Response to Peacebang's Blog

Read the entire entry entitled " Humanism or Vague Buddhism, Part II" and its related entries to get up to speed.

PB wrote:

“If Unitarian Universalists really want to become a strong religous humanist tradition, they should have it out once and for all, agree together that this is their identity, ask the Christians and other adherents of specific religious paths (including the pagans) to either stop asking to have their own beliefs reflected in worship and religous education or find spiritual homes elsewhere, and set about teaching our people what it means to be a religious Humanist.

I don't think this will ever happen. I believe that Unitarian Universalists use the term "Humanist" to describe an approach to religion that prefers spiritual seeking to finding, honors musing and debating over deciding, and that promotes browsing through the teachings of various masters over choosing one and following him or her.”

A very insightful and accurate description of what I’ve seen too.

I think that UUism has mistaken the freedom to search for truth as an endorsement or even a mandate for endless wandering. I have a pretty solid core set of beliefs and religious practices, so in some sense I have arrived at a destination; but having a home doesn’t mean I can’t go on vacation. I still read and ponder ideas from many sources. In my opinion this is the idea behind the “…free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”

Some of the responses to PB’s posts stated that ultimately UUs are mostly interested in living an ethical life, and creating a religion around such a goal. For me ethical living is an important religious practice; but it is rooted in something deeper than myself, namely my theistic Unitarian theology. Devotion to and love for God has helped me to better understand the concepts of compassion and the necessity of embodying it as I interact with other human beings. Love to God and Love to Man is not just an old fashioned slogan, it has some real depth if you try it out.

“Traditional” religion is heavy on pandering to God, without living a life that by its virtue could be seen as an act of worship; “Liberal” religion is heavy on pandering to ideals and debate, without recognizing that most human beings have a spiritual need that goes beyond just being good or talking about being good.

The Unitarianism that I practice, preach, and first encountered years ago, takes a middle path between the two extremes of an action/debate focused religion and a religion obsessed with every jot and tittle of all conceivable theological questions, no matter how obscure. It has a solid theology while also requiring me to be an active force for good in the world. I am called not to only recognize one man from a long time ago as the savior, but as Alfred Hall said, to recognize all good people as saviors-and to recognize that I can fall into that category if I so choose.

Someday, UUism will have to squarely confront three fundamental questions:

1. Is there a Higher Power?
2. If yes, what is its nature and how do we relate to it as a religious community?
3. How do the answers to questions 1 and 2 inform the way we live our lives?

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