[Bill Price at his peak "spiritual but not religious"]
As an aside, it gives me some ambivalent feelings about the decline of Christianity in the US. On the one hand, I’m worried about the accompanying shattering of communal norms, but on the other maybe we’ll be free to be ourselves again. But if you think about it, being ourselves might not be such a bowl of cherries if you take the past into account.
Either way, it’s a pleasure to have the historical perspective you offer here. If I could add anything, perhaps in the broader picture sometimes we lose sight of the ancient things hidden in our little communities and families. There’s still witchcraft, magic and the warp and weft of fate pulling us this way and that, and sometimes it seems that all the world is a winter night with only the hearth to illuminate the darkness. Maybe that’s how the Greeks felt as they kept the flame alive at Delphi.
In my mind, at least, it’s a metaphor for the embers of the faith in life itself that characterizes womankind. But you’re right: only a fool would believe it could be absent in a surviving people.