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Viewpoint: Religion and spirituality

My children, now in their mid‐30s, have no religion in their lives. Like so many young people today, they have not been associated with a church since their early teens. Yet they claim to be spiritual people. Religion is a means to an end, they tell me. Spirituality is the end, and religion is not the only means. Sometimes religious devotion can even be an obstacle. Chipping away at the encrusted views of their father, my children enjoy explaining to me the difference between religion and spirituality. Spirituality, they assert, is all‐embracing, completely🔒

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Sam Cypressi lives in West Grove, Pa.


Posted in: March 2015, Viewpoint

One Response to Viewpoint: Religion and spirituality

  1. Conrad Muller March 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    City & State
    Juneau, AK
    I consider religion to be the set of rules that determine who can e a member of a “religious” community. Religion is what you must profess and who you must obey.

    Community is just what it sounds like. A group of people who commune together. Hopefully they support, encourage, and comfort each other.

    Spirituality is the relationship between God and the individual.

    A “religious” community can support a person in developing their relationship to God, or it can cover up child abuse. I think that is why we try to avoid “leaders” among Friends. We hope (I hope) that the lack of hierarchy and the lack of a catechism allows us to support a wide range of seekers, and reduces the chances that powerful people can misuse their power.

    Neither religion nor community define personal spirituality, but a community can provide a safe place for people to reach out further than they could on their own.

    I think your children may have found their spiritual community. I know my kids don’t profess any religion, but they still act like Quakers. I think they may come to a relationship with God in their own time. In the meantime, my plan is to be as good an example as I can.

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