During the two years that I worked at a Church school, I was very careful to keep my opinions about the Church to myself. I felt it hypocritical to criticise the hand that was responsible for me being able to buy food, heat the house, pay the mortgage etc.
In September, I started at my new school, a non-faith establishment and as a result, I currently have no qualms whatsoever about raising issues in the church that are doing their best to give me sleepless nights.
Let me continue by stating that I don't have a problem with the Christian religion per se. In fact, some of my very best friends are Christians. After all, you guys pilfered much of your religion from us, so why should I be angry?
A large part of your Church Service is probably closer to the original ritual that was performed in the Temple in Jerusalem, than our own Synagogue services. I certainly don't remember the last time the Rabbi walked down the aisle waving the smoking incense!
Let's not forget that your Big Guy (TM) was also one of ours, granted that he wasn't exactly what one would call a model Jew. At least not by any noteworthy Jews that I know (and Helen Shapiro doesn't count as a "noteworthy Jew").
However, that doesn't stop me raising my fist in anger at two recent stories emanating from both ends of the Christian spectrum.
Firstly, could someone please explain to me why the Pope is doing his very best to destroy more than 40 years of Jewish-Christian relations by insisting that the Easter Mass calls on Jews to recognise and accept Jesus as being the Messiah? Do we ask Christians to fast on Yom Kippur to savew their souls? Do we tell them that they will only achieve salvation if they only take on seven days of Matzah? I don't recall the last time the Chief Rabbi suggested that a good Christian can only call himself thus if he cuts off his foreskin?
I thought that respect for religion meant that you accepted other people's views as being valid, even if you didn't subscribe to them yourself. Why doesn't Pope concentrate on his own people instead of on mine? Why doesn't he encourage his people to do their bit to increase Church membership amongst themselves?
What is the guy's problem?
Here are some facts from the Jewish horse's mouth:
1) We don't believe in Jesus being the son of G-d
2) We don't think he was the Messiah.
3) we have managed to live as Jews three thousand years before Christ came along and two thousand years after (although the Christians haven't exactly made it an easy ride for us)
It is that simple - deal with it.
I don't have a problem with Christians believing whatever they want to. I just find it really insulting when their leader shows us total disrepect by imposing his views on us. We all believe in one G-d.
First rant over.
Secondly, let's talk about the Archbishop of Canterbury and his views - which can either be described as criminally naive or incredibly stupid (and I tend to go for the latter) on incorporating Sharia law in the British legal system.
If anyone went out there with the intention of inflaming the Islamaphobic sentiment in this country, he couldn't have done a better job?
I suggest that in the same vein, the Chief Rabbi calls for all Jews who eat Pork or shellfish or dammit, Tesco Chickens, whilst driving around in their cars on Shabbat, no, make that Yom Kippur to be fined under British law. Yup, that would go down well - except that the Chief Rabbi wouldn't be as stupid to even think of such a ludicrous idea, let alone mention it in a newspaper article. The good Archbishop has made a laughing stock of himself and I honestly don't think that he deserves to be head of the Anglican Church.
Second rant over.
I wonder how many of you, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or any other creed, share my views? I also wonder how many of the level minded, decent, sensible and thoughtful Christians reading this post will agree with me.
Because, if you do, you really deserve leaders who present you and your religion in a more worthy and ultimately spiritual, light.