As a graduate of Yale Divinity School and lifelong participant in the mainstream church, I share your prejudice about Shirley MacLaine's spiritual experience and that of her students. But for me, it is not an unquestioned prejudice.
Reading the description of her seminar and the subsequent editorial (Editorial Page, July 20), I couldn't help but think that if one eavesdropped on any group of religious people, or scientists, or even canine enthusiasts, one could hear strange and funny comments peculiar to each group.
Too many people have forgotten or ignored spiritual realities. I am grateful for Shirley MacLaine's attempt, and those of her followers, to reach for spirituality even at the risk of appearing foolish. The early Christians were also accused of speaking gibberish at Pentecost.