Sunday, October 09, 2005

The results are in, and they are not what I sought....

Rev. Elizabeth A. Lerner said this in a Service at the Unitarian Universalist Church Silver Spring, MD on November 7, 2004:

The results are in, and they are not what I sought, but also possibly what some of us did seek. President Sinkfords message gently reminds us that both Republicans and Democrats are Unitarian Universalists. I have already heard a number of stories this week about UU Republicans in this area outing themselves to their ministers, but also not, generally, to their congregations and that's understandable; we often act in UU churches as though we were all Democrats. I cannot preach, and we cannot speak, as though we are all of one mind here; we already know in many ways we are not. We are perhaps more cognizant of, and perhaps even more comfortable with, our theological range than our political range. To the republicans among us I'm glad you're here. We're glad you're here. I hope you'll talk with me about what works for you about this president for thoughtful, religious liberal folk like us, perhaps hearing the message from those among us will help us be better able to speak across and about our differences with those with whom we disagree. We all belong here, humanists and theists, gays and straights, elephants and donkeys. That is part of our strength and part of our message of hope for mutual respect and communication and acceptance that we always hold up as our promise for the world.
I'll email her if I can figure out the link on their webpage and link her to my faith post,

I believe in Universal Salvation after life, and I believe in Democratic Univseralism while alive. That's why, after voting for Democrats since George McGovern in 1976 through Al Gore in 2000, I changed and voted--enthusiastically-- for George Bush in 2004.

Bush's second Inaugural Speech sums it up for me. I don't think I've ever been so for a politician as I've been for President Bush.

Lerner's observation that my Liberal co-religionists find Liberal politics so intertwined that they assume everyone else in church agrees is slightly sad.

Just slightly because I value being a square peg in a round hole and believer enough in dialectics to value the conflict and synthesis. A thought I keep in my own mind though because I keep Politics and Church separate and just smile when fellow congregants slip so easily between the two.

Think of life as a series of Venn Diagrams. Those circles that can overlap one another and show commonality and differences in sets of things.

Then draw different circles representing all of what we believe. One for politics, one for religion, one for family, all of our values (or lack of them: we can have empty sets).

For many political-liberals the circles must all coincide. They must perfectly overlay and reflect harmony. There is nothing in politics, or faith, or family, or anything in life; that is not enveloped by the other.

Conservatives separate the circles so they only partially intersect. There are parts of each that have no business or relevance for the other.

This notion came home to me at Sen Paul Wellstone's funeral when the mourners heckled Sen Lott. For those mourners, Wellstone's wake was a political event. A sacred celebration of a life passed and secular politics were one-in-the-same. The circles perfectly overlapped.

Conservatives keep these events separate. It's a truly different way of looking at life.

Lerner is trying to pry them apart a bit at the Silver Spring Church when she notes she cannot preach and the congregation cannot speak as though they were all of one mind. I think it's good for the souls of her congreation that they do so.

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