The God Squad: No belly buttons for Adam and Eve

September 20, 2013|By Rabbi Marc Gellman

Q: What, in your opinion, was the reason the early church allowed religious art to show Adam and Eve with belly buttons? — D., Buffalo, N.Y. via

A: Good point. Adam should have a "rib button" and Eve should have had no button at all!

Q: I'm a Christian and I've committed at least one mortal sin. I didn't hurt anyone but myself, though, when I broke one of the Ten Commandments. I've asked God for forgiveness and prayed at length about this, knowing why I did it and that I was out of control and desperate for love and human connection. Is that enough, or am I doomed? — R., North Carolina, via

A: You're not doomed, because God's love for you cannot be broken or annulled. Jesus' sacrifice and your repentance covers your sins. Repentance covers mine. Everything else is just not our business. Smile more. You are blessed.


Q: Out of the blue, my 32-year-old daughter has absolutely no time for me. Evidently, she's disliked me as far back as her teenage years. I'm only invited to her house twice a year, on each of my grandson's birthdays. I'm so devastated that I'm literally frozen in inactivity. How can I get through something like this? — P., via

A: Read this to your daughter: "Why are you torturing your loving mother? How would you like it if your sons never spoke to you when they are grown? Life is too short to hurt those we love."

Q: I look forward to the Thursday Raleigh News and Observer to see what insights you're offering for so many different questions. As a Christian, I appreciate your objectivity and your openness to all religions. It's amazing how much we all have in common, yet the things that separate us seem to divide us to a greater degree than our commonness unites us. May God continue to bless your ministry for many more years. — A., Bailey, N.C., via

A: For all the years Father Tom Hartman and I worked together as the God Squad, we had one single and simple message: "We know enough about how we are different and not enough about how we are all the same." Thank you for understanding the most important thing I know.

Q: Our very precocious 5-year-old granddaughter is obsessed with death. She asks lots of questions about people dying and what happens to them. She asks her mother if she could die before her. I'm going to be 74 and she asks me if I'm going to die because I'm old, since her mother said people die when they're old.

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