Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unitarian Universalism in a culture of narcisissim

"Economic man...has given way to the psychological man of our times - the final product of bourgeois individualism. The new narcissist is haunted not by guilt but by anxiety. His sexual attitudes are permissive rather than puritanical, even though his emanicipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace. He extols cooperation and teamwork while harboring deeply antisocial impulses. He praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself. Acquisitive in the senses that his cravings have no limits, he does not accumulate goods and provisions against the future, in the manner of the acquisitive individualist of the 19th century political economy, but demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire."

Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism

What creates a culture of narcisissim and how does Unitarian Universalism support it or counteract it?

One of my favorite bumper stickers says "You are unique like everyone else."

Unitarian Univeralism values the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. All individualistic ideas.

We also value justice, equity and compassion in human relations and the interdependent web.

What of the Body of Christ? What of the common welfare? What of universal salvation?

Unitarian Universalism supports a healthy but not a malignant narcisissm the difference being all for one or one for all. UUs are hopefully one for all and not looking for all for one.

Jesus said that the person who would be first will be last and the person who would be last will be first. UUs are for servant leadership. We are called to love one another and to Stand On The Side of Love.

So, I am giving up my unhealthy narcisissm and considering the good of the whole.

John Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but you can do for your country." Ronald Reagan said that "Government is not the solution, Government is the problem." Americans no longer seem to believe in the common good, but in every person for him/herself.

UUs are different. We believe in the common good and the inherent worth and dignity of every person, of all of us, of everyone.


  1. John O'Brien NYCMay 18, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Great article Dave!

    I wish we could move the culture to more of a concern for the commons. It seems to be a core value of universalism.

    We should lead the way in sharing, and sharing generously.

  2. UUs have been accused of being elitist and passing themselves off as intellectually superior.

    Unitarian Universalism is not perceived as a working person's church but as a bunch of middle and upper class stuck ups.

    How do we dispel this notion or is it true?