Tom Robbins expresses very strong views about organized religion in his books, very few of his characters attend religious ceremonies.
In Another Roadside Attraction, when Amanda is asked her opinion about religion, she responds with a metaphor about parasites that can be found in the wild. These insects use a host to lay their eggs and allow their children to feed on the host animal once they have hatched. The image is strong and fairly gory. The book goes on to portray the Catholic hierarchy in a somewhat unflattering light.
Rather than spelling out his opinion on Christianity, Robbins takes a scene to allow Tarzan and Jesus to sit and have a chat in the desert. Tarzan explains that the birth of Christ was the final peg that killed Pan. Mankind understood the circle of life, but with the creation of the belief in one Being they got distracted. Female Gods were lost and replaced with males and pagan ideas were pushed aside.
In Skinny Legs and All, an Arab and a Jew are only able to be friends and start a business together because neither actually practices their religion. Robbins uses the violence in the Middle East as a backdrop to express the dangers that can be caused by a clash of religions.
In the book, Robbins compares adhering to organized religion to being stuck in an aquarium rather than living in the wondrous wild swamps. When reflecting on whether religion can provide comfort for those in need, he adds that “If one yearns to see the face of the divine, one must break out of the aquarium, escape the fish farm, to go swim up wild cataracts…”
Many of Robbins novels bring up the question of the actual consistency of the soul. In an article for Esquire magazine, Robbins makes a distinction between the soul and the spirit. The spirit is linked to the sky while the soul is a part of the earth. Robbins continues that the soul can be inflated by laughter, imagination, and passion but can be diminished by fear, ignorance and corruption. Robbins puts more importance on living a life that soaks the soul beauty rather than what may happen to it once life is over.
While it is clear that Robbins does not find organized religion to be a necessity, he does believe in divinity. He worships in the church of life with art, beauty, and the written word.