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Explaining Jews, Part II: Why Are Most Jews Secular?
Front Page Magazine ^ | 24 January 2006 | Dennis Prager

Posted on 01/24/2006 4:36:03 AM PST by unionblue83

To understand Jews, one must understand that most Jews are not religious. This is true even if our definition of "religious" is minimal, i.e., observant of any specifically Jewish religious laws, attends synagogue once a month or even declares a belief in God.

According to a 2003 Harris Poll, "Only 16 percent of Jews go to synagogue once a month or more often"; and regarding belief in God: "Protestants (90 percent) are more likely than Roman Catholics (79 percent) and much more likely than Jews (48 percent) to believe in God. Religious affiliation here includes many people raised as members of a religion or religious group, regardless of what they practice or believe now."

Why most contemporary Jews are irreligious, given that the Jews gave the world the Bible and introduced humanity to the God of monotheism, is a fascinating subject. It is also a vital subject given the role that secular Jews -- such as Marx, Freud, and Einstein -- have played in forming the modern world.

(Excerpt) Read more at frontpagemag.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dennisprager; israel; judaism

1 posted on 01/24/2006 4:36:04 AM PST by unionblue83
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To: unionblue83
[According to a 2003 Harris Poll, "Only 16 percent of Jews go to synagogue once a month or more often"; and regarding belief in God: "Protestants (90 percent) are more likely than Roman Catholics (79 percent) and much more likely than Jews (48 percent) to believe in God. Religious affiliation here includes many people raised as members of a religion or religious group, regardless of what they practice or believe now."]

Unfortunate facts, yet proof that their are always unbelievers (atheists)in any religion. Secular Jews identify with the secular left which generally supports the enemies of Christ's Israel.
It is an enigma.
2 posted on 01/24/2006 4:42:37 AM PST by kindred ( Ro.5:6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.)
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To: kindred
Milton Himmelfarb's famous quote comes to mind that, "Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans."
3 posted on 01/24/2006 4:53:55 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: unionblue83

The answer is that communists have infiltrated religion - Judiasm, Catholicism, etc. Anyone remember "liberation theology"? The marxists have lured millions of useful idiots to aid in the destruction of religion. And enthusiastic communists have now started their own religion called environmentalism.


4 posted on 01/24/2006 4:58:14 AM PST by sergeantdave (And on the second day The Lord created February - the slowest month of the year.)
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To: kindred
Protestants (90 percent) are more likely than Roman Catholics (79 percent) and much more likely than Jews (48 percent) to believe in God.

100% of Protestants and Catholics believe in God. To not believe in God disqualifies you from be termed either. As being Jewish is a tribal as well as religious term, atheist Jews continue to call themselves and be called Jews.

The religious Jews I know tend conservative.

5 posted on 01/24/2006 5:05:15 AM PST by SampleMan
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To: kindred
Protestants (90 percent) are more likely than Roman Catholics (79 percent) and much more likely than Jews (48 percent) to believe in God.

100% of Protestants and Catholics believe in God. To not believe in God disqualifies you from be termed either. As being Jewish is a tribal as well as religious term, atheist Jews continue to call themselves and be called Jews.

The religious Jews I know tend conservative.

6 posted on 01/24/2006 5:05:16 AM PST by SampleMan
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To: SampleMan

Given recent history it's not hard to understand why many jewish people have decided there is no G-D.


7 posted on 01/24/2006 5:16:49 AM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking the keyword Israel.

---------------------------

8 posted on 01/24/2006 5:42:57 AM PST by SJackson (Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. B. Franklin)
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To: OldFriend
Given recent history it's not hard to understand why many jewish people have decided there is no G-D.

My cousin's husband's parents both survived Auschwitz, although his father is now dead. The odd thing is that his mother and her sister both survived as well, but both came out with totally opposite beliefs. His mother is an extremely devout Jew, keeping Kosher, and going to synagogue as often as her health will allow (she's in her 90s now). The experience strengthened her faith. On the other hand, her sister, in her late 80s, came out of the camps as an atheist, and she constantly bickers with, and berates her sister for "wasting her time on a G-d that doesn't exist."

Mark

9 posted on 01/24/2006 5:56:17 AM PST by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: MarkL
One relative finds comfort in the rituals of her religion and the other is angry no doubt that the holocaust was allowed to happen.

I, too, find myself doubting at certain times.

But at the bottom of my heart, I still believe.

Not as Ann Frank believed, in the goodness of man, but that somehow there is a G-D.

10 posted on 01/24/2006 6:06:58 AM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: unionblue83
It's news that over 50% of Jews don't believe in God?

I was under the impression that the majority of Jews had a long history of not believing in God, at least that's the impression I get from reading the old testament.
11 posted on 01/24/2006 6:08:48 AM PST by conservative physics
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To: unionblue83

In sum, maybe Judaism is just another religion.


