a post—atheist manifesto
i didn’t learn much doing a masters in theology but what i did discover is that the origin of the word ‘religion’ is the latin word for ’to bind’1. thus the etymology of religion refers to a kind of spiritual slavery if you will.
this is interesting because what a religious institution invariably requires from people is that they bind themselves to it, that they make a vow, pledge their allegiance and publicly declare their ‘faith’.
subsequently those institutions employ all kinds of techniques and methods to make you feel dependent on the them : not only are you lead to believe that their intervention is crucial in your relationship with the ultimate, the infinite, the absolute, if you fall on hard times you are dependent on their charity and if you’re dying you better call a priest quick smart to ensure you don’t end up burning in hell.
and/but we fucked that all off and thank
god(and kant and descartes and nietzsche) we did.
and we/i reject
god and the church and religion and especially the vile officials of the church who claim some kind of divine guidance or a connection with the ultimate, the infinite, the absolute. may they all rot in hell, so to speak.
but we are bereft oh lord. we don’t know what to do and what not to do, where to go, who to turn to, what to believe, who to trust — and we still long for a connection with the divine, with the ultimate, the infinite, the absolute.
and we are hungry for something holy, searching for something that is sacred, that can move us, that can connect us with the ultimate, the infinite, the absolute — something that lets us know/think/feel/believe that it means something to be.
we long for a sign that we are more than accidental beings in a random, arbitrary universe. but we are done with praying, with church services and sermons and sin, with priests and bishops and cardinals and popes.
we will be
religious but we will strike the word until we find another better one, and it won’t be ‘spiritual’.
we will confess to each other and be absolved by each other. and we will not relinquish our agency nor surrender our autonomy.
god, we are beyond god and we are beyond arguing about whether or not god exists. it is a distraction. it’s like talking endlessly about brexit as the whole world is going shit and being taken over by cynics and nihilists. amen.
Middle English (originally in the sense ‘life under monastic vows’): from Old French, or from Latin religio ‘obligation, bond, reverence’, perhaps based on Latin religare ‘to bind’.↩