Friday, June 25, 2021

Righteousness - The UU sin


In denying, further, that “Sometimes there are no two good sides,” and, by implication, this is one of those times, the writer further justifies extremist thinking and behavior. In this case, the writer’s belief is not only presumed to be right but righteous, and, therefore, must be defended, even if doing so means denying the freedoms of those who disagree with the writer’s morally absolute “side.”

Eklof, Todd. The Gadfly Papers: Three Inconvenient Essays by One Pesky Minister . Kindle Edition. 

Religious thinking often resorts to righteousness. “We are right and everyone else is wrong.” Polarization is not only encouraged but believed to be not only desirable but the only legitimate position to be taken.

This is very common in Unitarian Universalism in spite of the lip service paid to the idea of affirming and promoting a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This is all well and good as long as the truth and meaning we hold as sacrosanct is honored and supported. Disagreement and other ideas are seen as a threat and attack and some people immediately take on a victim role and say things like “I didn’t come here for this. If you continue with this train of thought, I’m leaving.” This is a very common strategy for managing conflict and tension in UU congregations.

What is to be done about this? What will take for more mature ways of managing tension to be learned and utilized? In A Course In Miracles there is a wonderful question, “Would you rather be right ot be happy?

1 comment:

  1. This is very common in the congregations I have been a member of. It is subtle sometimes, but effective. It reminds me of "mean girls" which is based on relational aggression where the targeted individual is shunned and exiled by the leaders of the group.

    What happens in UU congregations is very well described in the concept of "gaslighting" where the member targeted is influenced to believe that there is something wrong with them if they don't go along with the pack.


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