Friday, April 14, 2006

Unitarian Universalists and the Euston Manifesto

The Chalice Blog picks up on the Euston Manifesto and explains why she can't sign it.

I'm glad because it opens what I believe is the crisis among UUs as to what they believe. UU's a subset of the left's crisis of belief.

So many UUs have replaced faith with progressive politics that when progressive politics goes into crisis, it becomes a crisis of faith for them. The Manifesto becomes a Theological review for them that they ought to read if their Faith has become politics.

My Church is going through a Framing the Discussions discussion talk. We just finished the first one. Participants concerned about how to talk with the religious right, and the political right.

I suggested problems are not so much with the right as with this confusion within themselves about what they believe, and they way the go about treating folks who disagree.

I've walked into a Church Great Ideas Group Meeting by accident --I had no idea it was a meeting; I thought it was people passing time-- during a talk about America becoming a Fascist state.

I disagreed and troubled by the word Fascist as I had known camp survivors. I said I thought just the opposite about America today: George Bush was advancing Democracy and I supported him.

This brought silence and visible disgust. Then a congregant said she was tolerant of other views.

Tolerant: that was the response. I've also been told I'm a jerk, and a hack... and then UU's wonder why they have a hard time talking with people.

I can argue a case for same-sex marriage with Jill Stanek, Fran Eaton ,or Tom Roeser and always find respect from them; not toleration. They'll disagree but skip the ad hominem.

I could care less, but when these folks in turn wonder why they can't communicate with others; they need only look at themselves.

I volunteer over night at a Homeless Shelter. I stay after sometimes for the morning prayer service offered by the Christian Bikers .

UUs always leave that service. That's fine, but then they wonder why they can't dialogue with the Christian right. Well, it's because they leave. They'll complain Christ is mentioned too much, but they're is no one stopping them from offering a UU prayer either at these services. They're Bikers for Christ, not Hells Angels. They won't strong arm you.

So bottom line here, is I'm glad The Chalice Blog brought this into the UU blogoshpere and I hope it starts some reflection about just what exactly liberal and progressive means today.


Paul said...

As a unitarian, I am sometimes bothered by the fact that social action tends to take precedence over faith in our sermons. I believe in both in moderation.

Bill Baar said...

I've belonged to two. Oak Park's Unity Temple and now in Geneva. I never found them overly political.

Chicago's Third Unitarian a different story and I have some funny memories of it as a teenage leftist.

Save those for another post. I think the UU blogoshpere and some of what I see coming out of Boston a different story. The background material from Boston my Minister showed me for the Framing the Discussion talks had nothing to do with framing anything. It was a Liberal agenda. That's fine... but just say we're advancing an agenda... skip the mumbo jumbo about language and communication.