As one can see from looking at the sort of nodes I tend to write, I have a great deal of interest (and passion) for religion and mythology, particularly that of Judaism and Christianity. I spend a good chunk of my time studying this sort of stuff, writing this sort of stuff, and contemplating on it all. I care a great deal for it. "Why?" I sometimes wonder. The people around me seem to care not a whit. It all strikes them as stodgy, old, stifling. Why do I spend so much time and get some much in return from this sort of thing?

I hate most of the morality behind Judaism and Christianity. So much of the rules seem so good, so pure, so common sense: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Honor Thy Father and Mother. But so much of it seems so terrible and ill conceived; so much of it seems so oppressive and stifling. Why must man not lie with man? Why should we follow kashrut? Why should I have no other gods before Adonai? No rhyme or reason is offered to any of this, and I am too much the fool to see the answer myself. No, very many of these laws seem meaningless, stifling, or downright destructive.

I hate the proselytizing nature of Christianity. Yes, I have heard the good news. Yes, thank you for the Bible. Yes, I have read most of the Gospels. No, I don't want to join your church. Thank you for the Book of Mormon. I'll take a look at it. Good fucking day, leave me alone! It sometimes makes me tremble with anger that another would so happily forcfilly thrust their religion upon me. It sometimes makes me tremble with anger that, a mere few hundred years ago, I might be killed for refusing. The thought that a mere few hundred years ago, telling someone trying to convert me that I don't want to become Christian, that I want to remain a Jew, thank you very much, could get me tortured and killed makes me so angry and scared, I shake with rage. The thought that I could be killed for being a Jew if I were in the wrong place at the wrong time on this very day frightens even more so. The isolationist attitudes of Judaism also distress me, albeit far less so: I suppose that indifference is better than propaganda.

So I have some major problems with Judaism and Christianity. In fact, I think of myself as a kind of agnostic nowadays. So why then do I read so much about them and contemplate so much of them? Why do I try to sometimes go to synagogue (other than because it makes my mom happy)? Why do I like sitting in and walking around churches?

I hate so much of the morality. I hate so much of the attitudes towards others. But this is what I love about Judaism and Christianity, this is what I love about most religions, and this is why I hold it so dearly to my breast: the symbolism, the visionary aspect, the mythos to it all. I do not believe in Jesus as the Christ, but I believe in the theme of Death and the Redeemer. I do not believe in Azazel, but I believe in the related theme of the Scapegoat and the Sin. Such themes, such symbols, such mythos speaks to the better nature of man, and it inspires me, at least, to be a greater man. It inspires me to create. It inspires me to help as best as I may in any way I may the rest of humanity to become greater, to transcend its limits, to throw off its shackles, and to rise up to the stars.

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