We stand in a world that was once a battlefield for those who called themselves the Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse. The Horsemen declared war against the last remnants of all religious authority on matters of morality, history, science, and politics. In other words, they pushed religion from its carefully concocted position as bearer of Truth to the shadows of cultural mythology. Say what you will of what others call their "strident" or "abrasive" style, they did as they did. And it is their banner that hangs high in the air, having won the battle. It was Nietzsche who declared the death of God, but it was Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett who did the autopsy.
'What of it?' you may ask yourself. 'Why do I care at all if God is dead, confirmed or otherwise?' Because Religion persists. One forgets, too often, that those who are religious are herd-like, much akin to their name as a "flock." Religion is not connected to God at the hip, as it were.
Religion exists regardless of belief in God because religion was taken into our postmodern culture and then spat back out. Religion underwent the same disassociation with Truth that most postmodernists have experienced. Within this disassociation in it does not matter what is true, but rather what is comfortable. All that matters is what makes one "feel better." In fact, religion was always susceptible to this merger, because as Nietzsche notes in his work The Anti-Christ, "In Christianity, neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point."
Why is this? Nietzsche argued that it was because religion has a disdain for living. This, in and of itself, is a very apt understanding of religion. Religion hates life. But, I would argue, the relation between postmodernism and religion is actually more subtle. They both have a disdain for Truth, of any kind.
John 4:16 is the famous line that Jesus gives in response to Thomas, who had just asked how to live rightly. Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." The importance of this is substantial: Truth is removed completely from reality, and is placed in an individual. You are to act as that individual says, and anything beyond that person, even in reality, is wrong without need of examination.
Now fast forward past the death of Jesus, arriving to the Death of God. What is religion to do? Nothing. What they have done is combined, in the original texts, into an individualized truth with a commandment of devotion. As a result we get a very common phraseology: "My God says..." In my many discussions with individuals on religion, if you press them with rational arguments, they no longer turn to "faith" as the last form of defense. No, they go one step further: they tell you that the texts may say one thing, but "their God" says another. With God they have a personal relationship. And like any necrophiliac, their personal relationship with the corpse of a concept is so ugly, they must too live in a denial that requires enough detachment to support such a delusion.
Religion now sells comfort in the form of faux-tradition and a socially acceptable imaginary friend. Religion is something you can go to in grief and forget in happiness. It is something that can shelter you from the Truth because this God is "your truth." It is not really about God for the religious believer. It is not longer about the Bible, or Torah, or the Quran. It is about ownership of the Truth.
Dr. Jordan Peterson recently asked why feminists reconcile with Islam. How can feminism support anti-feminist Islamists? It is because they are used to the postmodern God of the West, who can be whatever you want him (or her) to be. They see Allah as another postmodern political construct that can be added to collection of oppressed people's favorite toys, right up there with pussy hats and drag queen dresses.
But they have no clue the size of the monster hiding in their closet.