My father said that he never could see the “man in the moon.” The moon's face with it's big crater eyes and opened mouth that seemed to say “Oh,” had always been so obvious to me and a welcome sight, so his confession surprised me—especially since I held my dad to be a supremely thoughtful person.
I never heard the mention of God or Jesus or Moses while growing up. Most of my friends belonged to households with religious affiliations, at least nominally claiming to be of a particular spiritual persuasion. Not in my home. Yet, there were strong ethics involving morals and responsibility.
In my nineteenth year, while away at University, I found myself searching for meaning beyond the practical, and embarked on a spiritual pursuit, joining the Baha'i Faith. Perhaps my parents were surprised, especially when through the years my faith deepened.
Throughout every religion are teachings on how to act in accordance with spiritual wisdom. Most religious people try and live righteously, with various degrees of success. Some are outwardly religious but inwardly lazy so as to make no effort toward benevolence or virtue.
Father always made the effort and could not tolerate liars or usurpers. As a young adult, after I found religion, we talked and he admitted that he regarded religion somewhat like Karl Marx (German, 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) did—as the “opiate of the masses.” The context of the Marx phrase appears in this sentence: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people." Father was determined not to accept unjust conditions in society. He felt that religion made people accept what they should not. When so much was being made of Mother Theresa caring for the destitute in India, taking a vow of poverty, he scoffed, and insisted her energies would be better used to change the sick nation so that systemic corruption and oppression were expunged and a new society with a more wholesome foundation was created to lift up the masses. Why accept the poverty and not change the conditions that created it?
Father left this world never having spoken the word “God,” but in his actions and beliefs living spiritually. I imagine his delight, when he “met his Maker,” and before Him, he stood clean, and they looked back at all those he unselfishly helped along the way.
Read here a very good article about my father, written in the Chronicle of Philanthropy:Richard Boone: a Tireless but Humble Advocate for the Poor