I believe that many people in the world have a neutral spiritual orientation. Such people have the following characteristics.
- They will usually follow uncritically whatever religion their parents profess and expect them to be. They do so out of loyalty to their parents, not out of loyalty to the religion itself.
- They have little interest in controversies based on competing religious or anti-religious dogmas.
- They are tolerant of people who profess a different religion or no religion, as long as those people do not cause them problems by trying to convert them to their way of thinking.
- They think of religion as a means of social binding, not absolute “truth”, even if they do think of some of the doctrines of their own religion are true or at least likely to be true.
- They pay little attention to propaganda designed to convert themselves or others to a religion.
- They tend to not be active in religious worship practices and never rise to leadership in their religion.
- If they do convert from one religion to another, it is usually because they marry a partner who does have a strong spiritual orientation and want to join the partner’s religion for the sake of family unity.
Such people, if raised in a multifaith religious group like the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), may choose to simply identify themselves as UUs and nothing more. If raised in a dogmatic cult like the Baha’i Faith, the Mormon Church or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they may find themselves drifting away from such excessive social control once they reach adulthood, which is why these cults constantly seek new members to replace the ones they lose. The claim that they are trying to bring salvation to the world is merely the excuse they give for their obsession.
Seriously, parents need to STOP trying to “raise” their children in any religion, but tell them what the various options are so they can explore on their own once they approach adulthood.
For those who feel no strong attachment to religion, you can still express love and unity with others by finding secular causes to work hard for. What issues do you care about? What sort of difference do you want to make in the world?
The American Red Cross? http://www.redcross.org/
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee? https://www.uusc.org/
Doctors Without Borders? https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
The Nature Conservancy? https://www.nature.org/
The Union of Concerned Scientists? https://www.ucsusa.org/
People for the American Way? http://www.pfaw.org/
Those are just a few examples of worthy causes. I’m sure you can find many more.