Nothing Sacred – a book for non-Jews?

That’s right – the paperback version of Nothing Sacred comes out this week, and I want you and everyone you know to get it.

It’s a book about Judaism, but not about that Judaism. Neither is it about the ‘hip’ Judaism making the rounds these days, even though it might be fueled by a similar impulse.

What Nothing Sacred does, particularly for non-Jews, is share the core, revolutionary, and decidedly ANTI-religious reasons why Judaism was invented (yes, invented) in the first place. And then it looks a bit at how Judaism got so confused with religion and literal interpretations, and finally offers a way out.

Of course, it ain’t just Judaism that’s gotten its mythology so confused with history. Look at that Mel Gibson movie’s massive success for a hint on how people these days are concretizing the allegories of our greatest religions.

I make the case that Judaism was really intended as a form of media literacy. Out with the heiroglyphs (literally, “priestly writing”) and in with the aleph bet. Judaism asks, “what would a world of literate people look and act like?” Of course, over time, being a literate person got replaced with being a literal person. Which is why folks like Jesus came around to say, “it’s the core ideas that matter, silly, not their particular implementations at any moment in historical time.” But that didn’t go over so well.

Today, as literal interpretations of Holy Doctrine threaten the very survival of our species, I think we need to take a look at the underlying intentions of our religions, and judge for ourselves whether they are still serving those purposes. And, if they’re not, we should probably look at what to do about it.

I meant my book as a way to begin that conversation. Of course, fundamentalist Jews saw it as some form of holocaust denial, or the further assassination of God by a socialist, yoga-practicing secular humanist. But it isn’t that at all. And, hopefully, the way-less-expensive paperback edition will make these ideas and their historical foundations more accessible to the kinds of people who are more open to the idea that religion may be more valuable as a recognized social construction than as Truth Piped In From On High.