So you’ve got problems with Church—the one with the capital C?
You grew up sitting in various pews, but after getting a dose of higher education, you’re not really into anything that smacks of organized religion. After studying the Crusades, learning what jihad really means, and reading ten bloggers rant about the Pope’s pedophile cover-up, you figure that all of these manmade institutions aren’t credible. The Church—any church—is just a nasty, manmade construct designed to give uneducated, needy people some scaffolding.
On the other hand, you also think that God probably exists, and Jesus and the Buddha and Mother Teresa were onto something good. You don’t want to adopt the atheist’s combative edge or the agnostic’s arrogant philosophizing, so you snuggle down into the cozy netherworld of Spiritual Living. It’s a one-size-fits-all accommodating worldview fed by books like Eat, Pray, Love and The Secret. Spiritual Living lets you pray for wisdom or wear cool T-shirts or even go to silent retreats where you can stare at the ocean for a long time. It’s tapas-style dining where you order tasty little samples of religion’s best ideas—without the prix fixe risk. Come to think of it, if you don’t trust the chef to choose for you, it might be better to pick a different restaurant altogether.