poached| Bloom on Our Understanding of the Sacred 11 March 2007Posted by EDITOR in Culture, Spirituality.
Of course, as we use it, [the sacred] has no more in common with God than does value with the Ten Commandments, commitment with faith, charisma with Moses, or life-style with Jerusalem or Athens. The sacred turns out to be a need, like food or sex; and in a well-ordered community, it must get its satisfaction like the other needs. In our earlier free-thinking enthusiasm, we tended to neglect it. A bit of ritual is a good thing; sacred space along with some tradition must be provided for, as a generation ago culture was thought to be a useful supplement.
The disproportion between what all these words really mean and what they mean to us is repulsive. We are made to believe that we have everything. Our old atheism had a better grasp of religion than does this new respect for the sacred. Atheists took religion seriously and recognized that it is a real force, costs something and requires difficult choices. These sociologists who talk so facilely about the sacred are like a man who keeps a toothless old circus lion around the house in order to experience the thrills of the jungle.
Source: Allan Bloom, The Closing of The American Mind, 1987.