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The SBNR Epidemic

Gaaaack!  I didn’t know this thing had gotten SOoooo way out of hand until I read this post from Minnesota Mameleh, and googled the phrase “Spiritual but not religious” (try it!).

Frankly, I was convinced the first time I saw a Reform rabbi write on a whiteboard:

SPIRITUALITY

and then, tidily, circle the middle of it, like this:

imagethat you can’t have one without the other.

But then, I’m a sucker for “cute” proofs.

And you know what they say…or maybe you don’t.  I’m not giving sources here, but Google the phrase to find the original sources of each of these memorable quotes.

  • Being "spiritual" but not "religious" is like being literate, but you haven't yet chosen a language.
  • Saying “I’m Spiritual-but-not-religious” is like saying “I'm a duck but I don't go near the water.”
  • Saying "I'm spiritual but not religious" is like saying "I'm in love, but with nobody."
  • Saying you're "spiritual but not religious" is like puting a wing on your Kia. You only fool yourself, everyone else thinks you're an idiot. (hey!  I drive a Kia!!!)
  • Being “spiritual, but not religious” is like being “Smart, but not intelligent”
  • Saying a person is spiritual but not religious is like me saying I'm gay but I don't (okay, never mind this one)
  • Being spiritual but not religious is like eating nothing but cake and ice cream.
  • Saying that you are spiritual but not religious is like saying that you are healthy but have no concern about diet and exercise.
  • (and along the same lines) Saying you are "spiritual but not religious" is like saying "I'm athletic but I don't exercise", or "I'm scientific but I don't do math."
  • Hearing people say they are spiritual but not religious is like hearing people say I like dating but am not getting married.
  • Being "spiritual but not religious" is like being a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. (huh?)
  • Saying that one is spiritual but not religious is like saying that you smoked marijuana but you didn't inhale.
  • Saying one is 'spiritual but not religious' is like saying the seeker wants the benefits but not the work to get them.
  • Saying “I'm spiritual, but not religious” is like saying, “I'm a citizen, but I refuse to pay taxes.”

Yes, I am proud of the fact that this is the World’s Largest Collection of “spiritual but not religious” quotes.  Feel free to google the quote to find the original attribution and use it in your own context.  I take credit for none of these!  (if one is yours, let me know and I’ll give you full credit)

I like seeing different people’s take on punctuating their sentences.  I have corrected the worst couple, however, because I figured my readers wouldn’t like it so much.

What’s left to say?  To me, “spiritual but not religious” doesn’t exist.  You can do some New-Agey stuff and make something up about your neshama or tikkun olam – slap a Hebrew word on it and see if it becomes holy. 

In a Jewish context, it’s little more than a modern veneer for tired old “cultural” Judaism; you know, eating bagels and lox on Chanukah (or Pesach, or Yom Kippur).

But what do I know?  I’m intelligent, but not smart… and it’s true:  I’ve never inhaled.

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