July 19th, 2007

Truman

Sunshine and Shadow

A response to
Where is God?: Locating the Holy in Our Lives,” by Rev. Patrick Price,

and

Atheism,” by Rev. Roger Fritts
Two UU sermons I’ve read recently present an interesting contrast. Each is a sermon delivered by a UU minister from his UU pulpit a little over four years ago. Each (like almost every piece I’ve discussed on the Internet) speaks explicitly and directly about atheism. Importantly, each minister believes in God, making the sermon’s treatment of atheism all the more interesting.

The two UU theist ministers and their respective sermons, though, take decidedly different approaches toward describing and reacting to nonbelievers. For anyone interested in understanding where UU nonbelievers who are concerned for our future within Unitarian Universalism are coming from, it seems to me the differences are worth examining.

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Truman

Born All Right the First Time

A response to
"Born Again Unitarian Universalism," by Rev. Forrest Church
The following is the text of a message (with a few subsequent revisions) sent to Rev. Forrest Church on July 9, 2003:
Hello, Rev. Church.

I write this evening to express my feelings about statements of yours that I have encountered in my exploration of the religion we share.

I have considered myself a Unitarian Universalist for roughly two and one-half years now, after a liberal Protestant upbringing, a relatively painless apostasy and several years of otherwise unaffiliated atheism and humanism. My curiosity about UUism began late in college, when I was dating a religion major who had (and has) a strong interest in American liberal religion. The first book I read about UUism was yours—
A Chosen Faith—and I’m afraid the results weren’t good. As a nonbeliever, I did not react well to matters like the book’s contention that “zealous atheism” is a “demonic pseudoreligion” (though if memory serves, it was Rev. Buehrens who penned that, not you) or cutting quotations from C.S. Lewis and Dag Hammarskjöld. My theretofore piqued curiosity about UUism was seriously squelched: I was extremely dubious that I could possibly feel at home in a group that reacted to skeptical and doubting lines of inquiry as consistently, reflexively negatively as your book does.

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