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Richard Abrons Headshot

A Good Life Without God

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Big topic. All encompassing. From Ra to Zeus to Moses to Jesus to Muhammad to Buddah. From Cotton Mather to Rush Limbaugh. From the Crusades to Shiites and Sunnis. Well, leave me out. I am a religous not...not...not nut.

Yes, about 16 percent of our country's citizens are atheists and I am one of them. Jewish but not bar mitzvahed. My father took his family to services on the High Holy Days because, as he said each time, he wanted to be counted. And then promptly fell asleep.

I am an atheist but not militant. Sent to Christian schools -- Riverdale Country Day, Phillips Academy Andover -- I sang a lot of hymns. If I liked the tune, I would heartily join in. Nothing like a lusty "Onward Christian Soldiers." On the other hand, I would stand mute during "Holy, holy, holy, lord God almighty."

I acknowledge that this is a Christian country, and issues like school prayer don't set my blood boiling, although I am against it. What did upset me were the professions of faith during the campaign for the Republican nomination for president. That nauseating slush drove me to membership in the Freedom from Religon Foundation (FFRF).

That organization swamped me with papers showing large signs: WHY DO YOU NEED GOD TO DO GOOD? To be completely free from religon I had to be free from FFRF. So I opted out.

What I don't understand are agnostics. I mean these are vital questions. Is there God or not? Is there an afterlife? I would think each person would conclude one way or another. I mean, take a stand, man.

Of course that's unfair to agnostics. They are entitled to their doubt. I do, however, prefer the certainty of the pope and myself.

I don't deny my Jewishness. I am a NYC Jew. Most of my friends are Jewish. And I have a strong desire that Israel survives and is just. But I have to say, Christmas -- with Santa, Rudolph and the wise men -- beats the hell out of Passover, which thanks God for killing the first-born Egyptian.

I could go on and on and on and on. But no. Amen