Books, Lit, Religion

Philip Roth on Religion

In this evangelical age, it was nice to hear Roth sounding the trumpet for a rational, secular life.

From Fresh Air a month or so ago:

Gross: "Is there any part of you that wishes you were a man of faith"

Roth: "I have no desire to be irrational."

Gross: "So there isn’t any part of you that wished you could believe?"

Roth: "I have no taste for delusion."

And from Roth’s new book, Everyman:

"Religion was a lie that he had recognized early in life,
and he found all religions offensive, considered their superstitious
folderol meaningless, childish, couldn’t stand the complete unadultness
— the baby talk and the righteousness and the sheep, the avid
believers. No hocus pocus about death and God or obsolete fantasies of
heaven for him. There was only our bodies, born to live and die on
terms decided by the bodies that had lived and died before us. If he
could be said to have located a philosophical niche for himself, that
was it — he’d come upon it early and intuitively, and however
elemental, that was the whole of it. Should he ever write an
autobiography, he’d call it ‘The Life and Death of the Male Body.’"