I’ve never heard something so
15:11 deep like if I that happen to me i think
15:13 i would also believe in God sort of
15:16 thing but it hasn’t happened to him so
15:19 that’s why you know that’s why you need
15:24 an in a trauma that will change you and
15:27 whether it’s change converting from one
15:28 religion to another whether it’s just
15:30 becoming more religious what your
15:32 whatever your religion is or
15:35 you could be in two different religions
15:37 you know I think it takes a when things
15:40 are going well why would you want to
15:42 change when things are going badly of
15:45 course you want to change so I think
15:47 it’s connected to that I had another
15:49 friend who was an atheist late friend
15:51 god bless his soul and one day after we
15:56 had gone for coffee with another friend
15:57 him and for his friend were were just
15:59 going on and seriously bashing God like
16:02 I hate God and God is this and God is
16:04 that and I looked at him and I said well
16:06 you say you’re an atheist because yeah I
16:09 go how could you hate God if you don’t
16:11 believe in him doesn’t make any sense if
16:15 you were to become religious as opposed
16:19 to being just spiritual are you leaning
16:21 towards Judaism or not at all would you
16:23 be just as comfortable as a hare Krishna
16:25 or as a Catholic or I pretty much would
16:29 stay what I am but I like taking the
16:32 good out of every religion and I like
16:34 anything that’s in common with all
16:36 religions it’s good so I mean I have my
16:39 own Christian tendencies as I would call
16:42 it and this took a while for me to think
16:46 like this but very recently I realized
16:50 that I had matured and grown emotionally
16:54 finally able to love myself and I
16:56 reached a level where i could really
16:59 forgive my enemies and wish them well so
17:03 long as they stay away from me the sort
17:05 of thing and then I said I think that’s
17:08 a Christian concept but I was like hey
17:11 I’ve Christian tendencies that’s pretty
17:15 cool that’s ok so i love that i can love
17:19 my enemy I love that feels good it feels
17:22 good now i want it to talk a little bit
17:25 about heroes of the faith in the
17:27 catholic church we have saints and our
17:29 calendar celebrates them year round the
17:32 Jews have holy men they have these
17:33 rabbis that are so famous a rabbi to me
17:36 is someone who not only is the holy man
17:39 it’s more it comes from rough it’s more
17:42 of an educator a teacher a do-gooder but
17:44 with it influence on others it’s a
17:47 teacher it’s a yes haha smart
17:49 man and then and Rob is like a smart man
17:51 and a holy man whereas a holy man sure
17:55 it’s a rabbi but I really see it more as
17:58 the prophets I know I look up to Abraham
18:00 I know I look up to Moses I know that I
18:03 look up to certain ones for different
18:05 things do you remember sitting and being
18:07 taught with the children’s version of
18:09 the Torah and there’s a simplified story
18:12 about Moses or something like that was
18:14 that part of your experience of school I
18:16 don’t think it was so simplified as much
18:19 as you think we learned it in the
18:20 original language well in old Hebrew oh
18:23 and the class was in Hebrew it wasn’t
18:26 hebrew english it was old Hebrew Hebrew
18:28 so we learn everything yeah we learn lie
18:31 in my line we learned the laws we
18:32 learned that this and that but we didn’t
18:33 learn the context there was nothing to
18:35 apply it to and I’m only finding out the
18:38 context slowly and especially now so
18:41 usually in the second half of the
18:43 interview I asked my guests to sort of
18:45 direct questions I mean anything you
18:46 want to know about what I believe why i
18:48 believe it is there anything you would
18:50 want to know about my faith I don’t know
18:52 much about Christianity or Catholicism
18:54 but I think Christianity came first and
18:56 Catholicism keep later no no
18:59 Christianity is Catholicism there is no
19:02 difference you could find the same thing
19:04 in Judaism you could find one sect of
