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Switch to Forum Live View I can't seem to shake my anti-Unitarian prejudice - HELP!
3 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2011 - 11:06PM #21
Glynlaura
Posts: 67

After reading through the posts, and your tag line, I got to wondering if the UU church isn't as much the problem as it is that it is that, a church. You clearly state that your an atheist. And though the E church does not reguire any belief in any specific god, I am wondering if that is part pf the problem for you personally. I know that I am a very rational person (its what drove me from Christianity to UU) then any church who relied on traditons of faith might be a problem wfor me if I was not a person of fiath. possibly church as church jsut isnt for you.|Maybe jsut a few like minded friends who believe in justice would serve you just as well.


For me, I sometimes too have a hard time with differnt things. Last weeks talk was about Moses and folklore and honestly I found it too simple. I already knew the stories, already believed them to be sacred myths and really didnt get challanged in either my thinking or my actions.


I do though love being a part of a community and that is what I miss most about the Christian church-- carring, support etc. I find some of that at the UU.


Does it meet every spiritual need I have? No, but it does nicely fill in some gaps. Its educates me, mateks me more loving and tolerant, lets me experience things I would never had experienced before (dances of universal piece, Buddist Relics) and I can freely take anyone there without fear of judgement.


Is it the perfect church for me. No. You? Doeantt sound like it.  So you need to decide what you want and get it. i will stay with the UU for what it offers and love it despite, or perhaps because of,  its inperfections.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 2:42PM #22
Wulf
Posts: 109

I agree with some of your points too.  The new age rituals amuse me but I am embarrassed at the invocation of native american, Hindu and pseudo-pagan practices without any real knowledge or understanding of the religions.  

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2012 - 2:37AM #23
Kimrdhbsms
Posts: 181

May 14, 2011 -- 3:21AM, DotNotInOz wrote:

Since any church's website puts its best foot forward, you're correct that you can't tell much at all from its website.


However, take a close look at the photos of churchgoers.  Notice how few darkskinned people there are? I'd bet they assembled every one they could get to be able to show that many. You're probably looking at all the minority group members that church has unless I miss my guess. Source:  uucfl.org/newcomers/index.shtml.


Very few UU churches are less than 80% white. The ones I've belonged to were nearly 100% white even though the population of the city of the last one was about 25% black. In that church, only  one multiracial family came to church regularly. As far as I know having gone to service nearly every Sunday for a full year, the few other blacks attending were visitors--who never returned.


I don't think it's that we are so racist, I think it's that UUs are so intellectual in a New Englandy way, and there just aren't that many people of other ethnic groups who enjoy intellectual New England flavored. 


and if we weren't predominantly one flavor, who would feel at home?  Isn't that true for all churches (temples, synagogues, meeting houses, etc.)?


If you mixed all flavors of ice cream together you would end up with an unappetising grey glop.  Maybe that's what we are trying for -- grey glop.  ( We seem to have achieved grey glop spiritually, but are still pretty New England flavored in our culture. Maybe that's it....)


I had a friend who was raised Jewish who said, "If they just lighted more candles, I would be a UU."  What is it we are missing to make you feel at home? 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2012 - 4:56PM #24
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

If you were speaking primarily to me, Kim, and not to the OP, you'll find most of what disillusioned me about UUism in my "Is UUism beyond rescue?" thread.


Several things accumulated over the decades I was affiliated with the UU's, some of which are detailed in the aforementioned thread. Ms. Topaz's posting sums up many of the issues that I eventually couldn't tolerate anymore.


Oddly, fond as I am of Transcendentalist philosophy, that UUism assumes that all people desire to be as good as they possibly can be is what led me to leave. UUism seems intent upon denying the shadow side of humankind, and that doesn't help much when a person must deal with venal people. It also doesn't help when your own weaknesses smack you upside the head.


The New England WASP heritage of UUism still holds sway, I agree, and explains why UU demographics continue to show a majority of advanced degree holding, comfortably well off, middle-aged to elderly members.


By the time I found a church that seemed to embody what I thought best about UUism, I simply had had it with how wishy-washy grey UUism as a whole had become. Some elderly lifelong UU's I spoke with about this said they felt that after the merger, the emphasis shifted so much to saving the denomination that the individual spirits of Unitarianism and Universalism were all but lost. I couldn't help but agree.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2012 - 9:27PM #25
micah68
Posts: 14

Hey, Dot, can I ask what church you currently attend?

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 02, 2012 - 6:45PM #26
MsTopaz
Posts: 399

Apr 1, 2012 -- 2:37AM, Kimrdhbsms wrote:


If you mixed all flavors of ice cream together you would end up with an unappetising grey glop.  Maybe that's what we are trying for -- grey glop.  ( We seem to have achieved grey glop spiritually, but are still pretty New England flavored in our culture. Maybe that's it....)


