Aaron Rodgers has long been on “a path to a different type of spirituality that’s been more meaningful.” Back in 2017 he said he didn’t want to affiliate with the label “Christian” anymore. But in a recent interview with Danica Patrick, he took things further, describing his alienation from his former evangelical faith at greater length, including his objections to hell and evangelicalism’s general (for lack of a better term) “vibe.”
Understandably, given his long-public relationship with Rob Bell, many have focused on the section of his interview where he talks about hell. While it may be true that questioning classic views on hell won’t do good things for your faith, I found Rodgers’s self-diagnosis about why he walked away to be far more revealing and worthy of reflection. Asked what the crux of it was, he said, “Ultimately, it was that rules and regulations and binary systems don’t really resonate with me.”
On that score, the interview is a textbook example of Robert Bellah’s “expressive individualism”—the post-Romantic notion that we all have our own ways of expressing our humanity, without needing to conform to some outer, institutionalized model given to us by a specific moral, religious, or cultural framework. Living a meaningful life is not about adapting to the grain of reality; it’s about being true to yourself.
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