Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Responses to Questions for the Unheard Voices of UU Conservatives (more…..)

13. Explain how you found Unitarian Universalism. Note if and when you first discovered the politically liberal bent of Unitarian Universalists:
I knew the “liberal” bent long before I knew anything of the faith. I was involved with New-Left and Marxist politics as a high school student in Oak Park Illinois in 1968 through 1972.  Chicago’s near by Third Unitarian Church had an active Communist Party cell lead by Norm Roth.  He was a party fixture on Chicago’s West Side having been a long time activists.  The Church was the jumping off point for anti-War demonstrations. 

I have vivid memories of watching Norm in the basement of Third U having returned from Moscow after having lead a Youth Delegation there.  This was at the beginning of the Nixon Brezhnev détente so it was an unusual visit.  Norm was showing slides including one of a Soda dispensing machine that used a common glass instead of a bottle.  A woman in the audience voiced a little disgust about the cleanliness of a shared public glass, and that launched Norm into a vigorous defense of Soviet soft drink machines. 

We more radical sorts found the geriatric Communists and fellow travelers at third U jokes, and disdained them.

I came to Unitarian Universalism as a religion in the mid 80s in my early 30s and joined Oak Park’s Unity Temple.  I was expecting to find a similar politicization and instead found a more conservative congregation.  Hardly Reagan Republicans, but it was not a heavily Political Church then.  I was surprised at the lack of opposition to the first Gulf War in that Congregation.  

There were three UU Churches within walking distance of Unity Temple then: Unity, Beacon UU, and Third U.  All of these were very different Churches. I think many of the Churches today in the Chicago area have very different characters.  A UU shouldn’t expect to feel at home at any, or many, of them.  That’s not a bad thing either. 

14. I knew I was a Unitarian Universalist when:
When I joined Unity Temple.  Again when I joined the UU Society in Geneva. These weren’t profound moments of conversion.  They were simply commitments to religious homes.  I believed different things at these points in time.  Joining UU Churches wasn’t about believing in much of anything other than abiding (and taking seriously) a covenant.  Beliefs, and more importantly a sense of spirituality, were things to be obtained (maybe) as part of contributing and working as a member of a Church.

15: I (choose one) Do Don’t believe Unitarian Universalism can be a religion for our time. Explain:
Can be if UUs chose to engage rather than demonize.

Rev Morales posted on facebook once regarding a Paul Krugman column, As always, Krugman is insightful. I find it especially troubling that so many Americans are in a state of denial.

That may seem trivial, and just a passing thought as reading the paper, but follow my link above and you’ll read the greater habit of too many liberals to just dismiss others on psychiatric grounds.  Conservatives aren’t just wrong; they’re in denial

Political Liberalism, Religious Liberalism, and Philosophical Liberalism at a moment of redefining themselves.  Their force spent and if the work not taken to rebuild it, it will not be a religion, politics, or philosophy for any time in the near future. 

The failure to engage, to instead just dismiss those who disagree as intellectual inferiors --with biological evidence to prove it if read more comments from UU’s on Rev Morales facebook—more evidence Liberalism’s disengaging, running away from the public forum, and dismissive rather than willing to engage in the hard works of argument and discernment.


Unknown said...

...can't wait to read the rest...

Bill Baar said...

Thanks... if your at GA stop in for the session.