May 06 2012

On Entering the Priesthood

Published by at 8:29 pm under RPG gaming

The last couple of Tuesday nights with my RPG-gaming buddies, it’s been fun playing a headstrong Priest in the Weird West. In real life, I’m an atheist Jew with no particular respect for clergy of any kind,  so I feel like I’m stretching my roleplaying muscles a bit.

I decided to honor the character with a backstory over at the Savage Games blog: Walking in the Promised Land

Check it out, fellow nerds. Cheers.

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “On Entering the Priesthood”

  1. Scott Mon 07 May 2012 at 6:10 am

    Not to be factious but how can you be an “atheist Jew”? Isn’t that like being an “atheist Christian”? Just wondering

  2. jnarveyon 07 May 2012 at 8:27 am

    Christianity is purely a religion. Judaism, not so much. There are plenty of non-believing Jews out there.

    Wikipedia explains:

    “Jewish atheism is practiced by atheists who are ethnically, and to some extent culturally, Jewish. Because Jewishness encompasses ethnic as well as religious components, the term “Jewish atheism” does not necessarily imply any kind of contradiction. Based on Jewish law’s emphasis on matrilineal descent, even religiously conservative Orthodox Jewish authorities would accept an atheist born to a Jewish mother as fully Jewish.[1]”

  3. Scott Mon 07 May 2012 at 10:30 am

    Interesting, thanks. My understanding is one is a Jew not on the basis of birth or nationality but on the basis of the circumcision of the heart as stated in many places in the Torah, Deut 30:6 Jer 4:4 and 9:25. God chose many non-ethnic Hebrews over his choosen people in the OT; Ruth the Moabitess being but one of many examples. The New Testament states “But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”
    So you see “an atheist Jew” is, from my perspective an oxymoron. You are simply an “atheist”. Thank you though for taking the time to answer my question.

  4. jnarveyon 07 May 2012 at 10:38 am

    Whatever floats your boat, Scott. It makes no difference to me, or to all the other atheist Jews out there.

    This may surprise you, but Jews — atheist or otherwise — don’t use passages from the New Testament to help identify themselves.


  5. Scott Mon 08 May 2012 at 7:25 am

    Obviously. However, my point was to draw attention to the inherent contradiction of the term. If one neither believes in the God of the Jews nor adheres to the religious teachings which define Judaism as detailed in the Torah, one, cannot in any sense of the word, define themselves as a “Jew” regardless of ethnicity or birth. The Torah or Old Testament makes this quite clear. Therefore despite the Wikipedia definition, there is no such thing as an “atheistic Jew” According to your own religion (and mine) you either are or you’re not (like being a little bit pregnant) so whatever you call yourself you are, in reality, just an “atheist”. Anyway love your blog and I read it whenever I pop by Blogging Tories. Promise last post on this.

    A new covenant “Jew”

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