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Are you SBNR (spiritual but not religious)?

Having hung out with church folk for several decades, I have come to expect the words “spiritual but not religious” to be accompanied by air quotes and a tone of disdain. But lately, even non-religious folk have begun to hate on the SBNR.

One recent scientific study draws a link between mental illness and lazy spirituality — and some atheists scorn others for not having the courage to come out and admit what they really are. “Today’s secularists must do more than mount defensive campaigns proclaiming that we can be ‘good without God,’” writes one author; “‘spiritual, but not religious’ … translated from the psychobabble, can mean just about anything — that the speaker is an atheist who fears social disapproval or a fence-sitter who wants the theoretical benefits of faith, including hope of eternal life, without the obligations of actually practicing a religion.”

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