12 posted on 01/24/2006 6:09:03 AM PST by MajorityOfOne
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To: SampleMan

***100% of Protestants and Catholics believe in God.***

I like your answer.

Many people identify themselves by their parents' religion, but never received instructions in it. The poll does not take that into consideration.


13 posted on 01/24/2006 6:09:17 AM PST by kitkat
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To: OldFriend
Given recent history it's not hard to understand why many jewish people have decided there is no G-D.

Given Biblical accounts of atrocities committed against God's people, it is hard to understand why so many of them believe that This Time Is Different, and that the events of the 20th century somehow disprove God's existence.

14 posted on 01/24/2006 6:25:56 AM PST by Constitutionalist Conservative (Eschew obfuscation, ya'll.)
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To: OldFriend
"In each and every generation, our enemies rise up to destroy us, but the Holy One, Blessed Be He, saves us from their hands."--Haggadah of Passover

In site of there being non-believers among us, there has always been a core of believers that has prevailed from generation to generation.

15 posted on 01/24/2006 6:42:47 AM PST by Alouette (Learned Mother of Zion)
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To: 1st-P-In-The-Pod; A Jovial Cad; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; adam_az; af_vet_rr; agrace; ahayes; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel/Russian Jewry ping list.

Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.

16 posted on 01/24/2006 6:43:26 AM PST by Alouette (Learned Mother of Zion)
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To: billorites

Love the quote!!!!!!!!!!!


17 posted on 01/24/2006 7:17:56 AM PST by Recon Dad (Force Recon Dad)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Given Biblical accounts of atrocities committed against God's people, it is hard to understand why so many of them believe that This Time Is Different, and that the events of the 20th century somehow disprove God's existence.

Beautifully put!

18 posted on 01/24/2006 7:20:30 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Shallach 'et `ammi veya`avduni!)
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To: OldFriend
Given recent history it's not hard to understand why many jewish people have decided there is no G-D.

Not really. Once G-d is removed from the picture objective morality becomes impossible and nothing, not even mass murder of Jews, can be said to be objectively immoral.

19 posted on 01/24/2006 7:22:12 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Shallach 'et `ammi veya`avduni!)
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To: Bookmaestro

must read jewish ping. I didn't know that marx and freud were jews. What about neitsche?


20 posted on 01/24/2006 8:44:25 AM PST by fooman (Get real with Kim Jung Mentally Ill about proliferation)
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To: kindred
It is also a vital subject given the role that secular Jews -- such as Marx, Freud, and Einstein -- have played in forming the modern world.

Wait until they add the anti-Christ to that list. They may not be so proud then.

21 posted on 01/24/2006 9:32:37 AM PST by swampfox98 (I voted for George Bush and got Vicente Fox. Phooey!)
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To: swampfox98; kindred; fooman
MArx was not a secular Jew.
He was baptised as a Lutheran as a child. I suppose that he could be considered an apostate Jew, but not a secular one.
His father turned his back on Judaism for economic reasons and Marx turned his back on Christianity and all religion for idealogical reasons. However, Marx was a vicious anti-Semite. Check out "On the Jewish Question".
22 posted on 01/24/2006 9:45:39 AM PST by rmlew (Sedition and Treason are both crimes, not free speech.)
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To: unionblue83

I am orthodox and go to synagogue several times a week. Most of the orthodox vote republican. I am just curious if jews like prager, medved, and mark levin also are practicing jews?? Its funny a person like rush, who I never question his conservatism, rarely mentions the fact that he attends church.


23 posted on 01/24/2006 9:59:24 AM PST by hoosierboy (I am not a gun nut, I am a firearm enthusiast)
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To: SampleMan; kindred; rmlew
I'd be cautious about surveys, since data for large samples of the population doesn't exist.

The largest survey of the "Jewish Population" is done once a decade by the UJC. They estimate about 5.2 million Jews, the oft used figure of about 2% to 2.2% of the population. For whatever reason, they overcount "Jews", though they contend they may undercount.

Their procedure in determining who is a Jew:

Ask
1. What is your (other adult's) religion, if any? (If not Jewish, then ask:)
2. Do you (Does other adult) have a Jewish mother or a Jewish father? (If no, then ask:)
3. Were you (Was other adult) raised Jewish?
4. (Ask all if not Jewish/Judaism in Q.1): Do you (Does other adult) consider yourself (him/herself) Jewish for any reason?

I understand about 1.3% of the sample answer Yes to question 1. That's probably the best measure, and clearly eliminates about 40% what is commonly counted as the "Jewish population"

To be considered a Jew

A-Whose religion is Jewish,
or B-Whose religion is Jewish and something else,
or C-Who has no religion and has at least one Jewish parent or a Jewish upbringing, or
D-Who has a non-monotheistic religion, and has at least one Jewish parent or a Jewish upbringing.

