Monday, October 29, 2018

Why is Unitarian Univeralism failing the world?

“In the twentieth century, we have witnessed tragic denials of our dependence on one another and on the planet, and we are experiencing the consequences - in the holocaust of World War II; in the slashing and burning of rain forests; in contemporary American society’s hostility toward the poor, we hear voices say, ‘I have no need of you. You have no claim on me.’ The consequences of this denial of our dependence include violence; a loss of a quality of life marked by civility and respect; increased insularity, suffering, and diminishment of our souls; and a planet at risk of environmental collapse.” p.3 Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

And we wonder how Trumpism can take over the U.S.A. with the nationalistic meme of "Make America Great Again" as if America stands alone, insulated, unrelated and interdependent with other nations on the planet earth.

This seductive siren song to insularity makes a mockery of Gaia. It is the epitome of arrogance that has led to the defilement of the respect and love for the sacred right relationships of the people of the earth. It has led to a dog eat dog ethic that chants, "Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!" as if this is the answer to the existential suffering of those who are frightened of the future.

With the killings of people in a synagogue in Pittsburg on 10/27/18 and the mailing of pipe bombs to villified national leaders from Florida by a Trump supporter during the week of 10/21/18 we are seeing the symptoms of a societal sickness which has invaded the national community of Americans for whom positive social change has come too fast and who fear being left behind by changes that are canceling out their privilege.

The acting out in violence of one's fears of loss of control is a sad thing to watch with both perpetrator and victim being harmed in the process by those who would manipulate the dynamics for their own gains in maintaining power over the population.

Unitarian Univeralists know better and have articluated their wisdom in their seven principles which can illuminate the darkness. The seven principles alone, though, are not enough. The principles have to be enacted, supported, affirmed and promoted by covenantal relationships which, when activated and realized, can change the norms and attitudes of communities, then states, then the nation and then the world. 

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker's words, quoted in the beginning of this essay were written in the book, Called To Community: New Directions In Unitarian Universalist Ministry, published by the Unitarian Univeralist Society For Community Ministries in 2013, 5 years ago. 2013 was before the age of Trump but when the dynamics that would ripen that would lead to his emergence onto the world stage were fermenting and building. The naive said, it would never happen, but the true prophets like Michael Moore and few others predicted its coming.

Unitarian Univeralism while it holds one of the keys in the covenantal relationships based on their seven principles to transform the world, it is not institutionally structured for the task. Unitarian Univeralism has been stuck in its insular form of congregational governance and it has not structured an association with enough strength and competence for its calling of planetary transformation.

Until congregations are willing to support a national and international church, Unitarian Universalism will fail to actualize its potential as a world transforming faith. As long as individual UU churches say, "I have no need of you. You have not claim on me" the power of the faith cannot be activated to transform our society and the world. The failure to band together to fund, sanction, support, and guide a "community" ministry to non congregational groups in our society cripples UUs ability to fulfill its mission to sanctify the world by helping people to become holy. Because of UUs failure the unholy flourishes around us in banal and traumatic activities which have seemed to become normal.

1 comment:

  1. You have hit the nail on the head. The insular quality of congregational governance has hampered UU in its mission. Would that the denomination be strengthened at the district and Association level. Many thanks for this insightful essay.


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