The Vatican is nothing if not consistent

It’s the lack of consistency that often annoys me when it comes to religious tradition and belief. It most often occurs with the strict adherence to certain lines of Scripture that conveniently validate one’s personal beliefs while ignoring other line of Scripture altogether.

Leviticus 18:22, for example, forbids homosexuality and is viewed as the infallible word of God to a large but thankfully shrinking number of religious zealots.

But just a few lines later, Leviticus 19:19, which prohibits clothing woven of two kinds of material and Leviticus 19:27, which prohibits the trimming of beards and the cutting of hair, are largely ignored by these same people for reasons that they are never able to fully explain.

See what I mean?

If you’re going to utilize religious doctrine as a means of rationalizing your bigotry towards homosexuals, you should at least be forbidden from donning cotton blends and be required to wear a full beard at all times.

In fact, I think this is a fair trade. You are only permitted to discriminate against my gay friends if you are also willing to renounce polyester and make every effort to resemble the members of ZZ Top.

All I ask is for a little consistency. All or nothing. Religion was not meant to be a buffet, particular when it comes to denying individuals certain rights and privileges based upon their sexual orientation.

Another case in point:

At the JCC swim club today, I was not allowed to purchase a cheeseburger for kosher reasons, but I was permitted to purchase a carton of milk and a hamburger, which is clearly in violation of kosher traditions.

See the problem?

The girl at the counter admitted that the snack bar was only “slightly kosher,” but if you’re going to adhere to a set of arcane dietary restrictions for the benefit of those members of the club who care about such things, at least be consistent. Follow the kosher guidelines or abandon them altogether, but please don’t muddle around in some bizarre middle ground. Keeping a semi-kosher snack bar will only serve to annoy cheeseburger-loving heathens like myself while simultaneously infuriating the kosher-kitchen dietary obsessives.

At least make one of us happy.

On a more serious, non-food-related note, the Vatican issued a decree this week that included a provision making the "attempted ordination" of women one of the “gravest crimes in ecclesiastical law.”

The change put the offense of ordaining women on a par with the sexual abuse of a minor, at least according to Catholic doctrine.

I cannot fathom why Catholic women are not picketing every church in America right now.

But unlike those buffet-style homophobes and the JCC swim club snack bars, at least the Vatican is consistent. Hundreds of years ago the Vatican took a stand against women’s rights, and damn it, they are not back down from it.  The Catholic Church does not believe that women are capable of holding leadership positions in the Church, nor should they be treated as equals to men, and they are sticking to their guns.

Give the Vatican some credit. At least it’s consistent.