Zena Ryder

Name: Zena Ryder

Birthplace: Britain
What type of work do you do? 
As well as being the branch manager of CFI Okanagan, I’m working on a PhD in philosophy and raising my kids (including homeschooling one of them). I do other volunteer work too, most recently for for Fair Vote Canada and for the Green Party of Canada.
How would you identify yourself in terms of religion/spirituality?
What are some of your reasons for joining CFI?
Partly it was to hang out with critical thinkers, but my reasons developed over time. I want to help develop
a secular and skeptic community that is doing good things within the larger community.
Are there any books or movies that have had a big impact on you?
I can’t think of any specific books or movies that had a big impact, but I recommend “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre — it’s very entertaining. I also like “The Brick Bible,” which uses Lego people to tell the stories of the Bible.
Where were some of the defining moments that brought you to the point where you are now, in a religious/spiritual sense?
Well, I’ve never believed in God, but in my late teens and early 20s, I tried very hard to believe. I wished for a God so I could express my gratitude
to Him. I dabbled in Judaism in my early 20s, and I really liked the community, the music, the rituals. I thought that maybe if I went to the synagogue, religious belief would rub off on me, but it didn’t, and of course I’m content with that now. There are many things that religion gets right though. There are a lot of beautiful things within religion, if people can pick and choose parts of it and then discard the rest. And a belief in God is not necessary.