There are those who flat out “hate religious people,” but there are far more who are simply down on “organized” religion. Religion itself is fine, just don’t go getting organized about it.
Of course, “organized religion” is a big, easy target for critics, well, because it’s organized. It’s an organization – not just some individual. And as is the case with every organization made up of imperfect human beings, it’s not perfect. So we (along with a sensational media) like to use those often very significant imperfections as a way to justify throwing the baby out with the bathwater or to endlessly teeter on the edge of commitment with positions like “Oh, I’m spiritual, but not religious.”
“Spiritual, not religious” might be a comfortable way to dismiss religion, but it is precisely the organizational aspects of a church that enable outreach, community service, and the fostering of human ties. […]
I like organized religion. I’m a Catholic. And the Catholic church is so organized that we advocate for, educate, clothe, house, rescue, and heal more people worldwide than any other single organization on earth. You have to be organized to do that.” – Lisa Mladinich
If we insist on disassociating ourselves with every organization that isn’t perfect, then we’ll inevitably end up all alone. For all the flaws of an organized religion, it is certainly more effective than a dis-organized one. And for all the inevitable additional complexities, drama and challenges “organization” brings, it’s ultimately more fulfilling and meaningful than a seemingly more simple devolution of it.
Religion helps us to reach out and actually touch our spirituality. And the “organized” aspects of it help others do the same.