Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who do you hate?

The F.B.I. says that hate crimes are up slightly in 2008.

Who do you hate?

An ex-spouse?

Your boss?

Your neighbor?

I'm there in that religion category. Chalicechick says that I hate Roman Catholics and being one of them I must admit I do to some extent so I hate myself as well as them and that's why I now consider myself a Unitarian Universalist.

UUs seem to claim that they don't hate anybody, but I find that not to be true. They seem to hate Robin Edgar for reasons I just don't understand. (You can hate people as much by shunning and ostracizing them as you can by attacking them - it's called passive-aggression).

I have to admit that I hate a lot of people and a lot of things and I work everyday not to let my hate interfere with my courtesy and civilty. It's takes a lot of effort and if you read this blog with any regularity, you can see that I often fail.

As Unitarian Universalists we say that we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and in justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, but it takes work every day, let's be honest, not to express it. Many of us have our hate repressed so deeply that we immediately deny that we hate others, but it is there and it leaks out anyway and we are ashamed of it.

The thing I like about Unitarian Universalists is that we are not hypocrits for the most part. We hate those we hate and we try to be kind anyway. There is a lot of virtue in that. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said he had no illusions that he could change the attitude of a racist. He just wanted them to act right and follow the law.

Kurt Vonnegut, a good Unitarian Universalist, says in his book, Jailbird, "Love often fails, but courtesy prevails."

That is as well put as I have ever seen.



  1. David,

    I'm not sure I agree that we are not hypocrites. We say we respect the inherent worth and dignity blah, blah, blah and the interdependent web of all blah blah blah but we can's agree to say no to war - out of fear, complacency, and prejudice, as I think you have said.

    Sounds like hypocricy to me.


  2. Dear Captain Tom:

    I agree with you. I guess I was just trying to be nice, but I was not being honest.

    I appreciate your candor, your sense of justice, and your honesty.

    UUs are some of the biggest hypocrits are know but then most of them are not very committed to their faith. Your committment inspires me and I find it very validating.

    All the best to you, and thank you for your comment,

    David Markham

  3. I really get tired of seeing myself falsely accused of things.

    It's interesting how you twisted that in your own head, but actually, Chalicechick said "Believe me, I know you're mad at Catholicism."

    Being angry is a temporary state and allows for the possibility that one can regain perspective over time. I hope that for you as the world is not black and white and my impression is that hatred usually damages the hater a lot more than the hated.

    I pretty much regard hatred as a waste, but I know that opinion is far from universal among UUs. Indeed, I know several who have claimed to hate George W. Bush. I don't understand that at all. Hating what someone does sort of makes sense, but how can anyone hate someone they don't know?

    When a twelve year old girl says she's in love with the actor who plays the vampire kid on Twilight, we think it's cute and we wait for her to get over her silly childish phase. We regard it as impossible to fall in love with an actor you've never met and regard the girl's feelings as superficial. I don't understand why hating a politician is any different.*

    Also, do you draw a distinction between hating someone and just thinking they are annoying and not wanting to be around them? If you define even that as hatred, then I guess I can see how you can claim that literally everyone hates, but I would call that stretching out the definition of the word "hate" until it no longer makes much sense to use it at all.

    I prefer to reserve the term for stronger feeling. I'm just not inspired to feel that way very often. I get annoyed sometimes, but hatred? Come on. We Washingtonians like to say "Don't get mad, don't get even, get ahead."


    *Lest there be confusion, I do have a link to "Enemies of the Chaliceblog" but you will find there posts where I make fun of celebrities whose public persona and/or work I dislike. I'm kidding about them being an enemy and as much as I dislike, for example, Nora Ephron movies and Thomas Kinkade paintings, I certainly don't hate their creators. I don't KNOW their creators.

  4. (((We say we respect the inherent worth and dignity blah, blah, blah and the interdependent web of all blah blah blah but we can's agree to say no to war - out of fear, complacency, and prejudice, as I think you have said.)))

    I've said this to Robin plenty of times and now I'm saying it to y'all.

    When you find the religion where both church and members follow all the religion's ideals all the time, please let me know so we can all join that faith.

    Until then, I'm staying in my church of human beings who are doing their best.


