A big part of our mission at the Spiritual Edge is to understand: What does it mean to be religious or spiritual in America today?
To understand more, we created this survey. The 98 people who answered came from a variety of beliefs and practices. The results are not necessarily statistically valid, but we did learn some things.
The biggest takeaway is that “it’s complicated.” For example, 43 percent of people said religion has never been important to them, or religion was significant to them at one point but now is not. However, 56 percent of people said spiritual practice was important to them.
Read on for a more detailed breakdown of the results.
- “Disconnected follower of Jesus.”
- “I dance among the traditions and alight on none.”
- “A non-practicing Christian. I agree with many of the ideas and values of Christianity, but am against extremism of any kind. I feel like ‘religious’ people are the most judgmental individuals ever (often openly judgmental as well). I have decided my version of Christianity is more of a relationship between God and myself; I don’t need to go to church to ‘prove’ my holiness to the masses.”
- “I believe that there is something that unites the universe. Is it energy? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s what people call God but I don’t call it God.”
- “My religion is kindness.”
- “I would say spiritual and religious by preference, but traumatized by several churches so church is no longer in my life.”
- “Still connected, but I choose what to accept.”
- “I don’t give it much thought and never really have. More important to be a good person than to believe in God was my families ethos.”
- “I have one foot planted in religion and the other planted in spirituality. Together they dance. Otherwise I’m just hopping.”
- “I regard religious holidays as cultural or traditional rather than religious and think sharing traditional celebrations are important to a culture.”
- “I married a person of Greek descent and for cultural purposes we attended the Greek Orthodox Church when our son was young and I enjoyed it in many ways. However I do not now and did not then believe in a god. I’m sure church or synagogue attendance does good for many people but it is not for me.”
- “The sense of entitled, privileged, colonialist, spiritual hegemony that has informed the spiritual expression of Buddhist + Abrahamic faiths has left me to wonder if there is any other function of faith than its utility in social control.”