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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 12:47PM #11
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,366

Question,


 


If you are a Atheist why would you even bother with a Church (UUA ) in the first place, if the Problem is a God  why even bother  acceptting other people from other Religious backgrounds within the UUA  Geez no wonder The UUA is going down the tubes. you can't claim all are welcome as long you don't mention the G-word..... pretty Ridiculous  just my opinion.

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry



You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. Buddha.

What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.”


― Thomas Cranmer
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4 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 8:45PM #12
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,034

May 7, 2010 -- 12:47PM, Jupiter6208 wrote:

If you are a Atheist why would you even bother with a Church (UUA ) in the first place, if the Problem is a God  why even bother  acceptting other people from other Religious backgrounds within the UUA  Geez no wonder The UUA is going down the tubes. you can't claim all are welcome as long you don't mention the G-word..... pretty Ridiculous  just my opinion. 


I remind you that this board is restricted to UUs and respectful guests.  There is a Discuss UU board if you wish to dispute UU practices.  


Many atheists find UU a congenial place to enjoy the rituals and social networking provided by churches whether or not God is a welcome concept or not.  I find the reasons people left their former faith to be interesting data points not only about them but members of their faith that have not left.  I live in a larger society dominated by religion, knowing as much as I can about that society is simply self interest. 


Besides the UU RE program rocks.  It is the best RE program around if brainwashing your children is not the most important thing in their lives.  


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 08, 2010 - 11:23AM #13
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,034

May 7, 2010 -- 12:47PM, Jupiter6208 wrote:

If you are a Atheist ....


has been reposted by Jupiter on the Discuss UU board as Why? Tell your theist and atheist friends about it.  It should turn out to be a good discussion.


jcbn

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4 years ago  ::  May 08, 2010 - 7:09PM #14
RevDorris
Posts: 1,806

The ‘It’ Church


This was the title given to an article in UU World, Spring 2010, to an article by UUA President, Peter Morales.  www.uuworld.org/life/articles/158390.sht...


The President of the UUA, Peter Morales, has properly identified the problem faced by the UUA as a whole.  That problem as he stated is that the organization lacks “religion”.  Without religion the organization will decline.  This is a hard pill for many to swallow but truth is truth, no matter how much people protest and debate.


 


There is a lot going on in the world today.  Everything seems to be in a state of turmoil.  Many questions need to be asked.  Good workable answers need to be found.  The leadership is floundering.  There is a lack of direction or a workable plan.  The future leaders need to step forward and take action.


 


The organization needs spiritual growth and dedication.  Someone must take a leadership role.  People must come forward to share their visions and dreams.  Each of you has the opportunity to let your wishes be known.  Each of you has a stake in determining the future of the UUA.


 


This is a time for plain talk.  It is a time to propose concrete solutions.  This is not a time for endless debate and bickering over the meaning of terms.  This is not an intellectual exercise.  The life of the organization is at stake.


 


Will you take a stand for what you believe?


Will you work to achieve your goals?


Can you make your church a spiritual place?


The future is in your hands.


 


The UUA is your organization to direct and guide.  Most of you know I am not a member.  I do promote the Unitarian Faith Community.  My views and beliefs are well known.  You are free to tell me to mind my own business.  But you see, my business is the Unitarian Community.  My concern is the spiritual growth and well-being of all Unitarians.


 


The UUA has many qualified ministers and leaders.  Ask them to step forward and do what needs to be done.  To make the UUA religious may initially cost you a few members.  Still, a small dedicated membership can rejuvenate the whole organization.


 


Let’s get up-close and personal for a moment.  Each congregation needs a loving minister.  Ministers need to have an open door so that everyone knows there is someone who will listen.  Most ministers see people by appointment instead.  Few make house calls like they should.


 


This being said -- Most ministers work like slaves.  They are grossly under paid.  Many young ministers and old provide their services for free.  Their noble calling keeps the churches open but also keeps them poor and unable to devote 100% to the members of their church and communities.


 


Churches are closed more than they are open.  The fancy buildings sit unused.  Few are open more than 1 or 2 days a week.  Is it a wonder that the people are gone?  What should be a spiritual oasis sits empty and dark.


 


Today more than ever the churches need to be open.  The people need to meet with those who care.  Support groups need to be formed.  Those who love God must show they care.  In small churches the members are like family.  In large churches the members are an extended family.  Unfortunately today -- most are dysfunctional.  Strong and loving leadership is a must.


 


Please tell me what you think.  Tell me your hopes and dreams.  If not me -- then tell whomever you consider to be your spiritual or religious leader.  Cast aside your fears.  Work to make your church, your favorite forums, and your community a better place.


