I was not surprised to see an article today regarding a study just completed and reported in the British Journal of Psychiatry showing that spiritual people are more likely than atheists to have mental illness, take drugs, and a host of other negative behaviors.
Yes, the blog title is probably a little sensationalist but I’m sure with my previous blogs I’ve scared all the ‘spiritual’ people away anyway.
Interestingly those who counted themselves as “religious” were better off than those counting themselves as “spiritual”. It makes sense to me as in my experience those people who count themselves as “spiritual” almost spit out the phrase “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual” if you happen to ask if they are religious. They will strive to point out to you that “it isn’t a religion, it is a way of life” as if that suddenly proves it isn’t a steaming pile of something foul. Also in my experience those people who count themselves as religious are usually those who are brought up in the faith so see their church going more as a “tradition” rather than a spiritual encounter that has them waving their hands in the air and trying to cast “the devil” out of people like me. People with strong traditions usually are more grounded (which is what the tradition provides – a repeated process as an anchor) and can use that for support in times of stress. Atheists have rock solid science to ground them, and interestingly atheists are shown to be more moral and law-abiding than Christians or religious people as they will respect the law whereas Christians will put their religion above the law!
People who would define themselves as spiritual usually have some kind of need for acceptance (an unhealthy one) or are from a difficult up-bringing, which drove them to the bright lights and promises of the happy clappy church that they belong to.
Sure you will find exceptions, but for those who have experience with these “spiritual” churches I’m sure you are nodding your head in agreement.
I’m thankful to see that belief in some fantasy god is slowly going down around the world. With some luck hopefully within a generation or so it will totally be gone just as past belief that the world was flat disappeared as more people accepted logic. I’m sure at that time there were some hold-out nutters though that would have sworn black and blue that the world was indeed flat. As with current deceived spiritual nuts they probably used the same “prove that it isn’t flat then” argument mirrored today by the “prove god doesn’t exist then” crowd. Proving a negative is not the most effective method of proving something though.
And if what I’m typing has made you livid because you are one of these spiritual freaks, then good. Maybe it will make you angry enough to research some scientific truth. Keeping you in the dark is the goal of the manipulator. Don’t be afraid to “shine the light of truth” onto any stubborn spiritual beliefs you have.