Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I do not believe in a god, except as a personified image of an ought, a moral imperative declaring the best ways for human beings to live.

To say, for instance, that “Jesus is the way” makes sense to me in those terms.  To the extent that the behavior and teachings of Jesus reveal the best ways for us to live—lovingly, peaceably, wisely—then Jesus deserves our reverence and commands our following, as do any others who demonstrate comparable virtues, of whatever time or culture—a pantheon of virtuous paragons.

These virtuous exemplars inspire emulation rather than command obedience.  They bid us to follow in the righteousness of their decisions and actions, but not to deify their persons, build statues or monuments to worship them, or to turn them into idols.

Moses is the way, Jesus is the way, the Buddha is the way, Lao-tse is the way, and countless others, women as well as men, ancients and contemporaries—all who keep and show the way of loving kindness, of compassion, of care for the well-being of all creatures, great and small.

To be thus godly is our goal.