Religion without god
Saying I can’t imagine the belief in god is inaccurate. I can imagine it quite well. I can imagine how comfortable it would be to believe that everything in my life has meaning by default. When bad things happen it’s a test, when good things happen it’s, well, do Jews have an understanding of Karma? But belief in god, for me, would be a daily lie. I would be blaming a made up deity for my own wants and prohibitions, because fundamentally, as comfortable as it may be, I don’t believe in a god or gods. I believe that things happen for a reason and that reason is usually how you set up the situation, or carbon emissions, or geopolitics. On a good day that reason is civil society and connected communities.
So, nu, I’m not the only atheist around, why the blog post? The blog post is because I’m actually pretty religious. I light Shabbat candles, celebrate the major holidays, tell the story of exodus from Egypt. I struggle with the desire to give my children Jewish names in a world that’s seeing a resurgence of anti-Semitism. I find the multitude of rules and bylaws of the Torah fascinating.
My partner and I discovered that we know different tunes for Lecha Dodi and I love this small difference that we have between us that requires so much similarity and shared history to get to. I once explained this to someone as ethnic identity. If I was Native American for example, I wouldn’t believe that a rain dance brought rain, but I would want my children to learn about rain dances anyway. I’m not entirely sure about this explanation, but I wish I knew why religion without god doesn’t seem incongruent.