Speaking to a student once—a religious young man as well as a vividly serious one—I said, “You and I understand what a lot of the people around here don’t, that books are temples of the spirit.” I meant the human spirit, he undoubtedly heard me as meaning the spirit of God, but we were taking different routes, I knew, to the same destination.
I no longer divide the world between believers and nonbelievers. I divide it between fundamentalists of both kinds and (for lack of a better word) liberals of both kinds. Liberal Catholics, Reconstructionist Jews, various kinds of mainline Protestants: people who understand religion the way that I understand art, as a source of spiritual wisdom and moral guidance, not literal truths about the physical world. The content of my atheism hasn’t changed. What’s changed—what continues to change—is the way that I live it.
H/T Andrew Sullivan
See previous posts ruminating about atheists and my brand of non-belief.