Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Oprah's Super Sunday program recently featured Sister Joan Chittister (who I love!)

As they discussed women's role in the church, Sister Joan made the point that Jesus did not have any problem with women, as they were part of his "band."

She noted that women walked with him in the streets--when women were not allowed to do that.

She then proclaimed in no uncertain terms: "Jesus was a feminist!"
{Joan then went on to observe the genesis of the problem:}

"But all of a sudden when the churches get institutionalized, guess who's in charge?"

And Oprah chimed in : "men!"

I believe that exchange points to the main reason why I came to see myself as spiritual but not religious (SBNR.)

By their nature, religions are institutional.
And I acknowledge  that in many ways, institutions are a necessary evil.
But institutions do not have a heart (which is why they can ride roughshod over individuals.)
And to promote order, they develop a structure to identify who's in charge.

Consequently, most religions have some sort of clerical hierarchy, such as the Roman system with the pope, cardinals, bishops, etc.

But spirituality is an individual, personal must take responsibility for yourself, because you are in charge.

As Woody Guthrie observed in his song "Lonesome Valley"  back in 1963, no one can walk the lonesome valley for you--"you gotta walk it by yourself."

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