The god problem and women

Why do I not capitalize the word “god”?

Because I do not honor the concept, i.e., I don’t believe.

What I do believe, however, is that god — and its invention and application by men — is a very bad deal for women.

I’ve made the point before: religions, especially fundamentalist religions, were created by men to suppress women.

Ergo, I was, as usual, incensed to read this story about child custody “customs” in Orthodox Judaism in yesterday’s Times Metropolitan section: “Leaving the fold and losing custody.”

An Orthodox woman divorced her husband after realizing she was gay. In several courts, one of them secular, she was denied custody of her children, not so much because she was gay, but because…well, look at this first paragraph of this story and scream:

The questioning went on for days. Did she allow her children to watch a Christmas video? Did she include plastic Easter eggs as part of her celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim? Did she use English nicknames for them, instead of their Hebrew names?

This grilling of Chavie Weisberger, 35, took place not in front of a rabbi or a religious court, but in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, during a custody battle with her ultra-Orthodox Jewish ex-husband after she came out as lesbian and decided to leave the ultra-Orthodox fold. The stakes could not have been higher. In fact, the judge, Eric I. Prus, eventually ruled that she should lose custody of her children, largely because she had lapsed in raising them according to Hasidic customs.

Fortunately, the appellate court reversed this decision because, “Justice Prus had erred in making religious observance the paramount factor when deciding custody.”

Justice Prus — who is Orthodox himself (surprise!) and saw Ms. Weisberger’s divorce agreement to raise her kids in Orthodoxy as a “contract” — should be removed from the bench.

I’d say much, much, much more except I have previously.


Et cetera.






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