A founder of the Order of Universal Interfaith and the executive director of the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States, the Rev. Tim Miner also is a leader in the “Spiritual But Not Religious” movement. Rabbi Rami Shapiro spoke with him about the rise of the “Nones.”As someone who is called to serve the “Spiritual But Not Religious,” or SBNR, community, what can you tell us about that group?The emergence of the SBNR community, and the rise of the “Nones,” the spiritually unaffiliated, are among the top ten forces impacting contemporary society. The latest Pew [Forum on Religion & Public Life] research shows that Nones comprise 20 percent of the United States population, and the SBNR community is the fastest growing spiritual community in the country. Why do you think this is happening?Diana Butler Bass [author of Christianity After Religion] in a recent PBS interview focused on people’s frustration with the perceived hypocrisy in organized religion as a root cause of the SBNR phenomenon. In Tom Thresher’s book, Reverent Irreverence, he called Jesus an “SBNR Jew” …
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.
He has this to say about religion: "To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence."
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