 


I am just one man.  My mission or calling is to unite the family.  The Unitarian family includes all who believe in One God regardless of where they are or how they choose to worship and serve God.  I cannot do this alone.  Your help is needed.


 


Most of the Unitarian membership has grown silent.  I know many friends still read and contemplate all the writings, posts, and articles that are available.  Many are loosing hope that a difference can be made.  These are tough times for many people.  More than ever they need a positive place they can go to for guidance and aid.  We can work together to keep the dream alive.


 


When two or more join together -- The One is there.  When alone -- The One listens to your thoughts and words.  The Spirit goes forth with your concerns.  Still, many of us feel isolated and alone.  I am here and there are spiritual leaders in almost every community.  I am sure, like me, they will be available to help.


 


Everyone is busy and time is precious.  I or any minister cannot help unless you ask.  I made a pledge many years ago to go wherever I was needed.  For the Unitarian Community, I will travel to any region.  This I freely do out of love in serving the children of the One.


 


When or if face to face contact is needed, you decide the time and place.  I am willing to go wherever I am needed.  The One will provide what is required.  Schedule permitting, I will be there.  Call when you are willing.  It does not matter if you are a group of one or many.  I make this promise to the children.  We can work together for the good of all.


 


Maybe there are others willing to serve.  Unless we know your needs we cannot help.  Knowledge and guidance will be freely shared.


 


The dream of a Unitarian Community is alive.  We can become a dynamic group.  Even the UUA can be rejuvenated as a leading spiritual and religious organization.  Together we can change our communities and through our communities the world will be changed.  We can all work together as children of the One.

With love,

Rev Dorris
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4 years ago  ::  May 09, 2010 - 4:52PM #15
Brownowl33
Posts: 443

I do not believe in a "god" that is a person who does things to us, so I don't think that's really a necessary belief to make a UU church work. I think, instead, we need to have a stronger sense of purpose.  I think one of the great things about being a UU is that we still get the benefits of the "old" religion without having to swallow a lot of stuff that no longer makes sense in today's world.  For example, in the old days people assumed one had to believe in some sort of god to be moral, and that without that belief there would be no sense of community, hope, or family.  Nowadays, most people realize that a belief in the supernatural is not required in order to be a good, moral person and that community is probably more important than placating and worshiping a god that would otherwise punish us.


If Unitarian Universalism has a fault, it's that it tries to be too many things.  It can't be both theist AND non-theist, Christian and Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim, etc etc which is why they tend to have "Circle groups" at each church for like minded people.  If I had my druthers, UU's would drop the pretense of being a mixing bowl for all religions, and instead focus on religious humanism and on developing a spiritual life without using the precepts and mythology of other religious groups.


I love the Unitarian Church I go to.  It's got great clergy, a good music program, and the people are friendly and welcoming.  I've never heard anyone get into fights over the whole theist/atheist thing, though it's my impression that most church members are probably agnostic or, at the least, have very non-traditional "god" ideas.  We do have a very active social justice program, and do a lot for gay rights (which is important to me, being gay myself.)  Most importantly, we seem to have a real sense of purpose: making the world a better place, ensuring people don't go hungry, and bettering ourselves and others through spiritual practice (we've got a great meditation group) and hard work.  The question of god seems more or less irrelevant, since "belief" in something has no effect on what sort of action you take in the world.  Perhaps other UU churches are more dysfunctional, but I think mine is a perfect example of what a church should be.


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 11, 2010 - 7:50PM #16
Thomasina-eve-
Posts: 7

Thanks jcarlinbn for the welcome. 


If you want your childeren to Unitarian Universalist then bring them up Catholic.


Ha Ha Arghaa!


This joke is the reason why the God thing is important.  It has been said, that if we could only keep even a small perecent of our children we would grow.  But, we don't.  I am an Unitarian Universlist depite the handicap of going through the UU religous eductation program.


It has a been a tough road with some involvement in a cult.  This was because I felt a hole where God should be.   I had no concept of God nor of relgious practice.  Even today I can't figure out that prayer thing. 


Thanks to Galen Gurenrich of All Souls and his a theology intensive course at the Utah GA plus AA and other readings I getting a better handle on God.  I do think it is important that when so many are trying to jam down their idea of the old fashion partisan God it is important to offer a more universal God. 


I don't personally believe in God as being.  I believe in God as power.  A power that allows me to see beyond my self.  The power that keeps me from a drink.  The power that gets to me get up in the morning.  As Galen said, he finds the term of God to be too powerful to leave to the right.


It did come out in a workshop between what I call the first and second generations.  The first being those join UU as adults from another religous tradition.  The second being the ones raised UU.  The  basic idea that came out that workshop is that the second genereation does what to stay.  However the first generation is going to have to learn to get out of the way. 