19:07 Judaism where they’d say it’s just
19:09 Judaism and those people over there that
19:12 are claiming to be Reform Judaism or
19:14 whatever they’ve just deviated from
19:16 Judaism they’ve given it a fancy name
19:18 that’s all you know and they love their
19:20 brother that’s fallen onto this wayward
19:22 path they loved the brother and they
19:24 would love their brother to come back to
19:25 the fullness of Judaism so that’s what
19:27 Catholicism is it’s the fullness of
19:29 Christianity and those who are born into
19:32 a Protestant form of Christianity we
19:34 still consider them Christian they still
19:36 have baptism they still have Jesus
19:38 Christ but they’re missing all kinds of
19:40 things when it comes to faith and morals
19:42 and if you look at the history of the
19:44 Catholic Church all the way back to
19:46 Jesus Christ you’ll see that it is not
19:48 changing if it is changing in terms of
19:51 its dogmatic teachings then it’s a false
19:53 religion period that’s why when I
19:55 convert it to God and I decided to be
19:57 Christian I became Catholic not Southern
20:00 Baptist you know
20:01 I just figured that because Christianity
20:04 first spread to Greece and it was
20:06 established there and then then with the
20:08 Pope in Italy I thought that’s when the
20:11 schism occurred and the Greek side
20:15 became Orthodox and the Italian side
20:18 became Catholic the the Orthodox would
20:21 not agree that they became or Thugs they
20:23 claim that the church is the Orthodox
20:26 Church and the Catholic Church has
20:27 deviated from orthodoxy that’s their
20:30 point of view and I admire them for that
20:32 point of view I think they’re wrong
20:32 obviously if I agreed with them I would
20:34 be Orthodox but i think that the true
20:37 religion is catholicism this is the
20:41 divisive power of God God is truth and
20:44 the truth divides and every deviation
20:47 from truth and there’s so many that are
20:49 possible all of them are missing
20:51 something they all contain truth or they
20:54 wouldn’t exist right there’s truth in
20:55 everything try to come up with a
20:57 sentence now that is pure lie with no
21:00 truth in it you can’t because you’re
21:01 going to reference reality otherwise
21:03 it’s just mumbo jumbo so the Orthodox
21:06 Catholic split both sides claimed no we
21:09 go back to Jesus Christ we are apostolic
21:12 we are the true religion and the other
21:14 diverged and that is the hallmark of any
21:18 self-consistent coherent worldview I
21:21 think you have to believe that you’re
21:23 right you can’t say my religion is
21:26 compromised my religions based on
21:28 half-truths and lies you can’t be
21:30 satisfied with that you have to believe
21:31 that you found the truth so when you
21:34 talked earlier about well you know I can
21:37 take bits and pieces from different
21:38 truths and different religions so can i
21:41 but it’s only because I believe that all
21:43 of those truths are Catholic truth all
21:46 truth belongs to us Christians that’s
21:49 what I believe and I think that any
21:51 self-respecting person whatever the
21:53 world view is even if they’re an atheist
21:55 I think that they have to say all truth
21:57 is atheist truth because science has the
21:59 answer for everything don’t you agree I
22:01 I guess so I try to be more objective
22:04 about religion and about personal
22:07 preferences and things like that your
22:10 preference for chocolate ice cream
22:11 doesn’t contradict my preference for
22:13 vanilla ice cream but when I say geez
22:15 Christ is God Almighty that’s a position
22:18 that can’t be reconciled with the Jewish
22:20 position who is Jesus Christ that is the
22:24 question it’s not do you like chocolate
22:25 or vanilla ice cream it’s who is Jesus
22:27 Christ is he a lunatic a liar or Lord
22:30 and that is a question that you can’t
22:33 shrug off and you can’t pretend like it
22:36 doesn’t affect everything else in your
22:37 world view you know because everyone has
22:39 an answer to that question whether it’s
22:41 implicit explicit whatever you’re doing
22:43 built into that there is an answer to
