Friday, May 11, 2012

Is Jack Black A Big Wussy For Sending His Kid To A Religious School?

See? It's kinda clean.

Jack Black is "kinda an atheist" as he stated on NPR recently, and I thought Wow, that's kinda good. There was some celebration in the atheist blogosphere about another celebrity being out of the atheist closet. But I wasn't celebrating. When people are kinda anything it makes me wonder how committed they are to what they are kinda saying. It's like when I'm talking to one of my kids.

Me: Is your room clean?

Ali (who is 7 years old): Yes, kinda.

Me: Are you sure it's a yes, or do you know it's a no.

Ali: I'll go and check.

Ten minutes later her room is now clean -- not kinda clean, but really clean

And I'm not making this up. We go through this verbal dance concerning the status of her room several times a week. It's frustrating.

I saw the below video of Jack Black on Conan O'Brien talking about how he is an atheist (at least this time he isn't kinda an atheist), but he's sending his 5 year old child to a religious school.

Here's the video.

Courtesy of" style="color: #0033AA;">

Now I have a few honest questions for atheists.

Is there a difference between an atheist sending their child to a Jewish school versus a Catholic one? What about a Baptist one?

Does it matter, rationally speaking, that Black was born a Jew -- doesn't it make sense that all atheists avoid religious schools for their kids if possible?  

Is a Jewish child less Jewish because they don't go to Hebrew school?

Is Mr Black simply throwing his atheism out the window on this issue due to the pressures he is feeling?



  1. Jews don't have to believe in God to be Jewish. That's a big difference for them. He is still one of the 'chosen ones', as they say.

  2. Agreed. But doesn't it seem inconsistent, to say the least, that Black identifies himself as an atheist and yet he is making a faith-based choice for his kid's education?

    1. I don't know. I don't think he's making a faith-based choice. It sounds like he is making an academic choice in spite of faith issues present in that choice.

      Where I live, most of the private schools are religious in nature. And the better private schools are religious in name, but secular in practice. There are a lot of universities like that, too. So around here, people make the choice Black made for simply academic reasons.

      My bet is that the Blacks think the academics are great at this school. And for Black and his wife, who have figured out how to separate the Jewish faith from the Jewish heritage, the inconsistency is probably not that troubling.

  3. I'd like to know what he meant when he said that the Hebrew school is "a really good school" -- what will the kids benefit from that they wouldn't get at another school? I think it'd be confusing, though, for the kids, to send them to a religious school while raising them in a non-religious home... Can't he find "a really good school" that isn't religious? Makes me think he's just giving in to the pressures he feels. Also, he could have just been telling this story for the show, because it's kind of funny, etc. I don't think he said his kids are for sure going there.

    1. You're right, this could have been a bit for the show, but the story struck me with being true -- most of my funny stories are grounded in reality. Perhaps he hasn't decided. If nothing else, that video was fodder for the religious to say "See, even atheists need God to raise their kids."

    2. Did you ever think he is sending his child to a Hebrew school so he doesn't pressure them to be an atheist. He is sending them there so they can have their own choice in whether or not they want to believe in a certain religion which is how I think everyone should be.

  4. I think the fact that he admitted he felt like a hypocrite said it all. He wants the best for his kids, so if it's a highly rated school, then why not? With him and his wife being Jewish atheists, tey will be able to connect with thier kids on another level. Personally, I would not send my kids to a religious schhol of any kind, but it's his choice. The brain washing is what scares me.

  5. I actually know him and the school so I can speak about this. No he is not being pressured. The school is Jewish but not religious. It is a reform school and the Judaism taught there is from a purely cultural perspective. He was born Jewish and for his kids that's their cultural heritage. What's wrong with learning about it? You people need to get a life!!!!!

  6. People need to realize that some atheists don't give a crap about what other people think about them as long as they are proud of what they do. So, Jack sending his kid to a good Jewish school wasn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as Jack knows what he is talking about, he's got the whole thing under control. (This, coming from another Atheist)

  7. He has said that he enjoys taking part in the traditional jewish hymns and prayers, and has even gone with his kids to synagog. If the man has decided to become a theistic jew I won't judge. None of us should. What he does with his kids and his life is his own business.


Google+ Badge

Pageviews last month