Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Lutheran Pastor Was Right

Okay…what am I referring to?

There was a story in the “New York” section of the New York Times today--May 31, 2011--about a Lutheran Pastor’s daughter who now is a Rabbi in Brooklyn.

When the Lutheran Pastor’s daughter (Heidi Hoover by name) fell in love with Michael Rose, a Jew, she went to a Lutheran Pastor (not her father) to get counseling over the thorny issue.

The issue being their issue. That is to say, Michael Rose was just as in love with Heidi Hoover as she was with him, and he wanted their children to be raised as Jews.

So during the counseling session, Heidi asked the Pastor what God would think about her situation. And the Pastor said, “I don’t know what God thinks.”

Well, my dears, this infuriated Heidi. As quoted in the NYT story, she said, “I was very angry…I was like: ‘What’s God’s deal? How could God want two people who love each other to be kept apart?’”

And this circumstance lead to this-and-that, and now Heidi Hoover Rose is a rabbi in Brooklyn.

All of which is an interesting human interest story.

But the point is, the Lutheran Pastor was right. He said he didn’t know what God thinks.

There are a great many things that are taught in seminary. But the knowledge of what God thinks is not one of them. The certain knowledge of what one should do in any given situation because one knows, or an enlightened being knows, what God thinks about it, is not taught in any class or seminar in Christian God- schools.

I suspect it’s not taught in rabbinical school either, but I don’t know for sure. 

When Moses married a Cushite woman, what did God think? We know Moses’ brother Aaron and sister Miriam were not pleased. But did they ask God what he thought, and did he tell them? We know many people's thoughts on the Cushite woman. We know that being a Cushite may not have been the deal-breaker we have thought it was. We even know that maybe the woman we thought was a Cushite wasn't a Cushite. But what God thought? We don't know.

If someone in Rabbi Hoover’s congregation asks, “What does God think about Sarah Palin?” Will Rabbi Hoover cite writings and ruminations from the past to indicate what men have thought God might think about people like Sarah Palin? Or will she kindly suggest that Sarah Palin is not a subject about which one can or should query God? 

Or will she honestly say, “I don’t know what God thinks about anything.”

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