I was on the Huffington Post’s religion blog avoiding my work expanding my mind in the areas of religion and spirituality when I happened to see a video linked in the sidebar titled Rev. Ed Beacon Takes on the Spiritual But Not Religious Debate. I was intrigued by the idea of a priest sitting down with Oprah for an interview on this topic, so I decided to click on the video to hear his thoughts. I’d like to share the video here because I think the reverend hit on a few important points.
The video follows this excerpt of the brief conversation:
Oprah: Can you be spiritual without being religious?
Rev. Bacon: Yes… I say that because there are wonderful people who have spiritual experiences on their horses on Sunday morning, and they just are not going to bother with this religious stuff, for a lot of very good reasons… Let’s accept everybody exactly where they are, and let’s let grace lead them where grace needs to lead them.
Oprah: You don’t want everybody to be in church on Sunday?
Rev. Bacon: No. I don’t… I want everybody to know God. I want everybody to know the Love that I know… [the love that can fill] their heart so much that they are joyful and peaceful, and have respect for everybody. I want us to turn the human race into the human family, and you don’t have to be in church to be a part of that. Gandhi was not in church and he did that.
I loved this. In fact, I loved it enough to tell myself that the priest’s unfortunate use of the word “lazy” must’ve happened as a result of his own nervousness. (He really did seem nervous, especially when Oprah asked him if he wanted everyone in church on Sunday.) After watching the video on HuffPost’s blog, I learned that the interview itself is around 18 months old. I really regret not having seen it earlier. It’s very good food for thought.