It's likely #1 and A consist largely of Jews. #2, B, C maybe, if the one parent is the mom. And those in B are apostate Jews, who'd identify as something else. That probably eliminates well more than half, and frankly it's foolish to extrapolate Jewish attitudes from someone who, when asked don't consider themselves Jewish or consider themselves, for example, Catholic. D, probably half apostates (Jewish Mom) and half (Jewish dad) non-Jewish. 4, I don't even know what that means, but there's no Jewish connection there at all.

Lot's and lots of non Jews falling in the "Jewish" camp.

The same survey, which I'd probably take over Harris, indicates a 27% monthly synagogue attendance rate, of a population which is likely 30% to 45% composed of non-Jews. I doubt you can draw any reliable conclusions.

24 posted on 01/24/2006 11:06:37 AM PST by SJackson (Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. B. Franklin)
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To: hoosierboy

I don't know about Levin. I'm sure both Prager (Reform) and Medved (modern Orthodox?) whould consider themselves practicing Jews.


25 posted on 01/24/2006 11:07:46 AM PST by SJackson (Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. B. Franklin)
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To: SJackson

Thanks for the update.


26 posted on 01/24/2006 11:20:31 AM PST by hoosierboy (I am not a gun nut, I am a firearm enthusiast)
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To: rmlew

Thanks for the education.


27 posted on 01/24/2006 11:30:15 AM PST by fooman (Get real with Kim Jung Mentally Ill about proliferation)
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To: hoosierboy; holdonnow

levin says he is a reformed jew.

Source: his show


28 posted on 01/24/2006 11:31:21 AM PST by fooman (Get real with Kim Jung Mentally Ill about proliferation)
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To: unionblue83
According to a 2003 Harris Poll, "Only 16 percent of Jews go to synagogue once a month or more often";

That's a somewhat misleading statistic. Compared to Christianity, Jewish religious practice is more home centered. The Passover Seder and lighting Chanukah candles are generally home-based religious activity. Even Shabos (Sabbath), among those who observe it, is based as much at home -- lighting the Shabos candles, eating the Shabos dinner.

It is possible to show up at the Synagogue only for the high holidays and still be an observant Jew.

29 posted on 01/24/2006 4:13:15 PM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: SampleMan
The religious Jews I know tend conservative.

do you know if they still expect the Messiah to come? one Jewish gal i knew, and she was really into the religion, said most don't even expect the Messiah to come anymore... they do not believe it will happen... i was dumbfounded! how could she embrace this religion if she thought that?!.. according to her, it makes her feel good about herself...

30 posted on 01/24/2006 4:18:48 PM PST by latina4dubya
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To: unionblue83

I think a lot of it in the US has to do with where American Jews came from: many came out of parts of Europe where Socialism (or even Marxism) was in the air in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. This was certainly true in New York, where Lower East Side immigrant Jewish culture was marked by a rather bitter atheistic socialism, and Jews were very active in left wing causes, published socialist newspapers, set up left-wing summer camps, etc. Their children and grandchildren, even though many of them were wildly successful in the evil capitalist world, continued to follow these ideas, actively or not. This explains not only the fact that many Jews in the US are "secular," but why so many of them are left-wingers, as well.


31 posted on 01/24/2006 4:27:34 PM PST by livius
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To: unionblue83
"Explaining Jews, Part II: Why Are Most Jews Secular?"

At least Dennis bothered to write "most." By doing that, he avoided falsely accusing all Jewish people as most other writers have recently done.

The answer to the question in the article is that Judaism is not an instant religion. One cannot only say a one-line statement of belief and be doing enough. And one cannot say that because a Jew did something notorious today, that he or she is not Jewish.

But if a writer is going to compare Jewish people to another group, the only group to honestly compare them to is that of the nations--all others. And we see that most others in the world are becoming more irrationally, negatively obsessed with Jews every year now.

Outside of good, honest agreements for positive work, each religion and nation should deal with its own problems.
32 posted on 01/24/2006 7:46:55 PM PST by familyop ("Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." --President Bush)
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To: latina4dubya
do you know if they still expect the Messiah to come? one Jewish gal i knew, and she was really into the religion, said most don't even expect the Messiah to come anymore... they do not believe it will happen... i was dumbfounded! how could she embrace this religion if she thought that?!..

Jews have been burned by false messiahs often enough that even among most religious Jews, the coming of the Messiah is, from what I understand, not a central issue. One is to base one's life on doing good, not on when or if the Messiah is going to come. There is a similar attitude about the afterlife.

I saying I've heard is, "If you're planting a tree and someone tells you the Messiah has arrived, finish planting the tree. Then go see if it really is the Messiah."

33 posted on 01/25/2006 5:04:35 AM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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