Leaving Religion for A Better World

we must organize our relationships to save us from toxic theology

I’ve been thinking a lot about a post-theist world, and if we are living in a post-theist worldview? I left religion a long time ago, but I’ve just realized that I left to build a better world. After studying theology for most all my life, I turned to theory and philosophy in my graduate programs and discovered that it’s actually relationships that will save us from toxic theologies and the toxicity of bad relationships that are often couched in religious values.

I don’t think theology is the same as religion. I believe all theology is ethics; it’s always about our action and movement in the world. It’s about behaviors and habits. Religion is about power structures that guide a particular narrative, and the narrative that we have here in the United States is one of Christian Supremacy that is death-dealing. I’ve left religion time and time again, but I think my leaving it, now, is more aligned with building the right kinds of relationships that actually build a better world. I’m interested in being a good ancestor!

I want to go back to the very first paragraph where I invoked the language of theism. I know some people receiving this email have no use for religion or God; I don’t either! Not in any normative sense! I know others on this list lean more into a relational concept of God; what some might call Process Theology. I want to invite us to think even broader than this — how might moving beyond a normative theistic world view help us be the kind of people we are called to be? And how might that ethical turn lead us into the kinds of communities we long to have?

Theism was a particular worldview that people needed, but what if Nietzsche was right that God is dead? What if that worldview of an object oriented theism is dead; no longer useful; or, simply toxic? What if a new fold of becoming is upon us and we lean into the stories that have been left to us to make meaning? What if making meaning is the religion of today? What if that is how we build a new world?

What is alive in your world? Nurture what is alive and becoming, so that you, too, might become and build the kind of world we long to inhabit!