|"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." ~ Teilhard de Chardin|
If it were up to me, I'd retire the phrase "spiritual but not religious." I consider it effectively meaningless. To my way of thinking, we can't not be spiritual. We are spirit. But I'm not being fair to the idiomatic meaning of that phrase, which could be more fairly stated as, "searching for meaning beyond the confines of organized religion."
However problematic the phrase, it is a growing trend. This seems to rankle a number of religious authorities. A quick search through the Huffington Post religion section brings up a fair sampling of disdainful diatribes against all these dilettantes who think they can have God without the hard work of religious practice in like-minded community. I read a number of these posts when they came out, sighed, and moved on.
There's Pastor Lillian Daniel who is sick and tired of hearing from anonymous strangers on planes that God can be found in sunsets. She just wishes the nonreligious would stop boring her with their irrelevant observations. And, no, I'm not overstating her tone. "Please stop boring me," is her subtitle.
There's Alan Miller's lightning rod of a post bemoaning the religious illiteracy of a populace that can't name more than four of the ten commandments. He casts religion almost entirely in Judeo-Christian terms and dismisses all else as superstition. A good rebuttal can be found here.