Tuesday, November 25, 2008
That makes me maaad ...
...in my best little Droopy voice. Does anyone remember him?
I suddenly started getting a subscription to The Sun after almost a year of not renewing. It was odd (I suspect you Carrie!), but a true gift. I really love this magazine, and it always has thought-provoking articles and photographs.
There was an interview with Chris Hedges this month.
Anyway, he has a M.Div from Harvard and is a very well known journalist, and has done his time in the trenches of the world, both domestically and internationally.
Anyway, he just released a book called I Don't Believe in Atheists, but in this interview, he talks a bit about liberal religion, and what he had to say made me mad and defensive, I think because my husband has said the same thing about UUism, and even our church, especially when he's feeling disconnected. I think there is a grain of truth in it, or maybe more than a grain, but I have also seen a wider range of people from all walks of life seeking out the UU, and I do think that we're getting more in touch with the idea that we need to get out there and change the world.
"Since it lacked the spine to stand up and fight back, the liberal church has nothing to offer anymore excpet a mild message about inclusiveness and tolerance...their decline is their own fault. They are the products of a self-satisfied, bourgeois upper middle class...where they talk about "empowering" people they've never met."
And he talks about how we let the fundamentalist Christians lead the debates and set the topics.
However, he also says something that I think is very true of many UUs that I know:
"I think it's hard to sustain resistance to injustice without a spiritual core...if you have a spiritual core, then your fealty is to moral imperatives....resistance is what gives you strength..."
I think that UU churches and ministers are finally starting to see that we need to offer a path, and some guidance to those tha come to our doors seeking - not to just say, well, UUism is about finding your own faith and putting all the responsbility on our members. Studies show that churches that set the bar high, and offer guidance, grow and succeed and make a difference.
There's a lesson to be learned from harsh criticism, even though it's really hard to hear. And being pissed off can be a good kick in the butt to keep the good things moving ahead in our faith.