Tom Schade, at Prophet Motive, asks his readers serious questions about the pointless zero-sum thinking that plagues current Unitarian Universalist internecine relationships.
Do read his article, and Philocrites’ follow-up.
Sure I agree with him, and must of my public ministry before a couple of years ago played into it. But then it dawned on me: who am I trying to convince here? The humanists? The neo-pagans? The “we’re the real UUs because we don’t take a stand” cohort?
This misguided tendency to please meets community-as-idol and leads the vested interests to seek the approval of an entity (the UUA secretariat) that has enough to do without being dragged into this “beauty contest.”
And, since this plague seems to infact the clergy most of all, what happened to the dignity and equality of the ministry? If it weren’t for the bishops (and the queer-baiting) I might consider the Episcopal Church, but one of the several good reasons I stay is that each minister stands as an equal and collegue with the rest.
That means we – and we can fold in the laity here – have an equal stake in framing and forming ideas that can be of importance and influence to others. I suspect that the main reason that some people think the UUA is being “rechristianized” (like, if . . . ) is that the Christians are recognizing the Faustian bargain made in the past (keep to yourselves and we won’t hurt you) wasn’t actually made by anyone else. The Devil isn’t there. The Christians have lost, or are losing, their co-dependent relationship with others in the UUA. And, I’m glad to say, the steady hemohrage of Christian seminaris and clergy seems to be slowing. Why? Well, the old way wasn’t working, and a generally secularizing society needs overt and clear Christian witness. There are probably as many answers to that question as Christians.
Others in the other theological cohorts (and the un-hyphenated do have a theological core, so they’re not neutral, and do constitute a cohort) need to stop whining about how they’re underappreciated and start doing serious public theology because I’ll not slow down for them to catch up.
Mimetic Rivalry and the UUA