Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Column: Sanctuary

My latest column is up at The Interim, and instead of talking about books, movies and TV shows, I let myself wonder about the sort of people who want to live in condos carved out of former churches - and why there are so many churches to be carved up accordingly, especially in my hometown. This demographic - a small one, to be sure - seems to be a small group within the larger tribe of the "spiritual but not religious," which is to say those folks who find Richard Dawkins as annoying as everyone else, but who find the thought of church-going and faith-confessing to be not only a whole lot of work, but a likely way of spending altogether too much time with people who would have loved to see those former churches used as, well, churches.
In other words, these are people who are happy to discard organized religions but not their intuition that a higher power exists, that life isn’t finite and corporeal, and that the sacred can have a physical presence, even after you put marble countertops and a rainfall shower in it. The rise of this group has increased among the demographically trending Millennials or Gen Y, known more specifically as the children of the Baby Boomers, and the Post’s Silcoff notes that “once unchurched, people tend not to rechurch. And so what will the spiritual life of the children of these Millenials look like?”
The Interim is a pro-life paper, so I was obliged to wonder aloud for the readers just what this trend might mean to the pro-life movement. Nothing good, really, as it's just another example of the spiritual being chased not only out of public and political life, but from moral discretion in general, as a potential source of friction if you should insist too loudly that something just isn't right.

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