In the Spirit
by Jordan Foltz on 07 Jan. 2014
Spirituality is often associated with a feeling of connectedness, but for many, connectedness doesn’t require that we believe in a spirit or higher power. 2013 saw the official formation of the WNC Coalition of Reason (WNC CoR), a group comprosed of five local, secular support groups that share the common mission of doing good in the world without theistic beliefs. Xpress spoke with Jennifer Lovejoy, president of WNC Humanists, and Geri Weaver, organizer of Recovering from Religion, to find out more:
Mountain Xpress: Why did WNC CoR organize?
Lovejoy: We are social creatures and we need that support network, which is why so many people go to church. In 2011, [the Humanists] put up a billboard … that had an American flag on it and just said “One Nation, Indivisible” — no “under God” — and it had our phone number listed. I got a call from a man who lived outside of Greenville who had planned on killing himself before he saw this billboard because he felt like he was the only one in his community who didn't believe in God. … When I realized that there were people out there who felt that alone, I swore I would work as hard as I could to make sure nobody ever felt that way again.
Mountain Xpress: What is it like to recover from religion?
Weaver: Religion can be like an addiction, because all of your life is connected to it — your friends, family, your marriage — people have split up when one realizes the other is not a believer anymore. So when you realize that if people learn that you don’t believe, they won’t be your friend anymore — you need support. We offer somewhere that’s safe … without a motive behind it … [other than] helping people through it. And my focus is primarily on the families and children.
For more information, visit unitedcor.org/wnc