I had a friend who was raised Jewish who said, "If they just lighted more candles, I would be a UU."  What is it we are missing to make you feel at home? 




I love the grey glop analogy!


Many times I have wanted to make it work to belong to a Unitarian congregation and what has been missing for me is a strong connection to something spiritual - with all the humanists and atheists in the mix, it ends up feeling like a place that is antithetical to spirituality.

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2012 - 4:34PM #27
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Apr 5, 2012 -- 9:27PM, micah68 wrote:


Hey, Dot, can I ask what church you currently attend?




The Church of the Horizontal. < sassy grin >


I'd describe myself as areligious at the moment.


Sorry it took me several months to respond. I don't check in on this board nearly as often as I once did.




 

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2012 - 10:00PM #28
Wulf
Posts: 109

Our congregation uses music to inspire spirituality.  We have an excellent choir and a music director who can match the music to the theme of service.  This really helps especially in the absence of a permanent minister.  

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 24, 2012 - 9:18AM #29
Bheb
Posts: 4

Aug 14, 2011 -- 11:06PM, Glynlaura wrote:

After reading through the posts, and your tag line, I got to wondering if the UU church isn't as much the problem as it is that it is that, a church. You clearly state that your an atheist. And though the E church does not reguire any belief in any specific god, I am wondering if that is part pf the problem for you personally. I know that I am a very rational person (its what drove me from Christianity to UU) then any church who relied on traditons of faith might be a problem wfor me if I was not a person of fiath. possibly church as church jsut isnt for you.|Maybe jsut a few like minded friends who believe in justice would serve you just as well.


For me, I sometimes too have a hard time with differnt things. Last weeks talk was about Moses and folklore and honestly I found it too simple. I already knew the stories, already believed them to be sacred myths and really didnt get challanged in either my thinking or my actions.


I do though love being a part of a community and that is what I miss most about the Christian church-- carring, support etc. I find some of that at the UU.


Does it meet every spiritual need I have? No, but it does nicely fill in some gaps. Its educates me, mateks me more loving and tolerant, lets me experience things I would never had experienced before (dances of universal piece, Buddist Relics) and I can freely take anyone there without fear of judgement.


Is it the perfect church for me. No. You? Doeantt sound like it.  So you need to decide what you want and get it. i will stay with the UU for what it offers and love it despite, or perhaps because of,  its inperfections.


Thank you Glynlaura for your mature post.  If we are looking to worship in an incubator atmosphere of specific understanding, there is no room for further understanding.  A really nice man sitting next to me admmitted that his god was of the horned version.  The only horned version that I was familiar with was the red devil who was all about destruction which is soooo on the other side of the coin from the seven principals.  I decided to shut my attitude up and listen as he described his belief system.  There has since developed a deep respect for each other and other descriptions of the diety within.  As different services on Sunday pay homage to different understandings, I do not participate because of full knowledge or understanding of that belief system but I DO participate because we are of the interdependent web and I am still opening my brain to varities of God within all.  Thanks again. 

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2012 - 7:04AM #30
Threshold
Posts: 3

I attended and was very active in UU churches for many years. I liked many of the people and activities. The first pastor I encountered had a true spiritual bent AND always challenged us to think and act and live a strong faith.


When he left to lead another congregation, it was all downhill.


I was there through the terms of a few other ministers. I attended UU conferences and read the UU magazine.


My experience was that UU was tolerant of every faith EXCEPT Chrisitanity and that it was A-OK to talk about spirituality and the rich heritages and traditions of other faiths, but it was considered quaint and rather silly to actually practice any of them.


UUism, in my experience, is extremely condescending towards people of color. The very fact that they "target" them and "advertise" to them is a good example. There is a sort of self conscious "oops" because the UU fellowships have few or no people of color. They feel like they need to pepper the pews because isn't inclusion what UUism is all about?


When I suggested that in our community, perhaps the people of color were satisfied with their church experience and didn't feel the need to flock to us for refuge, people were shocked. They seemed to feel it was their mission to rescue people from Chrisitanity.


I DID bring up these concerns with my fellowship, and people told me I was spot on, BUT...they justified all of this by saying that if people wanted to practice a faith, they could go to the church down the street. That Christianity did so much harm that people must be advertised to so they knew there was a viable alternative to flee to. And that it was UU's mission to be inclusive, even if that meant dragging people of color in, or "tempting" them in with targeted programs. When I pointed out that they condemned the same practice when it was done by Christians, I was told that it was justified in our case, because, um, basically because we weren't Christians, therefore we were leading people to truth.


Did I have good times and some spiritual growth during my time with UU? Yes definitely, but ultimately I felt I needed to move on because the underlying theme or at least tone, was condescending and offensive.


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