Spiritual vs. Religious

What does it mean to be religious or spiritual? Does a religious person have to be spiritual, and does a spiritual person have to be religious? I find it interesting how the two have become almost mutually exclusive for many people. “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” or “I practice my religion but I don’t believe in G-d.” I’ll repeat: What does it mean to be spiritual or religious? I find the word usage has become a bit disheveled and I’m attempting to clean it up.

A study that came out last year found that Christians are much more likely to use the word “spiritual” than Jewish people who were surveyed. When it came to events in life such as a birth of a child, a true love, a lucky break, the word “spiritual” was attributed to these moments by Christians, while most Jewish people called these moments “profound.”

When speaking to my fellow Catholic friends, I see we use the words “religious” and “spiritual” quite oppositely. If a person believes in G-d, according to my Catholic friends, they are “religious.” If a person goes to Church every Sunday to praise G-d, he or she is considered “spiritual.” Correct me Busted Halo readers if I’ve been mislead. On the other hand, from a Jewish perspective, it’s the exact opposite.

What does it mean to be spiritual and/or religious? And can you be one without the other? I’d like to hear what you think.


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