From the beliefnet thread about the Rhode Island UUs:
Normally, I wouldn't bite on a thread like this, but since this media tempest in a teapot involves my congregation, I feel obligated. The article was the result of one individual who felt it necessary to forward something critical of paganism to the media that they didn't even write. I agreed with some of the criticism and found it humorous, and that was supposed to be the end of it. I still feel a real dialogue is long overdue in UU about what our "theology" really is. After all, our forebears created this religion by rejecting "bad theology". We can't seem to say no ... anything goes. For the record, the original author is no "atheist fundamentalist" but more of a non-realist Christian.
So one Christian wrote a letter more or less making fun of the Pagan festival.
Someone else forwarded it to the media.
There was never an organized resistance to the festival or any real controversy. There was never any danger of the festival getting cancelled. And while some Humanists might have recieved the letter, there's nobody saying even that is the case.
IMHO, if you've ever written anything anywhere that is snarky about Christians or Huamnists, you are no less guilty of intolerance than these Rhode Island UUs. (FWIW, I have written things that were supposed to be funny and saw my work get passed around more widely than I meant it to. It's actually a really uncomfortable feeling.)
I'm sure the guy who wrote the beliefnet post will be written off as an intolerant bigot by some because of his concerns about "anything goes" theology. But I think it's reasonable for him to state such concerns, though I don't 100 percent agree with him as I tend to think everybody draws the line between "Liberal Religion" and "anything goes" at a different place, be it theism, biblical authority or the maypole.
All that aside, the fact remains that a Christian UU (albeit a non-realist Christian of the Don Cupitt school, but a Christian UU just the same) wrote this letter. Whether the bit about "superstition" sounded like something we imagine a humanist might say is immaterial.
I'd say everybody who looked at the letter and assumed that anyone who doesn't like a Pagan festival must be a humanist and assumed a humanist wrote it owes the humanists an apology.
I'll go first.
Though a humanist myself, I did assume that a humanist had written this note and I'm really sorry I did. I will, in the future, not be so quick to assume bigotry before I know the facts of the situation.
Can everyone else who assumed the writer was a humanist do the same?