Echoes of Hope – When bad things happen to Spiritual-But-Not-Religious people Introduction

Cynicism about institutional religion

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Cynicism about institutional religion

“Religion is a business. Parishioners have become commodities that each governing church body is vying for.”

And an association of religion with a pre-modern, pre-scientific worldview

“I don’t blame ancient humans for believing in God.”

Many of the young adults are quite articulate in expressing their preference for being SBNR. This young woman was in her mid-20s, completing an undergraduate university program:

The idea of spirituality speaks more to me than organized religion does.

The idea of believing in something personal, rather than having someone

tell me what there is to believe in, makes me more inclined to being

spiritual rather than religious.

I respect the fact that, for many people, religion is a method of lifting their

spirit and bringing a sense of peace. I prefer to bring peace upon myself

through personal reflection. Reflecting upon my mistakes and learning

from them will make me a stronger, more intuitive person. Self- improvement

through personal exploration is what I strive to achieve.

Being a spiritual person means that I am aware of my actions and their effect

on myself and others. I take responsibility for my happiness; I do not feel the

need to attend a church service to put my spirit in a good place.

In fact, most of the statements are as positive about the individual’s spiritual journey as they are negative about institutional religion. They are full of energy and hope, and they speak for a generation – or at least for some members of the Echo Generation – who are living spiritual lives, committed to ethical engagement in their society, hoping to make a positive difference in the world. But there is at least one problem, the Problem of Suffering.

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