22:46 the question who is Jesus Christ but I
22:48 just have a problem with absolutism and
22:50 I think maybe the only thing that I
22:52 would accept as being absolute is God
22:54 not Jesus and D but you’ve just
22:57 absolutely categorically said that Jesus
22:59 is not God you’ve just said that you
23:01 can’t avoid it yeah yes I said no you
23:05 can’t you can’t have it both ways you
23:07 are absolute estuvo Jesus he’s not God
23:09 he’s not for you right it’s not like I’m
23:11 more absolutist than you you just don’t
23:13 recognize that you are being absolutist
23:15 about Jesus he’s not God for you he’s
23:17 not and I’m comfortable with I don’t
23:19 think that your rigid or that you’re
23:20 pushing your ideas on my throat I think
23:22 it’s just a position he’s not God well
23:24 here’s the thing there’s hypocrisy in it
23:27 because people say God is in you so God
23:30 is in you God was in Jesus too so as
23:33 jesus god that’s worse than lying that’s
23:35 called equivocation that’s where you say
23:37 I guarantee I’ll give you that thousand
23:39 dollars i owe you by the time the Sun
23:41 rises and then you come knock on my door
23:42 and say look the Sun has already risen
23:44 now so no it hasn’t The Sun has it the
23:47 earth Rohit oh we that’s called
23:50 equivocation the Sun does not actually
23:52 rise the earth is spinning right so you
23:56 can twist words all you want but the
23:59 bottom line is is Jesus God in a way
24:01 that you are not God in a way that your
24:03 cat is not God because God is in your
24:05 cat yeah that’s definitely my cat’s eye
24:09 I see that garden yet Jesus are not to
24:12 not go in bernal no they’re not I think
24:14 Jesus was probably a great guy who did
24:17 some great things I can’t even accept
24:20 that he didn’t exist actually I can’t
24:23 accept that as much as I can accept that
24:25 he’s god I can’t I does it really say
24:28 that he’s God he says he’s
24:29 son of god I guess which is where does
24:31 it say this it’s in the Bible somewhere
24:33 the reason i ask you that facetious
24:36 question is because i’m not a Bible
24:37 alone Christian if you talk to a
24:40 Protestant everything that they talk
24:42 about will be referenced to the Bible
24:44 everything whereas i don’t need the
24:46 Bible as a Catholic I don’t need to
24:48 reference the Bible I have a church that
24:50 dusty old book I believe in it and I
24:52 believe that it is written by God God is
24:54 a primary author of Scripture and that
24:57 there is no error there is no
24:58 contradiction in the Bible so I do
24:59 Revere the Bible but I can leave it
25:02 aside when it comes time to talk about
25:04 my faith I don’t need to lean on it I do
25:07 lean on it because it’s so full of
25:08 wisdom and it is the word of god it’s
25:09 perfect but when you rely exclusively on
25:12 it and you reject the church that gave
25:15 you that Bible that’s absurd that’s a
25:18 contradiction so when you said it
25:21 doesn’t say is God it says he’s the son
25:24 of God you were referring to that dusty
25:26 old book and I can dispense with that
25:29 because I have the church a living
25:30 church and we have the Pope Pope Francis
25:32 that Pope was ordained into the
25:36 priesthood by the laying on of hands and
25:39 those hands were laid on in a success of
25:42 chain all the way back to Jesus Christ
25:43 laying his hands on Peter so there’s an
25:45 unbroken chain and I’m part of that
25:47 chain because I’m not ordained but I am
25:49 confirmed by the laying on of hands I’m
25:51 a bishop so it’s a connection all the
25:53 way back to Jesus Christ now speaking of
25:55 Pope Francis how do you see Pope Francis
25:57 I like him I mean it’s really it’s
26:00 interesting because I actually really
26:02 liked Pope John Paul but but my
26:05 grandparents are all from Poland oh ok
26:08 so there was an association with that he
26:10 grew up during the war he saw what
26:12 happened and he was very good to the
26:15 Jews I think it was very good a lot of
26:18 more liberal Catholics didn’t like him
26:20 but he was very he was really did a lot
