Sometimes new things are just old things unfinished and broken. Not authentic. Not new. Unreal. Same old song, faster tempo. Debate forums on religion I find to be much circular and pointless attempts at real dialogue. I am not surprised you found the debates to be less then what you accept spirituality to be. Religion (any religion) is simply a continuance of ancient human ritual organized as a common space/time moment(s) to share each other one to another as we trudge through the mud planting seeds of worship, faith, hope, and charity to whatever god is named by that religion. Everyone wants a beautiful garden of course, but not everyone wants everyone to have one. To futher add to the paradox, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone agrees what a weed is, or what a flower is.
Am I starting to make sense with you James? Your expressions on how Christians tend to "think" contact me as flat and gulliable. A long walk on a hot day through some of these people's gardens might have you eating some more humble pie.
As I walk through your garden James, I find it to be quite ordinary. By that I mean no offense. I simply mean that your garden has not only uprooted and trampled weeds, but several beautiful flowers have also been trashed as well. I have some empathy for you cuzz I step on flowers in my own garden as well.
However, I am "spiritual" enough not to be blinded by the weeds I find in another's garden; and then as I walk thru, all the while express how desolate their feeble attempts at spirituality are, while asking them to consider my own great gardening skills.
In other words, for some 90+ years now, the field of mental health has been just that James: a field. Of flowers and of weeds.
The reversal you so earnestly quest, if you manage it, will provide you with only another field of flowers and weeds. Perhaps it is better to grab a hoe more often and start working the soil we all find ourselves tilling, instead of trying to persuade us (me anyways) that the grass is so much greener on the other side of the fence.
Thank you for the post James. It is rare that someone from your formalized educational background, and ritualized learning enviroments allows such transparency of their general stance in life to be so easily percieved. A flower in your garden to be sure.
Your post did not connect with me in a solid way James, but it sure caught my attention. Thank you for your sharing.