my dad's response
Thank you for your thoughtful response. There are a couple of thing I wanted to comment on. I agree with you completely about the metaphorical nature of religious texts from all sects. I instinctively eschew the concept of God, however, because of the definition most people have for it. The notion of a Creator, while admittedly possible, is I believe, extremely unlikely, and clouds the true meaning of the scriptures. Literal and quasi-literal interpretation of any religion or any branch within the same leads to the notion that one particular interpretation is "right", and hence its adherents "better" than those of different faith. I see this as the root of much of the strife in the world today. It is used to justify exploitation, subjugation, and war. Essentially, the notion that there is only one true God has become an excuse to ignore all His teachings.
My values did indeed come from beyond myself. They came from my parents, as did my artistic ability.