Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.

Posted: Sep 14, 2011 8:31 PM

It's 'bout time someone said it. AND from the Huffington Post!

Here's a short snipit from the short and sweet column:

On airplanes, I dread the conversation with the person who finds out I am a minister and wants to use the flight time to explain to me that he is "spiritual but not religious." Such a person will always share this as if it is some kind of daring insight, unique to him, bold in its rebellion against the religious status quo. [...] Thank you for sharing, spiritual-but-not-religious sunset person. You are now comfortably in the norm for self-centered American culture, right smack in the bland majority of people who find ancient religions dull but find themselves uniquely fascinating.

My 2-cents:

The SBNR line I hear from many today announce it as if it were unique or some special enlightened achievement. What it really is kind of a false pastiche of self expression more than anything else. Their idea that spirituality is something you just paste together to meet their own expectations is really about indulging their own self-esteem, pride and fulfillment.

"Spirituality" is American in the sense of wanting everything. It started with "new age" spirituality that took one idea from column A and one from column B or maybe just made-up new columns—see Oprah. What can usually be said of these "deep thinkers" is that very few could say that they ever picked up and read a religious text (i.e., the Bible), but their criticism of said text is biting, passionate, condescending, and matched with a certainty that could pass any polygraph test. As Dinesh D’Souza said in the last three minutes of his debate with Christopher Hitchens [seen below]: Rejection of the Judeo-Christian God is not an intellectual revolt—it is a moral revolt.

BTW: The ease with which Americans use the word "Karma" is another matter that needs clarity, sanity, and hopefully a column to come in the future. Furthermore, if you call yourself a "Christian," for the love of God!, stop using the Hindu/Buddhist theological word "Karma"!