I’m a heretic. It’s taken me a while to realize this, but “heretic” is the only word that makes sense, particularly when you consider that one definition of “heretic” is that of a person “holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.”
I’m at odds with the generally accept idea that we only have two choices when it comes to religion – either we believe in God or we don’t. I disagree with the opinion that if we don’t believe we must shun every aspect of spirituality.
In the last year as I’ve researched my book on the topic, I’ve realized that I’m not alone in this heresy. (Yay!) Search the term “spiritual atheist” and look at the results. Look up Alain de Botton’s book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. Take a look at Aeon, Like a Prayer, and How Can Secular People Benefit From Prayer?
Even though Alain de Botton, the Aeon writers and I vary in our approaches and our beliefs, I call us all joyful heretics. We’re heretics because we’re defying the conventional wisdom that seeks to limit us to either traditional churches or standard atheism. We’re joyful because we feel like we’ve finally come home.
A NOTE ON THE PHOTO: This marvelous image was harvested from http://publicdomainarchive.com/. A thousand thanks to them for their fine taste and their generosity.