26:23 to reconcile with the Jews and so I
26:26 liked him for that and he really did
26:27 physically resemble my grandmother haha
26:30 that was the big joke in the family that
26:32 my grandmother looked like the Pope and
26:34 the Queen Mother so I had a soft spot
26:37 for Pope John Paul for those reasons
26:40 obviously I was
26:43 not as keen on him for other reasons you
26:46 know like birth control homosexuality
26:48 abortion that kind of thing but I
26:51 understood where he was coming from then
26:54 he died and we had Ratzinger Benedict
26:57 the 16th right oh sorry I calm Ratzinger
27:00 most people do he didn’t warm up David
27:03 quite so much well he’s German so I
27:06 guess just the way he looked and I was
27:09 just like this is weird a poll succeeded
27:11 by a German and his name is Ratzinger
27:14 which sounds harsh and I think he was
27:18 even more hardline than Pope John Paul
27:20 the second he was always criticized for
27:21 being too liberal and to progressive
27:23 when he was younger by the time he
27:26 became Pope I think he was pretty
27:27 conservative yet he wasn’t really
27:29 well-liked like he didn’t seem to have a
27:31 personality or and then this guy the
27:35 Pope now he’s quite a character from
27:40 what I’ve seen stirring up a lot of
27:42 opinion good and bad good and bad
27:45 because he is trying to acknowledge
27:48 certain things about Catholicism the
27:50 first thing I think he did was about the
27:53 sexual abuse that went on within the
27:54 Catholic Church and he really wanted to
27:57 deal with that yeah no one did more by
27:59 the way no one did more for that than
28:01 Pope Benedict the 16th or Ratzinger no
28:04 one did more and then he started to kind
28:08 of warm up to homosexuals and then i’m
28:11 not sure what Elsa he’s good with the
28:15 Jews too i’m not sure what he said
28:17 really about birth control or abortion
28:20 obviously there’s also now with Islam
28:22 and radical Islam and terrorism and all
28:25 that stuff that’s more of a new thing I
28:27 think for this Pope then for the other
28:30 popes I mean he doesn’t accept terrorism
28:33 but he’ll you will not condemn the
28:34 religion which is good yeah when you
28:36 look at Islam what do you see can you
28:38 see the good and the bad I have issues
28:41 with Islam what is it about it that rubs
28:45 you the wrong way if I look at Jesus
28:48 Jesus was a peaceful guy and then you
28:50 have Muhammad who was peaceful and then
28:53 all of a sudden he became violent and
28:56 I didn’t even know that Medina was full
28:58 of Jews and that he waged war on them
29:01 and slaughtered a lot of them then he
29:02 took a Jewish bride and he went from
29:04 being married to this older woman who is
29:07 20 years older than him I don’t think
29:09 they had kids and then she died and then
29:11 he flipped out it was almost like he
29:13 flipped out and then he went to Medina
29:16 and then launched his war on on the Jews
29:19 and because there was some business deal
29:22 gone bad they said they would do
29:23 something they didn’t do it and then he
29:26 attacked and with his army and and and
29:29 then he married a nine-year-old girl and
29:31 I don’t know maybe he married her and he
29:33 waited until she was of a certain age to
29:35 father children or to have sex with her
29:37 but it was just it was just like whoa
29:39 hey you know yeah and I’m trying to find
29:43 someone in the Bible who was similar and
29:46 the only person I can think of would be
29:47 king david well there’s a story of lot
29:50 Sodom and Gomorrah sure well he was
29:53 taken out of Sodom and Gomorrah he was
29:55 rescued because he was worthy he was
29:57 righteous and he went into the mountains
29:59 and his daughters tricked him into
30:01 having sex with them to propagate the
30:03 bloodline and there is the story also of
30:06 Noah with his son walking in and taking
30:10 advantage of his own father’s nakedness
30:11 do you know with that no I don’t know
30:13 about these two things okay so a little
30:16 homework assignment for you can look
30:17 these stories up and I’m not going to
