Dana Jennings: Religion Is Less a Birthright Than a Good Fit

I suspect that my path to Judaism isn’t much different from other American journeys to a new faith ”” whether it be from megachurch to Zen monastery, or from mosque to the Cross. We Americans lust after movement: from town to town, from spouse to spouse, from religion to religion.

I was brought up to believe unquestioningly in that loving yet grouchy God who sat Zeus-like on his golden throne. But in third grade, being an appallingly rational little brat, I made my mother cry when I told her that I didn’t believe in God. (Not being a complete idiot, though, I still believed in Santa Claus, if not the Easter Bunny.)

After that, came busy decades of indifference, agnosticism and vague stirrings in the soul, like winter squirrels in the attic. As with Moses and the Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years ”” which, from this vantage, doesn’t seem so long ”” it took me a good long while to reach my spiritual home.

My wife, Deborah, is Jewish, and we married in 1981 and later raised our two sons Jewish ”” so long, Santa, old pal. But I didn’t convert until 2004, didn’t officially and irrevocably spurn my Protestant roots till some 40 years after the fact.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture

10 comments on “Dana Jennings: Religion Is Less a Birthright Than a Good Fit

  1. robroy says:

    “Religion Is Less a Birthright Than a Good Fit” Hmmm. If only there was a website where we could go and figure out which religion was the best fit for each of us.

  2. John316 says:

    Robroy, Try this one: [url=http://quizfarm.com/quiz_repository/Religion/156867/]Which is the right religion for you?[/url]

  3. Sidney says:

    The guy needs to be honest that he’s a hormonal convert. Sure, his logic is plausible, but it’s probably post-mortem rationalization. So he did all that reading and studying and by golly he decided Judaism was right. What a coincidence! Is any man ever going to marry and have children like that and later admit he made a mistake? Few people have that sort of strength.

    What would really be admirable is to see an article from a man who was in love with somebody and decided not to marry her because of issues with faith. Very few men have that in them.

  4. physician without health says:

    This guy was never really a Christian to begin with. Actually, none of us was, until coverted by the Holy Spirit (except that is St. John the Baptist, who recognized Christ while still in the womb).

  5. robroy says:

    John316, I was being facetious. After visiting that site, I did find that I had a lot of tracking cookies installed in my computer. AVG’s free spyware detector got rid of them for me.

  6. TLDillon says:

    #5 robroy,
    Ditto! I too ewnet to that site and WOW! After you answer the questions it wants your cell phone number to send you a text ofa passcode number that you then have to come back to the site and input just to get the answer to the quiz questions. Then ad, after ad, after ad….Not nice John316…Shame on you!

    #4 physician without health,
    You are correct we were never Christian to begin with. And many claim to be one but never act like one nor understand how to be one!

  7. Larry Morse says:

    This essay gives a new meaning to puerility. Is this what judaism needs – or wants? LM

  8. robroy says:

    Larry, I take it you won’t be buying the book?

  9. Bill Matz says:

    Sidney, I had that experience in ’89. Not sure it is so rare.

  10. John Wilkins says:

    what is true is that most of us are “born” into some sort of religious language. There aren’t many Christians who were born atheists.

    Most people want the religion of their parents, it seems. No – its not universal…. My own parents were agnostics, but had respect for religion. I still won’t give up my empirical sensibilities about the supernatural; nor my skepticism about other faiths, and my belief that Jesus is an accurate representation of how God works in the world.