**Pastor Benjamin Spalink of [City Grace Church](http://www.citygrace.com) gives a thoughtful perspective on the [Barna Group’s finding](http://blog.faithstreet.com/re-the-barna-groups-report-on-faith-in-nyc-si "NYC_Pastor_On_9/11") that spiritual activity in NYC has significantly increased since September 11, 2001. **
Considering the horrors that have been accomplished in the name of religion, why are more New Yorkers spiritually active than they were ten years ago? While many might consider spiritual activity to be a type of psychological de-evolution, more and more people are realizing that the foundational grounds for many of the values that American society has are based not in reason, not in social science, but in faith. Even secularists in New York find church to be edifying on a moral level, and while they might not believe in the miraculous claims of religion, they recognize the value that faith adds to everyday human life. Faith also provides a grounds for community that might not exist otherwise. More and more, universities, even the bastions of secularism, like NYU for example, are forming offices to address the spiritual needs of students, and are building new facilities to accommodate the need for places of worship and prayer on campus. While much harm has been done in the name of religion, it seems that the most powerful and effective way to combat injustice, racism and prejudice is to show how these types of behaviors and attitudes go against the fundamental nature of humanity. If we are to see human beings as objects worthy of respect, protection and care, we have to be able to claim that their nature is not simply animal, but reflective of the divine. Faith provides this basis for understanding the nature of humanity in a way that science and reason cannot.
Community Pastor of City Grace Church
[www.citygraceny.com](http://www.citygraceny.com)**What do you think?** Let us know in the comments.