Regarding the difference between “religious” and “spiritual”, Trumwill writes:
Being an atheist is undemanding but also unpopular and for a lot of people unfulfilling. Being a member of an organized religious provides you with a packaged set of beliefs but comes with a bunch of rules you have to follow. Call yourself “spiritual” and not “religious” and you can do whatever the heck you want with less in the way of social consequences and you can find meaning in whatever the heck you want to find meaning in. So if it feels good you can make it not about feeling good but about connectedness and all that jazz. The rules are typically more generous when you make them up as you go along. You get gratification from all ends.
This brings to mind how liberals attempt to define hypocrisy in a way that only conservatives can be guilty of it. Different from its true definition – pretending to be something that you are not – they define it as a failure to live up to your publicly stated moral standards. The liberals deftly avoid this charge by . . . not having any standards!
Somehow, Democrat politicians are never called hypocrites when they, for instance, oppose school choice while sending their own children to Sidwell Friends, or espouse environmentalism while running up utility bills greater than the median income.
And somehow Bill Bennett can be guilty of hypocrisy for gambling, even though he never spoke against gambling, but he identifies as a SoCon, and other SoCons have spoken out against gambling, so . . . ?
It’s all very complicated.