"I'm sure there are all sorts of higher powers like electromagnetism and gravity, and things like that. But I don't believe in a deity, no. I see no evidence for that in my life or anywhere else in the universe. Personally, people can believe what they will and they will believe what they want. I find that most deism, and certainly most theisms take a fairly narrow view of the universe, and most people’s views of God or gods seem to be rather impoverished. The universe itself, the physical world that we can perceive with our senses and grasp with our minds, seems to be far more wondrous than most people's conceptions of a deity." -- Ronald Reagan
Our nation's Founders knew the danger of mixing religion with state and were so concerned that they Constitutionally mandated the separation clause. This nation often sounds, at least in right wing world, which controls immense power in our country, like any fundamentalist sect the powers that be say is our enemy. The wars, death and destruction caused by religious belief and its intolerance of those others who have different beliefs is staggering. The many suicides that have been committed because a person simply cannot be that which their religion dictates they should be are astonishing. I joined Ron Reagan's Freedom From Religion Foundation not so much because I have finally reached a conclusion that there is no god but because I so fervently want religion OUT of the decision-making process of the state.
During Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement (the days of Awe) one is supposed to take a look at and reevaluate oneself, make amends for one's bad behavior, strive to do better and hope that a god is pacified enough that he inscribes you in the "Book of Life" to live another year. I do not reserve those efforts in my life to merely those 10 days nor do I base my efforts to do that which is humane and good so a god will will be convinced enough that I am worthy of more years of life rather, it seems to me, like a lobbyist pays a member of Congress to do what he wants. I do things and advocate for things because in my ethical universe the things that I do and for which I advocate are humane, good, and right most especially for the least of us.
I evaluate my conduct every day, am the harshest critic of me and hope I not do unto others that which I would not want done to myself. I hope I will continue that task every day in the days ahead harboring and promoting humane political and social policy hoping the dictates of biological science will see to it that I live at least another year. I will, though, say to those who do believe and to all who do not La Shana Tova -- a happy and most of all a healthy new year.