Name: Zena Ryder
What type of work do you do?
As well as volunteering on the board of KASHA, I currently volunteer on the board of the local chapter of Dying with Dignity, with the Boys and Girls Club’s restorative justice program, and at the SPCA alongside my son and lots of cats. I also homeschool my two kids and run my own business.
How would you identify yourself in terms of religion/spirituality?
What are some of your reasons for joining?
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.