A blog reader (Thanks K!) pointed me to this post by a UU Minister. It's her reflection on Rev Daniel's article about the “spiritual but not religious” person who sat next to her on the plane.. The cool thing is there's a longer version of Rev Daniel's article which gives even more context about the man.
The result is not a very, ah, flattering picture of “let's all pray in a pile” Rev Dan's ministerial chops. Here is an excerpt:
First, I read the short version of Lillian Daniel's essay about "Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me," that is making the rounds.
Part of me, I must confess, had that triumphant, "Yeah, what SHE said!" feeling. And then, rather quickly, I felt ... quite uncomfortable. Was sneering at someone else's sneering the way to go?
And it kept sitting with me.
Then, I read the longer version. And felt heart-achingly sad.
A man sits next to her. He tells her his story. Of going to a church where he's not supposed to ask questions. Then going to a church that defines God in such a rigid way, he can't make it fit with his reasoning about the divine.
Then, he finds a church that is like a big warm hug. He fits. But when he goes through the pain of divorce, backs turn. It is his wife's church, he discovers.
Disillusioned, hurt, he begins sleeping in, reading the NY Times, taking long walks. He finds God in the trees and the cicadas. He describes himself as deeply spiritual, but not religious.
Me, I would call that healing. Daniels does not.
After having his intellect, his sense of God's love, and trust in human relationships all abused, we should say, Sorry, Bucko, you should have gone to another church? Tried harder?
Are you kidding?
Yes, I know there are plenty of folks out there, shallowly tralalaing about being spiritual but not religious. They fit with "self-centered American culture, right smack in the bland majority of people who find ancient religions dull but find themselves uniquely fascinating."
Don't you understand that these are the people who most need us?
Big love to that that UU minister.
Big. Fat. Love.