No fact summarizes my argument more succinctly than this: The fastest growing category of American religion, particularly among young adults, is “spiritual but not religious.” That the land of the free gave birth to such a designation makes perfect sense, and those who identify with it should not be dismissed as frivolous or noncommittal, as certain critics have contended. They are, for the most part, serious questers who are not inclined to take on faith either religious dogma or facile secularism. They are mystics and idealists who also happen to be rational, pragmatic and independent.
They are, for the most part, privileged enough to have been raised and educated within a, uh, “facile” secular society that provides them the opportunity to subject metaphysical beliefs from around the world to rational scrutiny in pursuit of a Western concept of objective truth independent of the cultural and familial ties that might otherwise bind them to an ideal of obedience. They are often confused dilettantes who use those exotic beliefs to adorn an all-too-ordinary egocentric consumer perspective that goes unquestioned. I’m just saying.