I found this post interesting, in part because of its provocative title. Which I rephrased above as a question.
From the blog:
When I write that people need God/no God, what I mean is that they should be asking themselves what they are overlooking by rejecting a particular perspective on life, by dismissing a particular orientation to existence. What can't they see or feel or understand because the narrative of life, the universe, and everything that they have embraced and which is bound up in their sense of identity, is closed to certain points of view?
I myself have gravitated between God and no God, including "Who cares?" and "What does it have to do with me? The same with religions such as Buddhism and Christianity and philosophical movements such as compassionate or engaged Humanism.
Yesterday, I was part of a team that visited another organization to discuss potential partnerships. Zen center is currently considering moving, and with that has opened up space for other ideas as well, including developing new collaborations. The organization we visited had a focus on spirituality and healing, with what appeared to be a loosely Christian flavor, although they're folks who explore across spiritual/religious borders. After we walked through their building, a former Catholic convent, our executive director commented on how she was pondering the differences between a Zen aesthetic and a more Christian one. Eventually, one of their folks brought this comment back up and corrected the "Christian" attribution, but I think what was happening there was more about this God/no God issue. And how spaces look and feel based on which side of the fence those who organize them tend to fall on.
During the early days of my blog, I had a lot more heat around these issues. There was within me a "need" for some sort of clear demarcation between theistic religions and Buddhism, for example. Even though I also rejected the fixation on solely rational approaches to the dharma, and what felt like atheistic dogma being applied to our practice.
Something has softened around all of this now. My views haven't changed a whole lot, but the clinging to them is less.
And yet, the wrestling with such issues as "secular Buddhism," or is there a God or not, have been most fruitful for my practice. It's not so much that convert Buddhists "need God," but more that we need to maintain a life of questions. To not give in to the seductive voice of "I know the truth and that's that."