Posts Tagged ‘religion’

If you only read one thing from DiscoverUU…

June 4, 2008

I love that DiscoverUU was mentioned in the UU World Magazine’s Blog Roll, which surmises recent UU blog postings. It’s an honor to have been mentioned and yet, I feel I missed an opportunity. I’d like to encourage the fantastic UU World editors to publish the below UU Affirmation.

Unitarian Universalism needs to adopt a shared expression of personal affirmation.

The UUA is cutting all (nearly) programs to focus on serving at the congregational level. But those UU Congregations won’t succeed unless they start affirming the individual.

Many people arrive at UU doorsteps reacting to negative experiences with another religion. It is only natural that UUism is often defined by those aspects it does NOT share with other faith traditions. However, after some healing has occurred, we lose those members who enjoy the church, but find they don’t NEED it. Often, the scattered, reactive, and overly political* message of the church has failed to connect with them at a deeply personal level. UU’s need to move from our reactionary organizational identity by using a positive and personal affirmation that articulates a clear UU message that originates in the heart and extends beyond the congregational walls.

*Political movements must flow naturally from an abundance of spiritual strength. Using politics to insight anger and adrenaline leads to congregational fatigue and frustration. It asks members to tear themselves in yet another direction, when they have come to gather and heal.

Just as the 10 Commandments do not contain the transformative message of Christianity, UU’s cannot rely on our own Seven Principles. Many UU’s know a congregational affirmation that starts with “Love is the spirit of this church…” But the power of the Apostle’s Creed would be greatly diminished if it began: “The Catholic Church believes…” Our affirmations are impersonal and distant, a collective statement that is limited to the walls of the church by its very construction.

By declaring UUism a creedless religion, creedlessness has become our creed. We need to reconstruct this message of negation into a freeing affirmation.

I do not own the below passage. Please use it in your prayers/meditations, in your congregations, and in your literature. Teach it to your children and share it with your friends.

-Aaron Sawyer

DiscoverUU, Founder

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UU AFFIRMATION

I believe in my right to search for the good, to choose it for myself, and hold it in my heart.

I affirm this right in you as well.

Together we share in the joy of community, the power of reverence, and the challenge of freedom.

This is the promise of my heart extended to you, as we walk on separate paths, together.

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Visit DiscoverUU.com for UU News, plus the best minister blog posts and sermon podcasts.

Obama and Spiritual Liberalism

January 25, 2008

Nothing is certain in South Carolina.

The polls show candidates’ numbers jumping up and down by huge margins. I hope Obama pulls this one out this Saturday.

Now, I know there are more liberal candidates (May the Kuncinch campaign rest in peace.) But I’ve cast my hat long ago with Barack Obama, way back when he became my spiritual hero via the mighty podcast.

See, he made a keynote address for the Call to Renewal Conference way back when he was just lil’ ol’ Senator Obama running against Alan Keyes who said ‘Jesus wouldn’t vote for Obama’. And as wary as I am of religious language coming from the mouths of politicians, Obama’s words were wise, courageous, and inspirational to people with beliefs from Atheists to Baptists.

I know ex-candidate Mike Gravel is a Unitarian, but Obama sure embodies our spirit. And that’s a compliment coming from this blogger.

Let me quote a little bit:

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation… at least not ‘just’. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation and a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers. And even if we did have only [Christians] in our midst- If we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would it be James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay, but eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, a passage that is so radical, it is doubtful our own Defense Department would survive its application? We [applause]… So before we get carried away, lets read our Bibles now. Folks haven’t been reading their Bible. Which brings me to our second point. Democracy demands that the religoiusly motivated translate their concerns to the universal rather than religion specific values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.”

It only gets better from there, folks.

Check it out for yourself here!

And if you’re a spiritual liberal like I am… And if you’re voting in South Carolina, or Florida or on Super Tuesday, please consider Obama once more.

I know no candidate is perfect. I know Obama is not perfect. But this sounds like a non-story to me. Anyone who comes into contact with as many people as Obama will have some poor associations. No politician is free from attacks of guilt by association.

But HERE is a window into his core belief system . THIS is why Obama was drafted by the political insiders to run.

It’s worth noting. Heck, I’d say it’s worth everything.

Obama Rally