I had not meant to post again so soon, but circumstances compelled me. I'm writing partly in response to Joan Denoo's hopeful response that we atheists can do better in creating a world free of religious fantasy and conflict.
Maybe religion will retreat only so far and under certain conditions. Maybe we can't cause major change. I think it was Shimon Peres who said that if a condition resists all effort at change, perhaps it should be considered a permanent part of the…Continue
"Dear Alan and Elisha,
"We are planning to have the unveiling service for Belle [my mother, who died last year] on Sunday, November 22 at the Haym Solomon Memorial Park, Frazer, PA at 11am. We would love to have you join us, but please – [there’s] no pressure."
[Invitation to brunch afterward.]
The above is an invitation from my brother and sister-in-law (Deb, although a New Hampshire Congregationalist, follows along…Continue
“Now that I’ve shed my skin completely,
One true reality alone exists.”
Amid the twin excitements of Super Bowl and blizzard, we vaguely recall that today is also Groundhog Day, which was nothing more than a rather witless locally-oriented celebration until Harold Ramis’ brilliant movie of the same name. It was and is my all-time favorite message film.
Groundhog Day explores the everydayness of life with an ingenious premise…Continue
Thanks to all those who commented on my pre-funeral anxieties and other issues. Things went quite smoothly in PA, because the funeral was held in the social hall, where we also ate after the burial. So no religious problems. I saw another funeral being held in the holy sanctuary but was told that they usually hold funerals in the social room, and the event in the sanctuary followed a sudden death. So Belle is off to that Great Kosher(-Style) Deli in the sky, where every meal is brunch…Continue
Thanks to all who read my previous post. I found out today that Mom is in hospice and sinking fast, so I launched the letter (previous blog entry) to the Rabbi, slightly edited. Done and done, right? Not so fast. Here's the auto-reply:
Thank [sic] for your email.
I will not be reading my emails during the Jewish Holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah or the Sabbath following them.
I will look forward to reading and responding to my emails…Continue
FELLOW HERETICS: I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO SEND THIS LETTER (OR SOME VARIATION OF IT) TO THE RABBI IN MY MOTHER’S (AND MY FORMER) HOME TOWN. COMMENTS WELCOME.
Oct. 5, 2014
Dear Rabbi Rosin,
Thanks so much for visiting my Mother today. I know you’re really busy with the High Holidays. As in my youth, it’s still the only time everybody shows up, as if God doesn’t notice their non-observance the rest of the year, so you have to make the most of it. I do appreciate the time you…Continue
“All religions are the same: Religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.”
“Prayer is like a rocking chair: It’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”
--Gypsy Rose Lee
“When you go to war over religion, you’re basically killing each other to see who has the better imaginary friend.”
I have kept…Continue
“Now that I’ve shed my skin completely, One true reality alone exists.”
Zen monk: “How should I escape birth and death?” Zen Master Shih-kung: “What is the use of escaping it?”
“In this world, we eat, shit, sleep and wake up. After that all we have to do is die.”
Once again it’s Groundhog Day, which was nothing more than a rather witless locally-oriented celebration (and an American…Continue
Added by Alan Perlman on February 2, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments
“Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.”
--George Bernard Shaw
“It’s an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don’t try to make it…Continue
“There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it
with an air of great seriousness.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer
“Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most obvious conclusion is that they are all wrong.”
-- Christopher Hitchens
“Society attacks early, when the child…Continue
“Long as You Know You’re Living Yours”
Song title, Keith Jarrett
"The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death."
“In this world, we eat, shit, sleep, and wake up. After that, all we have to do is die.”
“Please enjoy your only life!”
“The power of a man’s…Continue
Added by Alan Perlman on November 25, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments
“All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.”
I sometimes think that prankish college students with nothing better to do are responsible for at least some of the more outrageous letters to advice columnists. That may be one explanation for the following letter and response. Another is that the writer and columnist are absolutely serious, the latter buying into…Continue
“If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.”
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great
“There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it with an air of great seriousness.”
“Hardest of deaths…Continue