Sunday, April 13, 2008

and the winner is

i attended the 9 am service of Naperville's fine Universalist Unitarians.

I am about to hammer out the first draft of my paper, which is for psychology of religion. My prof, who happens to be my age, wants to us to evaluate the religion in terms of what it has to offer, psychological appeal.

It is fairly obvious to me that Universalism is appealing in that it allows one to maintain an openness to others and their ideas. Universalists are committed to religious pluralism- and doesn't that sound awesome right now?

Really, wouldn't it be amazing to be able to give everyone and everything the Benefit of your religious and existential doubt? how peaceable, at least in my mind! Without dogmatic commitments, one is free to "learn". the only responsibilities that UUism places on its followers are ones that any mature adult would gladly take on: to care for the earth and for others, to pursue knowledge and spiritual growth. For real, if that is all there is to it, i am practically UU.

Except.

there is an exception. I happen to think that choice and commitment mean saying no to somethings while also saying yes to Something Else.

UUism never had this choice! It can be anything to anyone, it can synthesize any religious belief. And i have to say that this strikes me as such:

to be everything and anything to anyone and everyone is to be no thing at all.

but that is just my initial thought....

5 comments:

Becky said...

so interested in this.
there is a UU church down the road from us.
we discuss it. never go, but discuss it. so appealing -- the idea of acceptance, tolerance and knowledge -- but i wonder how the reality works out.
i had a history prof that was UU. in a southern baptist town, in the bible belt, he was quite the interesting oddity.

aola said...

have you ever read any of Peace Bangs blog posts? she has two blogs - one is the fashion tips for ministers but the other is her more serious religious site where they discuss UU (she is a UU pastor in Boston)I found it very interesting.

cv said...

A dear friend of mine had a brain aneurysm, and during her recuperation stayed at a 'mission house' of a UU church in Portland.

Everyone lived peacefully, just like you'd expect them to.

I agree with your assessment of the UU religion. To be completely open and tolerant of every belief is to really have none of your own.

Although, it does kind of sound like my current belief "What ever gets you out of bed in the morning, and doesn't harm others"

Do you think that there is such a thing as a 'fervent' UUist?

I wonder how they would fare against the conversion sweeps of the janaweed and mujahadeen in Africa? Would they convert? or would they die?

E. Michelle said...

Aola: I haven't yet, but i will in the next couple of days. thanks for he heads up, A.

Becks: UUers, as far as I can tell, are nicely equipped to be admirable. Since UUism is a "living" religion, they can and do often take on the beliefs of the wider culture as religious virtues, though, to be fair, they have often spearheaded the developments in said culture too.

starrs in her eyes said...

UU! Interesting.

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