Religion is most explicitly about collective and individual efforts to be or become rightly related to the all-inclusive life of the Creator-Great Spirit-God, and thus, religion is also about collective and individual efforts to be or become rightly related to less-inclusive created-creative-creaturely lives and spirits.
Created-creative-creaturely life includes our human lives, other human lives, and other-than-human lives. To be sure, other-than-human life predominates.
Created-creative-creaturely life includes lives and spirits which are greater and lesser, more inclusive and less inclusive, than ourselves.
Through most of the past and present generations of human existence,
and most especially among traditional tribal peoples,
including especially Native American peoples,
religiously significant creaturely life has been understood to include lives which are:
local and remote,
relatively exclusive and very much more inclusive,
past, present, and future,
human and non-human.
circle of concern:
all human peoples in all peopled spaces and times
(our most general circle of social ethical concern)
Among human peoples generically, including past and present human peoples, religion is normal.
Religion is important and fundamentally good.
For all human peoples in all peoples spaces and times, righteous religions will contribute to:
righteous relations to the all-inclusive life of the Creator-Great Spirit-God, to
righteous relations among human peoples, individuals, tribes, and nations, and to
righteous relations to other created-creative-creaturely life.
Characteristically, Native American visions of rightly religious peoples are visions of individuals, tribes, and nations making deliberate and successful efforts
to contribute to right relations to the Creator-Great Spirit-God, and
to contribute to right relations with other creaturely lives and spirits.
These efforts include religious ceremonies, dances, prayers, and other attitudes and acts of worship, and they include other religiously prescribed habits of thought and deed.
In Black Elk's famous visions, rightly religious peoples are envisioned as walking "in a sacred manner" along "the good red road" (pp. 202, 206, 234, 238, 239, 274).
All human peoples in all peopled spaces and times should be rightly religious.
All human peoples should contribute
to right relations to the Creator-Great Spirit-God, and
to right relations to other creaturely lives and spirits.
All human peoples, individuals, tribes and nations should walk in a sacred manner.
Walk in a sacred manner
be rightly religious means:
:o: be rightly related to the Creator and
:o: be rightly related to creation and created-creative-creaturely lives.