Meaning that if you former religon caused your trauma you have to face up to it and find a way to heal.  The second generation can't be stright jacket by the fears of the first from discovering God and creating a passionate church for themselves.  We are only as healthy as the children who bloosm in our church to be the leaders for us tomrrow.


I hope this doesn't sound too bitter.  It is rough when the religon that hurt you is the one you want to stay in.  I mean what I can do I keep taking the belif o matic quiz and get 100% UU every time.


PS on this post.  My brother who became Catholic also met a cult that tried to bring him in.  Didn't work.  Took him about ten seconds to total blow a hole in their theology. 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 12, 2010 - 10:17PM #17
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,034

May 11, 2010 -- 7:50PM, Thomasina-eve- wrote:

 This was because I felt a hole where God should be.   I had no concept of God nor of relgious practice.  Even today I can't figure out that prayer thing. 


I am or was depending on how you look at it a third generation atheist UU.  I never had a problem with the "God hole" I didn't have one.  


I would strongly recommend Forrest Church's last and posthumous book The Cathedral of the World I think it would solve your problem with a universalist God hole.  When he first preached the sermon the book is based in part on I even found a nave in it reserved for atheists.  You might find one of his windows is just right for you.  


I figured out the prayer thing when a very good friend was going through some very difficult times and asked me to pray for him.  I reminded him I was an atheist, and he said "Pray anyway, God even listens to atheists."  So I did.  I didn't know who or what I was praying to, it was simply "Dear God who even listens to atheists, help my friend deal with his troubles, and let him know he can ask an atheist to help."  The interesting thing to me was that acknowledging God was helping him helped me to help him.  So I guess prayer does work.  


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 14, 2010 - 6:39PM #18
Thomasina-eve-
Posts: 7

Thanks for the book suggestion.  I did read his Lifecraft and briefly attented All Souls while he was still there.  The UU book so far that I have found to be the most helpful is Wrestling with God. 


Thanks to AA I did find a way to fill the God hole.  I came to the understanding that while I could not believe in God the being (though I know others do - it is just not within me) I could believe in God the power.   For me the idea of God is the idea that there is some higher ultimate that I can't explain.  An ideal that people instinctive know - a univerasal understanding of good. 


I don't have much time to go into this.  More later.


What I was trying to point out in my post is that my understanding of God had to come through a long private struggle that included one nasty mosnter (the cult) that I hadn't been perpared for.  Prehaps you RE prgram was better.  I felt my RE  program had let me down and I had to fill in the gaps on my own.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 15, 2010 - 9:26AM #19
Thomasina-eve-
Posts: 7

Just wanted to answer jcarlin question which I had missed.  No, I'm not Tommy.


By the way does anyone know of the Unitarian Universalists in the Philippines.  Yes, the Philippines.  They have added a eighth principal to our seven.  The new one is at the top and it says, There is a God.  I also see it as God is love or as There is a God and that God is love.


I mention the Philippines because I was there once about two years ago.  While in the Philippines I felt myself experieceing a strange time travel experiment.  That the Philippines was at the same time a revist to our past and our furture.  It was the past in that the fire that the Unitarian Universalist felt in the Philippines I thought must of been kin to the fire the early Unitarian and Universalsits felt.  It was also the furture becasue it show that yes Unitarain Universalism can flourish in a very different culture and be a world wide religion.


The coming up with the eighth principal was for me a mind expanding idea.  It give the UU in the Philippines a rally point to help define themselves and as Morles says be an it religion.  The UU in the Philippines are a small minority in a largely Catholic country but, there is also other religions there.


Another thing they did in the Philippines was to go through the Bible and find all the passages that supported any of the eight principals and then listed them. 


I think we have a lot to learn from the Philippines.


 


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  May 16, 2010 - 7:57PM #20
findingmyselfgod
Posts: 25

I'm coming late here, but I see that a few posts ago RevDorris mentioned the decline in UU membership. I think it's a very good thing for us to try to make our congregations more vibrant and especially more full of love, and if the decline in membership motivates us then that's great.


I'm not sure that introducing any level of intolerance is the right way for us to proceed though. If someone reaches a point in their spiritual path that they believe they need fellowship exclusively with monotheists, then there are a bajillion denominations out there for them to consider, but UU isn't one them and shouldn't become one - even if it led to a growth in numbers.


But I don't think it would anyway. We might gain a few monotheists by insisting on monotheism, but obviously we would lose a lot of atheists, pantheists, polytheists, and agnostics, and we would also lose a lot of monotheists who value tolerance as well.


And that's the point: no matter how the numbers would play out, the honest search for truth, and tolerance for each other's honest searching, are our values, not a particular belief. That is what makes UU unique among the religions.


If we stick to our unique values regardless of membership statistics, we have something uniquely valuable.

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