The introduction to the book Life’s Too Short To Pretend You’re Not Religious immediately got my attention. Dark starts his book off with the claim that the term “religion” has become both a limiting and categorizing term, leading people to be blind to the fact that everyone is religious in one form or another. What we allow ourselves to bond to and place the highest value on in our lives is what we idolize and worship, making endless possibilities for the meaning of the word “religion”. I very much agree with Dark’s claim and found myself very intrigued by the points he proceeded to make in this book.
Dark achieves his goal set in the beginning of this book: to communicate with (and hopefully spread) open-mindedness regarding religion. Although the claim made in the beginning may seem stunning to readers (especially those who identify as Christian), Dark’s ability to steer from heavy bias and opinion makes the reader feel as though he is “thinking out loud” and not making any judgements. When approaching the topic of religion with an open mind, we should not only talk about it- we should embrace it. Dark believes that these things go hand in hand because we cannot talk about something everyone does without first recognizing that everyone (including ourselves) does it. We can embrace that religion is built into every human being, and in doing this really dive into our own and others’ “religions” to better understand one another, as well as become far more open-minded in our conversations and perceptions of the world around us.
As Dark states on page 15, “Putting religion on the table in this way, if we’re open to doing so, might be the most pressing, interesting and wide-ranging conversation we can have”. In this quote, Dark is suggesting we make discussing religion a casual, every-day thing. According to Dark, we are all religious in different ways, and the sooner we embrace that about ourselves, the sooner we can have honest and open conversations about what exactly that means for us.
This book introduced a new perspective to me on what religion means and how we as believers should approach this topic. Not only did this read encourage me to be more open about my beliefs, but it also gave me insight on the opinions of non-believers and how I can enter into both their “religion”as well as their values as a human being. I hope to use this new perspective when talking openly about religion to the various people in my life, especially when I start college at CSP.