"On a recent chilly Friday night, a few dozen members of the City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism were gathered downstairs at the Village Community School on West 10th Street for Shabbat. For them, this is a monthly ritual that includes lighting candles and singing Jewish songs that have been carefully excised of a deity.
'Where is my light?' asks the song 'Ayfo Oree.' 'My light is in me.' According to the congregation's leader, the humanist rabbi Peter Schweitzer, who wrote much of the secular Shabbat service, as well as the lyrics and verse for the congregation's life-cycle events like weddings, funerals, and bar and bat mitzvahs, Judaism is mostly a culture-religion is just one component. So he simply takes a red pen to the God parts.
'We offer a different door in,' says Schweitzer. 'One that doesn't ask you to compromise your lack of beliefs'_
Schweitzer tells me that Humanistic Judaism was founded in the early sixties by a former Reform rabbi from Michigan named Sherwin Wine. Wine, Schweitzer explains, coined the term ignostic-you're never going to know what God is, so why waste your time worrying about it? 'God is a construct of the mind,' he says. 'Maybe you get there. Maybe you don't.'"
This is clearly self-deification-atheism's ultimate goal. Note that the answer to the question, "Where is my light?" is not, "There is no light," but "My light is in me," i.e., "I am my light," or "I am the light."
Note also that while it is asserted that "you're never going to know what God is," we get an instant dogma about what God is, "God is a construct of the mind."
I have already chronicles various statements by atheists who seek to establish an atheist religion in my essay, Atheism is Holier Than Theism. In this case we encountered a Jewish atheist irreligious service with all of the trappings with the exception of references to a supernatural God.
Sean McManus further points out:
"[the] Society for Ethical Culture['s]_congregants sit in pews, rise to sing hymns, and pass around a collection plate_Greg Epstein "is eyeing the group's building as a prototype for the church of New Humanism. Modeled on a Greco-Roman coliseum, Ethical Culture has semi-circular pews to promote conversation and a low stage designed to minimize the distance between leader and congregation. 'I want to build big, beautiful buildings like Ethical Culture in every big city in America.'"
In his essay Parable of the Madman-The Gay Science Friedrich Nietzsche declares the death of God and predicts the phenomenon of atheist religiosity.
"Whither is God?" asked the madman "I will tell you. We have killed him-you and I. All of us are his murderers."
We are then introduced to the point at hand as the madman asks and answers his own questions:
"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us-for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto_ What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"
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