The Most Interesting Person in the World

In Which Lauren Tackles Religion

Posted on: March 1, 2010

And for today’s post… a double-lister

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Why I want to be Religious

  • I love rituals.
  • I love being around people who all take the same thing seriously.
  • What’s the name of that guy with that dilemma that if it’s all true and we don’t follow it, we’re doomed?
  • I need the legally binding excuse to take a day off.
  • An acceptable environment to ponder all those Big Questions.
  • Thousands of years of history and tradition and really smart people who have been everywhere and through everything and are sharing their knowledge with me, free of charge, and with a free meal to boot.

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Why I Don’t Want to be Religious

  • Too restricting.
  • The things I can do are great, but more numerous are the things I can’t do and the people I alienate.
  • I tend to fall into self-righteousness.
  • I don’t necessarily agree with all the conclusions, though I do appreciate the opportunity to ask and discuss.
  • While it is good for me to gain boundaries and such, I don’t want to cut myself off from so much of life’s bounty and travel (while I’m still too lazy and cheap to deal with mountains of logistics).
  • I want to follow things when and how I feel like it, but without the guilt involved in not (wanting to) follow everything as prescribed.
  • My priority is family and community and being a better person – and is not dealing with the logistics of how to follow everything just so, and avoiding technology even if it means avoiding family.

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In conclusion, I’m going to do my own thing or I’m going to go crazy. (Not that I’m not already crazy anyway.) I keep being drawn to efforts like Rebooters, Sabbath Manifesto, and Jewish Renewal. Being able to think about these issues without worrying about someone else’s rules frees me up to come up with so many other creative and meaningful ways to connect with humanity and the Divine.

The next challenge is for me to continue to actively improve myself and pursue greater meaning and connection and cultural identity, however I choose to live my life. Meaning: Don’t give up on all those great things even if I choose not to follow this well-lit and well-travelled path.

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4 Responses to "In Which Lauren Tackles Religion"

Do whatever makes you feel best, and take your time in making that decision.

I want free food. OM NOM NOM.

DON’T LISTEN TO JANET. FOLLOW THE TROOOOOOOOTH!

You, Myles, I was thinking of the most, when I considered how much I hate feeling like I can’t go to certain restaurants, or for the rest of my life I’ll never order shellfish or meat of any kind at an unkosher place.

I was thinking, Myles would never do something to cut off more than half of his options like that, just for some silly belief.

Then I was like… Oh yeah…

[Myles is a strict vegetarian; he won’t eat anything that even touched fish.]

Being more strict does not necessarily mean more religious as we are not supposed to add to Torah. One can be religious without having to conform 100% to what different people say you should do in terms of customs. We have different customs and things aren’t always so black and white. It’s important to keep Torah but that doesn’t mean you have to adopt customs that are not halacha, that seem “too strict” to you. Judaism allows people room to breathe.

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