  5. ROTFLMU*UO! I am not going to come down hard on your particular U*U church CC because I do not know enough about its own failings and hypocrisy to justifiably do so, but it really annoys me when U*Us claim to be "human beings who are doing their best" when the "best" U*Us can do is outrageously hypocritical and makes a total mockery of U*U principles and ideals. . . Too many U*Us, including rather too many U*U clergy, fail miserably to actually honor and uphold the claimed principles and ideals of Unitarian*Universalism. Heck all too often I have had to deal with U*Us who obstinately refuse to practice what U*Uism preaches. Just a couple of weeks ago in Ottawa hypocritical U*U clergy acted in a manner that was extremely dismissive of my peaceful public protest against the "fundamentalist atheist" anti-religious intolerance and bigotry that I and too many other people have been subjected to in U*U Unwelcoming Congregations and the UUA's grossly negligent and effectively complicit responses to my own and other people's complaints about U*U clergy misconduct. If repeatedly disregarding and outright violating U*U principles is the "best" that U*Us can do who the Hell would want to be a U*U? So enough with the U*U BS that pretends "we are doing our best", because all too often the "best" U*Us can do is do their worst to someone. . . Your point about U*Us hating President George Bush and other Republican politicians, to say nothing of ever so *liberal* me, being a perfect example of U*Us "doing their best". . . Right CC?

  6. David is right CC *some* U*Us certainly do hate me and have expressed that hate quite clearly. Every bit as clearly as the hate that you have heard U*Us express towards President George W. Bush and other Republicans etc. Rev. Ray Drennan's and other U*Us' false and malicious labeling of Creation Day as a "cult", and me as "psychotic", is a fine example of such U*U hate, but by no means the only one. . . When I tried to take steps to deal with Rev. Drennan's fear-mongering "hate speech" arising from his obvious anti-religious intolerance and bigotry in order to prevent his hate, and that of other intolerant and abusive "fundamentalist atheist" Humanist U*Us, from spreading amongst the congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and escalating even further (as it has now done. . .) the "best" that UUA President John Buehrens could do was to *pretend* that Rev. Ray Drennan's obviously intolerant and abusive behavior was not worth investigating but that my informing the congregation about Drennan's attack on me during 'Joys and Concerns' one Sunday after the UCM's Board had failed to do anything about it was some kind of terrible social faux pas, if not a crime worthy of intervention by "the secular authorities". . . The "best" that the UUA's very aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee could do was to effectively condone Rev. Ray Drennan's intolerant, insulting, and abusive attack on me by *pretending* that it was "within the appropriate guidelines of ministerial leadership." The "best" that the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal could do in response to my serious grievances was to throw me out of their alleged "church" for six months for submitting one more letter of grievance about Rev. Drennan's clergy misconduct than they cared to ignore and throw in the recycling bin. . . Later they permanently expelled me aka "excommunicated" me because I dared to tarnish their undeserved public image by going public about "the best" that these outrageously hypocritical U*Us can do. . . You know very well that I can say a lot more about "the best" that Unitarian*Universalists can do, and that it would all be very true if not very well documented. . . Right CC? So maybe U*Us should stop *pretending* that they are "doing their best" when their "best" is genuinely pathetic if not outright appalling. Since when is "doing your worst" equivalent with "doing your best" CC?

  7. Captain Thomas R. Beall, USN (ret.) you are absolutely 100% correct in saying,

    "I'm not sure I agree that we are not hypocrites. We say we respect the inherent worth and dignity blah, blah, blah and the interdependent web of all blah blah blah but we can't agree to say no to war - out of fear, complacency, and prejudice, as I think you have said."

    Hell, U*Us can't even agree to say no to the "war of words" that they have been engaged in with me for about twice as long as the Iraq war now. Am I wrong CC? How many times have I invited U*Us to wage peace with me only to have them totally ignore my R.S.V.P. invitation, or even irresponsibly escalate this "war of words" by seeking a restraining order against me when I sought dialogue with them? This is "the best" that U*Us are capable of CC?

    Captain Thomas R. Beall you just earned yourself an honorary commission in the U*U Jihad Navy, if not a real one if you would care to help me fire some broadsides at internal U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. . . In fact I had been meaning to offer you one earlier based on your previous prophetic words on your blog. Welcome aboard. Let me know if you what kind of ship you would like to command. The U*U Jihad Navy has everything from slightly modified Iowa Class battleships* that we kind of borrowed from the U.S. Navy since they weren't making much use of them, to our brand-spanking new state of the art stealth submarines aka U*U Boats. :-)

    For the record there is no hate in anything I said above, not even a whole lot of anger either, I consider hatred as a very dangerous emotion that is often as damaging to the person doing the hating as the target of their hate. No, I am just saying what I feel needs to be said about hateful U*Us who are "doing their worst" in the hope that U*Us who definitely are not "doing their best" will finally wake up and realize that the U*U hate and other injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy that I have been exposing and denouncing (but which most U*Us who are aware of it have willfully ignored, and thus tacitly condoned, for well over a decade now. . .) is ultimately damaging to the U*U religious community as a whole. I think it's got something to do with that interconnected and interdependent web that U*Us talk about aka "blah blah blah" about, but often fail to even remotely comprehend. . .

