Putting religion in its ordinary place: more or less for breakfast

by Bob Schwartz

If you put religion in its ordinary place, two things happen.

For those who are followers and believers, and have promoted religion to some exalted position, it is a demotion.

For those who are not followers and believers, and may aggressively reject and oppose religion, realizing that it is nothing more than ordinary, it may be a revelation.

If religion is ordinary, no more than, say, the meal you eat when you wake from sleep—breakfast—it is worthwhile but, depending on what different people make of it, nothing special. Some will try to make something elaborately fancy out of it, convincing themselves and demanding of others that it be a big deal. Others will grab something, anything, just enough to get by. Either way, it is just that thing that fills the fast of sleep. Nothing more.

Consider this if you are one who believes religion—particularly your religion—must involve a very particular, strict and nutritious form. And consider this if you are weary of other people telling you exactly what breakfast you’re supposed to be eating. It’s just breakfast. It’s just religion.