Taking this life on faith, with faith, can fulfill our yearning for connection
In my line of work, I am accustomed to hearing people say: "I am spiritual, but I don't believe in organized religion."
At times I am tempted to flippantly reply, "The only religion I know is disorganized; when you find one that is organized, let me know. I'd like to join."
This Easter Sunday an increasingly large segment of the American public will register its dismay, or disgust, or pure boredom with organized religion by staying home.
Anyone who follows the news can list the reasons for this alienation, including but not limited to the continuing pedophile scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. The slow and inept reaction from the Vatican hierarchy should concern not just Catholics, but the leaders of every faith, because it paints all religious institutions with the brush of indifference.
Just as corrosive to a life of faith are stupefying religious practices that make little sense, except to insiders, and lack a connection to the lives of people where they dwell spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Yet religious leaders, and their critics, would be mistaken if they view alienation from human religious institutions as alienation from God. There is a deep yearning across our land for a connection – a relationship – with God. Religious institutions fail when those who lead them fail to recognize the authenticity of that yearning.