12 Comments

I really appreciate this article, and I think you’re spot-on. You articulate everything I’ve been feeling about worship in America in recent years, and eloquently.(And as someone who also recently left religion for spirituality, and sanity, and basic kindness, I will be taking a dive into your back catalog of posts!)

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Jan 9Liked by Joshua P. Hill

I worship my loved ones, including four dogs, and the memory of everyone who has passed over. I practice peace, kindness and patience. I am imperfect.

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Jan 9Liked by Joshua P. Hill

Righttolifers are a nasty cult group for sure. Waving virgin marys or crosses at many of us elicits a powerful defensive reaction, I don’t like theocracy and especially the medieval form they offer. I don’t even think of myself as spiritual but I feel a deep pull to defend others against theocrats. I did such work in Boston in the 80s, I had hoped we were done with it but no such luck.

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Jan 10Liked by Joshua P. Hill

I guess the next step in the analysis is to explore what's meant by "worship" as used here. The definition "reverence to some deity" won't do, when we're talking about worshipping what's not literally a deity - unless all that's meant by "worship" is reverence. But that's not all that's meant.

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I feel that dogmatism has always been the biggest danger to society. The freedom to choose what you value (or worship) allows us to become better than who we were before.

That being said, I dislike the new god called “The Economy”. People fear it and also think it supports our lives. The economy has never helped us. We help each other.

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Thank you for this. “Secular sacredness” is quite the thing to think on.

If i may recommend an author who’s written on this idea in a similar way, but focused more on the word “religion,” David Dark has a book called “Life’s too short to pretend you’re not religious” - per his explanation, it could just as easily be called “Life’s too short to pretend you’re religious.” It’s solid imo, and he’s coming at it from a native-Nashvillian perspective, one deeply rooted in white evangelical culture (a major focus of his work, and something he effectively critiques and laments).

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Oh man I love this piece. Yes, it's easy (& not wrong) to pierce the delusion bubbles of hate/control-worship, but something I've never seen addressed is that we all do have a strong desire to worship, to revere, to make sacred, across all cultures.

Maybe if we can hold onto this & use it as a force for good, instead of mocking it as irrational (also, let's accept that we aren't primarily cold reason machines!) we'll get somewhere. I refuse to sever my soul & healthy sense of awe just to fight what's deeply wrong.

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As I finished your article I turned to my cup of tea and read on the tag of the tea bag, “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous” ~Aristotle, and I have to say that it is definitely the unmitigated brilliance of nature that I hold sacred. If it is not interfered with, it can come up with the solution to any problem and create beauty while doing it. Truly worth worshiping.

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This is a thread worth pulling. I’ve heard it said that the neuroses of modernity can be traced back to the destruction of God as a social institution during the Protestant reformation, with the concomitant loss of load-bearing capacity there to resolve the contradictions of our lives. Nietzsche’s declaration of crisis, that “God is dead, and we have killed him,” needs that context to be understood.

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Your core idea of prioritizing life and affirming its existence above all else sounds very Nietzschean. Given that you don’t explicitly mention him, I’m wondering if you draw from his philosophy or not here?

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With all due respect, Worship and Values Through Action aren’t the same thing, even though they can correspond sometimes.

Distinctions should be made instead of lumping the two together as the same thing, it just enables confusion in discussions about Religion if you do not.

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