Shared commitment to a strictly defined way of life not only promises to bring us closer to God. It also brings us closer to one another, in a way that mirrors a hierarchical perception of the enforcing Divine Order. As the old hymn “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” goes (bold emphasis is mine):
- Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
- Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
- We share each other’s woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
- When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.
This sentiment is not a small thing. Nor is it constrained only to a hymn sung by members of a small Christian sect. Take out the religious imagery, and you’ve got an ode to one of the human spirit’s most abiding impulses: connection, union, shared experience.