People Are Strange

Steven Waldman, editor-in-chief of Beliefnet, made a stir in UU circles by mentioning our name in public. (Are your ears burning?) Our collective chests are just a little bit bigger since he called the Founding Fathers "militant Unitarians."

Here's the quote:

But if I had to pick a religion, I’d say they were sort of militant Unitarians. In other words, they had rejected or become uncomfortable with key parts of Christian doctrine and institutional behavior but they did believe in an active God, who intervened in their lives and the lives of the nation.

Who are UU?

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Pew Forum released the results of a comprehensive survey they had done on religious faith in the U.S. Lots of people have been talking about it - at work, online... In particular, atheists seemed (understandably) pleased because their numbers had gone up substantially.

For my part, the report just gave hard numbers to back up what I already knew - lots of diversity and fluidity. Perhaps too much so. And then I moved on.

But Rev. David Gillespie did the hard work of actually wading through the numbers on the demographics of UUs (or thereabouts), and posted it on his blog. So who are UUs?

Assuming the numbers are accurate, here are some of the more surprising results:

51% of us are under the age of 50 and 16% of us are over 65.

Acceptable Power

Today in our Sunday morning discussion group we continued exploring the Feminine Divine in world religions, this time with Hinduism.  I had volunteered to present something but was also mindful of the time, it being Palm Sunday and our guest preachers being UUA president Bill Sinkford and Linda Jaramillo, executive minister for social justice of the UCC.  So I went light on presentation and let the discussion go where the group took it.

Universalism: what a radical idea

Back in October, I participated in an Interfaith Dialogue facilitator training.  Tonight, a few of us finally got around to going to the next level - engaging in Dialogue amongst ourselves and practicing facilitation.  Our group consisted of ten participants, 2 Christians, 3 Jews, 2 Baha'i, 1 Muslim and 1 Unitarian Universalist (me).

During the course of getting to know each other, I got to explain how Unitarian Universalism comes from the joining of two traditions that both came out of Protestant Christianity - how Unitarianism rejected the trinity and the Calvinist notion that we are "totally depraved," and how Universalism rejected the Calvinist notion of "limited atonement."  Only a few are going to heaven.

Obama: now I truly believe

A few weeks back, I blogged about a realization that I had - that so many very different people with different expectations were projecting things on to Obama about race. And that eventually, when he has to answer to it, some people are going to feel disappointed and angry.

Honestly, I didn't think it was going to happen until after he was elected president. The fact that Obama is a long-time member of an "Unashamedly Black" church and the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright are a matter of public record. So I was surprised that these things would all of the sudden reignite. After a couple of days of controversy, the candidate was forced to give a speech on race in America, and to defend his association with his minister.

Five Years of Unjust War

In January, we passed the 5th anniversary of the creation of Guantanmo.  Today, we pass the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

There have been no weapons of mass destruction found.

No links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda found.

We say we went in to spread peace and democracy to Iraq (with bombs).  Today, Iraq is racked with violence.  The terrorists that were not there before are there now, flooding in as our presence foments resentment.

We say that Saddam was a brutal dictator who killed his own people.  He was.  But now we are a foreign occupier killing Iraqis.

Over $505 billion and counting, money that could have solved so many problems that we claim we can't afford to address.  Money taken from our children and grand-children.

Around 85,000 Iraqi civilians dead.  Very nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead.

Good Friday

In some ways, Good Friday was a day like any other day. Around noon time I made my way over to Silver Spring to have lunch with my friend, Kat. While it's been longer than we would have liked since our last lunch, this was not an unusual thing.

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