Glenn Greenwald Was Never Bar Mitzvahed

The American journalist taking on the NSA reveals he grew up without 'organized religion' and says he doesn't really like 'aggressive atheists.'

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Glenn Greenwald speaks at a book discussion in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2014.Credit: AFP

American Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who published classified documents obtained by U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, never had a bar mitzvah, he revealed in an interview with GQ magazine.

In a detailed interview to the magazine that discusses everything from how he came to know Snowden, how he defines journalism and whether he is a patriot, Greenwald also talks about his childhood and his religion.

Asked if he believes in God, Greenwald said that he grew up without organized religion. "My parents tried to inculcate me a little bit into organized Judaism, but they weren't particularly devoted to that, and my grandparents were, but it just never took hold. I wasn't bar mitzvahed or anything. So I never had organized religion," Greenwald said.

"I don't really like aggressive atheists who are so convinced they know the answers to questions that they don't actually know the answers to. Like, that level of hubris and certainty bothers me. They think they're so scientific, and yet they're asserting things that they don't actually know without evidence. And I do believe in the spiritual and mystical part of the world. Like, obviously yoga is like a bridge into that, like a window into it. I think other things are as well. But my moral precepts aren't informed in any way by religious doctrine or, like, organized religion or anything."

Greenwald's new book "No Place to Hide," which details how he came to Snowden and which includes newly-released documents on intelligence relations with Israel, was released Wednesday.