August 16, 2010

Does Opposing Religion Entail Anti-Semitism?

anti-religionI suppose it would be fair to say that opposing organized religion and religious belief for their irrationality and vast destructive potential makes me anti-religion. I suspect that humanity would be better off without religion of any sort. You see, I regard all religions as equally false. Again, it would probably be fair to characterize me as anti-religion on this basis.

So here's the question: I oppose all religions, would that not necessarily mean that I am anti-Islam, anti-Christianity, anti-Judaism, and so on? And if I am anti-Judaism, does this not mean that I am confessing to anti-Semitism?

This will probably strike most readers as an odd series of questions. Admittedly, this is not something I have thought about much. I have been angrily accused of being anti-Christian and anti-Muslim, usually with some sort of death threats attached. But the only times I have been accused of being anti-Semitic are those in which I have questioned the merits of continued unconditional support of Israel by the United States. I don't believe I have been accused of being anti-Semitic for saying that I oppose all three of the Abrahamic religions.

Some argue that being being Jewish is a religion, a race, an ethnicity, or some undefinable combination of all the above. I do not have any strong feelings, positive or negative, about Jewish people, culture, or ethnicity. I have gotten along well with every self-identified Jewish person I have met. In fact, I think it is fair to say that I have had far fewer negative experiences with Jewish people than with Christians. But still, I regard Judaism as no better or worse than any other religion, and remember, I am no fan of religion. Does this make me anti-Semitic?
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