March 24, 2011

The Old Men And The Religions

Yeah. Sorry. Could not resist that nod to Hemingway.

It occurred to me just today. So dumb of me really ... to realize this so late in the day.

Why is it that "men of religion" ... and they tend to be invariably and without exception 'men' ... God men, the "leaders" of the various religions, whichever way you want to put it, they all are WITHOUT EXCEPTION old men.

I am thinking of the 'Father's of Christianity, the myriad gurus and god-men littering the land of the Hindus (with their saffron attire, perhaps a fashion beard and hairstyle) , the Islamic clergy with their long beards, the Jewish Rabbis with their beards, the Tibetan monks ... well, I can think of only one I guess ... Dalai Lama with his fashionably bald pate and mild, kindly disposition, Sikh holy men of the gurudwaras too, etc.

Yeah. So, what's the story? What's the logic? Is it that we are willing to defer to old men more than, say young men ... or women? And, if so, why? Are old men (more or less neutered) less threatening from a mate selection or procreation perspective?

Clearly, if I had a lovely girlfriend, and if I had to suddenly go out for an hour, I would be far more at ease if she was at home with an 80-year-old man rather than Shah Rukh, Aamir, Brad, Colin, etc. ...

There's clearly something here. For this to be so uniformly true of all the "successful" religions.

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