Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dear Theology

by Lane Severson

Dear Theology,

I don't know what happened. I never thought I'd be writing this letter. But here I am, in the lobby of an enormous Hyatt resort in Orlando, Florida at a business conference, and I have to tell you that it is over.

Let's be honest, I think we both saw this coming. I was always trying to get you to do things you weren't comfortable with and you always ended up nagging me about things I just didn't care about. It wasn't fair to either of us.

We used to have a beautiful relationship back when I called myself a fledgling theologue and read everything you had to offer. And those three years together in graduate school were so passionate. But maybe it was too much too fast. I don't know.

After graduation we planned to keep studying together but I got a job. At first that was great. We both resented the job. It had come between us and gave us a mutual enemy. I kept meeting you in secret just to spite "The Man." (Remember when we planned to learn Latin together? We were so stupid.) The thing is, I had already stopped loving you then. I didn't love my work yet, not the way I do now, but I had started to resent you for the cruel, aloof way you carried yourself. You had so many important things to say but you never wanted to talk about my real life. That was too boring. Even when we went all ethical, you couldn't spend more than a few minutes on friendship, family, or work. And that's my whole life.

So you should have known when I didn't call that I was reading Batman comics and Rumi poetry. I can't explain why, but they connected with me in ways that you didn't anymore. I felt bad about us. But what could I do? I honestly couldn't take another discussion about any of your damnable "ologies."

Now, when friends ask how you are, I try to change the conversation. I had become a proxy between you and a lot of friends. But now, when they wonder what you would say about something, I just feel sick to my stomach. I want to shout, "Who cares? That poopy head doesn't care about anything."

That's the kicker isn't it? The empathy. Anytime you got some empathy you got all stupid-drunk hippy-dippy about the world and lost your substance. It was kindness without wisdom. And I couldn't handle that either.

You'll probably think this means I'm leaving "the faith." You are actually that vain. You would equate yourself with the faith. I'm shaking my head in disbelief as I write this. No I'm not leaving the faith, you pompous ass. I'm worshiping, training my children, celebrating Eucharist, and praying. But I'm leaving all the abstract meaningless questions to you. You can keep them. 

I'll be doing the work that God gave me and raising the children he blessed me with. And when I want to read something, it will have to do with either them or Batman.

Goodbye, Theology. I won't miss you. 

Lane Severson blogs at On Pop Theology and Out of Ur. He likes charismatic liturgy and listening to Kanye West or Jay Z with his wife and five children. Lane can be found at or on Twitter @_lxnx.

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