"Cafeteria Catholic" sounds cool, but Cafeteria Jew doesn't have the same alliteration, and besides that, most cafeteria food sucks.
So, since I'm a bit of a foodie and I like things that rhyme, I've come up with the new term "Menu Jew".
What is the basic philosophy of the Menu Jew?
1. Before concluding that you don't like something, find out if you were really having the most authentic and properly presented thing.
One pet peeve of mine is people who say that they hate Indian food, but have never had anything other than stale yellow curry powder. Taste the real thing, cooked decently, before you diss it.
Similarly, don't judge your religion by what another religion says about it, or a random blog, or a statement by someone who is frankly clueless. Put in the effort to do the spiritual equivalent of finding the best Indian restaurant.
2. Acknowledge that not everything that is authentic will be palatable.
From time to time, you may encounter the spiritual equivalent of haggis.
3. Let me taste the real stuff, and don't Gerber-ize it.
Baby food makers often mash and puree food, sometimes adding in starch or salt or sugar because they claim that babies won't eat the stuff any other way. I'm not sure that's a great way to feed babies, and I'm positive that adults shouldn't be treated like that.
So...don't decide ahead of time that concepts need to be dumbed-down, or that you won't show the original sources, or that you won't discuss all of the viewpoints on an issue, or that you need to alter stuff from the original because I wouldn't like it. I'm a big girl. Feel free to review or comment on the offering, but let me chew on the real stuff.
4. Sometimes fusion works, sometimes it doesn't.
Butter and mayo on a Montreal smoked meat sandwich is just wrong. So is Chrismukkah.
Guacamole on challah, though, works quite well. So does Judaism and liberal democracy.
4. It's the restaurant's job to present the full menu. It's my job to select what I consume.
We can talk about what constitutes the range of Jewish belief - ie. what should be on the full menu. Ultimately, though, there is another question: as an adult with G-d-given free will and intellect, what am I choosing?