Friday, January 9, 2015

Unitarian Universalists are miracle workers when they enact the role of enlightened witness

by Stephen Dailey

There is no more toxic belief system to be inculcated in human beings than the belief that they are born defective because of Original Sin. The only other belief as toxic is the belief in retaliatory justice, the old Hammurabi code of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It could be argued that the second toxic belief flows from the first that human beings are innately evil and so need to taught a lesson by some vengeful, retributive authority figure whether it is a divine being like God or an social constructive like the State.

Along comes a small counter cultural group like Unitatarian Universalists who buck the tide of millennia of toxic false beliefs. We, as UUs, are pissing in the ocean and farting in a hurricane and yet we bring radically different values and provide a role of the enlightened witness professing good news that here is a different and more holy way of perceiving and creating the world.

To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, "The people that the people admire the most are the biggest and most daring liars; the people they detest most violently are those that would dare to tell them the truth puncturing holes in the beliefs they have been taught erroneously to believe in."

Unitarian Universalists have been criticized regularly for being heretics. We don't oppose the common beliefs and norms to be contrary, but rather to point to another more miraculous reality. That reality is God's love for God's creation in which God is well pleased.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr. Dailey:

    I agree with the idea that much of human behavior, especially dysfunctional behavior, is shame based. If we acknowledge that this hypothesis may have some merit, then we might ask where does this shame come from?

    John Bradshaw in his book, "On The Family", describes what he calls the "poisonous pedagogy" meaning that we are shamed as children by those in authority who attempt to control us and wreak vengeance on us for injustices our caretakers have suffered. Just recently, even though I am an adult, someone who disagreed with me on some issue said to me, "Brad you should be ashamed." I wasn't then and am not now, but I found it an interesting and somewhat strange thing for one adult to say to another when they had a disagreement.

    This sense of shame is deep seated in our culture and your point about shame being part of our mythic creation story which is archetypal in our consciousness is most excellent.

    Thank you for your articles.


    Brad Jergens