I see people refer to Deconstruction as a fad or as a trendy phrase, which indicates to me that they do not really understand what deconstruction actually is.
Deconstruction isn’t “questioning your faith”. It is pulling apart the actual construct, the narrative, and only keeping the stuff that isn’t faulty or broken. It’s removing the shoddy materials and rot from the building and seeing if there is anything left worth keeping.
It’s being so honest with your own heart and mind that you refuse to be complicit in the lies and deception that are the basis for peace in most religious communities.
It’s ripping it all down except what is obviously valuable and being content with whatever is left, even if it sets you up to be labeled as a heretic, a blasphemer, and whatever other judgy pejoratives the threatened religious folks will say about you as they violate Jesus’ “don’t judge others” policy.
It’s examining the history of how the concept of Hell was invented, what dishonest translations and faulty logic it is based on, and the self-serving ends this was a means to.
It’s re-evaluating the use of violence in scripture as supposedly “God-ordained” (which are mere claims of men, not necessarily truthful) and comparing them to the enemy-loving, peace-making, self-sacrificing Jesus, and then realizing how our entire economy and way of being is ultimately based on violence rather than reciprocity and mutual respect and love.
It’s considering the actual history of what happened instead of mis-reading scripture through the rose-colored lens of somebody else’s narrative that is overlaid on top. It’s seeing that Jesus was executed by Big Religion in bed with Big Government for daring to speak the truth about their corruption. It’s angry, violent, threatened religious folk who wanted the government to squash this poor, marginalized man who spoke truth to power. THAT is actually what historically happened, and any “atonement theories” are overlays trying to redirect our attention away from the historical and actual truth. It wasn’t about paying the price for tickets to the afterlife at all.
It’s being OK with looking at scripture from other perspectives and still finding gold in the ancient writings even when they are seen as human testimonies of what people actually thought about God and Creation in their times and places, even if other later authors thought differently (which they did, creating seeming contradictions only because human views changed over time, like they always do).
It’s seeing through the magic trick of “inspiration” and realizing that the notion that “God-breathed” or “inspired” being defined by theologians to mean that God himself somehow perfectly wrote the Bible through human agents is an utter INVENTION by theologians, and that there is no historical or rational basis to believe this re-definition of “inspiration”. It’s realizing they only do that so they can claim the very authority of God over their all-too-human and self-serving interpretations.
It’s being more concerned about actually becoming the kind of person Jesus was than about being aligned with doctrines invented by theologians that are based on their own imaginations and their longing for power and control.
Deconstruction isn’t a fad. It’s something you DO NOT WANT to do – you do it against your own will because you can no longer unsee what you’ve seen. You know in advance it is going to cost you relationships, opportunities, access, and will render you a by-word in communities where you used to be accepted. And still you continue forward.
Some get to the point where they have zero trust or interest in religion. Others find ways to stay connected to their religious communities without compromising who they are. And others find their own path as they integrate parts of the old construct they found to remain valuable while incorporating new elements that ring true and harmonious with them.
Fads and trends aren’t like that.