There’s an interesting article up on the San Francisco Gate web-page. It speaks of an emerging trend in America to create eclectic personal religions. (“I’m very spiritual, just not very religious…”) In the article a San Francisco resident is interviewed about her journey and about her present beliefs. Here are a few of the most interesting quotes:
“[In my religion] there isn’t some man in the sky waiting to send you to hell every time you do something wrong, you know? And there is no Santa Claus sitting, waiting to reward you for doing good things, either. You are in control and you are responsible for your own life.”
(Which actually isn’t what Orthodoxy believes – at least according to the “Rivers of Fire” article posted earlier.)
The sort of eclectic spirituality you’re describing is appealing to many people. But do you ever think that by picking and choosing from different religious traditions there might be a temptation to choose — for lack of a better term — the “fun” things and avoid the difficult things, like moral codes?
It really depends upon the person and the situation. I take what resonates with me from each religion. It’s not necessarily what’s fun — it’s more a matter of what works. But you are right that some people might do that, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Anyway, I think moral codes are just religion’s excuse to judge other people.
So in your view there is no right and wrong? It’s all relative? Murder? Genocide? They might be OK?
You know what? If somebody kidnapped one of my kids and I had to kill that person in order to save my child, you bet your ass I’d do that.
I don’t believe in right or wrong. It just is. If it feels like something that I should do, then I’ll do it. Or if it feels like something that I shouldn’t do, then I won’t do it.
Having met any number of people my age who have said the same sorts of things to me, it’s interesting to see how the subject in this piece responded to more probing questions than I would normally ask. What I find most striking is a sort of Star War’s “The Force” kind of divinity and a total reliance on her own experience as a guide. It’s all very personal, and there is little or no external reference checking. Which would make me nervous both as a scientist and as a Christian.
If religion has no external reality, then it’s just a story we make up to keep from being scared in the night.
Read the rest here: FINDING MY RELIGION / Wendy Moore creates her own spirituality