So long, everyone. This is my formal and official sign-off from Atheist, Intermarried and the Skeptic Ink network. Thank you for reading and allowing me to be part of this wonderful community.
I regret that my contributions were few and far between. I had joined — I asked to join — the network to represent the voice of people with religious spouses and significant others. We live with and love religious people, yet we both reject that God exists and view religion itself as somewhere between minimally helpful and seriously harmful. As a representative, my activity caused a failure to bring a coherent perspective to the foreground. I apologize for my indolence.
To turn out the lights Atheist, Intermarried, let me offer some thumbnail updates:
- My wife and I remain happily married–over 15 years now! She’s as devout and religiously active as ever, and I support her fully.
- Our kids are 12, 9, and 7. Raising them is often challenging, but they overfill my heart with joy and love. They make me very proud.
- My son, the youngest child, is ADHD and just a remarkable kid. He struggles to control impulsive behavior and form healthy friendships, but he is maturing by the day. He has such a sweet face and loving personality that I stand up straight with confidence that he’s going to be just fine.
- My love for Yiddishkeit, Jewish culture, has deepened. This partly reflects my desire to remember my father actively. It also represents a fist-on-table resolution that my children should have some experience of their heritage.
- So with respect to Jewish belief, I remain thoroughly convinced that God is man-made–so too is the Christian God and the Islamic Allah–but I am a Jewish man as well as an atheist. Judaism is mine as well as anyone else’s, and I refuse to abandon it solely to the believers. I thank the New Atheists for raising the profile of atheism such that I now feel that I can stand as an atheist and yet also claim a Judaism for myself.
- What’s next? Believe it or not, I am starting another blog. This time, I will use my real name and seek to build upon my interests and learning as I also try engage like-interested folks. I also want to grow a side business related to the professional services I have developed over the last 14 years.
I do wish all of you — atheists, skeptics, science buffs, activists, readers — happiness, fulfillment, prosperity, and whatever notoriety you desire. With respect to such wishes, I think of Clint Eastwood’s protagonist in Unforgiven, who growls (I paraphrase), “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” Clint’s anti-hero represents the annihilation of our first-world pretenses of fair-play and ‘reap what you sow’ mentality. People often don’t get what they deserve, hard work and passion notwithstanding. On the other hand, you all do deserve happiness, fulfillment, and so on.
Be well. I won’t be far away.