I think at some point in life, any and all of us can be disappointed or even angry with religious organizations, particularly those with which we are familiar. In the United States, that tends to be some church. I am one of those people. The religious groups, like any group, make mistakes that one hopes they will eventually admit so they can learn from it.
There are those who at some point have found difficulties with a religious group and declare of themselves that they are not religious or that they have no religion. Those people tend to want to describe themselves as being spiritual. I think it is fair to say that most people these days would say, “I am spiritual, not religious.” I have had such a tendency myself when I think in terms of a religious person being obnoxious with pushing their beliefs on others.
Read these definitions of religion from Merriam-Webster.
The state of a religious person.
The service and worship of God or the supernatural.
A commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance.
A personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
An archaic definition: scrupulous conformity, conscientiousness.
A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.
Then, read these definitions of spiritual from Merriam-Webster. Then, consider whether you possess whether there is really such a difference between the two such that you can really say you are not religious.
Of or relating to a person’s spirit.
Of or relating to religion or religious beliefs.
Having similar values and ideas : related or joined in spirit.
Of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit.
Of or relating to sacred matters.
Ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal.
Concerned with religious values.
Related or joined in spirit.
Of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena.
Of, relating to, or involving spiritualism.
Although any of us can state, “I am not religious, I am spiritual” or one could say, “I just don’t care about any god or organization or dogma”, one still have something which guides our life. As soon as a person states that they have no dogma, they have stated their dogma.
From the behavior and actions of some religious groups and religious people, I can see how it can be embarrassing to consider oneself religious. I have felt that way myself. If you are a Muslim, do you want to identify with the crazies who so often make the headlines around the world? And, if you come from a Christian tradition, there are plenty of shameful examples around us every day.
I admit that I am religious. I still may be hesitant to call myself religious. I will likely qualify what I say by explaining that I follow Jesus since it can be difficult for me to identify myself with many who call themselves Christians.
I hope you will join me in admitting your religion, whatever it is. If more of us can do that, I believe it can reduce the divisiveness that seems to be growing in the world. We can help make the world a better place for everyone. It is alright for your religion to change as you live. That proves you are alive and thinking.