30:19 interpret them because I don’t know what
30:21 the church says about them specifically
30:23 but there certainly is no shortage of
30:26 people going astray doing the wrong
30:28 thing the golden calf the worshipping of
30:31 the golden calf that Aaron made from the
30:33 people when Moses was up the mountain
30:35 you must remember that for sure you know
30:37 that’s about as big a transgression as
30:39 you can have in a story about worshiping
30:42 God you know so there’s no shortage of
30:44 people doing the wrong thing the
30:45 question is when are we miss judging and
30:48 rash judging and judging too harshly
30:50 things we just don’t understand because
30:52 of the it’s a different time it’s a
30:53 different age it’s hard to believe but
30:55 it might be the case that if you were
30:56 actually there with them at that time
30:58 you wouldn’t have thought twice about
30:59 that behavior or this behavior which now
31:01 shocks us you know I mean we’re quick to
31:04 judge and we’re quick to judge Muhammad
31:06 I think in the same way we don’t know
31:09 really happened we don’t know the
31:11 context we don’t know the culture we
31:13 don’t know the pressures we don’t know
31:14 how the story was propagated and what’s
31:16 true and what’s not so I think I like to
31:18 give Mohammed the benefit of the doubt i
31:20 think he was wrong i think that it’s a
31:22 false religion but i don’t judge him
31:25 because i don’t know him i don’t know if
31:27 it was just a power grab or if he was a
31:30 sincere man who had a conversion and was
31:32 just following God’s orders according to
31:35 his interpretation now that’s the
31:37 problem always right is what is the
31:39 proper interpretation and a classic
31:42 story that comes to mind to me when I
31:44 want to defend Muhammad is Isaac Abraham
31:48 has to sacrifice Isaac and he say what
31:51 kind of God would do that well I believe
31:53 that God tested Abraham faith and that
31:55 Abraham passed the test and that Isaac
31:58 was not killed and it all’s well that
31:59 ends well yeah but it’s easy to look at
32:02 that story and say God’s a monster it’s
32:04 easy to look at that story and say
32:05 Abraham is a monster and it’s easy to
32:07 look at the story and to say Isaac’s are
32:09 fool because he was participating
32:11 willingly he was a willing victim in
32:13 that so there are two ways to look at
32:15 that story you can look at it as a
32:17 hellish nightmare and only a fool would
32:19 believe these crazy stories about this
32:21 crazy god these crazy religious people
32:23 or he can look at it the way that the
32:24 Jews Muslims and Christians look at it
32:26 which is that it’s a beautiful story of
32:28 faith and that God is all good and that
32:31 Abraham trusted God and his trust was
32:34 credited to Abraham as righteousness
32:36 that’s how we see it although in the end
32:38 no one got hurt except for a lamb
32:41 there’s a difference in second of all
32:44 Muhammad if he’s a prophet to be a
32:47 prophet to my image of a prophet is not
32:50 someone like Muhammad that’s not my
32:54 image of profit I know David was a
32:56 warrior and then he also was a lover and
33:00 he had the husband of this woman killed
33:02 so he could have her that’s pretty bad
33:04 too you know but you know the difference
33:07 is he’s not the only prophet in in the
33:09 Old Testament where as Muhammad is like
33:11 the only prophet in Islam and that’s not
33:14 what they claim actually no they claim
33:16 that they have all the profits from Adam
33:18 all the way through a
33:20 Moses and all the way up to Jesus
33:22 including Jesus and Muhammad is the last
33:24 prophet so they appropriate all of that
33:27 which i think is to their credit because
33:28 there’s a lot of beauty and goodness in
33:30 Judaism and Christianity that I think
33:33 they need frankly yeah but at the same
33:35 time then they look down on Jews and
33:37 Christians so and and every religion
33:39 seems to have this really it’s not just
33:41 Islam triumphalism yeah well I guess
33:45 that’s what it’s called yeah so with
33:48 Islam actually i was told that muhammad
