I have a lot of thoughts about this article, too much for me to coherently write down, so I'll just make a few points. 1. This is proof IMO of the
"divide and conquer" strategy that the elites use to control us. They fear not being able to put people into easily definable and controllable
groups. 2. This reminds me a lot of Rush Limbaugh always attacking moderates and independents, and I think he does it for the same reason. 3. It's
telling that CNN would publish this, a supposedly secular even liberal organization. 4. Is it a coincidence that they are publishing this close to an
election where many young people are voting for economic and not religious or "patriotic" reasons? (libertarians).
My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out
By Alan Miller, Special to CNN
The increasingly common refrain that "I'm spiritual, but not religious," represents some of the most retrogressive aspects of contemporary society.
The spiritual but not religious "movement" - an inappropriate term as that would suggest some collective, organizational aspect - highlights the
implosion of belief that has struck at the heart of Western society.
Spiritual but not religious people are especially prevalent in the younger population in the United States, although a recent study has argued that it
is not so much that people have stopped believing in God, but rather have drifted from formal institutions.
It seems that just being a part of a religious institution is nowadays associated negatively, with everything from the Religious Right to child abuse,
back to the Crusades and of course with terrorism today.
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Those in the spiritual-but-not-religious camp are peddling the notion that by being independent - by choosing an "individual relationship" to some
concept of "higher power", energy, oneness or something-or-other - they are in a deeper, more profound relationship than one that is coerced via a
large institution like a church.
That attitude fits with the message we are receiving more and more that "feeling" something somehow is more pure and perhaps, more "true” than
having to fit in with the doctrine, practices, rules and observations of a formal institution that are handed down to us.
The trouble is that “spiritual but not religious” offers no positive exposition or understanding or explanation of a body of belief or set of
principles of any kind.
What is it, this "spiritual" identity as such? What is practiced? What is believed?
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
The accusation is often leveled that such questions betray a rigidity of outlook, all a tad doctrinaire and rather old-fashioned.
But when the contemporary fashion is for an abundance of relativist "truths" and what appears to be in the ascendancy is how one "feels" and even
governments aim to have a "happiness agenda," desperate to fill a gap at the heart of civic society, then being old-fashioned may not be such a
It is within the context of today's anti-big, anti-discipline, anti-challenging climate - in combination with a therapeutic turn in which everything
can be resolved through addressing my inner existential being - that the spiritual but not religious outlook has flourished.
The boom in megachurches merely reflect this sidelining of serious religious study for networking, drop-in centers and positive feelings.
Those that identify themselves, in our multi-cultural, hyphenated-American world often go for a smorgasbord of pick-and-mix choices.
A bit of Yoga here, a Zen idea there, a quote from Taoism and a Kabbalah class, a bit of Sufism and maybe some Feing Shui but not generally a reading
and appreciation of The Bhagavad Gita, the Karma Sutra or the Qur'an, let alone The Old or New Testament.
So what, one may ask?
Christianity has been interwoven and seminal in Western history and culture. As Harold Bloom pointed out in his book on the King James Bible,
everything from the visual arts, to Bach and our canon of literature generally would not be possible without this enormously important work.
Indeed, it was through the desire to know and read the Bible that reading became a reality for the masses - an entirely radical moment that had
enormous consequences for humanity.
Moreover, the spiritual but not religious reflect the "me" generation of self-obsessed, truth-is-whatever-you-feel-it-to-be thinking, where big,
historic, demanding institutions that have expectations about behavior, attitudes and observance and rules are jettisoned yet nothing positive is put
The idea of sin has always been accompanied by the sense of what one could do to improve oneself and impact the world.
Yet the spiritual-but-not-religious outlook sees the human as one that simply wants to experience "nice things" and "feel better." There is little
of transformation here and nothing that points to any kind of project that can inspire or transform us.
At the heart of the spiritual but not religious attitude is an unwillingness to take a real position. Influenced by the contribution of modern
science, there is a reluctance to advocate a literalist translation of the world.
But these people will not abandon their affiliation to the sense that there is "something out there," so they do not go along with a rationalist and
materialistic explanation of the world, in which humans are responsible to themselves and one another for their actions - and for the future.
Theirs is a world of fence-sitting, not-knowingess, but not-trying-ness either. Take a stand, I say. Which one is it? A belief in God and Scripture or
a commitment to the Enlightenment ideal of human-based knowledge, reason and action? Being spiritual but not religious avoids having to think too hard
about having to decide.