I'm not religious. I'm just spiritual.
Doesn't that crap just make you wanna puke? Ever hear somebody say that before? What the heck does it even mean?
I started thinking about this shortly after writing my last post where Montel Williams claimed on Oprah's show that people need to be "spiritual". It's getting further removed from my memory, but I recall that he was sure to make some sort of equivocation about how "it doesn't matter what you call it" just so long as you have some sort of spiritual side. So, apparently Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Falun Gong, and the cult of Dionysus all pretty much do the same job. Is it just me, or is this about as close to admitting that it's all bullcrap that a person can possibly get without actually flat-out stating that it's all bullcrap?
The way I see it, people who claim to not be religious, and just "spiritual" are basically people who just don't have any balls. They're not willing to go along with the precepts of a particular religion because that would involve some sort of genuine dedication, and they're not willing to admit to atheism or even agnosticism because apparently that's closed-minded or whatever.
I read the book Religious Literacy some time ago, and it not only went over the basic religious literacy that people should have, but it also went over a whole history of religious literacy in this country. One of the big ironies is that we're essentially one of the most religious countries, but we're the least-informed when it comes to religion. The author, Stephen Prothero, was also sure to point out that one of the misconceptions that people (like Montel Williams, obviously) have about the various religions is that they're all essentially the same. While it may be true that you'll find a few similarities, it's a mistake to think that they're all on the same path. They all emphasize different things. While I'm not an expert, I know that Buddhism is a totally different thought-process than Christianity. It doesn't concern itself with sin and an afterlife so much as it concerns itself with achieving happiness in this life.
Maybe it's all just a product of this politically-correct climate in which we live. People don't want to offend anybody, but at the same time, they're losing the courage of their convictions. Shoot, it's actually more like they don't even HAVE any convictions.