33:50 is the first profit for the same reason
33:52 you think he’s a last prophet for the
33:54 Muslims he’s the first profit yeah first
33:57 in priority first and righteousness
33:59 first of all in his first in example
34:01 last in chronology that’s probably what
34:05 the taxi driver meant so i have you ever
34:12 heard of bhai of course bhai came about
34:17 I guess it was I don’t know 19th century
34:19 in Persia and later these people were
34:24 persecuted and had to leave Iran like
34:26 when it became erat and when the Shah
34:28 was overthrown and maybe even before
34:30 they were persecuted especially after
34:33 the Revolution I mean they really all
34:35 left and they’re a lot of Congress to
34:38 bhai as far as I can see I know there’s
34:40 a baha’i center here on Pine Avenue my
34:43 mother when she was terminally ill with
34:46 breast cancer was very very spiritual
34:49 person herself and I think she really
34:53 wanted to know more about what happens
34:55 when when you die and I don’t think she
34:57 was satisfied with the Jewish answer so
35:02 she started to make friends and get
35:05 involved in other churches and
35:07 denominations to find out what their
35:09 answer how they view an end of life and
35:12 afterlife in a resurrection and anything
35:16 to do with that and so she became quite
35:19 involved with the Baha’i at one point
35:21 she was really like the Baha’i because I
35:24 got the Baha’i from what I’ve seen
35:25 they’re very into love it’s very
35:28 positive they’re very into love and God
35:30 everything’s about love and God love and
35:31 god there’s no Jesus in there
35:33 no other person in there they’re very
35:35 into love and God and and and and
35:37 writing these very poetic verses and the
35:41 way it’s written I mean it’s very like
35:43 lift your spirit roof yeah something
35:46 like that so this is what she was
35:48 looking more for but she never converted
35:51 to bhai and she had a Jewish funeral in
35:54 Jewish burial but I know that and I know
35:57 that it’s very flowery I almost want to
36:00 say flaky but it’s like you have a smile
36:02 on your face the whole time I was no
36:04 sharp edges anywhere no I knew someone
36:08 who was by he passed away and used to
36:12 write poetry okay bahay inspired poetry
36:15 I think some of it was depressing just
36:18 because he was a depressive kind of guy
36:20 but there was a lot of God and love in
36:22 it yeah so your impression of it is it’s
36:25 gentle yeah it seemed very gentle does
36:29 that attract you or repulse you um
36:32 doesn’t attract me doesn’t repulse me
36:34 either but I don’t find it very
36:35 realistic I mean I see the Jewish in the
36:38 Muslim as having a lot of negativity
36:39 that’s for sure what do you mean by
36:41 negative there’s a lot of I mean there’s
36:42 a lot of bad things God does in Judaism
36:44 there’s a lot of bad things people do in
36:46 Judaism yeah in islam it’s Muhammad did
36:50 a lot of bad things so and it’s
36:52 allegorical to wear as Jesus is
36:54 allegorical but Jesus like probably
36:56 didn’t even kill a fly hey you know so
36:59 there are elements of the behind that
37:01 almost remind me of Christianity the way
37:04 they talk about God and love and stuff I
37:06 think there’s some kind of a Christian
37:08 element to it as well the reason I
37:10 brought it up I don’t know anything
37:11 about it I just have this vague notion
37:14 that they will just sort of embrace
37:17 everything is true and a good friend of
37:20 mine from university is an atheist who
37:22 studying to be a minister in a church
37:24 called you you unitarian universalist so
37:30 they believe just like the muslims and
37:32 jews that God is not a Trinity there’s
37:35 one person in the Godhead and the
37:37 Universalist aspect is that everyone
37:39 goes to heaven and the rabbi that I
37:42 interviewed on this podcast said that
37:44 everyone goes to heaven
37:45 so I lost a lot of respect I was sorry
37:48 to say for Judaism when I learned that I
37:50 need hell in order to have real lasting
37:54 consequences to the decisions that I
