Ironic isn't it?
Seems that the mistake that the lead poster on that thread makes is that it's okay for UU humanists to insist that a UU congregation should be a home for humanism only, where other religious and spiritual ideas are not to be tolerated. It's in the exclusivity and rejection of contrasting views that humanists diverge from the UU path, not in the affirmation of human worth and experience. The scorn that the lead poster expressed for other modes of spiritual inquiry almost leaps off the page and punches you in the nose. If you want to feel the love, be lovable. It can be done without compromising humanist principles one iota. In fact, if you apply humanist principles conscientiously, it's the best thing we have.
Yeah. That makes sense to me. In general, I find the competition over who can be the biggest victim rather irritating and though I'm a humanist myself, I know humanists are no strangers to that way of behaving. CC
Over the last few years I've started to identify as a Humanist, but I think the movement needs some serious self-criticism and reflection. UU-Humanists in particular need to come to terms with why they were unable to inspire the next generation -- which is why so many Humanist organizations are dominated by people in their 70's. Blaming the pagans and new agers is too easy.Pimping my own blog, I took a stab at a more inspiring, visionary Humanism in a sermon in January, which you can find here:http://freeandresponsible.blogspot.com/2006/01/cosmopolis-positive-humanist-vision.html
Let me try that link again. Cosmopolis: a positive Humanist vision
The person who started that thread was annoying, but I liked the exchange between the cheese person and the kitty person. That actually went somewhere. I am really tired of the: humanists = cold, unfeeling, arrogant/ christians =irrational, weak minded argument. As UUs we should be wayyyyyy beyond that, and yet we are still grappling with these prejudices. What is up with that?
humanists, or anyone else for that matter, who don't like their UU neighbours should move house.there are many explicitly humanist, pagan, Christian organizations out there for those who can't cope with diversity.
The problem with the "if you don't like it, move" attitude, as I note in my own blog (shameless plug- CUUMBAYA in CC's links) is that it balkanizes the denomination. Why bother having a UUA if the members of one congregation cannot be assured of welcome in another congregation? Presumably one picks one denomination over another to be among like-minded folks; if there is no such guarantee, why not just pick a church at random whenever you feel the need? Where is a UU on the road to go for fellowship if he knows he may hear himself described as cold or psychotic or fascist?
The lead poster wasn't so much a Humanist as he was an obnoxious, insulting crank. Whenever he wasn't in the conversation, it was actually interesting. I don't think his problem is being a Humanist. I think his problem is being paranoid (finding demonization of Humanism in the UU World, for example) and participating in ridiculous and extravagant denigration of any other faith but Reason. Calling Bill Sinkford's experience of a spiritual presence and praying for his sick son "supernaturalism" is laughable. So is his conflation of all Theists with New Agers and pagans.I don't want Humanists to leave our congregations -- as I've said a thousand times, THERE IS NO UUISM WITHOUT HUMANISM, but I'm not at all sorry to see people like that guy leave. He should leave. He's incredibly hostile.
Well that "hostile" U*U Humanist is a sweet little pussycat compared to some of the other "Humanist" U*Us that I have the misfortune to know. . . Unfortunately he is quite representative of a certain subset of "Humanist" U*Us that may be found throughout the U*U "religious community" and who make many U*U "Welcoming Congregations" anything but welcoming to bona fide God believing Unitarians and Universalists.
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