RELIGION! Simply uttering the word invokes a visceral reaction to some degree in all of us. To me I just respond “Oh yeah, that exists in the world.” I’m a bit indifferent. I see it for both its positive and negative attributes. Many people use it as an honest guide to a wholesome life, while others take advantage of it to justify acts of selfishness. Religion has never been an integral part of my life. I was raised Jewish in that we lit the menorah at Hanukkah time and mother said the prayer. (We also always had a Christmas tree every year. Not for religious purposes. But Christmas is fun! Something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be a “celebration,” but rather an exciting family event. My response to the skeptics: Why the hell not?) So in practice: not very Jewish at all. I think I still have a yarmulke from the few times I attended Sunday school as a child. Yeah, that’s all I got.
Growing up I would always tell people I was Jewish, and would promptly check “Jew” on any demographic Scantron I came across in school, but I never quite understood it. My parents said I was Jewish, so I was Jewish. I never read the literature, or studied the culture—I never needed to! I just had the title. Something about that just doesn’t seem … responsible.
I decided years ago that until I took the time to sit down and respectfully read the Old Testament, exclaiming Judaism would be an empty statement. Furthermore, it seems only fair to read ALL the books of faith to truly decide which set of rules, if any, I should abide by for the rest of my life. Therefore, I declare myself agnostic—the belief that all is possible, but we as humans have not enough knowledge to understand the true nature of the afterlife. I don’t deny any religion as untrue, but I don’t accept any either. That seems fair to me.
Here’s an interesting battle of righteousness between two religious organizations, confirming that there are no absolutes in this world, unless you’re speaking in terms of opinion: