"To whom it may concern..."

Peacebang writes (with regards to the trouble UUs sometimes have with religious language):

“Most people I know who use traditional religious language have hefted the heavy ax of critical thought over each word and cracked it open over many years, researched it, followed its etymologies like so many Encyclopedia Browns, considered its political and social implications, prayed over it, tried it out in different settings, and claimed or re-claimed it only after a tenacious battle with it. God. Kingdom of Heaven. Grace. Sin. Redemption. Divine. Holy. Christ. Sacrament. Spiritual. Religion. Like Jacob wrestling with the angel, we would not let these words go until they had blessed us.”

This is a big pet peeve of mine. Unitarianism (the half of UUism with which I am most familiar) did a lot of the dirty work a long time ago. If UUs would simply study the heritage whose name they claim, they wouldn’t be so antsy when other UUs use (traditional) religious terms. I especially get upset when a minister proclaims why he/she embraced humanism, and lists ideas which theistic Unitarianism embraced before the first Manifesto.

Reading a short book like my fav Unitarian Alfred Hall’s “The Beliefs of a Unitarian” will show that Us, Us, and UUs don’t define things the way your friendly neighborhood Baptists do. If you can find a copy of this book, buy it, rent it, check it out, and read it. Written in the 1930’s, it’s still quite progressive today.

PB continues on:

“What does this tell you? It tells me that lacking a theological center or a shared and clear "good news," Unitarian Universalists become known for our terminal uniqueness, our pre-offendedness, and our wholly Other identity (with tinges of victimhood) within even the progressive Christian community.”

Indeed; I intend to blog on this shortly, and to reference some Quaker sites which bemoan a similar issue in their community. This is why I’m still somewhat interested in the local religious science churches; they know how to have a clear (theistic) message, while still being “open at the top.” They can preach what they teach and still recognize that folks in the seats may or may not agree. The church I’ve attended has several statements of belief (for lack of a better term) which the congregants are invited to recite, or not, as they feel called. No need to water it all down.

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