37:55 make otherwise I’ll just go into the
37:58 dark side and up and have it anyway
37:59 that’s the way my mind works so I did
38:03 lose respect for Judaism I’m sorry to
38:04 say I’ll need to find out if that was
38:06 this particular rabbis opinion if it
38:08 that was just his sect or if that’s true
38:09 daisen that is Judaism and you know what
38:12 that’s another thing i wasn’t exactly
38:14 taught about heaven and hell I mean I
38:17 think I was taught maybe I didn’t get it
38:18 that we had a kind of purgatory
38:19 purgatory there’s no hell it’s just
38:21 purgatory hey just purgatory I think we
38:24 did learn that and I wasn’t paying very
38:25 much attention when I heard that there’s
38:28 no real hell I just tuned out because
38:30 then i thought don’t you listen to this
38:32 exactly because there’s no hell but it
38:34 doesn’t change me at all no because you
38:37 are still subject to the god of
38:39 catholicism and the Catholic hell is
38:42 real and you can really go there you
38:44 understand you are still living in God’s
38:46 reality and God’s reality is Catholic
38:48 from my point of view I could be wrong
38:49 come with your counter arguments if you
38:51 want but I’m convinced that the universe
38:54 is a Catholic universe and there is a
38:55 hell a permanent hella we need to be
38:58 careful what we do and we could end up
39:00 in hell I don’t wish it on anyone but my
39:03 Universalist friend my Unitarian
39:05 Universalist friend he’s studying to
39:08 become a minister and he doesn’t even
39:10 believe in God so it’s the kind of
39:12 religion where I think that it’s a sort
39:14 of non religion and you can believe in
39:17 God if you want they don’t they’re not
39:18 all I theists so someone like you that’s
39:21 spiritual I thought bahay Unitarian
39:23 Universalist there must be some kind of
39:26 religion sort of non-religion where you
39:28 could practice your spirituality without
39:30 having to set one thing up over against
39:32 everyone else and say no this is it and
39:35 you’re wrong maybe it’s my own religion
39:37 oh yeah maybe I’m founding a new
39:39 religion I just don’t want any members
39:41 um no you know i love knowledge so I
39:46 love learning about religion and maybe
39:49 one reason to be more religious was to
39:51 gain more knowledge that way because
39:53 you’re not going to gain it any other
39:55 way but I don’t think that I would turn
39:57 more Jewish or more whatever
39:59 just to gain this knowledge i’m reading
40:01 now i’m asking my friend i’m i’m more
40:04 observing the observant than being
40:07 observant myself you know and learning
40:10 and they say even Judaism i think in the
40:13 Cibola it says it’s like infinite wisdom
40:15 infinite learning like you’re never
40:17 going to know and that’s because the
40:20 only thing that knows everything is god
40:23 yeah so to wrap up I always ask my
40:26 guests to give a little closing thought
40:28 which really encapsulates your path
40:31 because your path is unique everyone’s
40:33 path is unique what would you say to
40:35 anyone that’s listening I would just
40:37 tell them to keep learning keep reading
40:39 and to be good and to make wise
40:44 decisions and learning and being good is
40:47 great and it can help you love be good
40:51 and learn and by being good and doing
40:53 good things and thinking it’s proven
40:56 chemically that it’s good for you with
40:58 serotonin um I think this is a probably
41:02 more the path to God and to love then
41:05 things that are absolute and you know it
41:08 says Jews have to do 613 meets foot but
41:11 i think that non-jews are doing these
41:14 mitzvah to even though they are not Jews
41:16 and some non Jews were more Jewish than
41:17 Jews you can say you know I don’t know
41:20 if there’s one real path but I know that
41:23 the more you learn and the more you do
41:25 good I just know that feels really good
41:27 and I’m sure God feels really good too
41:31 if you like it will do if you think it’s
41:37 you got some questions piano tell all
41:41 you gotta do is s all you got to do is

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