News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: "It's Religion I Hate..."

Friday, December 16, 2005

"It's Religion I Hate..."

Philip Roth is a lonely man. He's honestly lonely and knows it, unlike most people. More power to him and his new book. Here's a toast of the cynic's favorite liqueur--angst and fear and trembling--to the writer Roth, the great American.

I ask him if he is religious. "I'm exactly the opposite of religious," he says. "I'm anti-religious. I find religious people hideous. I hate the religious lies. It's all a big lie. Are you religious yourself?" he asks.

"No," I say, "but I'm sure that life would be easier if I was."

"Oh," he says. "I don't think so. I have such a huge dislike. It's not a neurotic thing, but the miserable record of religion. I don't even want to talk about it, it's not interesting to talk about the sheep referred to as believers. When I write, I'm alone. It's filled with fear and loneliness and anxiety - and I never needed religion to save me."

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