Rabbi Manis Friedman's YouTube video about non-religious Jews is an encouraging take on Jews who appear to be agnostics or atheists. It's an antidote (for me) for the sad, scary (to me) ideas that follow.
Tolerance has become a new religion. Well, it's not really new. We can look back in history on the Greeks and the Romans and see it, too.
Today, in 2020, tolerance takes precedence over religion for a growing number of adults who have no interest in or use for God. This sounds harsh, but it's my own summary statement of academic research in an American Perspectives Survey (APS) called, "The Decline of Religion in American Family Life."
Jewish synagogues and temples are closing all over the US and across the globe, and older Jews are becoming more and more isolated from unaffiliated family members and former congregants.
Anything Goes is the prevailing mantra as God has become, essentially, the enemy of the religion of Tolerance. Torah is a mere relic to many, even grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Never Again echos through our minds and hearts, but does not always inform our choices.
The sad religious stats remind me of John Lennon's famous 1966 statement that the Beatles were, "more popular than Jesus." That was over 55 years ago. John is dead but his words are probably ringing in many older people's memories as they read the APS results and see the stats of religious decline.
Anti-semitism in 2020 is different than it was in 1940. These days, it seems to me, it reflects a hatred or at least resentment toward the God of Torah in general. Such that the Christian Old Testament is like unto Torah, the hatred or resentment is directed toward Christians, too.
Tolerance as the new religion appears to mean tolerance of everything except the God of Torah. This post is a work-in-progress for me...