You might think that all I do is rant about religious matters on some band's messageboard.
Some nights, I think you'd be right.
In response to one defense of Organized Religion, I felt moved to add:
In my circles, there are 20-and-30something Jews who are Too Cool For Shul and want to express their Jewish identity in various non-synagogue forms (which I have no problem with, and am sometimes part of) AND only talk trash about the established/pre-existing religious & cultural institutions (& why they can't be bothered to be part of them or work to improve them instead of Taking Their Toys & Going Home -- which I do have a problem with).
That's all well and good, while you're young & healthy & life's going well.
And yeah, you might rather hang out with each other right now than with the bourgeois mommies (and their aging mothers & dads) at the Big Suburban Synagogue I work at...
But that Big Suburban Synagogue has, among other things:
-- clergy who always take care of community members, visiting the sick in the hospital and the ill at home;
-- an active Social Action Committee whose projects feed the hungry, clothe the needy, cheer the wounded and lonely, and try to make the world a better place;
-- a Caring Committee that brings meals to members who are sick or who are in mourning;
-- a Special Needs Committee that tries to make sure that no one in the community is kept from being part of Jewish life & activities at the shul because of physical, developmental, or other handicaps or challenges
... and these forms of organization help its members care for one another.
Trash-tralking hipsters have the luxury of ignoring this structure in part because they expect it to be there for them if/when they need it -- not considering the fact that if they keep themselves aloof from it, it may not be.
Yeah, I know -- sounds like the opposite of my complaint 2 posts ago about the Organized Jewish Community not getting what 20-and-30-somethings are up to & why it won't kill them. Eilu v'eilu ("these and these [are the words of the living God]"; Eruvin 13b) -- there's truth to both.