  8. David,

    Thanks for hosting this interesting dialog.

    "Chalicechick", I guess my answer to you is that I recognize that people are not perfect but with regard to the UU church and its lack of a meaningful stand on war and peace, I don't believe we are doing our best. I think we can be better - it is why I keep writing and speaking out.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer thought we could and should do better as well. Rather than say more, I will refer you to something I wrote on my blog today which David very kindly highlighted in his.

    I'll say one final thing: Under normal circumstances, I might agree with you that we do the best we can but I think the times demand more of us. I really want my church to live up to its potential - now more than ever.

    Thanks for writing. Tom Beall

    PS: Robin, I always enjoy reading your writings and accept your commission. Keep giving 'em hell!

  9. Your command is my "wish" Captain. ;-)

    Let me know which U*U boat *you* want to float.

    I am glad to hear that you enjoy reading my broadsides. I thought you might find it presumptious or otherwise offensive for me to "hijack" aka "pirate" some U.S. Navy ships. :-)

    A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and all the other U*Us how are in fact "doing their best" (or at least trying to) to make the U*U World and real world a better place to live in.

  10. Needless to say "how" should read "who".

  11. BTW David,

    Some of my best friends are Catholics.

    Really. :-)

    I have long felt that liberal North American Roman Catholics are actually much better *religious* liberals than a good number of the U*Us I know.

  12. Dear Robin, CC, Tom, et al.

    There are many Catholics I actually admire a great deal like Dan Berrigan, Dorothy Day, Francis of Assisi, Roy Bourgois who just got excommunicated, Matthew Fox who got excommunicated, my former priest, James Callan, who just got excommunicated, etc.

    What do you think it means that most of the Catholics I have known and loved and admired most have gotten excommunicated?

    I think the current Pope would excommunicate Jesus of Nazareth and probably St. Thomas, and Mary Magdalen just to name a few.

    It seems that being unconventional either leads to excommunication or maybe Sainthood.

    Having been in the Seminary back in the 60s I understand the system and how it works. It isn't pretty. For the most part it works for mediocrity and at its worse well I suppose you read the paper.

    I doubt that the current church is anything that Jesus, which the church claims to represent, had in mind. Of course, I am not the first to say this. Jesus, Himself, was a huge skeptic of organized religion, and if you consider what He said about the Pharisees and His driving the money changers from the temple, He seemed to have some hate issues of His own. It seems the Man might have benefited from some anger management classes.

    At any rate, to use Capt. Tom's metaphor, Jesus would stand up and not stand aside and they killed Him for it.

    And so it goes........

  13. Indeed it does. . .

    Is "the system" of the institutional Roman Catholic church all *that* different from "the system" of the UUA which also works for mediocrity and at its worse. . . well I suppose *some* U*Us read The Emerson Avenger blog. ;-)

  14. "It seems the Man might have benefited from some anger management classes."

    Yes, I like to think that I am one up on Jesus in *that* regard. :-)

    As someone who has been arrested on criminal charges for the alleged crime of disturbing a religious service with my "non-violent direct action" aka *peaceful* public protest outside the Unitarian Church of Montreal it seems to me that "the system" of the Jewish religious establishment and/or the Roman "secular authorities" would have taken a rather dim view of Jesus' taking a whip to the money changers outside the Temple in Jerusalem. I can't help but wonder if that is why he was arrested. I am surprised that few Biblical scholars draw the fairly logical connection between Jesus' violent attack on people outside the Temple and his arrest and execution shortly afterwards. By all accounts Pontius Pilate was a rather stern colonial governor of Palestine or whatever they called it back then.

    Speaking of Piontius Pilate may I philosophically ask -

    What is hate?

    Before we can talk responsibly about who we hate shouldn't we define hate clearly?

    Where do disrespect and contempt, or intolerance and disgust leave off and bona fide "hate begin?

    I generally accept the dictionary defintion of the word "hate" as -

    to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.

    If one can hate bigotry, which I consider to be extreme intolerance aka extreme aversion (as per the deinition above), can one not also hate hate?

    Now there's a conundrum if ever there was one! :-)

  15. ((((I doubt that the current church is anything that Jesus, which the church claims to represent, had in mind)))


    The only thing more amazing than the fact that so many Christians think they know what Jesus had in mind and what Jesus would do in a modern situation is their collective diversity of opinion on Jesus' beliefs.

    Captain Beall, I do disagree with your opinion on the place of the UU church. I don't mind you speaking out at all, I just think you're using the seven principles as a creed when you say we are all hypocrites for not deriving a collective opinion on war from it and I don't think that they are designed to be used that way.

    Further, I think there are very smart people on both sides of the "peace church" question and I don't think your answer to it is the only reasonable one.