Religious Privilege and the Freedom to Oppress: A Conversation with Author Kate Cohen
Kate Cohen is a Washington Post contributing columnist and author of “We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending to Believe (And Maybe You Should Too),” forthcoming from Godine. She joined Paul Golin, executive director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and lead staff of its pluralistic social justice initiative, Jews for a Secular Democracy, to discuss her journey “from pretending Jew to admitting atheist” and how it relates to her understanding of religious privilege in America today.
Kate Cohen wrote her first book, “The Neppi Modona Diaries: Reading Jewish Survival through My Italian Family” (UPNE), soon after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. “The Neppi Modona Diaries” tells the sometimes conflicting stories of a family of Jews who suffered under Fascist racial laws in Italy and went into hiding to survive the Nazi invasion. It also explores Kate’s own perspective as a post-Holocaust, non-believing Jew at the end of the twentieth century. In “A Walk Down the Aisle: Notes on a Modern Wedding,” she chronicles her wedding to a man with whom she had lived for eight years, examining each facet of the American wedding ritual, as hard to resist as it is functionally outdated.