Sam Harris raised in what religion?

 
 
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taiwan
Total Posts:  32
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07 April 2007 18:35
 

Ever since Mr Harris hit the bigtime with his wonderful books, applause, applause, I have often wondered how he was raised. My guess is that he was born into a Jewish family and raised as a middle-class Jewish kid, maybe even bar mitzvah, but as he got older, he outgrew the religious programming and became a free thinker. My guess.

Does anybody know?

What is interesting is that the media hardly ever mentions his upbringing, and I feel that the media is hiding something for some reason. If in fact he was raised in a Jewish family. then he will be seen by Christians who disagree with him, as just another Jewish critic who doesn't get it. SIGH.

So I want to know: was Sam Harris Jewish in his earlier days. NOT that it matters one iota, I just wanna know. My guess is yes. I think only a formerly Jewish guy would take on the Christian church this way? Not as an antagonist, but as a friend. But I doubt they would see it that way….

 
 
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KFD
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07 April 2007 20:23
 
[quote author=“taiwan”]would take on the Christian church this way?

Bomber Harris!  :D

 
 
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taiwan
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07 April 2007 22:07
 

All joking aside, KFD, but really, does anyone know Mr Harris’ background, religious or ethnic? All my Google searches show very little about his origins. And the US news media always seems to write around the issue. But there must be a there there. No?

 
 
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dthuleen
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08 April 2007 06:26
 

“...his mother is Jewish and his father, now deceased, was a Quaker.”


http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/atheist-evangelist1/

 
 
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dthuleen
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08 April 2007 08:44
 

Sam Harris stated in a talk in Orange County, CA that at age 10 he turned down his mother’s offer that he attend Hebrew school and that he did not have a bar mitzvah.

In the same talk, he also relates that he spent two years in silent meditation, 12 hours a day, and that at one point he was a dogmatic Buddhist.

 
 
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taiwan
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08 April 2007 15:49
 

dthuleen,
thanks for this. I knew there had to be some connection, because despite his current open minded view of religion and atheism, he sounds like someone who grew up Jewish, as I did, so I can read this between the lines of his books and remarks, and good on him, mate!
RE:
“...his mother is Jewish and his father, now deceased, was a Quaker.”

AND:
Sam Harris stated in a talk in Orange County, CA that at age 10 he turned down his mother’s offer that he attend *Hebrew school* (after school classes about Jewish life) and that he did not have a bar mitzvah.

BUT…I wonder why the US media, be it Newseek in its intro or other papers like the NYTimes, or AP or Reuters wire service, or any publication, why they don’t state somewhere in the intro that “Sam Harris, who grew up as the son of a Jewish mother and a Quaker father….”—that would at least tell READERS more about where Sam Harris is coming from. I feel his Jewish origins are VERY IMPORTANT, because I think only a Jewish thinker would write this kind of LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION. You don’t see many ex-Christians writing this kind of letter. Just ex-Jews. Why? There is a reason.

And then, also, thank God, I have not seen any antisemitic rants on the blogoshere (yet) against Sam Harris for being “a goddammed atheist Jew” as usually happens when a Jewish writer steps up to the plate….to play ball in the religion game…...”

Sam has been able to avoid that, and good! Those kind of rants only lower the level of the debate. But still, I wish Newsweek in their recent debate feature, had at least mentioned somewhere that Harris used to be Jewish, and who knows, he may still identify ethnically as Jewish. I would like to ask him. Is there any way to contact him by email at this forum?

 
 
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taiwan
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08 April 2007 15:58
 

from WASH POST article by David Segal: 2005

“Harris is 39 and looks uncannily like Ben Stiller. He grew up in Los Angeles, in a home he describes as non-religious. (For the record, his mother is Jewish and his father, now deceased, was a Quaker.)

Harris asked that all but the most basic biographical details be omitted from this article, even where he lives and where he studies. Nobody has threatened his life, but he thinks you can’t be too careful. Plus, a movie deal is in the works that could make him the focus of a documentary about atheism. He would like to minimize his tracks sooner rather than later.

“What he’ll say is this: At age 19, he and a college friend tried MDMA, better known as ecstasy, and the experience altered his view of the role that love could play in the world. (“I realized that it was possible to be a human being who wished others well all the time, reflexively.”) “

Aha! ECTASCY did all this! OOPS!

 
 
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Dee
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18 October 2007 02:05
 

Some time back, in one of the articles about him , somebody mentioned
    that Sam made him think of Ben Stiller, and it seems like ever since then there’s been a knee-jerk reaction for other journalists and they compare Sam to Ben Stiller . That’s too bad, because Ben Stiller is not really good looking like Sam is . Not that Ben Stiller is not attractive, but—who wants to be compared to a comic ?

It’s not a bad thing, but if someone asked me how I see Sam I’d say “mysterious” .