A followup to this post.
A very nice lady from a UU-run organization called "Promise the Children" wrote a response to my post about Sinkford's new political stand for us. I think this is a discussion worth having where people can see it, so I'm making my response a new post. You can read her response to me here.
(((UU congregations' advocacy efforts advance the profile of our denomination and attract congregants.)))
This is a really common opinion among people who want politics to be a huge part of who we are. But I've never understood it. Why would people who come to UUism for the politics rather than coming for the religion make good congregants?
If they had to choose between funding worship activites and funding political activities, which would they pick?
If Bob joins the church because the church believes in gay marriage and is bugging their local legislative body to allow it, and the legislative body votes and settles the issue one way or another, why would Bob stay in the church? The reason he came is gone. If he's looking for politics rather than religion, won't he just move on?
I'm glad that some individuals at the grassroots level want to fight for comprehensive sexuality education. They should do that. As individuals or as members of the numerous non-religiously affiliated groups that exist for the purpose. As a church, we should be staying out of political issues. Don't you think the evangelicals who want creationism taught also view what they are doing as "reality-based" and "social justice work?" They might have different terms for it, but it's the same idea. My philosophy is that if we want religion out of the schools, we need to keep OUR religion out of the schools.
Honestly, the impression I get from the comments on my last post is that people think "Religions shouldn't have sway over what is taught in schools, except for when UUs want something, because UUs are correct. It's all those OTHER religions that have crazy ideas that should be kept out."
Y'all don't think the evangelicals and mormons are saying the same thing?
As for growth and politics not being mutually exclusive, the UUA has made headlines about politics for at least four decades at this point. My old church on the edge of New Orleans was formed when the downtown church was so overrun with hippies that the group of people who supported the Vietnam war felt they had to leave.
So how big has decades of activism made our church? (Answer:217,000 people in a country with circa 300 million people.) Is it the size we want it to be?
And if it isn't, why are we advocating doing the same thing we've been doing and saying that "this time" it will be effective?
And when was the last time Sinkford sent out a letter about growing the church rather than a letter about what we should be writing to our congressmen about?
(((Without UU social justice initiatives, many congregants would drift away, and the denomination would lose much of its vitality.)))
Wow. So you think social justice programs are propping up UUism because the religion isn't enough? Without politics, we would all "drift away?"
Sunday morning must not mean much to anyone for whom that is true.
People see me as a curmudgeon sometimes, but that is a far more cynical sentiment than anything I've ever said about UUism.