Editor's note: This is a response to Lillian Daniel's "Spiritual but not religious? Please stop boring me."
I know about the discomfort of getting on an airplane and telling the person sitting next to me about what I do. Compounded by my age and gender, it's almost always an awkward moment. So when I read about Lillian Daniel's similar experience, I was sympathetic to her situation.
But I was surprised by, and not terribly sympathetic to, her reaction to the person sitting next to her on the airplane. She seemed especially put-off by those who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious.
Now, that phrase confuses (and annoys) me as much as the next pastor. Although I have actually spent time looking for and talking to people who describe themselves that way, I still don't fully understand the phrase (Daniel is probably right about it being the spiritual heritage of self-centered, American individualism). And from my conversations with people who identify that way, my sense is that they don't always understand it either.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers