Zuckerberg, Religion and God

Here’s a story you may have missed over the holidays: Mark Zuckerberg, having wished a “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah” to all on his social network site, responded to a question.

The question was, “Aren’t you an atheist?” and his answer was this: “No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.”

Who knows why he chose to share that on Facebook; the comments section of the Washington Post suggests everything from a run at political office to new found parenthood. Maybe neither or both are true.

The reason I mention it is that word religion. I understand  for many people religion and God are interchangeable. That may or may not be true for Zuckerberg. For me they’re two different things — one a vehicle to understand God and the other, the God we’re trying to understand.

Put it that way and I’d say religion is less important than the real attempt to understand God. If we can do that honestly through a religion, that’s great.

But if not?

I guess what I’m saying is religion can be important if it helps us understand God. Too often it can just as easily get in the way of understanding God. When that happens, leaving the religion to understand God is just as important.

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