Damned if you do, Damned if you don't

Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In rather Religionazi-like fashion, Politico has begun reporting on Barack Obama's churchgoing habits, starting with the headline:
Obama skips church, heads to gym
Uh uh. As a (semi-)faithful attendee of the church of pugilism, I am compelled to correct the record and state that church and the gym are not necessarily mutually exclusive places. My dictionary defines church as:
place of worship; house of God; house of worship
I don't see anything in there that suggests such a place cannot be a gym...or a strip mall or an open field, for that matter. Now, having had my own qualms about Obama's expressed religiosity in the past, I wouldn't exactly call Politico out for bringing up the question, in general. I think a person's beliefs about the world are totally up for public debate as soon as they manifest into words or actions. Nonetheless, in the process of debating said beliefs, when we start ascribing some level of importance to whether or not they choose to show up at a specific symbolically-decorated building at a certain time, it seems like we might be missing at least some of the point. Like home, church is where the heart is. Otherwise, the word loses what little meaning it has left.

Or, as Joss Whedon mused in Firefly:
Imbue...that's the word.

Nothing New byslag at 8:17 AM

3 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here):

Gye Greene said...

Eenteresting point. :)

If you make a distinction between "religion" and "spirituality" -- doing things **other** than going to church -- walking through the woods; hoeing a garden; working out -- can be **very** spiritual.

Curiously, I've found a number of highly religious people to not be particularly spiritual.

In my assessment. :)


slag said...

Yeah, GG, but aren't we missing at least some of the point in making that distinction? What's the value of religion if it lacks that quality that people call "spirituality"?

Gye Greene said...

RE: Relig. w/out spirituality - the point.

A clear set of rules for living, and security in knowing that you're right, and other people are wrong? :)


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